You are here
How To Eat To Live And The Politics of Food
HOW TO EAT TO LIVE AND THE POLITICS OF FOOD
By Fahim A. Knight-EL
This article had been in the back of my mind for sometime relative to food and health and the politics that surrounds food. Some years ago, I was invited to Muhammad's Temple Number 25 in Newark, New Jersey, this was in the 1970s where I heard Minister James Shabazz teach from a book written by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad (1897-1975) titled, "How to Eat to Live" first volume published in 1967; it eventually became a two volume book that laid out the Nation of Islam and Black Muslim dietary laws. I found Minister Shabazz message that day to be very intriguing and enlightened, thus I purchased the book "How to Eat to Live" in 1973 and began reading. I am now recommending that you read this eye awakened book and you will find out why it is dietary important to put down them yams and collard greens (these are vegetables that are prohibited). Messenger Muhammad wrote about Allah who came in the person of Master Fard Muhammad and the type of foods and diet that he prescribed and ordained for the Asiatic Black man.
The health of this nation or lack of has to be viewed, from the highest levels of government and we can somewhat, attributed our dismal health disposition to corporate greed and neglect by the United States Government in its failure to demonstrate a level of genuine sincerity towards the well being of the American people outside of corporate interest. America does not need a health care bill, and if we do get one, it would not be worth a damn because health is big business and any health care bill that is passed, it going to be in the interest of the powerful medical lobbies and medical associations that they represent (whether it is President Obama's Health Bill or a Republican sponsored bill).
It has been intentional neglect which has led to our entire food supply being placed in danger--from our agriculture crops to our poultry farms and cattle farms have all been compromised, therefore, because of this, the health of our entire nation has been compromised. The government sanctions the use of poison pesticides and fertilizers in the name of efficient productivity--growing bigger and harvesting more agriculture commodities in shorter planting time frames (they have truly disturbed the balance of nature and has disturbed the the most perfect system that has been in existence for perhaps trillions of years, which is the ecological system). Man is in deed at war with himself and the planet.
The Center For Disease Control (CDC), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as other regulatory agencies already know that these agriculture pesticides (subtle germ, chemical and biological warfare) will have short and long term adverse health ramifications on the American people and planet (but what they do not tell you is, that it has always been about profit over health). Our water supply have also been compromised by poisonous pesticides and fertilizers run-off into our rivers, lakes and oceans.This evidence is translated into seeing higher incidents of all types of various cancers and diseases that are plaguing our nation and if the truth be told, it can be traced back to our food sources. The chickens are being injected with various growth hormones and enzymes (which is dangerous to humans that eat this poisonous meat) in which these chickens are caged raise (confined to tiny square foot areas) they do not have free range ability to roam and interact in a more natural environment and is confined to filthy controlled assembly line like operations. (Reference: Karl Weber; "Food Inc.: A Participant Guide: How Industrial Food is Making Us Sicker, Fatter, and Poorer-And What You Can Do About It").
These chickens are being forced fed food with little to no nutritional value, the only objective is to fatten them up for the consumer market and also these same chickens (hens) are being artificially inseminated to create mass egg production in order to meet the food supply demands (the United States has 300 million people, but consumes a disproportional amount of the world's resources). The cattle (beef) ranches and farms are no different (cows on steroids). This also makes our dairy unsafe for human consumption. Thus, we are eating these hormonal injected birds and steroid beef (this includes Angus beef as well); and we wonder, why our little girls are having their menses at 6 and 7 years old and is growing breast at that same age, as well as developing physically like teenagers twice their age. Also, child obesity is running rampant throughout America.
