23 October, 2020

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If You Are Not Dead Already, You Should Be!

By Arjuna Seneviratne

 Arjuna Seneviratne

Arjuna Seneviratne

The dumb citizen’s sellout to toxic foods and the disaster to national health

So, you are fairly well to do. You commute daily to your great job or your profitable business. You return each day to a stable family. You take a vacation every few months. You own a few acres and couple of houses and a car or three. You go often to the bank to make a deposit to an already fairly fat nest egg. It’s a great, solid, decent, socially mandated routine and you are probably thinking you do well in terms of the societal norms by which you live. Society probably considers you a smart man and you probably believe that yourself.

Oh, and by the way, you also complete that routine by becoming sick five times a year, going in for a checkup every six months with your spouse in attendance and taking a sick child to this OPD or that battery of specialists every month for treatment for a cocktail of illnesses. Your kitchen cabinet resembles a mini-pharmacy. You hammer the well-woman clinic, the hair-loss treatment clinic, a dozen deals that come couched in health check-up packages from diabetes to prostrate to toe-nails, every next advert claiming that you can be saved if you gulp this, pop that or drink the other thing.studies 01

Who are you?

You are one of a whole host of upper-middle class citizens of this country that believes, religiously, blindly, that your life is great despite every indication to the contrary. You believe you are doing alright with your diabetes, your hypertension, and your clogged arteries.

You think that chronic kidney disease is something that affects poor rural farmers who live surrounded by a fog of toxic agrochemicals. You have no clue that a full 10-15 percent of the population of Sri Lanka will be subject to serious renal disease by 2025 and that you, thirty-something now will probably be having dialysis as a forty-something.

You have no idea why your wife had to suffer so much to give birth to a child and had to go visit a doctor fourteen times during pregnancy or why your child needs every kind of shot, pill and glug imaginable just to keep it breathing over its first five years. You haven’t figured out why most women are half dead by the time they have a single child these days and you have no clue why you have penile dysfunction at thirty. You do not wonder that each time you go to a hospital there are, literally, thousands of others crowding in, pushing you out and jostling for position. You have no need to understand why the fastest growing and most profitable business sector in Sri Lanka is the health sector. You think this is the norm and you are not even listening when your dad tells you that in his day, he visited the doctor maybe once a decade and even then, there were just a couple of others in the waiting room with him. You have no idea two thirds of your productivity is lost to your little stash of diseases. You have no idea why in the past, people were cured by medicine but now, they are forced into chronic use of drugs simply to keep them going and going in a twilight existence while buying and buying “controllers”.

Who are you?

You are no better and no worse than the low income groups and the middle income groups and you differ in just one way – you have the wherewithal to somehow justify the belief that your shortened, diseased life is somehow great. You believe that your ability to check into a five star hotel masquerading as a hospital is enough to validate the various diseases you need treatment for. When you buy into the various advertisements calling you to splurge on this insurance and that policy, this vitamin or that energy booster, you erroneously believe that by doing so you can live just a bit longer than anyone else.

Who are you?

You are a person who doesn’t know that the incidence of agrotoxins in your food is at levels that will kill you just as surely as the farmer who is exposed to 100 times that amount. You have no idea that early onset Alzheimer’s is an urban ill linked to the ingestion of those poisons. You do not know why there are so many special needs units popping up to treat ADHD whose incidence jumps 10 times in children exposed to organophosphates which you end up feeding your children through the foods you purchase. You have no idea that leukemia accounts for 33% of all childhood cancers and that agrotoxins are a key reason for it and that your child is vulnerable to it even before it is born. You do not know that in certain parts of the world, especially developed countries or those urban centers in developing countries that are significantly developed (like Colombo) 1 in every 8 women will succumb to breast cancer linked to agrotoxins. You just don’t understand that pesticides and insecticides are the reason why so many of our children are suffering from asthma and your child probably does as well.

Who are you?

You are a person who visits the supermarket at least twice a week to buy a few of the 40+ agrotoxin laced poison packets also known as the fruit, vegetables, meat and fish section despite the fact that Sri Lanka has over 550 natural foods that don’t have to be labeled “poisonous! Handle with care”. You are a person who doesn’t care a tiny rat’s rear why there are just two aisles of food and seven aisles of “nutrients” and that those rows and rows of nutrient cans, boxes, packets and wraps only serve to concentrate the toxins already existent in their source materials coupled with a chemistry lab full of other poisons just to keep them looking and tasting like food for a long long period of time. You are a person who doesn’t wonder why not even a maggot will touch the contents of a “nutrient rich” package if you toss it out and watch it until it degenerates into dust.

Who are you?

You are a person who believes that something marketed well is better than something that is not marketed at all. You are a person who will trample a naturally created jak-fruit seed on your way to a supermarket to buy a kilo of toxin laced dhal. You are a person who reads the nutrient list on a package to see if it will solve an imaginary disease marketed for you by a nice looking chick dressed in a lab overall on TV. You are a person who just doesn’t think that natural foods can be had for either low cost or no cost because it is too easy to access and too difficult to market as part of your “wealth display” or your “knowledge display” needs.

What are you?

You are dumb. And the dumb die. Sooner rather than later. Despite your social status. Despite your supposed wealth and wherewithal. Despite your lands and your buildings. Despite your insurance policies. Despite your acceptance by society as a “smart” person. If you are not a ghost parked on top of a hospital roof or supermarket display while reading this post, you are already dying.

You know it, and you are just too darn stupid to realize why that is so.

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Latest comments

  • 4
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    Our folks continue to use archaic standards like 1983 SLSI Drinking Water Standard, thus ignoring the new studies and research into pesticides.

    Human greed to improve productivity and profits at any cost has resulted in the use of a wide spectrum of chemicals and consequently medicines. Man creates problems and then tries to solve, thereby creating more problems. More chemicals / medicines, more pollution.

    On the other side so called advanced countries are busy developing advance biological weaponry and who knows what?

  • 3
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    would love some actual sources on your claims, rather than heavy handed vitriol. Heck, I’d love to do an actual rundown of your claims (for better or worse), if CT lets me do that.

    anyway, you sound like some 13 year old edgelord who thinks he’s a unique snowflake better than those “darn sheeple who just…like…don’t get it man!”

    • 3
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      @an actual scientist

      The evidence for his claims is everywhere – if you were an actual scientist or even read a bit, you would know that

      Take a trip to Nuwara Eliya during the growing season and have look at how the crops are sprayed with Insectcides, Weedicides, Fertilizers etc

      If a chemical can dissolve an animal or insect within a few seconds of contact, what do you think it can do to your insides over the long-term ?

      The Monsantos and big agri-business is now preventing our farmers from storing seed paddy from the previous season to plant in the new season. Instead, they have to buy the seeds – and these seeds cannot germinate (useable for one season only).

      This is all done LEGALLY with the connivance of our so-called farmer-centric Yahapalana Government. Soon these entities will have complete jurisdiction over all our food supply and will be able to sue us for storing food to feed our people (as India recently found out that she could not do)

      • 3
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        You can’t just say “read a bit”. You make the claim, the burden of proof lies with you. Until then there is no discussion.

