Wednesday, August 29, 2007

You'll Get Cancer And Die

Ok, ok, I admit, the title is not from me, it's from the excellent movie Crazy People with Dudley Moore and Daryl Hannah where a couple of geniuses and nutcases produce truly hilarious ad campaigns.

But back to business. Today, I received a very touching e-mail about the contribution that Yoplait made to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. The website was made by my good friend and competitor Julien Brunet at Cri Communication. Check it out, it is quite nice.

I think cancer reaserch or any research to cure us from such terrible illnesses is a good thing, and I'm glad that citizens and corporations alike join in the fight, but...

It made me think about the way we think. Despite the fact that each of us has more or less 50% chances of dying from cancer, what do we do about it? Nothing.

We (sometimes) give to research. That's it, nothing more; despite the fact that it has been proven that cancer is greatly influenced by how we live and mostly how we eat. Who changes their habits or their diet to get away from cancer? No one.

We hope that we'll be lucky or that by the time we get cancer (God forbid), a cure will have been found. Doesn't seem very proactive and it is our lives that are at stake...

Take fast food for example.

Dr. William Castelli, the former director of the Framingham Heart Study, used to say, “When you see the Golden Arches, you’re on the road to the Pearly Gates.”

Americans however, never ate so much fast food. Here are 2 interresting facts from Eric Schlosser's fascinating book Fast Food Nation:

In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2001, they spent more than $110 billion. Americans now spend more money on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computers software, or new cars. They spend more on fast food than on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and recorded music – combined.

Anyone who brings raw ground beef into his or her kitchen today must regard it as a potential biohazard, one that may carry an extremely dangerous microbe, infectious at an extremely low dose. The current high levels of ground beef contamination, combined with the even higher levels of poultry contamination, have led to some bizarre findings. A series of tests conducted by Charles Gerba, a microbiologist at the University of Arizona, discovered far more fecal bacteria in the average American kitchen sink than on the average American toilet seat.

A BIG MAC anyone?


Khiwi said...

“People do things every day that they know could kill them. Doesn’t mean they want to die.” Grey’s Anatomy, Season 1, Episode 6: If Tomorrow Never Comes.

I work in the Biotech Industry. The company that I work for makes it a mandate to invest in Biotech research companies that finds cures for cancer and other hereditary diseases. Yet, I do find myself eating at McED’s and KFC. Why: Simply because I sometimes crave it.

But underneath it all, I think that we, as a society, do not know how to ‘be’. So we look for answers outward: in food, drugs, other people, anywhere but from within. When we would find it in ourselves to ‘be’ and teach our children how to love and to protect this temple of a body that came to us as a miracle, then, we will shift our priorities from productivity and profit to preservation and personal growth.

Stacey said...

When my Mom was diagnosed with cancer last year, I picked up the book "Foods That Fight Cancer" and cooked with many of them when I stayed with her during her recovery. I don't know if she absorbed any of it, but it's a fascinating book. The authors are from Montréal as well.

I think "Fast Food Nation" is ultimately one of the reasons I became a vegetarian. I've seen that they made a movie out of it - have you seen it? If so, was it any good?

JM said...

I was a vegetarian too for 10 years. Now, I try to be more on the bio and local side and I include meat into my diet. I admit that reading in National Geographic how bananas where produced in some parts of South America opened my eyes to the healh hazards in fruits & vegetables.

I didn't know they had made a movie out of Fast Food Nation, but the book was great.

As for the book Foods that Fight Cancer, my Mom has it and I will take a look at it.

Last week I bought a smoothie at a new place called Liquid and they had a book on eating habits and health: The China Study. Seemed very interresting.


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