Mad Cow disease, Bird Flu and the latest being Swine Flu (so-called H1N1) are clear examples, that our animal food supply is contaminated and the above animals have served as host to viruses that are making people sick and have even been responsible for killing thousands who have fell victims to coming in contact by consuming poisonous poultry and livestock. The media talking heads and the U.S. Government tried to quickly discredited the rumors and allegations that the Swine Flu virus could be transposed to humans by eating pork (swine meat) and although the CIA and CDC possessed medical evidence from Mexico that people had died from eating contaminated (H1N1) pig meat and others got sick from contracting this virus that United States Government calls H1N1 (Swine Flu). They have kept this information away from the public because of the interest of huge pork growers; they do not want to scare you away from continuing to buying swine, it is to lucrative of a business to be interrupted by human sicknesses and deaths.
Muhammad did not forbade the consumption of beef and/or chicken, but he said we would be better off by not consuming any animal flesh. Messenger Muhammad forbade certain seafoods such as crabs, shrimps, lobsters , scallops, etc., he referred to them as the scavengers or bugs of the sea and he prohibited the eating of fish that weighed of over ten pounds (this included large tuna). The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, we could cure ourselves by what we eat or not eat and he recommended that we eat one meal per day. He also recommended that we should fast at least three days at the end of each month. Moreover, Mr. Muhammad even went a step further, he stated that we should practice eating every three days because our stomachs and digestive tracks were not designed to constantly work trying to digest three meals per day and health wise this practice would keep us away from the doctor's office. (Reference: Norman W. Walker; "Colon Health: The Key to a Vibrant Life").
Many African American healers and holistic healers that came after the Honorable Elijah Muhammad such as Queen Afua who authored the book titled, "Heal Thyself: For Health and Longevity" and fail to mention "How to Eat to Live" by Elijah Muhammad, the man who was talking about health in the black community when it wasn't popular. Queen Afua has written an excellent book that supports vegan and vegetarian dieting, but it is remissly not to mention Elijah Muhammad as a forerunner in this discussion of health. I witness Mr. Muhammad clean-up and heal black people who became Muslims and followed his dietary plan and restriction. Some of these individuals came to Mr. Muhammad obese and ailing and within six months after following the program and the life giving teachings they became healed, it was though they appeared 10 years younger after practicing the dietary and Restrictive Laws of Islam. He taught us, of the value of the navy bean and the various use of this bean (get the book and read it for yourself).
There is another great book written by Dr. Llaila O. Afrika titled, "African Holistic Health" but, how can you write such an enlightened book and not mention messenger Muhammad and many of these individuals were directly and/or indirectly touched by his mission and work? I am on record of admitting that it was Mr. Muhammad's teachings that woke me up as a lost-found member and it was his teachings that gave me the intellect and wisdom to further connect the dots. The brothers in the Temple would often state "Make it plain Brother Minister" and that is exactly what I have tried to do in the writings of all my blogs.
This writer lives in the south and there is a huge hog farm in Virginia named Smithfield Farms (I often see their tractor trailers advertised with Smithfield Farms on I-40 East and West as I travel throughout North Carolina) and some of my readers may not know this, the hog selling business is over a billion dollar industry and it is vital to the U.S. economy. This is what Wikipedia stated about Smithfield farms: "Smithfield Foods, Inc. is the world’s largest pork producer and processor. Its headquarters are in Smithfield, Virginia, with operations in 26 states and 9 countries. The company raises 14 million hogs a year and processes 27 million. The company produced 5.9 billion pounds of pork and 1.4 billion pounds of fresh beef in 2006. Its plant in La Gloria, Mexico is suspected to be the source of the 2009 swine flu outbreak." (Reference: Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia; topic Smithfield Farms).
The United States Government consistently lies to the America people and they create medical epidemics and in some cases pandemics while simultaneously using fear and panic to enrich the pharmaceutical companies and medical profession by selling vaccines as so-called protection against viruses like H1N1 (this is a CIA initiated medical hoax). So like fools we run and get vaccinated and allow our children to be inoculated with experimental chemicals and drugs; thus, trusting the damn government and thirty years from now, they will come out and admit, that they injected us with a cancer containment. Perhaps you have never heard of the Tuskegee Experiment it is well documented in a book written by Harriet A. Washington titled: "Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans From Colonial Times to the Present). All this is about making money and nothing else. (Reference: Curtis Cost; "Vaccines Are Dangerous: A Warning to the Black Community").
