If you’ve ever seen the television series, Mad Men, you can begin to get the flavor of the environment back in the 60’s. Cigarettes were so glamorized that we literally lived in a haze of blue smoke. Movie theaters, restaurants, hospitals and the schools had areas where the employees smoked all the time.
One of the most offensive photographs I had ever seen that depicted the acceptance of smoking most vividly at that time was a picture of a female neonatal physician holding an extremely tiny premature baby in one hand and her smoking cigarette in the other.
It was interesting to me that smoking had been seen as detrimental to health beginning in the late 50’s and early 60’s, but all of my relatives kept on smoking. My Dad, Uncle Bill and Aunt Mildred all fell victims to tobacco in their late fifties or early sixties, but the carnage continued and still continues today.
When Big Tobacco got science involved, we began to see chemicals and additives that made us addicted. In fact, one study showed that quitting cigarettes was more challenging than stopping heroin.
The real irony is that we all know the horrible side effects of smoking cigarettes, yet more than 20% of us still smoke in the United States, and nearly 30% of Europeans still smoke. 1.1 billion people are still smoking internationally.
Now, however, we are seeing that the lessons learned from marketing, countering scientific evidence, and adding addictive ingredients and cancer causing substances has been passed over to our food industry.
We’re predictably acting in exactly the same way. We’re ignoring the facts and ignoring our brains and consuming manufactured foods that are as bad for us as those enhanced cigarettes, and we’re doing it by the billions worldwide.
After deep consideration and much consultation on this matter, I’ve decided that it’s not the lack of education that’s the problem. It’s not the lack of intelligence. It’s not even the lack of exposure to the truth that is causing this. I truly believe that we, as a species, are Meatheads!
One of my bosses used to describe people like this, “They get up in the morning and go through the motions; go to the bathroom, brush their teeth, shower, grab coffee, go to work. No thinking. When they get to work, they open their skulls, remove their brains, and place them on a hook until the end of the work day.”
What’s it gonna take to get us to wake up and smell the chemicals? Seriously, there are hundreds, even thousands of untested additives being placed in our manufactured food, and we just go on eating it like sheep being led to, well, to hospitals. Most of the work that we did in cancer research was related to genetics, but 75+% of the cancers that we saw were related to the environment.
Why is it okay for industries to purposely poison us and produce marketing campaigns to entice us to consume the poisons that they are putting into our foods? People went crazy when the unregulated Chinese doggie treats killed their pets, but everyone keeps eating our make-believe foods.
In California they must post this sign on the windows of certain fast food restaurants: Warning “Chemicals Known in the State of California to cause cancer, or birth defects, or other reproductive harm may be present in food or beverages sold or served here.”
As the World Congress on Cardiology, I observed 70% of the physicians in the room smoking. One physician stood in front of a Power Point presentation with a cigarette in his left hand as he pointed to Moscow, Kiev and Belgrade. He exclaimed, “Number one in heart attacks, Moscow. Number two, Kiev, and number three in heart attacks, Belgrade.” Then he took a long drag on his cigarettes and said, “What’s wrong with this picture?”