New York- December 31st, 2010- There are some people who really defy the odds, but to say John Joseph is a survivor is an understatement.
A severely traumatic childhood in foster homes led Joseph to the raw, mean streets of NYC in the late 70’s. Violence, hustling, and addiction was the urban landscape with no light at the end of the tunnel.
Joseph found his way into the burgeoning Punk Rock scene and into the association of Washington DC’s iconic Bad Brains which introduced the topics of spirituality and a vegetarian diet to him- from there Joseph went to front one of the most influential and important bands in the hardcore punk scene: The Cro-Mags. With a crafted blend of street politics and eastern philosophy that could never be duplicated, the Cro-Mags became synonymous with hardcore punk.
Joseph chronicled his amazing story in 2007 with his gripping book Evolution of a Cro-Magnum. As a creative and progressive individual, Joseph wasn’t ready to call it quits with just one book though- He decided to take on the modern industrial food system and the downsides of conventional meat and dairy consumption with a new offering in 2010 entitled ::ahem:: Meat is for Pus*ies (further referred to as MIFP). A pull no punches holistic vegan manual that covers nutrition and outlines a basic diet and exercise plan. MIFP also confronts the deep rooted issues within the modern food system and the multi-national food corporations that control it.
As for writing this book, Joseph had this to say about food:
“Food is very important to me because I grew up in a broken home and abusive foster home where it wasn’t provided for me and my two brothers. That was the catalyst which affected my entire outlook. I know hands down I would have continued in a life of crime if I didn’t meet the Bad Brains and had been introduced to a vegetarian lifestyle. This started a spiritual quest that also led to exercise, yoga and Krishna consciousness. Once I changed what I put in me, it changed my view about myself, taking care of my body, and my outlook on the environment where I lived. You can say it made me a more at peace person, not that I wouldn’t run up on you if I had to- ha ha…”
Now what drew the ire of Joseph to have him write and come up with the triple entendre name of the book was the misguided conception that one needs to eat meat to be “strong” and a “real man”– Joseph spends a good bit of energy (and NYC humor) putting this myth to rest in MIFP. Though what gets him going even moreso is the critical state of a high-jacked modern food system and how it is paralleling our declining physical, mental, and spiritual health and well-being.
If one does due diligence in looking into this matter there are 2 “usual suspects” that tend to come up: Monsanto and the “Codex Alimentarius” food code, which Joseph dedicates a couple of chapters to addressing.
Codex Alimentarius is one of the major players behind limiting public access to nutritional products and information- objectives of Codex are to: Strip nutrients out of all food and remove ingredient labeling (in the name of food safety) • Abolish small farms and organic farming • Popularize GM (genetically modified) foods and livestock • Restrict all vitamins, herbs, minerals and natural remedies.
Monsanto is a multi national food corporation whose agenda is to patent and genetically modify all seeds- Thus giving corporations the last piece of the food system puzzle: control of the entire food system, from seed to finished product.
I caught up with Joseph to get a more personal account on these two extremely important topics and this is what transpired:
Adam Omkara: So to an average person, the GM and Monsanto party line may not sound so bad and they do a job to make it seem palatable to the general public- Make food production more efficient, help farms, increase shelf life, etc. Though peeling back the corporate front and getting to the core of the subject, what would you consider the inherent issues in opposition to Monsanto/GMO’s and their plan that the average person should be aware of?
John Joseph: First off there just haven’t been enough studies conducted on the long term safety of the foods on the public because really it hasn’t been around all that long.
What if all the crops failed after a certain amount of years?- what if after 3 generations of eating mostly GM foods we start to see irreversible problems?- these are things we just don’t know. We’re already seeing issues with GM crop failures.
Also other GMO companies have come out and said that their aim is to control the food system from seed to table. I just think monopolies are never good and it’s just scary to think about anyone having a monopoly over seeds.
If anyone has ever seen the documentary “The Future of Food” and how people can get patents and control seeds – and how someone with GM seeds blow and crossbreed with the next door farmers seed and then the corporations go sue the other farmer- there was a case in Canada that reached Canada’s highest court where Monsanto aggressively went after a farmer who got some seed mixed in his own- farmers there called it a “reign of terror”- It was awful.
We have to start paying attention to whom is running what in this country
It’s a scary situation to have these companies with everyone they have lobbying for them and postured in government- Michael Taylor and others that Obama has appointed in to “protect the food safety of America” but really these people have direct ties to Monsanto.
