Jumping off the toxic bandwagon

September 16th, 2013



There is apocryphal story about a frog that, having jumped into a seemingly harmless pot of tepid water, stays there even as it gradually becomes hotter and does not attempt to jump out until it is too late and it dies in the scalding water.


"All in favour of waiting until someone invites us out of the pot?" Courtesy the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“All in favour of waiting until someone invites us out of the pot?”
Courtesy the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



At this time in our history we are poisoning ourselves and our planet at a rate never seen before. Quite apart from chemicals used in industry we are regularly advised to take poisonous medical drugs to restore our health.[1]


Even if we refuse to take medicines we will still be taking in other chemicals via our food which has been treated with them. We have even started genetically modifying food crops so they can withstand even greater amounts of pesticide – which of course ends up in us.


But all this did not happen overnight. The medical drug industry we know today only really began to take off in the 1930’s with the wide spread use of antibiotics. The Trojan horse of its success let in a myriad of drugs that did not fare nearly as well and have been on the merry-go-round of being withdrawn, slightly modified and reintroduced (to be withdrawn again later) and so on ever since.


Copyright Matt Groening

Copyright Matt Groening


This brings to mind the scene in the Simpsons where Bart plays with some text books in the psychologist’s office. The doctor yells at him: “Don’t touch those books! They haven’t been discredited yet.”


If we are what we eat, we really don’t want to know


On the food front the vast majority of raw produce available to the consumer has been heavily sprayed with chemicals. If you are a meat eater there is a high likelihood that the animal whose meat you are eating or milk you are drinking was kept on a steady diet of antibiotics and other chemicals.


Wood cows


Afterwards further tampering goes on. Cancerous tumors are cut out then the meat is soaked in ammonia to ‘cleanse’ it then washed again with water to try and get rid of the ammonia. After that the tired, grey look of most farmed meat and fish is artificially colored (and sometimes flavored as well) to make it appealing to the consumer. If that food is to be canned, frozen or stored for longer periods there may be even more chemicals added.


Strange fruit


Now all this would be horrible enough if it were a ‘few bad apples’ in the industry that did these things. This however is the state of play of the majority of food we consume today.


Doesn’t anyone find it strange that food soaked in all these very expensive chemicals and having gone through many expensive processes is cheaper than food that has not? Should not the vast majority of reasonably priced food be organic and the strange, chemical fruit of the food processing industry be placed in the small, “if you’re really into that kind of thing” section in the poorly lit corner of your local supermarket or grocery store?


How did we become such blissfully unaware frogs marinating in this chemical soup and what can we do about it? Well I’m so glad you asked…


“Out of sight, out of mind”


One reason for our lack of awareness is our gradual urbanization and separation from the participation in the food process. Removed from our bond with the land we now find our food in brightly colored, convenient packages that bear little resemblance to their origin. It’s almost as if we are discouraged from thinking about it too much…


We occupy our time with so many other distractions that time for food choice and preparation has taken a back seat to convenience. Our own laziness has opened the door for the development of food processing techniques that preprocess food so that it lasts indefinitely and can withstand, storage, freezing and only takes a minute in the microwave to prepare. Whether what comes out the end of that process is in our best interests health-wise is another question entirely.


There are still debates going on in many countries as to whether genetically modified (GM)[2] foods should even be separately labeled from other foods. This means that consumers against it may still be buying these products, albeit without their knowledge.


Media coverage of the food debate has, amazingly, managed to position organic foods as ‘alternative’ – a niche market at best. This infers that food filled with poisonous chemicals is the more ‘sensible’ choice for most of us. Really? Is it just me or is this relaxing bath heating up?


Alright, so much for the bad news. So what can us frogs do about it?


  • We can choose to hop out and opt out of this toxic weirdness that we have come to accept as normal.
  • We can vote with our wallet by insisting upon buying organic or biodynamic foods. We can shop outside of the big food retail chains and support markets and shops that feature organic growers.
  • We can make direct enquiries why a retailer does not stock more organic produce. They listen to those kinds of things.
  • We can share and spread the debate about alternative technologies related to farming and food processing techniques. OK, I’ll start. Here is a very encouraging and low cost technique developed in Ireland to increase food production while reducing the need for fertilizers and pesticides:
  • Those wishing to look at non-toxic approaches to cancer treatment might point their browser here:


If any of you reading this have other articles, research, websites or businesses that support this approach then by all means help and inspire us all by adding them in the comments section which will be open for one week after this blog is published.


We have so much more power than we know


happy weight lifter


Even the mightiest corporation would crumble within a few months if everyone chose to not buy what they are selling. In contrast, the world we want to see can become a reality if we actively choose it every day.


If we want a shift to happen we have to use our froggy legs and jump while the jumping’s good.


Till the temperature of another Monday is just right…



[1] Is the FDA accompanied by a Federal Irony Administration as well?

[2] One would think GM should at least never have made it to the ™ phase at all.




© Jeremy Halpin all rights reserved. All images are the author’s own unless otherwise indicated. Female weighlifter photo source unknown. You can subscribe to this blog by clicking the button in the bottom right hand corner of the page – or share it on the social media of your choice. If you have any wishes or questions regarding subjects to be discussed on this blog use the contact information below. Jeremy is also available for seminars, lectures and personal consultation: info@jeremyhalpin.com

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