        It is absolutely true that insecticides and pesticides should not be consumed by humans. Too much of it and we will start experiencing adverse effects. Fortunately, you can apply minimal amounts of these chemicals to get the desired effect, while still reducing the harm on humans.
        The claims about increased cancer and ADHD rates are unsubstantial. Correlation doesn’t imply causation. That’s the first rule of statistics. Burden of proof lies on anyone claiming to link the two. But the most likely cause of these increased rates is the improved diagnoses (for ADHD and cancer), and increased life expectancy (for cancer).

        As for Monsanto, IDK what you’re on about. I know about Monsanto’s practices. They are quite underhanded, but it is a political problem.
        It doesn’t, however, mean there are adverse health effects from GMOs, unless they’re intentionally modified to cause harm which is highly unlikely. And spoiler alert: Every plant or animal you consume has been genetically modified over thousands of years.

        Anyway, I’ll throw you and this deeply disturbed writer a bone. I agree that a world without pesticides is an ideal one. Whatever said and done, they do mess up the balance of the planet. It is also very possible that a small portion of the population will contract cancer caused directly by pesticides. But you know what’s worse than cancer? Starving to death. And unfortunately, without pesticides, we cannot sustain the food needed to support 7 billion people without it (ever tried starting a farm without pesticides? Its ludicrously unsustainable).
        You may not like this next part, but GMOs may be the solution to this. GMOs will simply mean modifying the plant to produce a natural defense against pests, and producing more nutritionally dense yield. This is the dogma behind farming for centuries, and if we did not have this ability, we wouldn’t be able to support even 1 billion people. Don’t believe me? Look at what our favorite crops looked like before humans tampered with their genes.

        • 2
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          @an actual scientist

          Yes, genetic modification over hundreds of thousands and millions of years is (Natural) Evolution as you well know. ALL living things undergo this simultaneously. Nature sees to that and I have no issues with her.

          On the other hand, taking a gene from a fish and putting it into a tomato is decidedly not natural.

          GMO may be the solution for world hunger. There are alternatives as well and by the way a cursory search, no one has indicated GMO as one of the solutions.

          No GMO science will be used for anything other than profit. You are obviously aware of the insidious nature of the GMO industry and how (with the connivance of Western governments) they seek to (and largely successfully) control the world food supply and hold it hostage.

          I am unsure how old you are but over the years, I see the havoc that uncontrolled, unregulated use of herbicides and insecticides have caused in SL. I cannot remember the last time I saw a butterfly or a bee.. the firefly’s in the garden are no more. No moths or dragonflies… the weedicides work by killing every other plant except what it is designed to protect.. which means all benign/useful plants are destroyed as well, – It’s this horrible devastation that I object to.It’s a pity that you don’t seem to understand this

          As for my question about cancer (which everyone is tiptoeing about) better life-expectancy and diagnostics alone doesnt account for the increase in RATES of Cancer which is undeniable. In 1980 it was 128/100000 – by 2000, increased to almost 300 / 100,000 – Life expectancy was 68 and 71 respectively for both the years. A three-year increase in life expectancy and diagnostic capability cannot be linked to a 100% mortality increase by any stretch of the imagination

          Are you one of those people who also say climate change, desertification etc. is a figment of the imagination of the tree-hugging community ? By your response above (i.e “its up to you to prove it”), it seems you are.

          I hope no one you know suffers the affects of the above, for until it touches you directly you wont understand. I assure you, at that time, no one will be going around asking for proof of cause-and-effect in order to provide treatment.

          As a advertised scientist (which I am not) I think you are duty bound (unless you work for big pharma, big oil or any of the other multinationals) to consider at all possibilities.

          • 1
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            Well said Sir. Actually, as I mentioned to this gentleperson in a response to one of his posts, the yield is not the proper metric. Rather, it is the nutrition density of a food that is important. You can grow more densely nutritious natural foods and get the same effect by eating less than a fluffed up biomass created by genetic modification. A strong case then exists for millets and related grains over rice or wheat or maize because their nutrition density is so high that a little of it can cover you as much as eating bowlfuls of what is tantamount to comparative nothing.

        • 2
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          @an actual scientist – “..(ever tried starting a farm without pesticides? Its ludicrously unsustainable). “

          I have been cultivating herbs and vegetables without using pesticides, fungicides or weedicides since 1985 very successfully. I have also started similar projects that are also successful, so your assertion that it is “ludicrously unsustainable” couldn’t be more “ludicrous”!

          • 1
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            /*I have been cultivating herbs and vegetables without using pesticides, fungicides or weedicides since 1985 very successfully.*/

            Yes you are correct Sir and it is being done by thousands in Sri Lanka. I think this person really is not an “actual scientist” as he claims but rather a spokesperson for a particular standpoint to which he adheres religiously (not scientifically) and chooses to be blind to all else. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) ratified last year are very clear as to the direction they want to take in terms of sustainable food production and by their definition goes as follows:

            Goal 2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture

            2.4 by 2030 ensure sustainable food production systems and implement resilient agricultural practices that increase productivity and production, that help maintain ecosystems, that strengthen capacity for adaptation to climate change, extreme weather, drought, flooding and other disasters, and that progressively improve land and soil quality.

            The statement here is very clear. Regardless of what this “actual scientist” claims, it seems the world understands that sustainable food production systems require maintaining ecosystems and improving land and soil quality – both of which are impossible with the application of ecosystem murdering agrotoxins.

        • 2
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          @ an actual scientist:

          Since you are so gung-ho about Monsanto, you may be interested to know that “Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, is recognized as the world’s most widely used weed killer. What is not so well known is that farmers also use glyphosate on crops such as wheat, oats, edible beans and other crops right before harvest, raising concerns that the herbicide could get into food products”.

          You can read the complete article at http://ecowatch.com/2016/03/05/glyphosate-sprayed-crops-before-harvest/

        • 3
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          ‘an actual scientist’ says:
          “As for Monsanto…I know about Monsanto’s practices. They are quite underhanded, but it is a political problem. It doesn’t, however, mean there are adverse health effects from GMOs, unless they’re intentionally modified to cause harm which is highly unlikely. And spoiler alert: Every plant or animal you consume has been genetically modified over thousands of years.”

          There is difference between prolonged processes covering millennia and events forced by conscious human intervention– at times thoughtless and at times driven by greed.

          Some “actual scientists” have denied global warming for decades; some “actual scientists” insist that existing nuclear technology is safe; and yet others swear by the safety of genetic engineering.

          I agree that not all genetic engineering need be harmful. But there is much need for experimentation and careful monitoring before releasing such organisms and foods into the environment.

          There are, happily, other “actual scientists” who identified potential hazards, and “actual non-scientists” who mobilized people to fight GM crops that posed a threat to traditional crop, as for example in India against GM aubergine and GM cotton, whose dangers are long term.

          An ‘actual scientist’ I think is not a university product or one labouring in laboratories for MNCs to profit.

          Let us ask ourselves why Europe is stricter than several Third World countries about GM foods. Let us examine why Monsanto and other GM companies resort to massive bribery– certainly not for love of mankind.

          Any rational human being can think and reason scientifically; and a “scientist” can be blinkered in his/her view by factors such as a narrow outlook or, even worse, career interest.

          A “true scientist” will not dismiss lightly genuine concern based on evidence and experience of “non-scientists”. Such attitude is neither healthy nor scientific.

