Note: This column was originally published on May 9th a few years ago. The date is significant, for Russians.
Fifteen years ago, I had an eye-opening experience about perspective. On the way to work I stopped at a food cart to order breakfast: coffee with heavy cream and artificial sweetener, 2 fried eggs over easy, and 2 strips of bacon.
The cart was owned by a father and son who were post-1989 immigrants from Russia and who were both excited to be taking a U. S. citizenship course. They quizzed me daily on American History and were always amazed that I correctly answered their questions, except one day…
They asked me, “Do you know what day today is?” I said, “No.” They were both delighted. They had stumped me! They said triumphantly, “It’s May 9th, the day that World War II ended!” I smiled and replied, “You mean it’s the date WWII ended in Europe.” They both looked puzzled. I continued, “War continued in the Pacific.” There was a long pause while they thought about that, and then the son said, “Oh, you mean Vietnam!”
I smiled and had to explain that for the United States, WWII was fought on two fronts; that the Japanese had attacked the U. S. at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941; and that the Pacific theater of the war didn’t end until August ‘45 when the U. S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Japan then surrendered, September 3, 1945, on what we call V-J Day. Americans refer to the end of WWII in Europe as V-E Day.
To a degree it’s understandable that Russians have a different perspective of WWII. U.S. military losses in 4 years of war on two fronts were only 5% of Soviet military losses in 4 years of war on one front. Every country has a chauvinist view of history, but there’s no denying that U. S. deaths, none on its own territory, were just over 400 thousand, whereas Russian military and civilian deaths, most on their own territory, were 27 million.
A similar disparity exists today in the battle over a healthy diet. The leaders of the public health and medical establishments, and the civilian population that follows their advice, are dying in droves from a multitude of metabolic diseases brought on by the diet they eat. This diet has produced an epidemic of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and many types of cancer, particularly pancreatic cancer
The vast majority of these victims – both the leaders and the unwitting populace who follow them – are engaged in a losing battle. And the agricultural-industrial complex that abets them, by producing processed foods in accordance with the advice to eat less saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, and more Omega 6-loaded, oxidized vegetable oils, and a diet largely comprised of refined carbohydrates and simple sugars, is killing them.
I don’t blame the two Russian men for not knowing about the war the U. S. fought in the Pacific both before and after V-E Day. Their government was justly proud of the enormous sacrifice the people of the Soviet Union made to win WWII in Europe. Their government should be faulted, however, for educating them poorly. I doubt that they knew, for example, that U. S. industrial production provided huge amounts of war material, some of it in Soviet flag ships sent from the U. S. west coast to Vladivostok, free from Jap attack due to a Soviet -Japanese non-aggression pact!
Unavoidably, however, one must conclude that the outcome of the “healthy diet” battle will be determined by leaders on the field of battle. I’m just a lowly Lieutenant in that battle, doing my best to educate people about healthy eating from an ancestral perspective. But, if you continue to follow the government’s advice, and go into battle led by General Mills and General Foods, you will have made an unhealthy choice, and will end up…well, up Battle Creek.
The U. S. had a definite advantage in WWII. We had two oceans to protect us, enormous natural resources, the industrial capacity to produce the means to fight, and the individual, human potential to meet the challenge. Today, as individuals, we are faced with another challenge: to make the right choices about what to eat, free from influence from an inherently conflicted agricultural-industrial complex. You can still make a decision to improve your chance for survival in this battle. A new perspective can help you make that choice.