If you want to know how powerful the pharmaceutical industry is, such that it gets the nickname Big Pharma, ask yourself why good health practices are not taught in schools and supported by curriculum and resources. Our education systems teach kids how to be good employees, but not how to be good people, with good character and morals, or even how to live healthy and satisfying lives. Schools that do teach such topics are rare.
Historically, industries use up young people in the prime of life, then spit them out when they get past their most useful stage. By that time they are ready to be permanent customers of...Big Pharma. All big industry has a vested interest in maintaining the system's status quo.
Everyone believes that good physical, emotional and intellectual health should be goals of their society, but few adults really know the practical aspects about how to achieve them. Fewer still of those who know actually put their knowledge into practice. It's too easy to be like everyone else. Industry makes it too easy to follow the crowd.
The biggest problem in the sphere of health is that people don't know what good health practices are and they have trouble finding out. When they turn to government health services, they find either a confusion of data resulting from studies sponsored by pharmaceutical companies contradicting independent studies or clear pronouncements of health needs that vastly understate the real health needs of people.
An example would be a lack of information about our need for trace minerals, the lack of which could result in death or disability for some. When's the last time you heard about someone dying of a deficiency of selenium, for example? Yet a good friend of mine received a diagnosis that he had been about two weeks away from death from selenium deficiency when the specialist saw him. His family doctor knew nothing about the problem.
Reading magazines only confuses the issue because they tend to follow the latest trends and fads without doing real research into how to achieve good health. Consequently, most of us turn to Big Pharma as our saviour when our body begins to break down.
Big Sugar is the name given to the sugar industry because it controls so much of the diet that too many people in western countries follow. You can find products containing far too much refined sugar in vending machines in schools, even in some of the prepared foods that cafeterias serve.
At your supermarket, foods loaded with refined sugar can be found in abundance in almost every aisle (except the produce section where the sugar is natural). Refined sugar junk food products are often among the cheapest in the store. Some of them always appear around the checkout counters where marketers know that impulse buyers will grab them as they open their purses. You can find some in almost every aisle.
Across the country, sugar-laden junk foods are the cheapest foods in every store. Oddly, it would seem, though some products vary hugely in price from one part of a large country to another, sugar-laden foods hold the same price wherever you go. Differences in costs for transportation explain great differences in prices for many products such as fruits and vegetables, but the same factors seem to not apply to sugary junk foods. Apparently it costs more to ship healthy food products great distances across a country, but junk foods cost no more to travel the same distances.
The obesity problem that plagues every western nation has refined sugar as one of the major contributing factors. Diabetes follows obesity, though diabetes also has its own pipeline.
You can't turn around without bumping into something made from the raw material of Big Oil. Everything plastic, for a start. Everything in your car that isn't metal (with the exception of coolant and washer fluid) is made partly with oil.
You can't move anywhere outside of your home without using some products made from oil. Even walking or riding a bicycle you likely have oil as part of your footwear and other clothing.
Each year we watch as the cost of gasoline rises, along with the profits of oil companies.
Big Oil profits most in wartime. Military vehicles require huge amounts of fuel (no hybrid fuel or fuel-efficient trucks there). Many countries with oil reserves in the ground are world trouble spots because power mongers want to control its sale. Those who control the oil resources of a country control that country to a great extent. That includes the US where the Oilmen Bush have held the presidency for 12 of the past 20 years.
Nothing you or I can do will directly change the dominance and power that these giant industries have over our lives. Even former US President Bill Clinton couldn't do that; as soon as he left office the oilmen bought their way back in.
However, we can change our habits and we can talk with others about how small changes among many people can make a huge difference. Fruit provides the same sugar kick as junk food, while also giving us vitamins and minerals without the results of the sugar refining process to mess up our bodies. We can learn about and support alternative energy sources.
And we can learn how to live healthy lives that won't find us dependant on drugs to get us through the final decades of our life. Big Industry doesn't want us to do that.
So, how do you feel about the whole thing?
Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems, a book for adults to learn how to teach their children how to lead healthy lives that don't depend on Big Industry to tell them what to do.
Learn more at http://billallin.com