One Big Mac won’t make you fat. But you can OD on them. Pushed by “Mickey Finns” that make your body always hungry.
You scoff and scoff like it’s going out of fashion. Too many calories – boom, you’re a porker.
Except it usually happens slower than that. And there’s not a hell of a lot you can do about it.
Chubby in childhood, the pounds keep piling on. Until one day, hello forty and size 16.
It’s the Mickey Finns, see?
Invisible fat pills
None of us realise we’re taking them. They’re slipped so quietly into every meal, not even doctors realise we’re on them. Every mouthful, another little dose. An unseen diet of the most efficient growth promoters on Earth.
Make no error – these are fat boosters, Big Time. Specially chosen because they bulk up bodies fast.
One, by triggering hunger pangs all the time. Two, by never letting the body decide when to stop. And three, by making the body absorb more nutrition than it’s meant to. Nowhere to go, so all that energy is stored as fat.
Nah, we’re talking rubbish, right? Nobody in their right mind would drip-feed growth boosters to the world at large. That would trigger an obesity epidemic.
Quiet please, epidemic in progress
So would somebody please explain why two thirds of all adults are already seriously overweight or obese? And why one third of our kids are too?
Kinda looks like an epidemic, doesn’t it? Even our Chief Medical Officer *Dame Sally Davies, says so – though she attributes it to sugar.
Sugar as a growth booster?
If it was, there’d be farmers shovelling it into livestock as fast as they could. All those mouths to feed, see? 2½ billion of us worldwide fifty years ago – 7½ billion of us now. And all farmed off the same land area, because the planet hasn’t got any bigger in that time.
But farmers aren’t shovelling sugar, are they? It never even occurs to them.
Tell you what they are shovelling though.
Wholesale growth boosters
Antibiotics – 240,000 tonnes of them worldwide.
Which if we’ve done our maths right, works out to around 10 grams each for every one of the 19 billion chickens, 1.4 billion cattle, 1 billion pigs and 1 billion sheep that currently are required to feed us.
And guess what?
Using antibiotics to boost growth at volumes like that started back in the 70s.
Back when factory farms first took off Big Time. Or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) as the industry calls them. Where antibiotics aren’t just used as growth boosters, they’re vital to keeping animals alive in super-crowded and unhygienic living conditions.
Big money though. From egg to roasting chicken in six weeks. From new born calf to Aberdeen Angus steak in 12 months. Jackpot!
Rise of Mickey Finns
70s, huh? When our current fat 40-year-olds were a twinkle in their parents’ eye.
Back when baby illnesses started regularly getting treated by antibiotics. And when doctors first noticed that antibiotics given at two years old almost guaranteed overweight youngsters by five. Even worse, when teenagers were prescribed antibiotics so often, they’d had them 17 times before they reached 20.
But how about all those animals chomping antibiotics?
Like everything else they eat, most of them get pooed out. 80% in fact, manure to enrich soil and fertilise plant crops. So it’s not just animals ingesting antibiotics, it’s plants too – fruit, cereals, grain crops, vegetables, you name it.
Animal feed crops too. So even though they get pulled off antibiotics before they’re sent to market, those animals are still noshing antibiotics with every meal. Right there in their feedstuff. Mickey Finns for animals.
Which means just about every food type in our supermarkets has antibiotic residues in it. Drip-drip growth boosters, the same as the animals get. And just like them, we’re fattening up too.
But there’s a difference.
The Mickey Finn price tag
Animal lives are short, once they’re fat they get eaten.
Humans are there for the obesity long haul. For the overweight conditions that challenge muscles, joints and breathing. For the type 2 diabetes. For the asthma, cancer and heart disease. All the joys that long term obesity brings.
Mickey Finns. And we thought they were Lifesavers.
Meanwhile all our heavyweight medics are running around, worrying about antibiotic resistance. Who cares if the drugs don’t work, they’re going to kill us anyway.
So how long before the penny drops and we dump them altogether?
* Note: Professor Dame Sally Davies was England’s Chief Medical Officer from June 2010 to September 2019. As of October 2019, the current Chief Medical Officer is Professor Chris Whitty.
Picture Copyright: poznyakov / 123RF Stock Photo
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