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Eating Our Way to Disease

Eating Our Way to Disease

Chris Hedges

In July 1976, the Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, chaired by Sen. George McGovern, held hearings titled “Diet Related to Killer Diseases.” The committee heard from physicians, scientists and nutritionists on the relationship between the American diet and diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Six months later, the committee released “The Dietary Goals for the United States,” which quickly came to be known as the McGovern Report. “Decrease consumption of meat,” the report urged Americans.


This is what institutionalized do-slo-mo genocide looks like. From domestic institutionalized genocide of original inhabitants - you know, those peoples who have been suffering from the very first with the anthropophagic misnomer “indian” because the 15th century twitterverse had some notion about doing its business on India…

Give me one magical ‘pass’ on a lie embedded in a narrative and, voila… you have a traveling snake oil show thats ‘laughing all the way to the bank’. Of course the acidic wake destroys anything spared that has integrated sustainable chops and crops.

Interesting that just as US/Brazil now sees Trump/Temer, with mirror versions of corruption, failure on a cosmological scale and fascist slop being slathered about, take a good hard look at JBS from Brazil. Operation Lava Jato (Car Wash) links JBS to truly shocking scale of deadly arrogance. Now, wanna see what its up to in the US??? note the slogan “making your world stronger”.

Heeeeers JBS and heres its acquisition history


Chris Hedges has perfected the Lament to it’s highest form, Hedges’ Laments typically offer brilliant rhetoric, sometimes backed up with more rhetorical quotes, but never seems to answer two questions that would carry his commentary beyond a lament.

The root cause of Chris Hedges many laments is never discussed or linked to the globalized capitalist economic system as being the root cause of the crises that he laments. Instead he blames the Corporations, Individuals, or Culture.

Corporations are legal entities created by capitalists to protect and maximize their wealth under the rules developed under the capitalist economic system. The Individuals employed by the Corporations (CEOs-Boards of Directors, corporate-management) economic existence depends upon their ability to maximize profit regardless of consequences to employees, society, or the environment. Culture is created by capitalism as another source to maximize profits. Capitalist Culture to maximize profits drives all major sports events, controls mass media, etc. Globalized capitalism dictates the wars that are fought and the ecological destruction of the planet, regardless of the killing of millions of people or the destruction of the natural environment essential to maintain human civilization…

Chris Hedges laments never go “outside the box” to an understanding of capitalism. Thus he never comes to the inevitable conclusion that capitalism must end if the crises facing humanity are to be resolved.

The humans living in the US (and worldwide) need a new economic system that ends the barbaric economic inequality that enables 8 individual capitalists in the US to own and control as much wealth as economic bottom 150 million people. Worldwide less than 100 individuals have as much wealth as the bottom half 3.5 billion individuals.

The end of capitalism can mean the transition to a socialist economy that works towards a universal minimum standard of living for all people. This means minimally potable drinking water, unpolluted air to breathe and clean water to drink, non-toxic food to eat. Additionally, in advanced economies such as the US, universal socialized health care, tuition free education K-12 through college and adult education. A socialized economy ends private exploitation of the economy to establish social ownership, democratic control and workers management of the the economy. Corporate tyranny is transitioned to worker managed co-operatives…

Finally, Chris Hedges offers no direction to creating a movement that would create a new economy under workers’ management and control, that would be free of capitalist oligarchy or political party dictatorship (Stalinism).


I am not sure if I have read you here before.

  1. Your information is incomplete. Hedges is not.
  2. Chris has had several tirades against capitalistic mechanisms, and some against Marxist as well. He clearly knows the dogma, their failings and comments solely on what needs commenting on.
  3. Please check your own box. Perhaps you step outside of it before you comment on other people’s boxes.

Chris is writing here about a specific subject. Every word he writes is based on the scientific confirmation of that narrow matter. Please read his other books before spewing your wisdom.


I am sure there are pockets of the country that are awake about the fact that Chris writes about. But a majority of low information people have been brow beating the rest of about how weird, funny, deprived, and ridicule worthy any diet not including bacon, bacon and bacon is.


Hedges doesn’t address capitalism as a root cause of human suffering? Huh?

I think you have confused your version of Hedges with Hedges.


Reply to ZeroPointField:
1.2: It is not possible, within the limited confines of a mere comment, to supply much more information. I will not restate my argument above that Hedges laments are incomplete. I have watched Chris Hedges present video talks, read other laments, and this was my comment based on his usual performances.

However, I urge interested readers to investigate these sources information who want to break “out of the boxes” created by capitalist mass media, education, indoctrination, and culture.