          Being a scientist is no assurance of infallibility, even in one’s own field of specialization.

        • 0
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          The confounding factors that you mentioned have been treated well in the research as far as I am aware.

          It is also well proven that soil dies with the application of agrotoxins and that whatever carcass of that soil is left (usually a flour-like sand) require more and more of those to keep plants alive because the crops micro-ecosystem is first compromised and then destroyed. Therefore, your claim of “minimal applications” does not hold to scientific scrutiny.

          I urge you to look deeper than your shallower reading of “science” in your claims on GMO/GMFs. In any concentration of a single crop, there is the natural threat of pests. The way these were controlled without turning the soil into a toxic vat are many, cheap and easy. Multicropping is on such method, creating agro-ecosystems of mixed types of short, mid and perennials another. YIELD is not the measure of the ability of a crop to feed people. It is the concentration of nutrients in a specific unit of food. The claim on yield is a marketed idea and those who fall for it, real scientists or no… are guilty of scientific astigmatism. There is no science claiming or proving that GMOs are good for the health of human beings but much that claim otherwise. Again, the reading is shallow in that feeding any old piece of newsprint or equivalent to a human being is food because it enters through the digestive system. Sure, you can fry potato peel in engine oil and feel full as some Germans did during the later part of World War II but you must be joking if you believe that it is good for the consumer.

  • 2
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    Dear Arjuna, You really need a hair cut.

    • 2
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      No need for that. I do not think Arjuna has any intentions of attending lectures at the University of Jaffna.

    • 0
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      heh! So have said hundreds of others … mmm … well, I kinda like by long locks which have for long been the envy of most women lol

  • 4
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    well said. We need more people like you to build up awareness for this pretty little flock of sheep that run in one direction. The truth is always concealed from us. Our minds are shaped from a an early age to accept the norms of the system and believe in it. In today’s societal structure any individual is just a number( that shows in your birth certificate) in an invisible market. We are effectively bought and sold as a commodity at all times. people do not realise or they do not want to know the truth instead they are too happy to be enslaved and be accepted into Neo slavery and swallow super doses of ignorance just to live and die.

    • 0
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      /*We are effectively bought and sold as a commodity at all times. people do not realise or they do not want to know the truth instead they are too happy to be enslaved and be accepted into Neo slavery and swallow super doses of ignorance just to live and die*/

      precisely! Most are no better than the poisoned carrot they feed on. They are brought into this world, bounced around by various rackets like ping pong balls without a clue why that is so and actually enjoying the biffs and bangs until at some point they die, ignorant of the reason why … much like the artificial chickens that were fed to them to keep them going for a few years…

  • 1
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    A typical “new age” rant, even more exaggerates than usual.

    ” You are a person who doesn’t wonder why not even a maggot will touch the contents of a “nutrient rich” package if you toss it out and watch it until it degenerates into dust.”
    Sadly, the above is completely false if the author is talking about Soya or margarine. I personally have seen weevils in Soya and fungus on Margarine. Does he know of the Thriposha program which has IMPROVED the health of pregnant mothers since probably before he was born?

    “You have no idea why your wife had to suffer so much to give birth to a child and had to go visit a doctor fourteen times during pregnancy or why your child needs every kind of shot, pill and glug imaginable just to keep it breathing over its first five years.”
    Stick to what you can prove, Arjuna. As far as I know, my wife had no difficulty producing 3 children (all still healthy) . It is the doctors that insist on 14 visits during pregnancy. Maybe they are under-employed?

    ” You think this is the norm and you are not even listening when your dad tells you that in his day, he visited the doctor maybe once a decade and even then, there were just a couple of others in the waiting room with him.”
    This is because in your dad’s day life expectancy was about 55, and the rest had died of then-incurable diseases like polio, diabetes, heart disease, flu, TB, and numerous others. The Government now goes after Dengue with vengeance because it kills 350 people, but do you know, Arjuna, that 35000 people died of Malaria in the 1930’s?.
    On the whole, would you not say that the presently enlarged and longer-lived population totally disproves your scare stories?

    • 1
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      @Old Codger
      Why is there a massive increase in cancer in Sri Lanka ?

      • 0
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        Maalumiris,
        The Ministry of Health states that over 14,000 patients have died owing to cancer in 2013.

        Records from last year alone indicated that 25,842 patients have been diagnosed with cancer.
        More than 4000 died of cancer in 1985.
        It is very tricky to interpret the data. Many males have died of lung and oral cancer (smoking? betel chewing?)
        Females have died of breast cancer.
        Nobody has PROVED that person X died due to eating a particular food .
        Science needs concrete proof. It was there in the case of tobacco.
        It is not quite there even in the case of cholesterol. Even less so with cellphone radiation, powerlines and microwave ovens.
        The number of polluting motor vehicles has vastly increased since 1985. How can we be sure that this is not causing problems?
        It is very easy to rant against “big business”, “processed foods” and so on, as Arjuna has done, but until someone does a proper study and proves a link, let’s keep the scare stories down.

        “If a chemical can dissolve an animal or insect within a few seconds of contact, what do you think it can do to your insides over the long-term ?”
        Maybe you aren’t aware of this, but the stomach naturally produces Hydrochloric acid, which is strong enough to burn your throat when it accidentally gets out. It makes short work of insects too.
        Ordinary vinegar can dissolve marble. That doesn’t mean it will dissolve your stomach!

        • 2
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          @Old Codger

          You have done a creditable job of setting up various strawmen in your response. I assume you are confident enough in refuting my example and trusting enough of agro-chemicals and their benign effect on the human body to now swallow a pint of folidol and say “well, my stomach produces ample amuints of HCl and I will be quite fine!”

          People have died from cancer who have chewed no betel nor smoked any cigarettes nor touched a drop of liquor.

          I am asking the reason for the INCREASE in cancer related deaths. Not how tricky it is to interpret the data.

          • 0
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            Dear Maalumiris,
            Bluntly put, I don’t know, and neither does Arjuna(in spite of his pontifications) or anybody else.
            But I will tell you a story: Once I looked inside a batch of computer monitors that had come from a city bank. They appeared nice and clean on the outside but were absolutely coated with soot from diesel fumes inside. Imagine what the lungs of the poor bank workers would have looked like?
            It is better to look at obvious causes first. Oh, by the way, liquor gives you cirrhosis, not cancer.

            “trusting enough of agro-chemicals and their benign effect on the human body to now swallow a pint of folidol and say “well, my stomach produces ample amuints of HCl and I will be quite fine!”

            Maalumiris, Maalumiris, Context is everything. HCL is a deadly poison if you drink it, but an essential reactant when it is produced by your stomach. Folidol is deadly poison ANYTIME.

            Some insecticides kill cockroaches but not spiders or fleass.
            DDT doesn’t kill humans directly, but practically everything else.
            I can’t understand these people who insist that everything artificial is BAD. Is artificial vinegar bad? Aspirin? Maldive fish? Dried rice?
            By Arjuna’s type of reasoning, seawater should be banned because it killed lakhs of people in 2004.
            ALWAYS soak and wash your food well before you eat it.

