Trick and Treat : How ‘Healthy Eating’ Is Making Us ILL
By Barry Groves
It is becoming increasingly obvious that despite modern dietary advice, the incidence of degenerative disease is rising precipitously. Chronic illness, in its many different forms, has become so prevalent that Generation X and even their Baby Boomer parents are beginning to view this alarming trend as normal. It seems that we are all so busy flitting from one medical specialist to another that no one has a chance to step back and evaluate the predicament we are in. This distressing situation of increasing frailty and disease should be a signal for us to examine the very foundation of mainstream nutritional guidelines. The timing of this book review happens to coincide with the updating of the USDA Food Pyramid. The general advice has been to increase grains, fruits and vegetables and to decrease the consumption of protein and fat. The proposed 2010 USDA recommendations reinforce and extend this basic advice of increasing starch in the diet while lowering the intake of fat and protein. Could the exponential rise in the incidence of diabetes be related to the USDA recommendations?
Just when I begin to think that I have now read all the crucial information there is to read concerning nutrition, another book comes along that fascinates, educates and intrigues me. Trick and Treat is one of those books. I couldn’t put it down. The author, Barry Groves takes the increase in degenerative disease very seriously. He does an amazing job of aiming his laser pointer at the very institutions and nutritional concepts that he feels are responsible for the world’s declining health. This book is so packed with helpful information that it is difficult to know where to begin. Perhaps the limerick from page 36 can summarize the main emphasis of this book.
“Any doctor today must have stealth
As he deals with his patients’ ill health
Let me tell you my friend,
What goes on in the end
Is a State-Sanctioned transfer of wealth”
The only way we can remedy a problem is by understanding its origins. I feel that Barry Groves does an excellent job of communicating to us what he believes is the foundation of the world’s growing health crisis. He places much of the blame on the pharmaceutical companies, the processed food corporations, government health agencies, and other facets of the health industry. Groves shows us how money, power and control are acquired through presenting false and harmful nutritional recommendations to the public as fact. He goes on to demonstrate how this false nutritional information causes disease, which the corporations and related government agencies then profit from. He cautions us not to place too much blame of the doctors because Groves feels that many doctors are unwitting pawns in this underhanded scheme. Many physicians believe that what they are being taught by the pharmaceutical companies is truth. In fact…..the drug companies are the main source of information and play a very large role in the education of doctors. The medical industry funds the universities, teaches the doctors at medical conferences and through drug representatives. Very often the medical journal studies are biased towards the companies which fund them.
In chapter one the author covers what I feel is an extremely important topic……astroturfing. I was very interested in this section as I have witnessed this strategy being used in Lyme disease support/activism groups, cancer support groups, M.S support groups….etc. and I feel it is imperative for patients to be aware of this tactic so as not to be influenced and harmed by it. Groves explains astroturfing on page 35. “So, if you can’t trust your doctor as an impartial source, who can you turn to? One answer might seem to be an independent patient support group that supplies helpful information and advice on specific disease. Sorry, that probably won’t help either: these groups are also targeted by the drug companies. They call it ‘astroturfing’.
The Ekbom Support Group which helps advise people with restless leg syndrome was discovered to have been ‘astroturfed’ by Glaxo-Smithkline (GSK), the manufacturer of Adartrel, a drug for restless leg syndrome. GSK helped Ekbom set up its website and Ekbom was found to be actively promoting Adartrel. This underhanded trick might never have come to light if the website hadn’t started to promote the drug some eight months before it had been approved. The British Medical Journal investigated 28 other support groups. They found that 27 were being funded by drug companies, and were presenting information that was, at best, partial. The journal found that they all seemed to be pushing specific drugs to treat conditions, while downplaying the risks.”
Astroturfing does not just involve drug companies. Examine a support group or activism group you may be interested in and also check for ties to blood testing companies, research institutions and or medical equipment providers. I have found that the groups which are controlled in this manner very rarely focus on true nutritional solutions.
Groves doesn’t just dwell on the causes and problems. At the same time that he is warning us and exposing the deceit, he is also educating us concerning what we can do to become healthier. Much of his diet information coincides with that of Dr. Price and Dr. Pottenger. Some of the subjects he covers in this amazing book are: 1. Soy products, fluoride and how they affect the thyroid gland. 2. The phony war on salt. 3. Important information on sunlight exposure. 4. Moderate exercise versus extreme exercise. 5. The importance of a low carbohydrate high fat diet. 6. Arthritis 7. Valuable information on obesity and heart disease. 8. How diet affects the stomach and the brain 9. An informative chapter on diabetes….and much more. Tick and Treat is a treasure- trove of helpful information
Near the end of the book the author talks more about solutions and gives us hope that people are beginning to wake up and how the backlash has begun. He emphasizes the dangers of monopolies and how monopolies inevitably use their power to gain even more power and control. Groves tells us “ Professional associations, standard setting bodies, and individual institutions around the world are beginning to disentangle themselves from some of the unhealthy flows of money and influence. These are indications of a desire on the part of concerned doctors to redefine fundamentally the relationships between doctors and drug companies.”
At the end, Groves reminds us that ultimately we are responsible for our own health. Part of our suffering has been due to our willingness to give this responsibility over to others….doctors, government and corporations. Now is the time to educate ourselves…to do our own research and to question any information delivered to us by the above sources. Groves encourages us and informs us that we do have the power to change our unfortunate circumstances. The author’s parting words are….. “ Price found that it took only one generation of eating such food (processed) to destroy these peoples’ health and immunity. My hope is that it will take only one generation to restore it.”
I truly loved this book
and would recommend it to anyone who wants to be enlightened and empowered.