Benzene in soft drinks or How I Learned to Quit Worrying and Love My Cigarettes

While doing my normal rounds of news gathering I came upon this article on benzene in soft drinks. Now, this really is no surprise to me, but how about you? How about your friends and parents? How many people do you think actually pay attention to such things?

Now, I know the spokesman from the FDA said everything was fine, and it may very well be. But, in the long run of our lives can this really be healthy? Benzene in our water, our soft drinks. Millions of vehicles spewing carbon monoxide everywhere we go. Industrial power plants gushing out millions of cubic tons of waste 24 hours a day. Petrochemicals in almost every product we touch on a daily basis. Artificial sugars, preservatives and food coloring in all the food we consume. Can this really be good for us? Can this really be described as progress?

Daily we are bombarded by books, experts, articles and spokespeople lecturing us on what is healthy for our bodies, how we should treat ourselves, and what is “good” for us. Are they serious? We walk around in a society that is built on polluting and corrupting Mother Nature and they want to tell us what is good for us? Why can’t they just be honest and tell us something like, “I know our lives are dirty and your body is rejecting half the crap you expose it to on a daily basis, but here are some stop gap measures that should help you be a productive and consumptive automaton for a few extra years.”

For the past 150 years now we have continued to develop and progress our technology in order to make our lives simpler and easier. At the same time we have corrupted our bodies with dirty air, water and food. My astute readers are aware, I am sure, that certain amounts of feces are permitted in our food. Some might also be aware that we feed livestock with the dead remains of other livestock, a situtation that has lead to more than one bacteria/viral outbreak in humans. We have continuously sacrificed improving the health and sustainability of our way of life just so we can continue to be economically indepedent and progressive. If Congress had been steadily raising automotive fuel standards we would enjoy both cleaner air and energy independence. So why?

Why indeed. Is is because in the back of our heads we know that this process is harmful but we are addicted to the comforts and luxuries it provides? Is it because we are driven by our fear of foreign dominance? Is it because we are, as the conservatives argue, very base and ugly creatures incapable of actually putting our reason to any truly positive project in the world?

How very uplifting. Time to go smoke.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.