I was reading a post written by a researcher who was exposing the many harmful ingredients in a popular children’s treat—a candy given to children year round, but especially prolific at Halloween. In the comments, it was shocking to see how many parents were railing against her—in defense of the candy.
It is fascinating how we [humans] will defend something to the bitter end, no matter how much it is harming us. What was alarming to me in this case was that this person had no agenda other than to expose something harmful to children and still these parents did not want to hear it.
This struck me.—Do these companies really have us that spellbound?
I’d like to believe that most parents would be open and welcome any information exposing a potential hazard to their child’s health—even at the expense of losing a long-held tradition. I’d like to believe that it’s just an issue of communication and getting the truth out there.
It seems to me, if we really allowed ourselves to look behind the velvet curtain and understand how we’ve been manipulated, we couldn’t help but be motivated to break free—to prove we weren’t the gullible consumers they thought we were.
However, in many cases, these companies don’t need to defend or justify their chemical laden “treats” and faux food stuffs. —To a great degree, we, the average consumer, do it for them. We say we don’t want to deprive our children of the childhood traditions we had. We say we don’t want them to be the “odd child out.” We say, “Just this special occasion.” or just for this or that holiday… “It won’t hurt.” Or how about the old, “Everything in moderation.” line people so often trot out?
To illustrate this more clearly—Imagine if we were to use explicit language describing the actual ingredients we are giving our child and our justification in doing so:
“I allow my child to ingest blue dye, a petroleum product linked to cancer and other serious health risks because it’s in his favorite candy and it’s our family tradition to celebrate Halloween this way.”
That would be insanity and no parent would consciously do that, yet it is happening all the time. Labels don’t have to give the blatant, unvarnished truth so we see the fun packaging with our child’s favorite blue or red cartoon character and we think, “How bad could it be?” “They wouldn’t be allowed to sell it if it was that bad. Right?”
Then, we go one step further and actually convince ourselves we’re doing well to have this much care and oversight with our children because (pat ourselves on the back) we are allowing this treat [known carcinogen] “in moderation” or “only on special occasions.”
I can just imagine these industry giants sitting back and laughing as the millions continue to roll in—laughing as we fight for our right to eat the junk they churn out and to perpetuate what we perceive as our traditions for our children.
“Change for human beings is difficult in general and we’ve been indoctrinated for so long, it has become an integral part of our culture and our traditions as we see them.”
I understand why people are often defensive at first when this subject comes up. It can be difficult to separate how we feel about our most beloved traditions and the treats and foods we’ve come to associate with them. That said, I’ve found it becomes monumentally easier to let these things go the moment we allow ourselves to see the ugly truth of what they are doing to our children and the path it is leading them down for the rest of their lives.
And let’s not forget, it’s our choice how we frame this and how we let it impact our lives. We don’t have to grieve our old favorites or view leaving them behind as a loss at all. If we choose to do so, we can make it an exciting, rewarding invention and discovery process:
What can we make together as our new tradition? How can we make something both delicious and healthy? Children thrive when challenged with creative activities like this. We just have to be willing to think outside of the box a little and, for a good start, redefine what constitutes a treat:
It’s a treat to be together having fun creating. It’s a treat to eat tasty food that also makes us feel good. It’s a treat to have the freedom to create our own traditions.
“The truth is, when we delve deeper and ask ourselves what we’re hoping to give our children with our traditions, it’s that feeling of connection with family and friends. The gathering of loved ones. The laughter, the joy, the celebration. These are the things we are seeking to perpetuate, to pass down to our children. “—LeAnn, l&l
We’ve given too much credit to the junk food, to the candy, to the “treats” defined and created by outside entities. These things weren’t what made us happy as children nor do they now. That is the illusion they market to us. Sadly, that is the illusion we often buy into, even when evidence to the contrary is staring us in the face.
And there’s so much evidence now.—So many studies showing how detrimental all of these candies and snacks (and sodas) are, yet you don’t even have to look beyond your own home. Just observe your child’s physical and emotional reactions after consuming these things and you will see the truth.
We’ve all witnessed the highs and the lows—the melt-downs. It’s like watching an addict’s body as it tries to cope with the chemical rushes and crashes, but because we’ve become so accustomed to it, we even laugh and share videos on social media showing our child’s hyperactivity or their irrational emotional state.
We have been conditioned to see such reactions as natural, even humorous. We’re watching it play out right in front of us —all the proof we need—yet in denial about what we’re actually witnessing. We would have to be in denial to perpetuate such a thing. No parent would put their child’s little body through this if they truly understood what is happening in those moments, not to mention the long-term impact on their child’s health.
“The reality is, our children are not just eating harmful ingredients and toxins a few times a year—they have permeated our entire food system and are part of everyday life.”—LeAnn, l&l
The number of harmful dyes and other chemicals allowed in modern treats, beverages and breakfast cereals—marketed directly to children—is astounding, nigh to criminal. And then there’s the whole issue of sugar—The literal pounds of sugar—between 150-180 lbs per person on average consumed (in America) every year.
And why is sugar added to everything in copious amounts and hidden in one form or another in so much of our food supply?
Hmm…let’s take a look behind the shroud again and see what we discover. Let’s follow the profit trail and see where it takes us, shall we? Did someone somewhere figure out how addictive it is and how we’d keep coming back for more?