            • 2
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              @Old Codger

              What ? You DON’T know ?? You have penned so many pieces from apparently an all-knowing and unassailable position that for you to say “I don’t know” is quite unfair of you

              You are exaggerating Arjuna’s claims esp. with that unnecessary reference to salt water. Should we ban rain (because it causes floods), wind (dust-storms???) the sun (drought?). You know exactly what he is on about even though it may be presented in very vehement terms.

              In my experience, a “normal” presentation will not have excited the level of discussion here so hats off to him for taking a more combative approach !

              Personally, I err on the side of caution. I avoid artificial and processed food, red meat etc. because the connections between them and ill-health are well-documented. (WHO Report 26 Oct 2015). I take public transport and do other small things because I believe climate-change is real (you probably don’t)

              I am sorry, I don’t understand your reference to maldive fish or dried rice. AFAIK they are not artificial (unless you are referring to the smoking of the fish).. Personally I dont use “artificial vinegar” (whatever that is) or these “margarines” – if you refer to acetic acid (E260), I believe it is a petrochemical derivative and I leave it up to you to eat it or not. As or myself, I prefer to put petrochemicals in my car, not in my body.

              • 0
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                Maalumiris

                There are things I don’t know, and I will admit to them, unlike Arjuna.
                Now here is my creed:
                I believe climate change is real. I use my vehicle locally and the bus into Colombo.
                I don’t believe that children’s brains are improved by the likes of Enfagrow and Nestum.
                I don’t believe Bonlac is better for women. In India low-fat milk is cheaper than full-cream. That is how it should be, beacause cheese and butter are made from the extracted fat.
                I also believe you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs!!
                Acetic acid is what gives vinegar its taste. It doesn’t matter where it comes from. Metformin whatever its source controls diabetes.
                Maldive fish contains hydrocarbons from the smoke. I don’t think it would do much good to your car. It is as processed as those “supermarket foods” Arjuna is ranting about.
                The famous WHO report says red meat MAY be related to Cancer. You probably have more chance of being killed by a falling coconut.

              • 0
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                Maalumiris
                This write-up appeared in a couple of newspapers earlier, but of course there is no way to provide rebuttals in a newspaper.Editors are highly selective. I have already had a few email fwds from agitated old ladies . I simply don’t like this sort of hype.

                • 0
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                  You certainly have the right to not “like” things including non-toxic foods and this missive. The rebuttals of your doubts I’ve given you in a post below. The science is solid. Evidence of collective human stupidity is well recorded. I stand by both my claims on the science and that on stupidity.

              • 0
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                Malumiris, I’ve uploaded the infamous E-series that is known to be highly toxin and in most instances carcinogenic to the following link:
                https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1705817889637302&set=gm.529587967204736&type=3&theater

                There are reports being currently investigated by I think the CAA that there are toxins being added to old stocks of dried fish to make it look “freshly dried” so that is something I am watching for now.

                The claim by old codger that agro-toxins are benign is as absurd as saying BTB (botox) is not harmful to people simply because its adverse effects are not immediately apparent.

                In the case of hormone and antibiotic treatment of meats, the negative effects are seen quite quickly – especially in children who have significant growth and immune system issues at very early ages. (yeah… that’s one of the reasons why they keep having to be taken to hospital). In the case of general agrotoxins it is longer. I surmise very generally (no proof) that a human body can counter the negatives without a problem for about 300 months (25 years) before the engine starts to hiccup. After that, it is a pretty rapid slide as can be seen by the rapid (pandemic type) escalation of the incidence of NCDs over the last 25 years (agrotoxins have been used for about 25 years before that so the date/time line is at least on the surface – consistent).

                There are some confounding factors such as non-agro air pollution, alkaline and acid in soil etc. but those have been well treated in the research that I mentioned in the article.

    • 0
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      Responded to you below … shrugs. I stand by what I said because it was not a rant at all. It was a no-holds-barred missive based on fact and you are free to duck of you wish to.

  • 0
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    Arjuna Seneviratna
    It just occurred to me that your writing is much like Malinda Seneviratna’s. Are you his brother?

    • 1
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      Why should that matter? Please explain.

      • 0
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        Nathan,
        If you have read Malinda Seneviratna’s scare stories , you would know what I mean. Arjuna’s post is in the same style.
        Don’t you object to being called stupid just because you don’t eat so-called organic food?

  • 4
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    Okay.. I am a dump. But I am one in 7 billion people mother earth is holding now, this weight of humans living on same mother was half just 40 years back.. I guess 40 years back lot of people ate great organic food. Even 10 or 15 years back in SL, when you go to specialist fruit vendors in Colombo, Kandy or Galle, you see same weird colored mangos. They looked the same in all over the country.. When you inquire, they said it was some chemicals merchants or distributors apply on the surface of fruits. I heard even for cheap bananas, papaya, they do similar things. How ugly and how bad was this? Haven’t you noticed this? For quick money, freshwater fishermen put dynamites or use similar ugly techniques to kill thousands of fish to make quick money… This is our culture, we eat those mangos and fishes
    7 billion people on earth, depend on high harvests based on modern fertilizer and also GM foods.. Expensive organic food is only for rich people, poor can’t afford it. However, lot of countries use fertilizers in a managed way. These veges can’t be good as organic ones..
    You have two options, either implement and practice strict regulations on quality and type of fertilizer, educate farmers and eliminate bad practices of merchants…. or make SL population half, 10 million, by some means.

    • 0
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      Dear Alahakoon,

      The greatest myth ever marketed (perpetrated) is that yield is tantamount to nutrition. This is a fallacy. Imagine this: If you eat a ream of A4 sheets that is equivalent to a single tree. Does this fill you up? Of course it does. Does it give you the things you need to live? Of course it doesn’t.

      The yield metric is something that has been promoted to a peoples to whom the idea that “Greed is good” has already been sold. It is s useless metric. 1/5th of what you consume in a day is sufficient to keep you a) alive and b) healthy. If you consume more than that, you are a) in a twilight zone neither living or dead or b) unhealthy.

      As I have mentioned in previous posts, the density of nutrients and micro-nutrients in a given volume of food is the truthful metric. Neither rice nor corn nor maize nor wheat can claim anything in that respect that is even remotely comparable with say … millets, sorghum and amu. Additionally,there is a general (addictive) idea that one must be able to consume say… tomato or dhal or cabbage ALL YEAR LONG.

      No one in their right minds will believe that eating the same food year in and year out is going to give them either health or happiness. That type of consumption is equivalent to incest and the result is similar. THAT… is why variety is so important and THAT is why the peoples who lived in generations past were capable of living well as humans. THAT is why a woman could have six kids at home and a man was capable of fathering a child at 75.

      Look around you, the world is living a lie and it is so sold on that lie that is is religious about it. It will attack everything and anything that contradicts it (yeah, al-Qaeda and IS and the crusading USA in other climes and the Shiv Sena and the BBS are similar) even though those contra- indications are so glaring. So you must ask the guy who has the PhD, the high rank in state officialdom or the powerful politician if that person is as smart as his/her socioeconomic, socio-political, socio-environmental kudos make that person out to be. He is not smart. If he were, then he would refrain because if one can GET THE SAME NUTRITION FOR THE SAME PRICE (which is the current initiative of the government of Sri Lanka in its toxin-free agriculture program) then the elitist model is debunked and invalidated. Indeed, organics ACTUALLY COST LESS. The reason why it is so expensive is simply because demand exceeds supply. *Shrugs*

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    WOW ! Fantastic article Finally someone creating awareness of the issues that matter more.

