BY ABDUL ALLAH MUHAMMAD

OCT 27, 2002

Despite all the years of teaching by The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and right up to today by The Honorable Louis Farrakhan, the dietary practices of our people continue to imply a not-so-secret death wish haunting the majority of us. It seems that the more the producers of the poisonous foodstuff being thrust at us admit their crimes, the more determined we are to partake of the poison offered us.

The September 16th issue of U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT contained an article entitled “ARSENIC AND BARBECUE,” which exposed the deadly threat, not only of much of the food we consume, but even the tables from which we eat it. The writer singles out a particular preservative called chromated copper arsenate (CCA) which is used to preserve wood and repel termites, but exposes us to one of the deadliest poisons known to man. However, since it reportedly enables the merchants to bring in some $4 billion a year, don’t look for it to disappear from the market any time soon, despite the numerous lawsuits the industry faces from people who suffer from facial paralysis and other neurological symptoms. The article points out that redwood and cedar naturally resist both rot and insects, but “bargain-hunters” prefer the deadly “cheaper” woods.

On October 9th, America’s second-largest poultry producer announced that it had recalled 295,000 pounds of ready-to-eat turkey and chicken that might be contaminated. The announcement, attributed to the corporation’s chief financial officer, stated that, “the products might contain lysteria.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lysteria monocytogenes is bacteria that causes a flulike illness that affects about 2,500 people every year. A recent outbreak reportedly occurred in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, causing deaths and miscarriages.

The October 10th issue of THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE carried an article covering almost two full pages, in full color, entitled “FRIED GLORY.” The subhead reads, “Despite the health warnings about french fries, Americans still pledge allegiance to the bag.”

The writer poses the question, “Why after all the warnings from the experts, the disturbing studies, why—under threat of dire health consequences up to and including death—do we, the American people, continue to hit the french fries?” and points out that “The average American is eating at least 24 pounds of fries a year. That’s 56 Super Size servings at McDonald’s, or more than six times the amount of fries the average American consumed in 1960.”

Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest states that, “Diet [coupled with inactivity] kills as many people as tobacco. People know smoking is deadly. But they don’t think french fries are.”

I cannot, in good faith, leave a discussion of poor diet without making at least one small reference to the worst “food” of all—what advertisers call “the other white meat.” The September 30th issue of NEWSWEEK Magazine contained an article entitled, “A Tale Of Two Hogs.” I was stricken by a simple piece of logic: If you are what you eat, and they are what they eat—then, if you eat them, you are what they eat!

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