The air we breathe have been compromised due government failure to regulate and impose meaningful OSHA and EPA standards in which to govern all the toxic waste, hazardous gases and fumes that are being released into the environment and is poisoning the oxygen that we are taking in and is is destroying the Ozone Layer (perhaps global warming will be the vehicle that destroys a rebellious humanity). But corporate interest gets a free pass to assist in killing the American people because we are viewed as being expendable and money making has been placed as a higher priority over the health and well being of the American people. When will we wake up from our slumber? Or will it be to late. I am willing to bet you, that the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will not give you this type of information.
This writer in the late 1980s met an interesting gentlemen named Michael Joseph, who stated his ethnicity and nationality as being Lebanese (he looked more Cauasian than an Arab Semite). Brother Joseph and I became friends, and every time that he would come town from Miami, he would always stop by my house and the black book store in Durham. He was a very intelligent man who probably at some point in his life had decided to quit corporate America and found peace with himself by coming in harmony with his spirit-self and the universe. He had chosen to live a meager and simple life and he use to self promote and distribute a book that he had written by given small talks at African Centered book stores throughout the southeast and appearing on black talk radio. I learned so much from him about Homeopathic medicine and holistic treatments, as well as nutrition (western medicine has become for the most part, a system of pawns for the powerful pharmaceutical companies; this is the master they serve and often will not entertain Eastern healing procedures). (Reference: Kahlil Gibran; "The Prophet").
Western doctors have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in acquring a medical education and has put a lot of time into becoming practitioners of their vocation and this alone makes them arrogant and unwilling to submit that in some instances Homeopathic medicine may be superior to western base medical treatment (well to be quite honest many of them get financial incentives from pharmaceutical companies to become your personal dope pusher). Natural healers go to the earth and uses herbs and roots for medicinal treatment and I can remember when segregation existed and African Americans could not seek treatment in a conventional hospital or clinic. Grandmother who were not medically trained at Stanford, Duke John Hopkins, and Harvard, but she could walk in the woods and retrieve a plant and administer treatment for what was ailing us. (Reference: Kevin Trudeau; "Natural Cures: They Don't Want You To Know About).
Michael Joseph wrote and published a book titled, "Animals in Digestive System: How to Avoid Disease Nutritionally" stated: "I blame the medical establishment for not being more forceful in their nutritional advice . Too many physicians themselves are addicted to meat to be entirely neutral in their recommending nutritional therapies when confronted by ailing trusting population. Physicians are not chemists or physiologists, and too influenced by salesmen from drug corporations, and by the American Medical Association, which is itself guided by drug manufacturers. The war on drugs is being fought against the wrong people. Isn't it paradoxical, that a government can be responsible for the drug addiction of its own people, then use the very excuse of that drug abuse to imprison thousands. The news media are understandably addicted to their sources of funds, which are the chemical and food producers, the drug and tobacco industries. To be truthful with the American people about the poisons being added to our foods, would seemingly put many of these producers out of business, or at least inspire them to change. Anyone who knows how the media is financed can easily understand this fact. Therefore, the media has been compromising itself when sharing information on health and nutrition, seemingly in the interest of earning a profit, rather than their real purpose of disseminating the truth. (Reference: Michael Joseph; "Animals in Digestive System: How to Avoid Disease Nutritionally"; pp. 120-121).
This alone makes the United States Government complicit by willfully and intentionally turning a blind eye while the health of the American people becomes compromised; this writer wonders if all of this is part of the grand conspiracy to commit control genocide with the objective of depopulating the earth. The Russian dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn stated: "To do evil a human being must first of all believe that what he's doing is good. . .Ideology--that is what gives devildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes, so that he won't hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors." (Reference: Alexander Solzhenitsyn; quoted in the book "Emerging Viruses" by Leonard G. Horowitz).