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      PB
      Very true

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    Arjuna Seneviratne,

    Thank you. A bluntly delivered message. I have been in the food industry and I know the ingredients added. Though listed on the label they do not mean anything to most consumers. We are a generation that is killing itself in the name of convenience and life style.

    I remember Prof. sevaka Bilbile opening his first lecture in pharmacology saying ,

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    Arjuna Seneviratne,

    Thank you. A bluntly delivered message. I have been in the food industry and I know the ingredients added. Though listed on the label they do not mean anything to most consumers. We are a generation that is killing itself in the name of convenience and life style.

    I remember Prof. sevaka Bilbile opening his first lecture in pharmacology saying ,” You get well despite the doctor” . He was of course referring to the natural ability of the body to fight diseases. He was also decrying our rush to consult a doctor on the first signs of a fever!

    We are as you say overloading ourselves with poisons, antibiotics and drugs. We indulge in many ways, make ourselves sick and rush to doctors and hospitals seeking miracles!

    What a stupid species we have evolved into!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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      Sir, thank you. I am not sure how old you are but going by your comments, I believe you remember, just like I did, a time when our parents fed us naturally grown foods and the fact that we rarely if ever went to a doctor. I had it recently from a doctor himself that he would give his child who developed a fever kottamalli to cover it for a couple of days in order to determine the cause and then drive to his clinic where he will give a half dozen tablets for the same type of fever in someone else’s child.

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        Arjuna Seneviratne,

        I yet avoid going to a doctor. When I have fever, I take some Panadol + kothamalli/paspanguwa/peyaawa. I have taken minimum antibiotics in my life. I took my children to a doctor only when it was absolutely necessary. My parents did the same with seven of us.

        Now that I am back in Sri Lanka, I grow vegetables and fruits in our garden to minimize what we buy. I also grow trees the leaves of which can be used as vegetables. There are many who not recognize these trees now.

        I have begun to understand that the present generation over indulges in many ways. There is a Tamil proverb meaning ‘ Even divine nectar in excess becomes poison’. This is very true.

        On the issue of the chemicals we use in agriculture, there is also overuse through greed combined with ignorance.

        Wherever possible we have to resort to green house agriculture to minimize water use and prevent insect borne diseases. In many countries, Aphid colonies are being introduced to control insects in open fields, as an alternative to insecticides.

        We should be also using more compost in our fields. We are burning organic material, instead of using them to enrich our soils. Increased organic matter content in our soils will increase their water holding and fertilizer retaining capacity. The runoff and deep penetration will be less.

        I think we should be taught that the soil is a living entity, which is our greatest asset. The same applies to our water resources and the air we breath. We take these for granted. As we travel on the path of so-called modernization, our children see food as a supermarket commodity only. They do not know how it is grown or made. This is a dangerous trend that is divorcing the next generation from ‘ ground’ realities and knowledge of how we interact with nature to survive. All so-called progress is not progressive. Many are regressive and dangerous.

        Dr.RN

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          Very well said Dr. Narendran. You nailed it when you said you grow some of your own foods. This is the key to a paradigm shift where consumers becomes a producers in their own right.

          You are right about the water as well. We are, on average, in the Green Zone so to speak but if trends continue we will end up in the yellow zone (where India is now) by 2040. Be that as it may, there are many areas in Sri Lanka (especially in the Northern, North Western and Uva provinces which are in the red zone with respect to water scarce and/or subject to water pressure in terms of the water related livelihood sensitivity and human sensitivity indices.

          So too on the airborne toxins. Last stat I had said that approximately 70% of pediatric beds in were filled with children who were either subject to respiratory diseases such as asthma or blood diseases such as cancers both of which list agrotoxins as causes. Although in the case of the former, vehicular pollution is a more serious cause than agrotoxins in urban centers. In rural ares where vehicular pollution is minimal, agrotoxin causality is far more certain.

          Entirely agree on the biological controlling agents of pests. Our studies and research have shown that we have about 20-25 such fauna (worms and insects) that control pests and a few flora as well although the actual count escapes me at this moment in time. Additionally, research conducted by the IFS on biofilms and similar research conducted in India on Rhizobials and further research into carrier technology have shown that microorganism triggered Nitrogen and Phosphorous fixes are very effective in curing the soil for commercial type natural farming while various types of solid, liquid and pellatized compost and compost related fertilizers are indicated for domestic (home garden) use. The good news is that all of these products are available for wide application right now.

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    Dr.
    “Prof. sevaka Bilbile”?

    Is it not Prof. Seneka Bibile?

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      (a) “v” and “n” are close to each other on the QWERTY keyboard;
      (b) Is it not the case that “SenEka” and “SenAka” equally valid transliterations when writing Sinhala using the 26 letter alphabet — just as “Somethingorothernayake” and “Somethingorothernayaka”, in which some people end with “e” and others with “a”.

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        Thanks NK

        Although Sinhala is more phonetical than Tamil, the articulation of the vowel ‘a’ except in initial position of a word forming a simple name (or part of a compound name) is not always articulated as a full open “a” but slightly shifting towards an “e” sound. There is thus tendency among some to spell as Jayawardane what would transliterate a name (written in Sinhala) as Jayawardana. There are plenty of examples besides complications cause by the “ae” vowel and its longer version that are unique to Sinhala among South Asian Languages.

        Then there is the other factor, that people like to stick to whatever spelling that has been used by the early clan members when names were registered in the Roman script (unlike Tamils of Sri Lanka who make a stew of name spellings in the hope of altering their destiny– based on advise by so-called ‘numerologistss’).

        It is, however, good to respect the spelling used by the owner of a name.

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          Agree the spelling used by the owner of the name has to be respected.

          // cause by the “ae” vowel and its longer version that are unique to Sinhala among South Asian Languages. //

          Is it not the case that the short “ae” has actually been borrowed into Tamil: in kallu (stone), pallu (tooth), [the first vowel in] panam pazam (palmayrah fruit), the vowel as spoken would be very much as it sounds in Sinhala “ae”; though Tamils don’t have a character to write it with?

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            NK

            I have some doubt.

            Late Prof. Leslie Gunawardane, the highly reputed historian, has written about the ‘ae’ vowel beeing a late arrival. But that did not hint at a Tamil source, as far as I observed. I do not rule out your suggestion, as I have not read Prof. L.G. thoroughly on the subject, I should admit.

            My observations are:
            In Tamil the vowel sound for the same vowel phoneme (the vowel symbol) assumes at least two sound values depending on where it occurs. But the sound does not affect meaning. In Sinhala ‘a’ and ‘ae’ are distinct phonemes with distinct meanings in words with all else identical (e.g., kanda/kaenda). Thesource could be attributed to Tamil if words with the ‘ae’ vowel have a clear Tamil source, for which there seems little evidence.
            Interetingly, however, the Jaffna Tamil articulates the ‘ae’, more its longer version, far more prominently than his/her South Indian counterpart, or for that matter Batticaloa counterpart with closer linguistic ties with Sinhala.
            (Words like kallu (stone), pallu (tooth), panam pazam (palmayrah fruit) have no counterparts with matching sound in Sinhala.

