Labels: Bad, bad, bad.

Labels Are Just Bad for You.

That’s right: labels are bad. Specifically, labels that are there to mislead or misinform their intended audience. In many cases, this is a political audience (read, “Conservative” or “Liberal”) and in many cases this is a consumer audience (“Healthy Choice” or “Laugh Out Loud Funny” or “Fun For The Whole Family”)…

The truth is, labels are not to be trusted at face value. Anyone who only pays attention to a label is likely to swallow something toxic, whether they realize it or feel the immediate results at all, the toxicity is nonetheless introduced to the system.

While I am constantly at odds with major grocery chains over the brands they carry with names like “Eating Right” (an actual brand that has perhaps less unhealthy options than some of its competition but still manages to squeeze unhealthy and unnecessary ingredients into the mix), this is a problem that plagues our society on a deep, philosophical level. Sure, we should ALWAYS look at the ingredient list on the label of anything we plan to consume. Soups, for example, are routinely poisoned with MSG, a chemical that is sold as a “flavor enhancer” because it causes the taste buds to become over-excited. This same chemical has been proven to cause neurological damage and frequently sets off reactions in sensitive people. And, honestly, if food is made to taste good from the beginning, substances like MSG would not be needed to counter the banal tastelessness of most mass-produced foodstuffs. But this is a subject for another thread…

The point is, in some obvious ways, by not reading our list of ingredients we are unknowingly shoveling things like highly toxic yellow or red dyes and impossible to process agents like hydrogenated oils and addictive substances like high fructose corn syrup which have been shown to actually sap the body of nutrients… There is a growing list of ingredients that are no longer allowed in my house, comprised of some items which have a surprisingly long and open history of being “exposed” as unhealthy and some items which have only more recently been brought to light as being bad for you. It is stunning to know how long Aspartame has been on the market, considering that its health issues were known long before it became the common alternative to sugar that it still is today.

But food labels are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. When we consider that the world we live in is neither “black” nor “white,” it is astounding that people get so hung up on terms like “conservative” and “liberal” when talking about politics. In reality, the term “conservative” is supposed to mean someone who wants things to essentially stay the same, whereas the term “liberal” is supposed to imply one who wants change. This is not the same thing as the terms “Left” and “Right” which are intended to designate the end of the political spectrum toward which a person is inclined. But “Liberals” are automatically “Leftists” and “Conservatives” are automatically far to the “Right” in so much typically dogmatic chatter that the terms themselves fail to hold any true meaning after a while.

And this is dangerous. For everyone.

Labels have become just another way to marginalize ideas. They are thrown about easily in order to discredit individuals or concepts, to polarize the conversation and generally to distract from the truth.

And, as such, they are just plain bad for you.

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