Watch economist educator Richard D. Wolff http://www.rdwolff.com/ Economic Update radio program,
Democracy at Work http://www.democracyatwork.info/movement to promote co-operative workers management of economic enterprises.
Read daily the World Socialist Web Site http://www.wsws.org/ especially many articles how capitalism affects workers.
Read Monthly Review Magazine https://monthlyreview.org/ Independent Socialist Review
Investigate Monthly Review Press https://monthlyreview.org/press/
Study Climate & Capitalism http://climateandcapitalism.com/

Old Goat - Thanks for the links. To use your words - truly shocking scale. I can’t wait for The Pachamama to bring all of Her forces together - tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, tsunamis - and rid Herself of the human species in one fell swoop. And good riddance to us all.

I am a part of Dr. Wolff’s network in Oregon.
May I suggest you don’t try to equate an extremely well read extremely knowledgeable Pluto-out-of-the-box journalist with a strident, structured, well intentioned professor of Economics.

An ideological label or banner under which good work can be done is not historical multi faceted critique.

Now I really hope you get this.

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I will never forget growing up in the 70’s and being told that margarine was the healthy alternative to butter. My mother and grandmother would have this argument . My mother saying margarine was healthier and cheaper(because of the ad campaigns at the time), my grandmother saying I don’t know how you can eat that stuff(crap). I grew up on margarine,and who knows all the bad effects.We now know how bad this crap is—I think its amazing how this industry got away with this–trans fat-hydrogenated fat is most likely the number one cause of heart disease----the crap clogs everything up.

You can go vegan but are you eating a lot of soy-----there is a reason the Japanese understood that soy needed to be fermented over one thousand years ago. And these alternative meats are filled with poisons just like bacon.

A young person I know -his girlfriend is pregnant–the doctor told them to stay away from wheat–I suggested they eat whole wheat------He had no idea what whole wheat was???
Important fat omega 3----and this will be found in grass fed animals.

So before WWI this country was an agricultural country and then there was this giant shift from the farm. My father grew up in the 30’s dirt poor(money poor)but they had a cow and churned their own butter.

I see all these ads today about psoriasis ----I have had psoriasis for over 30yrs and seen first hand how incompetent the healthcare industry is—my psoriasis has almost gone away—by some medical cure?No—staying away from sugar and most interesting cutting back on salt. I do stay away from red meat-------but I think the key here about food is to eat real whole natural food.

And thank you for all the food labeling. I don’t know how many times I see some package of food ,ready to buy, but I stop and read the ingredients, and 9 out of 10 times I will put the package back on the self. I know so many people who say they will never eat soy? They have no idea how much soy(soybean oil=poison)is in the products they are eating.

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For forty years I have watched Americans grow fatter. I have watched Americans move from preparing their own meals to eating out. Yes, there are always the fringe groups eating organically and preparing their own meals. They are still a distinct minority. I believe it is human laziness. It takes effort to eat well and exercise. It takes discipline to care for your body and not indulge it’s wants. Very few will make the effort. As you age it is more difficult until the day you die. Not pretty. We can all lament, such is life.

Thanks, I think. ( You just blew up a bunch of my old, former homies life’s work back in the Midwest. ) Anyway, is my organic sweet corn going to be ok to eat? My tomatoes and green beans, how about snap peas, etc. More specifically, does this new information give me the right to rub out my neighbors’ chickens? How about just the rooster?
Again, following the money…
I think this was one of Hedges’ better articles. But, until we get a lot more people back to sourcing their food, we’re up shxt creek without a paddle.
My mother lived to almost 100 years old. Her " always present, " eat your vegetables ( organic ) echoes in my head whenever I walk into a place offering food, etc. for purchase.
Now, about my neighbors’ rooster?

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When “making chicken salad out of chicken shit” departs the realm of the metaphorical

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Chris Hedges does a good job with this article. I wish he would have gone a step further. The farmer. Most farmers(esp. small scale farmers), want to produce a quality product. The problem is undue influence just like the article states. Almost all agriculture universities except funding from the petrochemical companies. Because of this farmers are only taught that they have to use chemicals to be profitable.
mrsannhitts I agree, organic is the only way to go.
If you process that rooster yourself, no fecal matter. I’m sure you can muster up some dumplings

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Can artificial meat save the world?

"The ability to efficiently create meat, or something sufficiently meat-like, will become progressively more important in coming years because humanity may be reaching a point when there’s not enough animal protein to go around….

In other words, the planet needs to rethink how it gets its meat. Brown is addressing the issue by supplying a near-perfect meat analogue, but he is not alone in reinventing animal products. Just across town, Modern Meadow uses 3-D printers and tissue engineering to grow meat in a lab. The company already has a refrigerator full of lab-grown beef and pork; in fact, the company’s co-founder, Gabor Forgacs, fried and ate a piece of engineered pork onstage at a 2011 TED talk. Another scientist, Mark Post at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, is also using tissue engineering to produce meat in a lab. In August, he served an entire lab-grown burger to two diners on a London stage as a curious but skeptical crowd looked on.”

