What Your News and Your Groceries Have in Common
The Surprising Link Between What You Eat and What You Watch
What does the apple in our fruit bowl have to do with evening news? A great deal. The junk we ingest into our stomachs isn’t dissimilar from the junk we consume with our minds. It’s time we considered what effect our chronic consumption of substandard products has on how we think, how we behave, and ultimately how we vote.
In a prior article, I illustrated how market distortion has overtaken the production of food. To summarize, factory farms and big food corporations are forced by shareholders to grow profits quarterly, even as they face a limited number of stomachs to feed.
Since human beings cannot be force-fed, companies have increasingly shifted toward producing only foods that carry the highest profit margins: foods that are easily harvested by machine and keep well on store shelves.
The problem is this: foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and Omega-3 fatty acids that are essential to our health, are also the very same foods that begin to decompose before they even hit store shelves.
The end result is that we consume less diversity of food, with lower nutritional content, than our biology intended. This is true even for the “greens” you buy at the local farmer’s market.
Even worse, many “foods” also now come laden with high fructose corn syrup, designed to cheaply dial up the sweetness content and trigger our body’s biological predisposition toward high-calorie foods.
Indeed, this is likely the root cause of modern diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
The News Media
The news media has been consumed by the same profit-driven market distortion. In order to continually expand their stock price, news corporations no longer report the news…they entertain.
They now roll out flashy graphics, sound effects, catchy (and often misleading) headlines, all carefully curated to trigger the parts of the brain that keep your attention.
Today’s news media is carefully designed to pull at our emotions, keep us outraged, and keep us glued to the TV or phone, just as our food is chemically engineered to keep us eating. But neither are wholesome, balanced, nor even genuine.
The media has even branded itself to suit differing socio-political leanings, just like your potato chips come in various flavors. But like those chips, the “news” that we consume today is predominantly soundbites or surface-level coverage that does as little to educate, as it does to actually satiate.
And just like the cereal aisle, where only a few manufacturers control a large portion of the market, creating the illusion of choice for the consumer, most of our news comes from just a few mega-corporations.
Just as our food leaves us malnourished and overfed, our news media is bombarding us with more information than ever, but counterintuitively, leaving us less informed.
The reach of the ill-informed has been magnified in the era of social media. Social media enables like-minded and equally misinformed individuals to reinforce each other in echo chambers of ever cascading madness. Millions of people are falling into rabbit holes of their own creation, becoming radical in their mistaken beliefs, and militant in their defense of those beliefs.
This is not good for you, me, the country, or the world. It is not good for anyone except the corporate giants who profit from your addiction to distraction.
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