I recently listened to Webster Griffin Tarpley’s broadcast of 26 November 2011 about his recent trip to Syria. You can find the broadcast on his website.
I do not intend to discuss the political content, although it is interesting, but to focus on 2 non-political points that he makes.
The first is that, whatever else you may think about the regime in that country, Webster says that in Syria no child goes to bed hungry.
That is indeed a great claim, for the same cannot be said about the so-called affluent ‘western’ countries, including America, the UK and no doubt most other countries, where many millions of children live below the poverty-line.
The second point he makes is that the reason no child goes to bed hungry is because bread is heavily subsidised.
Now this is not the processed rubbish bread that is made with refined flour and various chemicals added as ‘preservatives’ that is so prolific in the supermarkets of the ‘west’. According to Webster’s report, the Syrian loaf is 2.2lb, or 1kg, is freshly made from wholegrains with seeds and costs about 20 American cents, based on the conversion rate that prevailed while he was there.
As I said this is not a political blog. It is also not intended just to highlight world child poverty. Having mentioned child poverty though, I must point out that according to a current advertising campaign to raise funds UNICEF plans to end child poverty by 2015. But donating to UNICEF, good idea though it sounds, will not end the plight of the poor children of the world because they intend to vaccinate them all. If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that the evidence shows that vaccinations will not end their ill-health, on the contrary, they will exacerbate it and cause further suffering and deaths.
My intention here is to highlight the misperception about the word ‘malnutrition’.
It is usually used in the context of being underfed. This is incorrect, because even the dictionary defines it as ‘lack of proper nutrition’.
The people who are helping to fight hunger in the very poor countries that have severely malnourished babies and young children use a product called ‘ready to use therapeutic food’.
What is this ‘ready to use therapeutic food’? I discovered that it is a paste-like product that contains 4 basic ingredients, one of which is sugar! Another ingredient is ‘vitamin and mineral supplement’, which sounded encouraging until I looked further at its nutritional composition.
At first glance the list of nutrients is impressive, unless you are aware of the importance of certain essential nutrients and then you realise that the makers of these products do not really understand the importance of proper nutrition.
The vitamin C content of only 50mg per 100g is woefully inadequate as is the magnesium content. They are both essential nutrients that have been proved to be highly efficacious, but in far larger quantities than are in this paste, even if the children eat a number of these packs.
Vitamin C is a crucial enzyme. It is one that humans, unlike most other animals, do not manufacture in their bodies and therefore require it from their diet. Although not suffering from scurvy as such, many people suffer symptoms of sub-clinical scurvy resulting from an inadequate intake of Vitamin C.
Magnesium is an extremely important element in many functions of the body and magnesium deficiency also creates a vast number of symptoms of ill-health.
What is conspicuous by its absence in the ‘ready to use therapeutic food’ programme is fresh produce.
The importance of fresh food, meaning fruit and vegetables not processed packaged products, is a vital aspect of any programme that genuinely wants to ‘end poverty’ and bring health to the children, and adults, of these areas.
The idea that underfed children are malnourished is easily understood; what may seem more difficult to acknowledge is that many millions of children in the more affluent ‘west’ also go to bed malnourished, although not necessarily underfed.
How can I say that, you may ask. This is not a questions of semantics and the answer lies in understanding the difference between quantity and quality.
It is the issue that lies at the heart of understanding the function of nutrition and indeed the nature of illness.
The problem arises because medical education includes very little, if any, training in nutrition. So how is a doctor able to recognise, let alone treat malnutrition? Mainstream medical training is based on finding ‘disease’, then killing the ‘germ’ that caused the disease. This leads to the concept that even though the drugs are known to be toxic they will kill the ‘germ’, but not, as long as they are given the right dose, kill the patient at the same time!
The argument could be used if, and only if, ‘germs’ were the cause of disease. The evidence clearly shows otherwise, which makes this concept wrong on every level.
With a proper understanding of nutrition and the ill-health that results from a lack of proper nutrition, you can understand that the problem of malnutrition goes much further than those who do not have enough to eat.
Whilst it may seem controversial, even people who are obese can be included in the category of suffering from malnutrition. They clearly do not suffer from lack of ‘stuff to eat’; I won’t call it ‘food’, because the real meaning of food means that which nourishes and a great deal of what passes for ‘food’ these days does not have the ability to nourish an ant let alone a growing human child.
To add to the ‘malnutrition’ that is caused by processed, sugar-laden, salt-laden, chemical-laden ‘stuff’ that is referred to as ‘food’, there is also the toxic nature of such substances. The toxins they contain include refined sugar, processed table salt and aspartame as well as chemicals that are used as flavourings, colourings and preservatives.
Only by returning to consumption of ‘real food’ can we ever hope to understand what it means to be healthy.
This is of particular importance to anyone who is on the path to regaining their health, whether from a serious illness or accident or recovering from the ill-effects of a course of pharmaceutical drugs.
There is plenty of advice about the need to build up the ‘immune system’, which certainly needs to be bolstered. However, it is not just the immune system, it is the whole body that requires rebuilding.
The human body is a self-regulating organism, and as such it is capable of rebuilding its own healthy status; it just requires the appropriate ingredients to achieve this. Those ingredients are available from Nature, grown without chemicals and in nutrient-rich soil.
As Hippocrates said “Let your food be your medicine”.
You can learn more about how to be naturally healthy in our book, Why Germs Don’t Make You Ill and Drugs Can’t Cure You.
Other useful links
Webster Tarpley’s website HERE
Information about Vitamin C HERE
Information about magnesium deficiency HERE