Weaponized Food

Weaponized Food
Highly processed foods now make up 60 percent of the average American diet. (beats1/Shutterstock)
Raw Egg Nationalist

Food today has become a weapon, an offensive tool used against the best interests of individuals and their communities, including their nations. Don’t believe me? Just look at the class of food commonly referred to as processed food. (That’s all food prepared in factories and wrapped in plastic, and contains ingredients you wouldn’t find in a normal home kitchen, such as emulsifiers, stabilizers, humectants, and preservatives.)

Processed food is designed by companies that make it to be as addictive as possible. Of course, they don’t quite say that themselves. Instead, they use the term “hyper-palatability”—but it amounts to the same thing. Armies of highly paid researchers deliberately exploit the complicated neurobiology of food pleasure, including sensations such as sweetness, saltiness, crunch, and chew, to ensure that consumers reach the so-called “bliss point” and just can’t stop eating the scientists’ creations.

A 2019 study showed that we eat processed foods 30 percent faster than normal foods, and, as a result, our bodies’ natural hormonal mechanisms to signal satiety don’t have time to respond. That means we overeat. And if most of what we eat is processed food, that means we overeat all the time.
A BBC documentary from 2021 called “What Are We Feeding Our Kids?” provides a dramatic illustration of the effects this weaponized food is having. Dr. Chris van Tulleken, by all accounts a fairly normal, healthy man in his 40s, spent a month eating a diet consisting of 80 percent ultra-processed food. Such a diet is now the norm for 20 percent of the adult population of Britain. A recent study revealed that children aged between 2 and 5 in the UK now get almost two-thirds of their daily calories from processed foods.

Children of the same age in the United States and Australia fare little better, deriving 58 percent and 47 percent of their daily calories, respectively, from this rubbish.

Mr. Van Tulleken experienced dramatic changes after just four weeks on his new diet. He gained a considerable amount of weight. He suffered constipation and hemorrhoids. He couldn’t sleep and would even wake in the middle of the night to continue eating snacks, despite not being hungry. His libido evaporated, and he developed anxiety. Most shocking of all, though, were the changes that took place inside his brain.
MRI scans taken before and after the experiment showed a significant increase in connections in areas of the brain linked to reward and automatic behavior. Within four weeks, his brain had been rewired in the manner we might expect from a drug addict. Had he continued with his diet, the changes to the structure of Mr. Van Tulleken’s brain could have become permanent.
There can be no doubt that the dramatic dietary shift from locally produced whole foods to processed factory-made food over the past century has been a disaster for our health in the developed world. Virtually every kind of physical and mental ailment has been linked to consumption of processed food, from obesity and diabetes to cancer and even autism. What’s worse is that we seem to have given up on addressing the underlying causes of our growing ill health, and instead are resorting to ad hoc treatments such as the so-called wonder jab Wegovy/Ozempic. We get fatter and sicker, and the food manufacturers and big-pharma fat cats get richer.

Over that same time period, the character of our societies has changed dramatically. There can be no question that our unprecedented ill health and dependence on medicine has made us far less free, individually and collectively, than we have ever been. Plato’s Socrates, in the “Republic,” was right that diet could be used as one of the more subtle, but also powerful, means of social control, determining whether a people happily accepts the status quo or rebels against it.

A nation of healthy, self-reliant individuals and local communities would have responded to the coronavirus tyranny quite differently, I think. Those small segments of the United States where such values still persist, in rural red states and even among communities such as gymgoers, were visible exceptions to the general rule of terrified unthinking compliance.

A nugget made from lab-grown chicken meat is seen during a media presentation on Dec. 22, 2020, in Singapore. (Nicholas Yeo/Getty Images)
A nugget made from lab-grown chicken meat is seen during a media presentation on Dec. 22, 2020, in Singapore. (Nicholas Yeo/Getty Images)

Food could also be weaponized in other surprising ways.

In March, GOOD Meat, the lab-grown or “cultured” meat division of Eat Just Inc., received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to sell its first product, “cultured chicken,” to consumers in the United States.
While taking a deep dive into GOOD Meat’s official filings to the FDA, I discovered something extremely disturbing: The company’s product is being manufactured and safety tested by a Chinese company with links to the Chinese military’s biowarfare program.
GOOD Meat’s cultured chicken product is made in the bioreactors of a California-based firm called JOINN Biologics, a subsidiary of Beijing-based JOINN Laboratories. The California subsidiary of JOINN Laboratories made national and international headlines in 2022 when it purchased 1,400 acres in Florida in hopes of constructing a primate quarantine and breeding facility. JOINN Laboratories is among the biggest players in the global market for breeding lab animals for experimentation and had hoped to use the Florida site to expand its operations in the United States.

Many of JOINN’s top personnel are formerly affiliated with the Academy of Military Medical Sciences, which has been blacklisted and sanctioned by the U.S. Commerce Department for its alleged role in developing China’s offensive bioweapon capabilities.

The news that JOINN has ties with the Chinese military in this way wasn’t well received by U.S. lawmakers, especially Republicans, at a time when the world was still suffering the terrible effects of Chinese biological research gone wrong. It was also a time when Chinese purchases of real estate and agricultural land in the United States were coming under increasing scrutiny, as a threat to food stability and national security. Chinese companies have been buying up more and more land in strategically important locations in the United States, including hundreds of acres of land in close proximity to key military installations such as the Pearl Harbor naval base.

The political outcry, which included a response by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, ensured that JOINN Laboratories was unable to carry through its plan for the primate facility. But it hasn’t prevented the company from being involved in the introduction of a novel foodstuff to the American public.
While we might assume that the FDA knows who and what JOINN Biologics is, and whom and what the company is tied to, I wouldn’t be quite so sure. I’ve written at length about the ridiculous inadequacies of the FDA’s “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) system for the introduction of novel ingredients. Since the mid-1990s, in response to massive backlogs, companies have been allowed to follow what is known as the “self-affirmed route” for designation, which is what GOOD Meat has been doing.

Basically, a company will convene its own panel of experts to judge the safety of its new product, and then send an information dossier to the FDA, which decides whether to accept or reject the dossier’s findings.

As part of this process, the FDA doesn’t have independent investigative power: It considers only the information presented in the dossier. I don’t think it takes too much imagination to see how open this process is to abuse and how much it favors corporations rather than consumers. One highly critical study of the system described it, quite rightly, as “the fox guarding the hen house.” The GOOD Meat dossier says virtually nothing about the company that’s actually manufacturing its product, beyond its technical capabilities to do so.

We need to take food security seriously. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is engaged in a multifarious unconventional war with the United States. We already know that the CCP has weaponized academia, social media platforms such as TikTok, social-protest movements, Hollywood, pharmaceuticals, and illegal drugs such as fentanyl to weaken its main global competitor in ways it could never have hoped to achieve by conventional means.

So is it unreasonable to speculate that the CCP would exploit the vulnerabilities of the food regulation system to introduce harmful foods to the American diet? Let’s hope we never have to find out.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Raw Egg Nationalist is the author of “The Eggs Benedict Option,” which is available from Amazon and other third-party retailers.
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