Muhammad stated: "food keeps us here; it is essential that we eat food which gives and maintains life. That same food destroys life. Therefore, to keep this food from destroying our lives, we must protect our lives as well as we possibly can from the destruction of food. If we eat the proper food, and eat at the proper time, the food will keep us living a long, long time. Eating three and four times a day is to your stomach as dripping water is to a stone or iron. The dripping water will eventually wear the stone and iron away. But, just to look at the water, it does not appear powerful enough in its dripping to wear the stone and iron away. It is the same with food; we continuously put it into our stomachs to be digested and eventually it will destroy the stomach. If we let our stomachs rest a while and gain strength, they will last longer in doing a job of digesting food for us."
C. Leonard Vories in his pamphlet titled, "The Hog: Should It Be Used For Food" stated: "During recent years discoveries by the medical profession have brought to light why reasons why God, thousands of years ago, could have condemned the hog as unfit for food. The microscope has revealed that the flesh of hogs is often infested with trichina worms, which when taken into the human body multiply and begin to work their way through the entire system, even into the brain and heart. This condition is known as trichinosis. Thus, far there is no known cure for the disease, since nothing has been discovered which will the trichina without killing the person when once the worms have started working into the flesh." (Reference: C. Leonard Vories; "The Hog: Should It Be Used For Food" ; p. 15-16).
This writer has been in various food markets and there is nothing more disturbing than to see a senior citizen who looked to be in poor physical health and yet in their shopping cart, it is filled with food that has no nutritional value such as processed foods, swine (pork chops, pig knuckles, pig ears, fatback, etc.) and foods that are high in sodium (dead food with no life). Elijah Muhammad taught how during slavery the slave masters fed the blacks slaves the worst type of food. For example, pork-swine, but even the slave diet, they were giving the worst of the swine, the hog guts and intestines (chitterlings), fatback, salt pork, ham hocks, etc. Many poor people buy cheap processed foods because they see it as stretching the dollar and in their minds this is smart shopping because they have achieved their goal of quantity purchasing and at the same time, perhaps negated the most important aspect of food consumption, which is, what are the health and nutritional value of the food? (Reference: Dick Gregory's Natural Diet For Folks Who Eat: Cookin' With Mother Nature").
Often in poor and oppressed communities (which are ordinarily blacks and Latinos), it is difficult to find an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, the food vendors (and the alcohol beverage companies operate off this same premise) systematically supply these communities with the worst types of foods, which contributes to these communities having high incidents of Hypertension, Diabetes, Heart Disease, Colon Cancer, etc. It is a bit hypocritical for the United States Government to act like they are concern about the health and well being of our nation and yet the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) do very little to regulate the huge food conglomerates (they are off the chain). (Reference: Alfred Powell; "Message 'N' A Bottle").
Why don't U.S. Government take a proactive and preventive measures by outlawing foods that contributes to us having all types of chronic diseases? Not to consider doing this, will eventually further burden our health care system and cost the American taxpayers billions of dollars on the back-end (having to treat long term illnesses that with proper diet and nutrition could have been preventable). However, this writer is not oblivious to fact, that there is huge amounts of money to be made in dealing in death and destruction (sickness is a commodity)-- selling products that is sugar based (sugar is more addictive than cocaine and heroin); this keeps the dentist employed, and trans fats know wonder our children at five and six years of age are experiencing child obesity in which we are sentencing them to a life of potential heart disease and diabetes, as well as other health aliments. Just take a look around you in any urban cities across the United States and no doubt, you will see a number of fast food restaurants--McDonald's, Churches Chicken, Burger King, Wendys, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Bojangles, Chinese Restaurants, etc (they are dealing death over the lunch counters). Parents are serving their children fast foods two and three times per day and its these habits that are contributing to the poor health of our children. Their life expectancy will be even shorter than the prior five generations unless we change personal course and our government course.