            But the search may need to be deeper than my superficial observations.

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              Sekara,

              //But that did not hint at a Tamil source, as far as I observed. I do not rule out your suggestion, //

              Sorry there is probably a misunderstanding due to my poor wording — I used “borrowed into Tamil” to mean the sound is now used in Tamil also. I did not mean to say the sound in Sinhala had a Tamil origin. But you are probably right that in Sinhala there is clear phonetic distinction and in Tamil it is just a natural drift of pronunciation. Apologies.
              Ah, I suppose just based on today’s CT exchanges, I can start a PhD in Linguistics after I graduate :-)

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        Nathan,
        If you research a little more, you will find that “e” and “a” endings in Sinhala names signify a lot more than alphabetical convenience. Wijenaike, Wijenayake and Wijayayayaka are quite different. Also Wickremesinhe and Wickramasingha. Look it up.

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          Dear Old Codger,

          That’s most interesting. Being the diligent young undergraduate I am, I googled to research. “Wickremesinghe” finds Ranil – the cunning politician who was a cabinet minister in his uncle’s government when he did evil things to the northerners, “Wickramasinghe” finds Chandra – the brilliant mathematician and astronomer and “Wickremesinghe” finds a broadcaster of whom I know not much. Not enough data to form a theory, you will agree.
          So I searched in Sinhala and I only get a response for the equivalent of “Wickramasingha” (both vowels written as “a”). This is a quick search, and I will pursue this later, but please give me a hint — is the difference only in the English alphabet transliteration, or do they actually write it differently in Sinhala, too?

          Nathan Kataragama
          PS: Depending on this research, I may have to change to “Kataragame”.

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            Nathan,
            This is far from the subject of this post,but since I admire your curiosity, here goes:
            This is one of the lesser-kwown quirks of Sinhala names. The difference is only in the English transliteration. What is interesting is that the Bandaranaikes, Wickremesinghes, Senewiratnes, etc were (at least in the past) Anglican Christians. Wickremesinghe the broadcaster is Ranil’s brother.
            Bandaranayakas are Buddhists mostly , like the Wickramasinghas and Seneviratnas. I haven’t heard of any Senanaikes, though.
            It could be that this was a way of telling the British administrators in colonial times “I am one of you”.
            There is a place called Vickramasinghapuram in southern Tamilnadu, which was originally in Kerala.
            Maybe your diligence could get to the root of that?

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              Thank you very much Old Codger — we certainly have deviated far from Arjuna’s topic. Its just amazing to learn the spelling difference (only in the English version) had a purpose. I shall study this more.

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                Nathan,
                Look into Pieris / peries , Wijesinha/Wijesinghe/Wijesingha and also why Fernandos , Soysas and Silvas tend to be from certain coastal locations.

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                Actually, this side skirmish was very edifying. Thank you all! I am enlightened.

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      Seneka.

      Dr.RN

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    If what the writer predicts are all facts, no wonder the GMOA is up against
    any “medical” flow from India – their dreams of money-making is hampered
    and therefore a mafia-like protest!

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    The Medical Industry financed by the Banks is the most depraved anti-social conglomerate. God curse those doctors who co-operate with it.

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      Frank and Punchinilame, I agree on both counts. Doctors are supposed to cure us but there is a very cynical and sinister industry that can organically grown out of the “profit” desire. There are a few doctors of the calibre of Seneka Bibile still around who do yeoman service for mankind but they are few and far between. In general, the “medical industry” … that very term is a contradiction of historic proportions… can be qualified in one word “vicious”.

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    Thank you Arjuna Seneviratne for this attempt to bring GREATER awareness to the reading public of the threat to public health via DANGEROUS chemicals in the food we consume. This country can produce all the food it needs via traditional methods of agriculture, but the big international corporations have got us hooked into “easy” ways to control weeds and to make plants grow faster and bigger through agrochemicals/fertilizer worked into the soil or sprayed, bot to speak of GMO seeds.

    The transition will be difficult at first, but if people understand the rewards of growing one’s own food, and that home gardens can compensate towards minimizing intake of the toxic substances that are unregulated in the agricultural environment, the effort will be made and the health rewards understood.
    The Agricultural Extension Services should recruit more people to go round and educate the public and even provide the necessary organic manure and non-GMO seeds. With Sri Lanka being blessed with the natural environmental requirements for lush plant growth it should be able to handle this problem well. All it would need is a Govt. that understands the dangers to the generations to come, and the imperative to get down to the task of making this one of the PRIME needs and enterprises for the people.
    The Organic Fair organized in Colombo THIS WEEK should be a Travelling Fair that could take the message to the people in all the Districts. The GROW MORE FOOD campaign that flourished in the island during WWII could serve as model. I remember how we were given little mammoties to break the ground and build little “koratuwas”, and we would march singing songs about the blessings of living in an agricultural society, e.g., one that went like this….
    ” Govithaneng Divirakina..
    Boho saepen kal yawana
    Pohosathayki mang”… instilling in the children the benefits of an cultivation/agricultural economy and life style.
    Food Security will soon become a major problem affecting the entire world. We would no longer be able to depend on imported food items.
    The schools and the retired community in each neighborhood could participate in educating the children to understand the importance of this problem, and the need for eliminating toxin intake via food. Its connection with the increased incidence of non-infectious diseases like cancer and diabetes, which have become a significant problem in all communities in the island, should spur efforts to get the people’s cooperation into an INCLUSIVE COMMUNITY-BASED effort.

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      Thank you Sir. Indeed, we can and we should grow our own foods. We have the highest biodensity in the world and we know our capabilities. As you rightly point out, a lot of us have been sold down the dusty road to doom by advertisers, “academics” and multinationals who have been working in cahoots for years. Cant really blame the consumer. He is addicted and so, as you point out, the transition will be slow. I think personally, it will take another 5-8 years minimum.

      I helped organize the fair and YES! it should be taken to various parts of the country. The way we have planned it is to create such fairs in strategic growing/buying locations and then gradually, over time, make them permanent so that people will relocate their default point of purchase from a supermarket to a local fair or pola. Given the fact that the entire fair was organized in exactly 16 days with hardly any budget we were quite astonished at the success. The stall owners literally made millions even though they were selling their produce/products at prices that were 30% to 50% the supermarket price and some sold out the entire stock they had brought for three days in 1/2 a day and had to get new stocks brought in on the night mail trains (Especially the participants from the Northern provide who were absolutely amazed by the huge demand for their stuff). We had hoped for this sort of success in year 3 and this was beyond all expectation and showed us clearly that the Sri Lankan consumer is not all that dumb. He/she never had an opportunity to get at the good stuff before because it was subsumed by corporate thuggery.

      Things are different now. Now, we have a chance to save our people as one united peoples.

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    Sorry I got in a bit late on this. I was otherwise occupied.

    To any who want to know. Shrugs.. its common knowledge friends. I am not making any claims that should come as a shocker to anyone except to those who have done the ostrich act for so long that they think the wide blue horizon lies in 6 inches of silica.

