I am so encouraged bu all these great people who are working so hard to fund raise for the Canadian Cancer Society through Relay for Life. It is really nice to see people so committed to eradicating this plague.
At the same time, I see such a fundamental problem with the public education around the carcinogens that are so ubiquitous in this society. I don’t want to criticize the people who are fundraising for this great cause but I also want people to know that curing cancer is about more than just fundraising and about doctors in lab coats. It is about making a fundamental change to society and to how individuals choose to live their lives.
A recent neighbourhood yard sale was a great example. There were lots of people raising money through coffee sales and BBQs for their Relay for Life team. These action has wonderful intentions but the food our society finds acceptable for sale at these events are loaded with carcinogens and sugar and other disease causing ingredients. The hot dogs are loaded with nitrates. According to the Cancer Prevention Coalition, three different studies have come out in the last year linking nitrates in hot dogs to childhood cancer. The pop people were selling is linked to obesity (a major cause of cancer) and chronic illness like diabetes. Sugary sodas have also now been linked to pancreatic cancer.
Now, I can’t say it enough times, I am not criticizing the well meaning and committed people who are raising money for the Relay for Life and other cancer fundraisers. They are doing important work and I support them 100%. What I am criticizing is society and its belief that the solution to this problem lies with someone else: with the researchers or the doctors or the food manufacturers. It has to start with education and personal choice. Our grocery stores think its okay to sell products loaded with known carcinogens. The product manufacturers will continue to make and sell the products with dozens of ingredients you can’t even pronounce, let alone have any idea of their origin. They will continue to do so unless people stop buying those products.
We need to speak with our wallets. Other products, once with fewer toxic ingredients (isn’t that a sad comment on society that I have to writer ‘fewer toxic ingredients’ as opposed to none), are starting to make their way onto the shelves. Please, buy the hot dogs or deli meat made without nitrates. Buy the bread made with flour, yeast and ingredients you understand. Read the labels and understand what you are feeding your family.
Please, demand more of your food. In the month two more close friends have been hit with cancer diagnoses, one of them terminal. Raising money is an important part of eradicating cancer but the biggest impact you can have is in your own life and in that of your family. Educate yourself and help us all make healthier choices.