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Sunday, 28 June 2015
DIET OF DEATH IN THE PACIFIC
In writing this report, I am focusing on Papua New Guinea and several
countries in the Pacific area where the people suffer death due to lifestyle
habits. These include diet, lack of exercise and too much beer.
Before starting on these matters, it
is important to understand aspects of the physiology of the body. Our body
consists of a digestive system that starts in the mouth and ends in the rectum.
Food passes into the mouth where
digestion starts with the enzyme amylase that begins the break-down of starch.
Further break-down occurs with amylase in the stomach. Food is further broken
down in the duodenum with bile from the liver.
The absorption of nutrients takes
place in the small intestine with water and salts. It occurs through the
hundreds of small fingers called the villi found on the gut wall. Food is
absorbed and passes into the hepatic portal vein that takes the nutrients to
In the wall of the small intestine
are the capillaries of the lymph system called the lymphatics which link to the
lymph vessel that goes up to join the large veins of the heart known as the
pass though the hepatic portal vein to the liver. Fats pass through the
lymphatics to enter the heart and go down to the liver. So the accumulation of
fats is on the lymph vessels, vena cava and heart. Blockage of the heart by
fats causes heart attack and possible death.
We have only to examine the sheep
hearts we buy in the supermarket to see accumulations of fat on the upper area
of the heart. And sheep only eat grass !!
The function of the liver is to break
down chemicals. So we can make our liver work far too hard by eating and
drinking large numbers of chemicals from processed food on a long term basis.
The liver can eventually give up, increased by liver damage called cirrhosis. Diabetes 2 brings damage to the kidneys.
Now we come to the diet of death in the Pacific and
elsewhere. Let us start with fats from fatty meat and coconut milk.
Australian and New Zealand sheep farmers send all their old fatty rubbish meat to
the meat works that is sent in cartons to the Pacific nations. Some mutton is
just a slab of fat with a streak or two of muscle. To make matters worse it is
cooked in fatty coconut milk.
The life span of many Pacific people
is 48 years old. Men in particular die of heart attacks after a lifetime of
fatty meat with fat that passes up the lymph vessels to the vena cava and into
Men and more and more women make
matters worse by binge drinking of beer. These days in PNG, young men come in a
vehicle to a settlement area in a car with a loudspeaker. That way they avoid
They play loud music until dawn,
drinking the cartons of beer from the boot of the car, playing loud
boom-boom-boom music and dancing with a stubby in their hand. A person who
drinks large quantities of beer over many years will suffer several problems.
will have a large beer gut and waddle like a duck at 35 years old. Their liver
will be grossly overworked. That is all the overworking many men do. Diet of
food will be replaced by alcoholic drink. Men do no exercise, absorb too much
sugar in alcohol, smoke and risk the onset of diabetes 2.
Healthy diet problems in Papua New
Guinea are the result of many factors. There is not enough land for gardens. Many
women do not make gardens but prefer to buy processed food in the trade store. Many families live on noodles.
Many have no idea of diet having left
school early. The standard diet of many PNG families is biscuits, white buns,
twisties and Coca Cola. These are all carbohydrates. Small children arrive at
the store in the afternoon with two kina for the evening meal. Mother is
Some men earn money from jobs but do
not give money to their wives who are expected to find the evening meal
somewhere. If she has a stall, he may demand that money too. The cheapest meal
comes with a bag of flour made into pan cakes cooked in oil. This is processed
There is a very lazy way of marketing
in this country that involves little work. A product is bought to be broken up
and sold one item at a time.
A packet of cigarette or lollies or a
carton of soft drinks can be sold at a small profit. But they join the line of
several women doing the same. Marketers with initiative try to sell car to car
at traffic lights.
Very few women would go to the market
for a greens, carrots, beans, cabbage and potatoes as the family diet of
vegetables. There will be no fruit.
Even an apple or orange could be cut
up for the children. She may not have the K5. Diet requires a little education.
Most women do not have education. Many families live on a diet of carbohydrate
and no protein.
In modern PNG, we find that the old
people may live until 75 years old. Their sons die at 48 years of age. An old
man lived on the Kokoda track and stayed healthy to 104 years old. He followed a Seventh
Day Adventist lifestyle.
people had a way of life that came from living in the mountains, walking bush
tracks to town, carrying heavy loads, digging gardens, eating mainly vegetables
and drinking mainly water from the creek. They did not eat too much food. Garden food gave all the protein they needed. Protein is not just from meat.
Their children came to town and
learned to eat rubbish food cooked in oil, eat their evening meal in the
Chinese rubbish food shops, have a permanent diet of tinned fish and white
rice, drink alcohol, drive everywhere or catch buses and do no exercise.
So the Pacific diet of death is well
established in PNG and other countries in the Pacific. Positive Living belongs
to those with the education and good sense to know that they live and die by
the lifestyle they follow.
Children may die from diet and from
inhaling the cigarette smoke of their mother. A small child being breast fed by
a foolish mother with a cigarette in her mouth may well suffer hardening of the
arteries or lung problems in later age. Bruce Copeland BA BEdSt Teacher of Biology and Personal Development