CURRENTS

Where's my health food?

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Doesn't it seem strange that we don't hear anyone talking lately about the thick skins on bananas?

The rubbery skins on the almost flavorless tomatoes?

The peculiar change that came over the world six or seven years ago... the way the sun doesn't seem to be leaving the same shadows in the places we're used to seeing them?

I remember when we grew tomatoes about a decade ago. They grew like lice on a pup. We had so many big fat round red succulent juicy tomatoes that we gave them away to all of our neighbors.

We didn't even have to try. The sun hit our back yard squarely every morning in May (a good time to plant tomatoes) and the results were astounding.

I'd sit out there every day, just me and the love of my life and my kitty and my little dog, and I remember working on a nice brownish tan. Not that I've ever been as dark-skinned as I'd wished, but it sure beat that bleached out vampire-white.

Now, if I sit in the sun for ten minutes, it burns me. I turn beet-red. And it HURTS.

The sun isn't supposed to hurt.

And here's the weird part:

The sun stopped hitting the back yard on May mornings. Or any other mornings. It seemed like it happened overnight.

I really can't say how long it took, but one day we noticed that the sun had moved.

Or the earth had moved.

Or something had moved.

We theorized that maybe the atmosphere had changed (due to the greenhouse effect and increased emissions and pollution) and was refracting the sunlight in a different way.

But our tomato crop went to hell, and so did the tomato crop up and down the great expanse of farm land called the "bread-basket of the world", the Salinas Valley. Mile after mile of every imaginable vegetable.

Well, the vegetables ALL taste different now. And they're smaller, uglier, less appealing to look at, less plentiful, and less palatable.

And bananas...well, they don't come from this area of the world. I suppose lots of bananas are imported from Puerto Rico. But the same thing applies. Thicker skins. Mushy innards.

Bad bananas.

That, coupled with the scarcity of seafood up and down the California coast, makes me wonder what exactly is going on.

Actually, I KNOW what's going on, but it irks me that no one seems to notice, and it disturbs me that no one writes about it or bothers to appoint a committee to investigate, or to... well, do something.

A few years ago, my good friend Ernie Garside had a terrible heart attack, and it prevented me from playing in the UK (it's hard to explain, but only Ernie had that certain knack of booking me in all the right places for the right fees)... and I miss England very much.

And, since I've been there perhaps fifteen times, I know of what I speak. There is sugar everywhere.

The big supermarket over there is Sainsbury's.

Every item in that store is full of sugar. Even the tomato sauce was full of sugar.

The Indian restaurants put sugar in all the food, including the rice and the curry.

Honest.

Italian restaurants did the same with virtually every menu item. William Duffy, author of Sugar Blues, would have been outraged... sugar was in the bread, the soy milk, the soups, the canned veggies, and even in the sliced turkey.

Sugar is a drug. It winds you up like a top. The early Brits ate it by the handful before going into battle.

It made them fierce.

It also ruined their teeth.

Ours too. Because it's happening in every Safeway and A&P and Raley's and QVC all across America.

It's even happening in that sanctuary that we used to hold so dear, the hallowed health food store. ALL NATURAL! Yes, that means the sugar is either organically grown or is evaporated from cane juice.

It STILL rots your teeth and gives you colon cancer.

What gives? Has anyone else noticed?

Is my little family the sole target of this campaign meant to starve us into submission so that we'll consume non-edible, toxic, quasi-foods out of pure desperation? Are we faced with either that or eating dirt and rocks?

Bananas and tomatoes with hides like leather. Squash the consistency of Playdough. Bread with guar gum, preservatives, and sugar. Nitrates and nitrites and sugar, all showing up at a health food store near you.

It's only a matter of time before sugar shows up in the water (don't you DARE drink that tap water!) and in the air.

If anyone else has noticed this paradigm shift in the sun, the food, and the oblivious behavior of our populace, let me know. I'm starting to suspect that it's either so ubiquitous that everyone knows it and accepts it, or that my little family is the sole target of this conspiracy.

Remember Yossarian in Catch-22?

"They're trying to kill me", he cried, to which the head doctor quizzed, "And what makes you think that? That's paranoia!"

Excitedly, Yossarian replied "Yes! I'm paranoid! Crazy! Isn't that grounds for a Section 8?"

"Ah", the head doctor replied stoically. "But you're right. They ARE trying to kill you. All that proves is you're not crazy. Now get back to work."

I guess I'll just have to learn different ways of cooking dirt and rocks.

I'm no doctor. But sometimes doctors are no doctors either. All doctors being human (some arguably less so than others), they are not infallible. And Western Civ physicians tend to be less holistic and more mechanistic in their approach than Eastern physicians. Being a healer is different than being a diagnostic pathologist ...one who specializes in the disease model of health (sic).

I can only share some of the things that seem to help me. I've not been blessed with the best of health. I haven't been without some or other health complaint for any great length of time, perhaps because I'm a born complainer. I do remember being out of class one year in grade school at least 50 days out of the school year, something of a record. I wasn't 'playing hookey'. I was home sick.

And there are so many different types of illness.

For example, i t's easy for me to get nauseous if I watch too much CNN. Watching FOX might be lethal, so I avoid it like I avoid gamma radiation or cyanide gas.

There's exogenous and endogenous depression. Exo means 'outer' so it means your depression is caused by things outside of yourself. Examples of exogenous stimuli triggering the onset of depression would be things like watching too many Alan Sandler movies all in one sitting or listening via headphones to thrash metal 'music' while in the dentist's chair.

Endogenous depression is harder to pin down and harder to cure. Some people think you can just 'pull yourself together'. But for a really depressed person, this is impossible.

A lot of times it's BAD CHEMICALS! At least that's what I think.

Tom Cruise is a fine actor, but as a physician he's a total washout. When he went on his Scientology-induced campaign to discredit modern psychiatry and to nix the idea that chemical imbalances can cause schizophrenia and depression, he was out of line.

Scientology's founder, L. Ron Hubbard, was a science fiction author (and not the best in that literary field, but that's another article) and not a social engineer. And he was certainly not a scientist.

His e-meter is about as scientifically sound as treating arthritis with copper bracelets. It may work, but it's can't be proven by any empirical double-blind data.

I think bad chemicals are at the root of a LOT of modern disease.

I believe the following...

Junk food can cause mania, cancer, heart and liver disease, and depression.

Sugar is a drug, and it's not good for the body or the mind.

Our food, even the best organic produce, does NOT contain enough vitamins to meet our MDR. Our farmers, for financial reasons, have not been able to give the earth a rest for a year or two between growing seasons. Constant crop rotation coupled with soil erosion and increased greenhouse effects (including ultraviolet radiation and air pollutants) have caused drastic reductions in the natural healing and nutritional properties of 'whole foods'.

We need to supplement our food with vitamins. And not just a one-a-day multiple, but with occasional 'pharmaceutical' dosing of major vitamin body stores that easily become depleted, including enzymes and amino acids.

CoQ10 is one such enzyme, a powerful anti-oxidant necessary to prevent plaque build-up in the heart and arteries. A side effect of taking CoQ10 daily is a drastic reduction in dental problems. It actually prevents the accumulation of plaque around the gums and teeth, and shrinks the 'pockets' around the teeth dramatically in a matter of months.

5000 milligrams of C every day is a good idea. B is necessary, as is D, A, and E. Lecithin is good too.

For heart problems, Hawthorne, an herb, is a necessity.

For edema, try Alfalfa.

For sleeplessness, Valerian is indicated.

And don't ever listen to thrash metal.

Particularly in the dentist's chair.