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Is cancer problem being fanned by food, chemicals?

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Editor: In a previous submission weeks ago, I made the thesis that our food and our over exposure to chemicals were fuelling our cancer problem. These two, I had argued, were interrelated. I attempt today to expound on this theory.

Let’s start with our food production. Our addiction to agrochemicals continues unabated. These are sprayed on the soil to prepare for cultivation and in some cases sprayed on the parts of the crops that are eaten.{{more}} I pass by a farmer’s plot almost on a daily basis and I swear that there can be NO living organism left in her soil, nor can those products be good for eating after the abuse and misuse of pesticides of all sorts: Vydate on yams, Diazinon, Malathion etc on eddoes and dasheens. I pray that I never have to be in a position to eat as much a dasheen leaf from that farm. It is informative that many of these chemicals are either banned or restricted in larger countries, some of which are responsible for their production. Why are they restricted or banned in those countries? Could it be that the producers of these “goods” love us so much that they want us to enjoy their benefits, whilst their local populations stand by and jealously watch? Is our love affair with these toxins causing mutations that are leading to cancer? Type in the word pesticide on google and see what you come up with. Oftentimes a researcher labels his findings as inconclusive. In that case, apply universal caution and treat the subject of research as guilty, until proven otherwise.

Much of what we consume comes from so far away and that seems to be a problem also. Garlic, for example, touted as a natural medicine in the management of hypertension, must travel a long distance to get here. This raises questions about source, safety etc. Recently, I picked up a package of this product, looked at the tag and realized that it was from China. I am assuming that the product in question will arrive here by sea. How long does that take? How many health hazards is the product exposed to on this long trip, be it by air or sea? Besides, with all due respect, China’s soil and water pollution problems are well known. Who knows how much lead, mercury or other industrial toxins find their way into these imports? What is the level of their quality (not looks), when they do reach us? Every person involved in health argues freshness nowadays. Freshness seems to suggest as soon after harvest as possible. This characteristic begins to deteriorate after harvesting and so does the nutrient quality. Food has to have a certain level of associated vitamins, minerals etc in order for the body to benefit. Soil and water deterioration and long storage reduces that density. Oftentimes chemical agents are added to prolong the shelf life of ‘the food’. Accordingly carrots, apples etc, reaped so many weeks/months ago, are kept “fresh” often without refrigeration. Are they embalmed? If the bacteria that return things to mother earth for recycling bypass a biodegradable product for so long, why does anyone want to eat it? Of course, we will argue that we don’t know, or better yet, hide behind the statement ‘the evidence is inconclusive’. We have a precedent in this respect in the tobacco industry, because for years the evidence that smoking was driving lung cancer was inconclusive.

The preparation and sale of food is another cause for concern. Our two new national dishes are now roast pork and roast chicken. Speaking at a funeral ceremony for a departed cancer patient, the sister of the departed related that part of their regular Friday night routine was going for roast pork. Two words/phrases came to my mind in response: “if only” and “perhaps.” The phrase still surfaces when I meet friends who seem addicted to the new fad. I was told that one funeral agency man recently commented that he was sorry that he wasn’t younger, because he knew there was a lot of money in funerals to be made by virtue of the nation’s obsession with these new national dishes. Plastics such as the styrofoam or discarded plastic bags are the starting fuels for just about every grill used in barbecuing or roasting. According to the info available, food prepared in this manner has two problems: i.e. the infusion of the carbons from the fire into the food, along with the BPA, benzene, and styrene (all carcinogenic), from the plastics. Further, the hot meat is dispensed in styrofoam, releasing a further unhealthy dose of carcinogens into the meal.

Finally, some edibles do not deserve to be labelled food. Bellyful seem to be a better label. We are awash literally with these poisonous snacks, turning us away from home cooked meals and fresh fruits that lay spoiling on the ground in many communities. Grab a pack of corn curls today, look at the colour of the “food” inside and then take a taste; MSG beckons. Then read the label and get to understand why OUR children can’t pay attention at school and thus can’t learn. We are dumbing down their brains; that’s the easy part. Later they will move on to the extreme, cancer of every type.

I conclude by repeating my original observation and opinion that our cancer problem is being fanned by food and chemicals. I encourage the reader to do research and let us together start fighting cancer with healthy nutrition and avoidance of many of these unnecessary chemicals which have become part of our daily bread.

Lariston Antoine

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