My mother use to cook and I grew up eating home cook meals, but most younger mothers in America today do not know how to cook and rely on eating out and fail to realize all the negative benefits in putting your mouths in someone else kitchen. Autism, Down Syndrome and hyperactivity in children can be traced to diet and this is not meant to overlook some of the genetic factors. Fast foods factors into 90% of the health issues plaguing children. Think about this, just 35 years ago children under 10 having hypertension and Diabetes were unheard of and it is insane not look at what they are eating today in comparison to yesterday.
Muhammad further stated: " IF THE MEDICAL DOCTORS and the theologian teachers and scientists of chemicals,are indulging and are not successful expanding their own lives in what they are offering to us to eat and drink, then why should we follow their way of life? The chemical doctors go to the earth to get chemicals to heal themselves and us. These chemicals soon will destroy both. And, their bodies were not made to be supported by chemicals for health and longevity. The fact is the body of man was not to be drugged." (Reference: Elijah Muhammad; "How To Eat To Live" Book # 2 Chapter 47 online PDF version).
I am going to digress a bit by sharing some of my personal experiences, which in my opinion, will prove to be relevant to the overall objective and intent of this article. This writer got one of his first real lessons in the politics of food over fifteen years ago; I was once an international trader who was involved in importing and exporting various trade commodities, which included food. The company was named Progressive International Trading Company, Inc. and it was headed by a dear friend and CEO Daniel Brown out of Baltimore, Maryland. But who taught us the business was two con men out of Budapest, Hungry who owned a trading company in Budapest named East-West Channel.
These Hungarians understood the European import and export markets better than anyone that we had ever done business with. The first thing you learn in the food commodity business, is how political and competitive the food industry is and you also learn, who controls the markets; we learned very quickly that there were powerful trading companies who functioned as sovereign corporate governments that controlled all levels of the import/export international networks from finance too distribution--Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), ConAgra, and Cargill (they have a monopoly on the food industry) controls huge international markets and they determine who eats globally. No, small trader can penetrate the global food markets without brokering deals with these large powerful trading companies. They set the United States international trade policy and dictate to the U.S. food regulatory agencies of how stiff or how lax government intervention is going to be relative to our food sources.
These companies have controlling interest in banks (they controlled the issuing of financial instruments such as Letters of Credit), farms including coops, freight forwarding companies, freight insurance companies and they control embassies and trade ambassadors, etc. They also control many smaller food subsidiaries in the United States and around the world in which they will not even entertain an international trade proposal of huge tonnage without blocking you until they are able to steal your potential customer. Perhaps one of the most value lessons that I learned came by way of a commodity deal that we were trying close with selling some corn to one of the Eastern European nations and their government had strict stipulations that no genetically modified or genetic alter food was allowable into their country because they were unsure of how this genetic modified foods would impact the future health of their nation. Just look at the United States and there is plenty of proof of how genetic modified food is contributing to us having a wide range of health issues that are plaguing this nation. We are what we eat, and we can not trust anything that comes out of the laboratory of the wickedly wise. You must become the scientist in your kitchen. Thank you Mr. Muhammad for taking my wife through the Muslim Girl Training and General Civilization Class (MGT--GCC).
Fahim A. Knight-EL Chief Researcher for KEEPING IT REAL THINK TANK located in Durham, NC; our mission is to inform African Americans and all people of goodwill, of the pending dangers that lie ahead; as well as decode the symbolism and reinterpreted the hidden meanings behind those who operate as invisible forces, but covertly rules the world. We are of the belief that an enlightened world will be better prepared to throw off the shackles of ignorance and not be willing participants for the slaughter. Our MOTTO is speaking truth to power.
Stay Awake Until We Meet Again,
Fahim A. Knight-EL