Things are always grey; calling them black and white is a part of the process called development. The Covid-19 pandemic that hit the globe in the initial months of 2020 and has continued since then in waves broke our backs mentally and financially. It also did an excellent job in exposing our healthcare and agricultural industries. All this while we saw our the farmers and doctors from a different gaze. We were wrong, or should I say that we were made to see them unfairly?
I’m a medical student, and we have very straightforward and simple things to learn about an individual’s health, “If someone is sick, give them medicines.” But in a broader perspective, if we zoom out of the whole scenario, we ignore the first and the foremost step, i.e. the food we eat. What if things were sorted right there and then? Would diabetes and cancer still be a global health issue?
For instance, a disease we all are aware of and every 5th person affected by it- Diabetes. It is a disease where the blood sugar levels peak and the hormone that usually keeps it in control (insulin) is defective. It is like a candy machine and pressing its button to pop out one only when needed to avoid flooding the world with candies. This button is what the insulin does, but when it is defective, it is like the button stops working, and the machine goes bonkers, releasing a whole lot of candies even when the kids are not hungry. But it is a lot more complicated than it sounds.
So the solution we presume is to cut off the sugar (keep fewer candies in the machine) so things are better modulated. Hence, we ask people with diabetes to reduce sugar consumption, but what if I tell you that candies were never the problem? It was the machine and a big man standing beside it, constantly shaking it to pop out candies all the time.
The culprit is the fats: saturated fats and trans fats, to be precise. The surprising examples are the dairy and meat industries we look upon for high protein and rich content instead of the obvious junk food. So how does this work?
Milk: there are two types of milk, A1 and A2. Initially, all the cows would produce only A2 (healthier one), but over the millennia, due to environmental mutations, now all the cows produce both of these proteins. So every herd produces a mix of these two.
There has been a study by Dr Woodford from the agricultural and science background in New Zealand suggesting A1 milk has a protein called A1 beta-casein that is linked with diseases like autism, type 1 diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome and heart diseases. Most people who think they are lactose intolerant are just non-suitable to this A1 devil and are perfectly okay when they have the A2 kind.
So what is wrong exactly? From the studies in the Journal of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Indian desi cows breeds like Tharparkar, Gir and Sahiwal have a genetic makeup that yields milk high in A2 when they are crossbred with foreign breeds like Jersey and Holstein Friesian, they produce twice as much milk as the desi ones, but they are A1 rich. So who’s the winner? Money or you?
This is just the beginning of all the havoc. The story of antibiotics is even more terrifying. Almost 44 types of antifungals, antiparasitics, and antibiotics are injected into the cows to prevent any kind of disease. The calf is let to suck the nipples for a short time, and when the glands produce the milk, they are weaned off, leaving behind their food for us.
So this is the fraud happening to the consumers and the animals, for starters. Besides, to sweep the whole trouble under the carpet and to call it a foofaraw, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has not yet established any standard to differentiate the milk. The international health associations have their online pages filled with these products for their patients. But why would they do this? The answer is—sponsors. These organisations exist when they’re funded, and funders can’t be frowned upon because mammonism is embedded in the DNA of humans. Hence, they promote them. People fall sick, and the pockets are loaded. The vicious cycle continues.
Meat/Fish: Ever since I entered my end teens, I started losing hair, and it is a known problem in hard water areas. I read about the causes and natural remedies. Most of those pages suggested I eat fish. The inimical fishing industry is another horror story that I’m about to reveal. I’ll begin the very first step, how are they caught? Fishing nets.
46% of the great pacific garbage consists of fishing nets that do far more damage than plastics. Then there’s a term called by-catch, which is collateral damage in layman’s terms. There’s no technology for them to pinpoint and catch the exact species they need. The nets are the only weapon they have, so the non-specific catch kills an additional lot than the industry requires for the markets, leading to scarcity. Research suggests that by 2048 we’ll have nothing but empty oceans if we go by the pace we are going.
A dirty fish spoils the pond. The nets and the pollution from the industries infect the fishes because we are killing their homes. These infected fishes need to be decontaminated by medicines like antibiotics creating antibiotic-resistant situations inviting more problems to our already troubled lives. We eat these antibiotic-loaded fishes, while on the other side, we are murdering our old oceans and not doing much of a favour to us either. From our perspective, it’s a complete lose-lose situation but the other way round for the industries. The meat industry is one of the causes of the climate change that we are being hit by now.
A new yorker article said, 4 pounds of beef contributes to as much global warming as flying from New York to London, and the average American eats that much each month. Emissions from livestock, mostly from cows and sheep, make up 15% of global emissions containing gases like CO2, methane, and NO2. Beef and dairy alone make up to 65% of all domesticated emissions, making it easier for us to decode the major link between these industries and the melting glaciers. Furthermore, when these cattle graze on the field, there are high chances of it being polluted by the pesticides used in the nearby farms for better growth of agriculture leading to further intoxication of these animals—in a nutshell, killing us both.
So, coming back to what this ugly fat is doing in our body! They get deposited and stored inside, which further undergoes a process called gluconeogenesis to form sugar. Not only this, but they also mutate the insulin receptors creating the human body cells resistant to it, leading to further flooding of candies. So now the whole candy machine is transformed, therefore changing the press button to a new one will not make any difference. This is what happens in type 2 diabetes that mostly affects the obese population.
From the above evidence and research, it is quite clear how agriculture and the healthcare industries, both, are crucial players in this circle of death. With the fallen economy during this pandemic, we must know the ways of how not to die. The cunctation to any substantial step against this fraud has a very good chance to transform into something inevitable and irreversible. The markets sprint because consumers buy them, but if they’re well aware of the manipulation and do not show nescience to this otherwise boisterous issue, we might have a good shot at putting an end to this sophisticated murder. We might not have to reach a point where we have to take care of our health if we manage it right.