Deadly Whites

I’m reading an outline in the excellent Watkins Mind Body Spirit magazine, of the book The Seven Deadly Whites by Karl Eliot-Gough. It’s all been known for a long time actually, but good to see it restated.

The basic premise is that the modern diet full of refined and processed foods is responsible for the modern ‘diseases of civilisation’: diabetes, heart conditions, obesity, cancer, dementia,…

Refined flour, white rice, refined sugar essentially had their nutritious ingredients removed. Too many polyunsaturated fats, too much salt and milk products are also unhealthy. Processed foods are full of them all. The body is just not receiving the nutrition it needs. Hence the diseases of civilisation.

Easy processed foods were a great innovation and provide great convenience to modern living. But beware the cost of not intimately knowing what you eat.

Of course, there are many other factors – pollution and pesticides in much of the food, the depletion of intensively farmed soils, insufficient fresh vegetables,… So this is certainly not the only game in town.

Now, if we all had a healthy and unpolluted diet, what would then be the relative cost of our NHS? Rather less, methinks.

Oh, I think the seventh white is the white lies that it’s all healthy.

What did you expect?

What did you expect when you elected a PR man to be head of the UK government? Government by PR.

David_Cameron_huskyMeaningless slogans that are contradicted by real actions in the opposite direction, for example:

  • “Greenest government ever” – anti-green ministers appointed, moves investment from renewables to fossils and nuclear, green investment bank diluted.
  • “Compassionate conservatism” – reduces benefits to the disabled, more people sleeping rough.
  • “We’re all in it together” – takes from the worst off and gives to the better off, increases inequality, builds insufficient lower-priced housing.
  • “No top down reorganisation of the NHS” – the Lansley top down reorganisation.
  • “The NHS is safe in our hands” – now battling with NHS staff.
  • “7-day NHS” – somehow going to happen without increasing investment.
  • And so on…

Untrue narratives or half-truths propagated to ensure advantage in the polls. Just a couple of examples:

  • “Labour caused the financial crash” – it didn’t; it was bankers and virtually none were punished in any way.
  • “We will save £12 billion (but we won’t yet tell you how)” – now we know – it was by taking money from the weakest in society.

Real problems, such as the care crisis, lack of affordable housing, global warming, gross inequality, the inadequacy of current banking – shunted into the long grass.

That’s not to say the Cameron governments have not done some good things, but put a PR man at the top, and nothing is ever quite what it seems. Of course, he watched Blair closely, and learned…