    Please check the Pesticides Induced Diseases database for most of the claims made on the number of studies linking pesticides/agrotoxins to the diseases mentioned.

    Also, The International Journal of Environmental Research and health for the links between Cardiovascular diseases and exposure to agrochemicals.

    Also, International Research Journal of Interdisciplinary & Multidisciplinary Studies (IRJIMS) on Agrochemical Use, Environmental and Health Hazards
    in Bangladesh

    Also, the various extracted fact sheets of dozens of peer reviewed journals on the links between agrotoxins/pesticides and children

    Also, Thriposha contains Soya which has a nutrient inhibitor and is only safe in the form of Tufu according to Dr. Damayanthi Perera (Nutritionist whose doctorate was on use of the Glycaemic index on the control of diabetes). It is anathema for pregnant mothers or for children but fed to them anyway because it “seems” good although there has never been any proof thereof that can withstand scientific scrutiny. The full cream milk power in thriposha has been already debunked as a source of anything much at all since the process of powering mink destroys any nutrition leaving only the whiteness and the source of the “cream” in full cream milk has already been identified as not being from the source that yields the power in the first place. The proper option is Jeevaposha, made from six grains including mung, chickpea etc. It can be made by any family in their own home so obviously it is not “promoted” because there is nothing for international organizations or corrupt politicians to gain from it.

    Contaminants in the fodder that we call TVP attracts various types of insects and this is seen in open sacks. I have no idea about margarine so whoever made that claim better support it with empirical data that can isolate the source of the fungi to be based purely on the contents of the pack and not some external source.

    For a general giggle on processed foods, you might like the anecdotal expose of actual research:

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/05/03/processed-food-industry-shocking-secrets.aspx

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      Arjuna,
      I hope you realize I don’t entirely disagree with you.

      Now here is my creed: I believe climate change is real. I use my vehicle locally and the bus into Colombo. I don’t believe that children’s brains are improved by the likes of Enfagrow and Nestum. I don’t believe Bonlac is better for women. In India low-fat milk is cheaper than full-cream. That is how it should be, beacause cheese and butter are made from the extracted fat. I also believe you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs!! Acetic acid is what gives vinegar its taste. It doesn’t matter where it comes from. Metformin whatever its source controls diabetes. Maldive fish contains hydrocarbons from the smoke. I don’t think it would do much good to your car. It is as processed as those “supermarket foods” Arjuna is ranting about. The famous WHO report says red meat MAY be related to Cancer. You probably have more chance of being killed by a falling coconut. I agree with your remark about Jeevaposha. But you forget that all these good grains need soaking overnight. Try waking your wife at 1 am to remind her to do the soaking?

      I don’t believe something is bad just because it is synthesized from coal tar or whatever. I don’t know if you have read that dreadful email
      which claims that margarine is bad because “it is just one molecule away from being plastic”. Isn’t water just one ATOM away from being Hydrogen Peroxide, which is used as rocket fuel among other things? Does that make water dangerous?
      BTW, you can do the same experiment I did with Margarine– leave it uncovered for a week and watch the fungus grow. The brand I used was Marina.
      Here is a Govt. publication on the efficacy of Thriposha. I don’t see any claims of it “seemingly” nutritious.
      I am glad you liked our little digression on Sinhala names. I happen to be interested in a lot of things!

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    Old codger,

    *smiles* … I am sure you are not in disagreement my friend. I never thought that.

    If my intention was to publish to a peer reviewed journal, I would have stated all of what I said in more circumspect terms. What I have stated here is no less in truth of content but my intention was clear from the get go – to give Sri Lankan a kick up the rear and get them to start seriously rethinking their lives and lifestyles.

    I am not a man who is vitriolic or abrasive in engaging my fellow human beings but in this case, speaking primarily as a citizen not only of this country but of the world and secondarily as a social-anthropologist, development practitioner and sustainable development expert, agro-ecologist, rural business modeler and climate expert who has been steeped in both the science, culture and the practice of robust, earth-regenerating human effort, I used a simple technique of creative writing to get my point across as strongly as possible because the point is important – nay – essential for the survival of our people.

    The fulcrum on which all of this rests is in moving and progressing from fast to slow foods, from competition to cooperation, from hoarding to sharing.

    Of course, this is much easier said than done for people who have gotten addicted to ingesting poisons and feeling dog tired at the end of the day not because their work was hard as white collar workers (it is not) but because their entire system is battling to purifying itself on a daily basis.

    Eat less of things more nutritious and non-toxic, cycle through seasonal foods only (not the same 45 vegetables one gets in urban centers), engage in recreation (not gyms) and reduce staring at electronic devices to a minimum and pretty much re-engineer the daily timeline (routine) to accommodate those changes and suddenly, soaking cowpea or chickpea overnight is not such a difficult task. It is certainly much healthier than slapping margarine on high GI wheat products.

    The question then reduces to this: if cheaper,better alternatives are possible, why go with anything else? We made that possible at the exhibition of toxin-free foods that just concluded. lower middle class and middle class people came in with their extended families to buy indigenous rices such as heenati or rath-suwandel at Rs.130 a kilo because they KNEW that a kilo of that would last them twice the number of meals made of Rs.80 kiri samba and they were actually profiting from this.

    The question does not reduce to figuring out the toxin contamination that results from a process of force drying fish (as opposed to sun drying which is what is done in say the Kayts island clusters and KKS). Rather, the question reduces to asking yourself if you’d rather take 10,000 processed foods that contain 2000 times the toxins contained a 5 foods that are not processed in a factory and try to apologize for the former by pointing fingers at the later.

    The question does not reduce to the fat content in milk but rather, whether or not milk is useful to human beings after a specific age. I remember being in the office of a minister on the very day when he subjected the ambassador of a milk powder producing country to the equivalent of a pistol whipping for the BS that was being touted as science.

    The question does not reduce to trying desperately to put a U into CKD and spin out a confusion when there is none as to its origin. Rather it reduces to naming it and shaming it for its blatant skewing of fact. On that particular matter, of course, many “international medical bodies” are rather peeved that Sri Lanka removed the U from CKDU and firmly and squarely pointed the finger at agro-toxins backed up by non-aligned research as opposed to cooked research. There is no “may” or “unknown etiology” in this and so, every multinational and their husband is frothing at the gills because their intergovernmental pressure, spin doctoring, cooked research, thuggery and blatant lies were shown up.

    The question does not reduce to “whatever the source” controlling whatever or making something taste like whatever. Rather, it reduces to determining clearly if those claims are useful. If diabetes can be cured why control? If taste can be achieved through the use of benign methods why use invasive techniques? If I were to tell you that a person who was on insulin is now using no medication after being treated by a practitioner of western medicine who was doctor enough to see past the much touted control all the way through to a cure, you would probably believe (yes… the operative word is belief) that I am lying because every tommy and dicky doccy is telling you that you need to control it because it has no cure.

    Thriposha is bad. That has been proved. If the government likes to use cooked research to state otherwise then that decision is political and not factual. Right now, we are working to provide the alternatives to soya and milk powder. Most soy products are made from the rodda / punnakku left over from extracting oil. It has no protein and is only marketed to have it but it certainly has E-series additives to make it taste like food because no rodda tastes like food without something else being added to it. Additionally, the nutrient inhibitor in soy mentioned in an earlier post actually prevents nutrients from other foods from being absorbed so its a double whammy.