Eat meat and fight aging?

A fascinating paper published in the journal “Mechanisms of Ageing and Development” showed that those who avoid eating beef suffer a deficiency of the nutrient carnosine (β-alanyl-histidine) which is critical to preventing lethal protein glycation reactions in the body. Carnosine has been shown to rejuvenate connective tissue cells which may explain its beneficial effects on wound healing. Damaged proteins accumulate and cross-link in the skin, causing wrinkles and loss of elasticity; “it is suggested that carnosine-rich diets could become increasingly important in old age” and “could be important in age-related neuropathology as Ahmed et al. (2005) have recently reported an association between Alzheimer’s disease and raised levels of protein glycation products in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).‘’ bit.ly/2uGCj4v

Carnosine is the most promising broad-spectrum shield against “protein carbonyl stress, AGE formation, secondary diabetic complications and age-related neuropathology”. The way to get carnosine is by eating meat.
The debate about the healthiness of vegan and vegetarian diets is far from over. It does take extra care to get the nutrients and vitamins that animal products so easily provide and is often more expensive. There was a time when our ancestors survived in the wild through scavenging. We thus developed as hunter gatherer omnivores eating whatever was available. Veganism, or even the easier vegetarianism, is unappealing to most people particularly if most of one’s day is spent working hard making a living. For most vegan/vegetarian is just too much bother.

Julia Child who died at 92 said: "Eat everything! But just a little bit.” Eating “just a little bit” might be a good idea in the sea of toxins we live in. The longest living lab rodents have been those that were the least fed. I’m glad I don’t eat that much of anything anymore including meat. People eat too much for today’s sedentary lifestyles as proven by two thirds of Americans being overweight. Being overweight has been proven to lead to disease and early death.

Robots will eventually rule so nothing alive will suffer?

Many theorists believe that artificial intelligence will ultimately replace organic intelligence so that even plants won’t suffer from being slaughtered and eaten? If we define consciousness “as the state of being awake and aware of one’s environment—‘online,’ as the neuroscientists say—then plants may qualify as conscious beings… plants hold the key to a future that will be organized around systems and technologies that are networked, decentralized, modular, reiterated, redundant—and green, able to nourish themselves on light. 'Plants are the great symbol of modernity.’” bit.ly/2tY0q0W

Once upon a time, there was a Senator who tried to make life better for all Americans. The tragedy is that he was rejected by most. His name was George McGovern, one of the last true public servants.


Oh so I’m sure then that you’re fully prepared to offer the world the solutions that Hedges apparently is withholding?

This is a dramatic oversimplifiction, for a variety of reasons.

First of all, organic agriculture relies heavily on chemicals, too. Good luck eating a diet that was produced without any chemicals.

Second, most farmers don’t go to university. They aren’t “taught” by petro-funded professors how to do anything. And actually, farmers are pretty good at what they do. Yields have risen dramatically. There’s a reason why farmers use chemicals: they work. Glyphosate works.

The kinds of chemicals being used, even in conventional production, are constantly developing. The stuff being used now is, generally, considerably less damaging to the ecosystem than older shit. There’s not a whole lot of evidence that the stuff presents a risk to human health, either, except for higher risks associated with the people who actually have to handle it.

Farmers don’t rely on modern machinery and chemicals because they have been tricked by industrialists. They do it because it works. It reduces labour to a manageable level, which is important for a couple key reasons. Those are: 1) we now have less people involved in food production than ever before in human history, ~1%, down from ~10% in the 18/19th centuries (something like that) and 2) the modern period has seen a complete shift away from subsistence farming to cash cropping.

So that means we have a very limited labour pool, and agriculturalists are heavily specialized in order to produce product for market in order to finance their livelihoods. On top of that, you have consumers with extremely — nearly unrealistically — high standards when it comes to the quality of the product. Do you like cherries? Do like cherries with fruit flies in them? Well guess what: you cannot produce cherries without maggots unless you’re spraying those cherries, and it’s very expensive and difficult to do that organically. Until recently it wasn’t even an option.

There’s a great deal of misunderstanding about what exactly organic horticulture/agriculture is all about. It’s NOT about banning chemicals. It’s about maintaining soil health. Every commercial grower, allowing perhaps some very rare exceptions, are using chemicals. Organic growers just have a much more limited set of tools at their disposal.

Organic is great, you should support organic agriculture. But I don’t like this tendency of portraying farmers are clueless dolts being manipulated by Big Petro somehow, as if you don’t live in a civilization of unprecedented food security and minimal productive labour.

Organic production is more labour intensive, which is why it demands higher prices. The question is whether people are willing to pay those prices.

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At least Sweden and Venezuela don’t murder people of other countries in the service of predatory capitalism!

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