We really have to start paying attention to whom is running what in this country…
Adam Omkara: Well speaking of food safety, the Codex bill runs under the premise of this. Now everyone is for food safety, of course, but talk about throwing the baby out with the bathwater- extracting vitamins and minerals and considering them irrelevant or even toxins.
John Joseph: and mandatory irradiation of all fruits and vegetables which would disrupt nutrition and kill vital nutrients. - I deal with a lot of raw foods people like Dr. Bisci and everyone is in congruence that the phyto-nutrients and enzymes in those foods is what is fighting disease in your body and keeping us healthy and balanced-
So now bill S.510 has passed, and little by little this whole thing (Codex) is becoming implemented.
Its not that Codex came out of nowhere, I remember hearing about it in the late 80’s while working at health food stores in New York City. They tried to implement it back then, but enough people protested. They seemed to have backed away some, but its being implemented bit by bit.
You can’t react to something you don’t know about
And so how do you sell and push this? Well the public is controlled through ignorance and fear- By ignorance I mean, well it’s hard to react to something you don’t know about, don’t entirely understand, or just get fed half truths. We are talking about this in a major mainstream forum right now, which is great- In general though these topics aren’t covered in the mainstream media, so how are people really supposed to know?
By fear, well bills such as S.510 which are there to “protect us” and for our “safety.” Really though, these corporate conglomerates don’t care about our health, America, or Americans- Their only concern is their bottom line, as its just business to them.
“Let thy food be thy medicine”- Good for us, not good for Pharmaceutical Companies.
But, I would peel back the veil even further and say this. For example if you seen the movie “Forks over knives” from Dr. Campbell and Dr. Esselstyn you saw people that from eating natural, organic, raw foods for 4-5 months totally turn around and manage chronic and debilitating diseases. They showed a guy who had type 2 diabetes pushing $400 of prescription drugs into the garbage after all his changes. And this is what Hippocrates said: “Let thy food be thy medicine”
So I believe that with the food movements now people are finding out natural alternatives to heal themselves, and/or eating healthy to not get sick in the first place- so what do you really need all this medicine for? What if half the population woke up to this and pushed their medicines aside and/or never got sick in the first place? That would be utterly dismal for some of the most powerful corporations in existence.
So my thoughts are that the drug companies do what they can within their posturing to shut out the natural food industry- their competition. They have a big part to play in this.
In business, it’s all about out maneuvering and defeating the competition, right? And that’s what this is. Its just business to them- nothing more, nothing less.
When in doubt, follow the money!
The more people find out about all this, the more people are going to get really, really pissed and this is where the public ignorance comes into play- keep the veil over all of this by keeping the whole truth from the public.
Yeah sure, these companies are really protecting us: sterilizing and irradiating our food and at the same time allowing dozens of cancer causing environment destroying pesticides out in the public and allowing the chemicals in our foods that are linked to illness and disease.
If you go into all of what codex is instituting, it’s madness- but in it’s madness there are companies, corporations that benefit from it in the billions of dollars- make no mistake about that.
If there ever is any doubt, Follow the $— that’s what I always say.
Health = human potential: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually
These topics are of the upmost importance to understand and take action on.
Health = human potential: physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Irradiated, processed food equals a homogenized and processed well being. Our health, diet and well-being are one thing we all have in common: Rich, poor, white, black, hindu, christian, muslim.
John Joseph has risen through the depths of unthinkable disparity to deliver a message of hope, action and maximizing our potential- proving that any individual can take action on their own level and create change- This starts with ones own life and the choices that we make. Let us use the essence of Joseph’s message of awareness and determination to give us focus in the New Year and make ’11 a year of action!
Related Omkara World Articles: Killing Joke- A message of conscious rasing through unity and simplicity - Killing Joke talks Codex and its song “The Great Cull”
Adam is a Reiki Master, certified Health and Lifestyle counselor, Intrinsic Coach, Licensed Massage Therapist, 20 year practicing bramana initiated Bhakti Yogi, Spiritual advisor, visionary, jock and veteran of the “hardcore punk scene” all rolled into one. His clients have included celebrities, politicians, professional athletes, and professional sport team owners. Adam is the founder of Omkara World and produced the mind/body fitness DVD “Intelligent Fitness.”
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