    On the mater of margarine I would like to see what sort of animal will consume it – not really all that interested in whether heterotrophs grow on it since those can grow/thrive in/on pretty much anything including the toxic vat known as the Newton Creek feeding the east river in New York. Last I heard, they were attempting to use some fungi or other to clean that up so I surmise (not prove) that these organisms actually thrive in toxins.

    Of course, despite of all of this, our people would still go to a supermarket for their daily fix. Habit dies hard and the desire to find excuses for continuing with them dies even harder.

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      Arjuna,
      You say:
      “On the mater of margarine I would like to see what sort of animal will consume it – not really all that interested in whether heterotrophs grow on it since those can grow/thrive in/on pretty much anything “
      I have carried out an experiment on my domestic canine to settle the above matter.
      Here is a list of what the pooch will eat readily:
      TVP dry or cooked
      Margarine with or without container
      Polystyrene foam with chicken gravy
      Uncooked/cooked rice
      Dhal cooked or raw
      Ripe jakfruit
      It will not eat:
      Plain polystyrene foam
      Jak seeds
      raw vegetables
      Kadala raw
      raw polos
      On the subject of Diabetes, My maternal grandfather died of it at the age of 40 (long before the days of agrotoxins. I don’t think he knew what a hamburger was.) At the time Metformin was new and expensive, and insulin even more so. I have myself had a touch of it since 1993,but have survived to almost my biblical span. I have had friends who lost their limbs and lives experimenting with such things as kothala-himbutu. So I will stick to Metformin.
      I am sure you are aware that diabetes is more common among South Asians in the US. Surely you cannot claim that they eat more red meat and fast food than the Whites?
      Regarding food additives, you know that these are tried out on animals.
      The dosage is usually equivalent to something like 500g a day for a human. It is not surprising that cancer is found.
      If the risk is smaller than the risk of getting run over by a bus, I say, use the stuff.
      As I said before, I will buy some of your arguments but not all. I think chemicals like Roundup are bad IF OVERUSED, and the same applies to fertilisers. For heaven’s sake, we have used Urea since the Stone Age. Does it matter whether it comes from bullshit, piss or (since the 19th century),Ammonia?

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    um hum… old codger, I am not too sure if a domesticated animal is a good sample and I am not entirely sure if you fed it an exclusively vegetarian diet as seems indicated. Any junk covered over with smell/taste triggers for domesticated animals (cat food, dog food etc.) will be consumed because they simply don’t have anything else to eat. I’ve known a domesticated Bengal tiger in northern India which is exclusively vegetarian and this is doubly astonishing since its a jungle feline. However, I would not use that to prove that cats can and will, in their natural habitat or in a place where they are not controlled will behave like that. Domesticated canines are in that respect worse than domesticated felines and I think that there are many (non-food related) factors that need to be considered here to figure this out.

    Another confounding factor is loss of habitat or intensification of populations of larger animals forcing them to eat that which is not natural to them and dying very quickly as a result. We can see this in cows in urban cities, elephants in Polunnaruwa and Deer in Koneshwaram. They are compromised and don’t know any better but humans do. The bottom line here is that a single exception tied into many confounding factors cannot be held up as proof of toxin laced foods being fine with animals who have other food choices so no, I will not consider that as anything but an exception.

    Your choice of what you wish to take to respond to an illness / disease is yours old codger. My claim was not on ayurvedic treatment. That medical system requires a far more rigorous set of lifestyle changes that need to be coupled with the medication. Using the same silly technique of a pill popper and just taking some herb any way, every way is guaranteed to kill you very quickly but I think you already know that. NO! I was speaking of a practitioner of western medicine who managed to cure this particular NCD.

    Diabetes incidence data of the Center for Disease Control of America from 1980 to 2014 show no validity to your claim Sir. Black males and females are the highest incidence demographic. Next come Asian males. Next white males and females and lastly, Asian females. Nothing there that can therefore be used to determine with any sense of clarity that food alone is a determining factor. Indeed, most scientists point to a combination of bad food, bad exercise, bad lifestyles as contributors to this condition. What is more valid is to state that agrotoxins in food is a key contributor to the incidence of diabetes and that 10 peer reviewed studies have shown that to be true. That is my claim and it is based on science. Therefore, simply put, removing that factor will therefore reduce exposure to this particular NCD. Next comes changes in lifestyle. That too is something I’ve implicitly urged in the main article and subsequent discussions. Taken all together, that western medicine practitioner is right – no need for metphormin, glibbon, diamicron etc. No need for kutala himbutu or wal kottamalli. The disease simply ceases to the detriment of the pill manufacturers. *shrugs*

    With respect to race links to NCDs, here’s a suggestion: You might like to complete the picture by identifying socio-anthro based medical studies that link racially oriented lifestyles, livelihoods, income levels etc. to determine whether or not combinations of those induce specific races to consume more or less of poisoned foods / cheap foods / fast foods etc. THAT would be something I would agree to consider for racial segregation even though that was not the focus of my missive on CT. Even then, that sort of study takes nothing away from my claim on direct links between agrotoxins and NCDs. That is proven. End of story.

    /*f the risk is smaller than the risk of getting run over by a bus, I say, use the stuff*/

    I believe Sir, this may be an example of a combination of the probabilistic fallacy (disregard of outside probabilistic dependencies to the premise of the claimant) and the existential fallacy (a quantification fallacy where the quantifiers of the premises are in contradiction to the quantifier of the conclusion). The person who got hit by a bus is killed in a very short period of time and there is no temporal lead up. The person killed by poisoned food is done in over a longer period of time but spends that time in progressively degenerating levels of life that conclude with that person’s death.

    The critical factors here in terms of the claimant’s conclusion are in the temporal quantifier (use toxins carelessly because they kill you less fast than walking on the street) and the probability quantifier (the number of people who die over 25 years from toxin related foods as opposed to those who die from road accidents is not yet known to the claimant – probability based astygmatism) regarding not the quantifiers for the premises (whether or not you take the utmost care in walking down the street, you are liable to get hit by a bus). It is like comparing apples to cricket balls. It is also like saying “please continue to smoke because more people die in a year of road accidents than they do of lung cancer related to tar”. The outside dependencies impacting and impinging on the two comparators are just too great to inform on each other. *shrugs*

    —-

    The problem with agrotoxins friend is that they cause soil to die and weeds to prosper and become stronger and therefore require ever increasing doses to keep plants producing yield. The charmingly quaint and earnest directive to “use agrotoxins in their designated dozes* is therefore at best a fairy tale and at worst a joke. Try any of the research done by the ARTI on this matter and you will be able to determine this for yourself.

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    I thank you Sir, for an interesting and very candid debate. Respect. Certainly I am older than I once was and younger than I’ll be that’s not unusual as Garfunkel crooned to Simon’s guitar. Perhaps, one of these days, if time, clime and opportunity permit … we may meet in real and have a tete-a-tete over a glass or three.

    I will mosy over to the other article. I may not comment upon it though *smiles*

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      Arjuna,
      Thanks for humouring me. Perhaps we’ll meet at your next “Vasa Visa” show!

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