Did these companies have this agenda from the start?—Or perhaps even they had no idea how far this would go and what loyal, life-long consumers we would become for them.
However it all evolved, it works out perfectly for these junk food pushers if they hook us in childhood as we then continue to ride the conveyer belt straight over to their pharmaceutical companies as we become obese, diabetic, depressed and a whole host of other symptoms and debilitating issues.
As long as the people leading these companies, producing these faux foods—these chemical laden concoctions—as long as they are motivated by profit rather than health—and they always will be or they wouldn’t exist as such—we have to wake up to the fact that neither they nor any agency connected to them is, or ever will be, concerned about our health or the health of our children. That’s just not the world we are in now.
So it’s up to us. It’s up to us to create the world we want. Let’s stop romanticizing the candies and junk foods of our past and realize those things don’t deserve the status we’ve given them in our childhood memories. It’s time we ask ourselves:
Is this my tradition? Was this ever really my choice or was I one of the many who fell for this marketing scheme long ago?
“Questioning the status quo is crucial to our personal freedom, to our health and our well-being. For our own sake and the sake of our children, it’s time we questioned everything.”—LeAnn, l&l
You won’t have to dig too deep, you just need to be willing to ask and this heart-centered questioning will return the truth to you swiftly and unequivocally.
So we were duped. Or our parents were duped. Or maybe it started with our grandparents.—However we got here, it’s not a place we want to be. It’s not what we want to pass on to our children.
In doing your own research, you will no doubt find that there were cover-ups, scientists and doctors were paid off, questionable marketing tactics were employed and ingredients added solely for their addictive quality. As with most everything in life it runs the gamut: You’ll find that some people working for these companies are completely innocent and unaware, while others have a nefarious agenda and go to great lengths to suppress the truth. We can be angry at first if it helps motivate us, but then I say, let’s just take positive action. Let’s take things into our own hands.
“We have to quit relying on someone else to look out for us. It’s not a bad thing. We just need to take our power back. Our true power of discernment.
We need to step out of the illusion that someone somewhere is looking out for us. We need to drop the notion that the things they are selling in stores “can’t be that bad.” The truth is, they can be that bad and they do promote and sell things an adult should never ingest, let alone give their child.”—LeAnn, l&l
No one is policing the stores and making sure they don’t sell us addictive chemical concoctions that are wrecking our health. Not our government, not any organization. Even if they say they are, it’s not to any degree we can rely on.
Look at the aisles and aisles of packaged, processed foods and candies, the junk, the faux food with no nutritional value and laden with harmful ingredients and then compare that to the rest of the store: the produce aisle, the fresh whole foods. Not only are the faux foods allowed, they are far outnumbering the real foods.
So that’s just the way it is. For now. We vote with every dollar we spend, so let’s take that seriously from now on.
And, by the way, let’s quit blaming organic farmers for charging more for the food they produce. The reason we are in this state of affairs is because our government and the corporate giants behind our government have created a food system that is completely out-of-whack—a system we’ve blindly been funding for far too long.
Yes, everyone should have access to affordable, organic food—that should be the norm, not the exception—but it’s because the majority continue to support the faux food industries that we currently pay more to obtain clean, healthy food. It’s our job to change that, not wait for someone else to do it or blame the organic growers who may charge more to stay in business.
Once we see it is up to us, once we realize it’s our responsibility, then we can take action within our own family and community. We can educate ourselves about how things are grown and where our food comes from, including how it is transported and preserved. Once we are well-informed, we’ll know where and how to shop.
We’ll know the right companies to support—those who deserve our voting dollars and those who will never again receive our voting dollars.
We can demand that our food be wholesome and healthy and produced by someone we know and trust. We can even learn how to grow some of our own food and support our local growers who are awake and aware and returning to clean, safe growing methods, eschewing the chemicals and gmos and other practices that have been robbing us of our health and the health of our precious soil.*
What is more important than our health?
We truly, literally, are what we eat. I invite you to pause a moment and let that sink in.
Food is not only the fuel that makes your body run, what you eat forms the building blocks for your cells, for your child’s cells. Our babies, our children are what they eat—physically, mentally and emotionally—literally made of what we give them or allow them to eat.
Once we really understand this—witness the truth of it—we will see every food choice with new eyes. We will clearly see food as energy, as fuel, but also as forming and regulating every cell in our body—as immunity boosters and powerfully healing and sustaining.
We’ll want our food and our children’s food—including snacks, treats, holiday favorites—to have the most light and life force possible and the sugar-filled, chemically-loaded faux foods will no longer have power over us, no matter how skillfully they market to us, no matter how deceptively they are packaged.
“We all deserve new traditions based in health and the true happiness that results from eating well—the joy that comes from an empowered life, caring for our bodies and our planet, too.” —LeAnn, l&l
It’s time we questioned everything. It’s time for empowering ourselves and one another, breathing life into this new way of being.
In light & love, I send my blessing out to our world that this be so.
You might also enjoy reading about a passion project of mine we’re developing in the community where I grew up – A Children’s Learning Garden is in the Works!
The article contains links to videos and information about regenerative agriculture practices and Dr. Zach Bush’s work and philosophy regarding the importance of our connection to each other and our beautiful planet along with diversity and cooperation on the micro and macro level. His outlook resonates and aligns with my personal findings and philosophy. I hope it inspires others in the same way!