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Your Health & Wellness, Iss #72 -- In retrospect - The Neighborhood Drug Store
May 28, 2011

(Guide to a Healthy Lifestyle)

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In retrospect - The Neighborhood Drug Store

Yesterday (Friday May 27, 2011) I had a medical exam performed at a local Care Station. The medical receptionist began asking questions in order to get my vital information. One of the questions she asked was, "What is the name of your pharmacy?"

I answered frankly, and with a slight smile, that I don't take any medication.

I smiled because not only did she not get an expected and anticipated answer, but she naturally assumed that everybody is on some kind of medication.

And I don't necessarily mean everyone who stops by a Care Station, but EVERY, or almost every, American.

You'd think that all Americans are on at least one prescription drug, or one OTC (over-the-counter) medication.

Never in my entire life have I seen so many drug stores or pharmacies. Stores like Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Eckerd, CVS, and Genovese seem to proliferate like rabbits.

And the amazing thing about these ubiquitous drug stores is the fact that they are all doing well financially.

You'd think that the sheer number and brutal competition would eliminate all but the most robust. But such is not the situation.

Not only are they all doing well, but there doesn't seem to be enough of them!

And it doesn't stop there. Major supermarkets like ShopRite and Pathmark have drug departments. And they are doing well. (I don't see them being phased out because of all the Rite-Aids or CVSes!)

It is a sad reality that America's sickness and chronic disease rate have so skyrocketed, and the prevailing media exposure has Americans believing that pharmaceuticals are the only answer, we naturally flock to medication as the answer.

Whenever my wife experiences any type of medical abnormality, she immediately calls her doctor for a prescription drug. And that sadly is the rule rather than the exception for the majority of Americans.

Back in the day when I was growing up, there were no CVSes or Rite-Aids or Walgreens. There was only the local, neighborhood drug store.

Growing up in the early '50s to mid '60s in Jersey City, New Jersey, there was only one drug store in our neighborhood. And that drug store was located on the corner of Harrison Avenue and Monticello Avenue - right up the street from where we lived.

Carlton Fredericks And to be honest with you, I don't recall our family ever being dependent on pharmaceuticals. My father believed in eating healthy and regularly visited the health food store. One of his favorite radio programs was Carlton Fredericks (1910 - 1987) on WOR.

Carlton Fredericks was a nutritionist who pioneered the way for many of today's alternate nutritionists and medical doctors.

I can tell you in one word what has generated the seemingly exponential increase in chronic disease - technology!

Unfortunately with technology comes processes which unintentionally produce environmental pollutants. But there are so-called innovations themselves which generate and spread disease.

A good example of this is factory-farmed meat or CAFO (concenrated animal feeding operations.) This process has made red meat and daily products like milk and cheese lifeless and full of hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics.

Technology has also made dirty electricity and produced electromagnetic (EMF) radiation from wireless devices like cell phones and laptop computers.

Technology is also responsible for getting millions of Americans out of the sun. How? We are so preoccupied with 24/7 television, video games, cell phones and texting that we remain sheltered in our homes. And when we finally do go out, we slather our bodies with chemical-laden sunscreens.

The result? Escalating cancers, obesity, heart disease, autism, diabetes, and other chronic disease.

When Americans go to their physicians and doctors, they are prescribed pharmaceuticals which themselves cause side effects such as heart problems and cancers.

In the meantime we are eating foods literally saturated with artificial colors, preservatives, and sweeteners. I use the word 'food' lightly because any and all nutrients have been processed out of it.

Unfortunately, America's medical protocol is to diagnose and then prescribe the medication to alleviate the disease symptoms. Finding a cure is an after-thought and prevention is barely given the time of day.

You see, cures and prevention will upset the financial aspirations of the pharmaceutical giants, food industry, insurance companies, and the health-care industry. Their profits ate built on you being - and remaining - sick.

As long as this paradigm remains true, the local neighborhood drug store will remain a distant memory. Pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens - like obesity and cancer- will continue to grow.

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Joseph Elijah Barrett, Webmaster
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