Why not put Heroin in our Cornflakes?

loureedcornflakesIn 1898, the Bayer Co. offered a new opiate cough medicine called Heroin.  Like most opioids, unadulterated heroin does not cause many long-term complications other than dependence and constipation. 

Adulterated “street” heroin however is considered to be one of the most harmful drugs especially if consumed intravenously. (1)

In the same year, Kellogg brothers introduced a new product called CornflakesCornflakes is a food made by combining cooked corn along with sugar and vitamins.

By the year 2002, Kellogg’s products were manufactured in 19 countries and marketed in more than 160 countries worldwide.  In 2006,  full-year revenues for the company were US$11 billion making Kellogg’s the world’s leading producer of ready-to-eat cereal products. Overall annual sales in 2006 were up 7.2%.

 Also on the up, in recent years, have been suicide rates. In the last 45 years, suicide rates have increased by 60% worldwide. Suicide is now among the three leading causes of death among those aged 15-44 (male and female).

Research has shown that 90% of people who kill themselves have depression. Depression is one of the most common psychological issues facing people who suffer from chronic pain.

Consider these statistics:

  • According to the American Pain Foundation, about 32 million people in the U.S. report have had pain lasting longer than one year.
  • From one-quarter to more than half of the population that complain of pain to their doctors, are depressed.
  • On average, 65% of depressed people also complain of pain.

In the past, taking morphine was one method of relieving pain. Not only does it relieve pain, it also helps prevent pain. (Gorman, 1997)

Morphine works on receptors in the cell membrane producing a variety of effects. The most important of these is relief of pain – it is used in anesthesia. This is an effect of its action on the spinal cord to decrease the transmission of painful stimuli from body to brain, and its action within the brain itself.

However, morphine has a high potential for addiction and both physical and psychological dependence develop rapidly.

In 1898 – while trying to find a less addictive form of morphine – the Bayer chemical cartel of Elberfeld, Germany, began manufacturing ‘heroin’ and launched a massive international marketing campaign. Heroin is a drug made from morphine, a natural substance in the seedpod of the Asian poppy plant.

But heroin was found to be more addictive than morphine and was outlawed in 1923 by the US Government and the League of Nations.  Still, that is 25 years of high profit. Not a bad bit of business.

Another substance found to be every bit as addictive as heroin, is sugar. Recently scientists have discovered that rats which have become addicted to sugar act the same and have the same brain chemistry as rats addicted to heroin.

Processed sugars cause a rise in the insulin level of the blood. This also raises endorphin levels. These sugars cause the body to have a chemical high, mentally, which results in a lift in mood.

Continuous large doses of sugar overtime, usually cause the brain’s endorphin sites to slow production or close sites to regulate the amount of endorphins in the brain. When the body cuts back on endorphin production, it reduces the amount of endorphins available in the body at any given time. The lack of enough endorphin in the brain causes slight, to deep depression.

To maintain a normal level of endorphins in the brain, the individual must eat more sugar to get out of depression and maintain a normal mood level. This causes a vicious cycle of addiction, physiologically (Nay, 1996). This is also directly comparable to the cycle that is developed after excessive endorphins are released into the body from the use of alcohol.

However, sugar addiction brings additional health risks. If reasonable levels are maintained, your body uses sugar to survive, and burns sugar to provide you with the energy necessary for life. The problem arises when excessive amounts are consumed.

When your liver is maximally full, the excess sugar is converted by the liver into fatty acids and returned to the bloodstream, where is taken throughout your body and stored as fat including, but not limited to, regions of the stomach, hips, butt and breasts.

Once these regions are full, the fatty acids begin to spill over into your organs, like the heart, liver and kidneys. This reduces organ ability, raises blood pressure, decreases metabolism, and weakens the immune system.

So can’t we just stop putting sugar in our tea?

Well, it’s not that simple. We get hooked at an early age and are continued to be fed sugar into adulthood.

How?

Food manufacturers have cottoned on to sugar’s addictive powers. Get your consumer addicted – the earlier the better.

According to a recent report, the most popular brands of breakfast cereal – including those targeted at children – are laden with sugar. Typical portions of some were found to contain more sugar than a Cadbury Chocolate Flake, despite manufacturers’ claims to be reducing the level of unhealthy ingredients.

Thirty one of the one hundred cereals examined were found to contain more than four teaspoons of sugar per recommended serving. Only one of the twenty eight cereals specifically marketed to children was found not to be high in sugar.

With over a billion pounds spent by consumers on cereals every year, it’s not surprising sugary cereals are heavily marketed to children, to the tune of about $229 million advertising pounds per year. But an estimated 58 percent of “children`s” cereals are consumed by the over-18 crowd. So you see, the addiction policy appears to be working.

A study by Which? said there had been some “positive progress” since it reported on the healthiness of breakfast cereals in 2006.

Does “positive progress” mean we are going to wait another 25 years, as with heroin, before sugar in our kids’ cereals is banned?

If manufacturers are going to lace our foods with addictive material, would heroin or morphine be a better choice?

At least we would have less depressive folk, less pain, and fewer overweight folk. Less burden on health costs and companies like Kellogg`s can still keep their billion $ profits flowing. The only loser would be sugar refinery companies. Perhaps they should change their production line of poison to that of another, poppy cultivation.

At least it will be preventing, instead of increasing, the likelihood of death.

Just a thought.

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Top 10 for sugar content (per 100g)

Morrisons Choco Crackles (38.4g)
Kellogg’s Coco Pops Moons & Stars (37g)
Kellogg’s Frosties (37g)
Kellogg’s Ricicles (37g)
Sainsbury’s Choco Rice Pops (36g)
Tesco Choco Snaps (36g)
Nestle Cookie Crisp (35.3g)
Nestle Cheerios Honey (35.1g)
Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut (35g)
Nestlé Nesquik (35g)

Source: Which?

Gorman, Christine. 1997, April 28. “The Case for Morphine: If Nothing is Better for Pain than Narcotics, Why Don’t More Doctors Prescribe Them?” Time. 64-66.

Refined sugar – the sweetest poison of all http://www.ghchealth.com/refined-sugar-the-sweetest-poison-of-all.html

See also…
Why Does the Brain Prefer Opium to Broccoli?
Bath Salts Emerging as New Recreational Drugs
How Hemp Got High

How Magic Mushrooms Work

FILMS AND MUSIC
The Mystery of the Leaping Fish (Film from 1916)
The Narcotic Farm
Bela Lugosi – Rare 1955 interview with the first celebrity to go public with a drug addiction problem
From Russia – Krocodil Drug that Eats Junkies (WARNING: Contains some shocking images)
Films that deal with the subject of addiction
Songs about Heroin

Life as an addict

special video broadcast

life of an heroin addictAddiction: Chaos in Vancouver

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