The Sane Society: The Great Humanistic Philosopher and Psychologist Erich Fromm on How to Save Us From Ourselves

“The whole life of the individual is nothing but the process of giving birth to himself; indeed, we should be fully born, when we die.”

 

“Every advance of intellect beyond the ordinary measure,” Schopenhauer wrote in examining the relationship between genius and insanity, “disposes to madness.” But could what is true of the individual also be true of society — could it be that the more so-called progress polishes our collective pride and the more intellectually advanced human civilization becomes, the more it risks madness? And, if so, what is the proper corrective to restore our collective sanity?

That’s what the great German humanistic philosopher and psychologist Erich Fromm (March 23, 1900–March 18, 1980) explores in his timely 1956 treatise The Sane Society (public library).

Fifteen years after his inquiry into why totalitarian regimes rise in Escape from Freedom, Fromm examines the promise and foibles of modern democracy, focusing on its central pitfall of alienation and the means to attaining its full potential — the idea that “progress can only occur when changes are made simultaneously in the economic, socio-political and cultural spheres; that any progress restricted to one sphere is destructive to progress in all spheres.”

Two decades before his elegant case for setting ourselves free from the chains of our culture, Fromm weighs the validity of our core assumption about our collective state:

Nothing is more common than the idea that we, the people living in the Western world of the twentieth century, are eminently sane. Even the fact that a great number of individuals in our midst suffer from more or less severe forms of mental illness produces little doubt with respect to the general standard of our mental health. We are sure that by introducing better methods of mental hygiene we shall improve still further the state of our mental health, and as far as individual mental disturbances are concerned, we look at them as strictly individual incidents, perhaps with some amazement that so many of these incidents should occur in a culture which is supposedly so sane.

Can we be so sure that we are not deceiving ourselves? Many an inmate of an insane asylum is convinced that everybody else is crazy, except himself.

Fromm notes that while modernity has increased the material wealth and comfort of the human race, it has also wrought major wars that killed millions, during which “every participant firmly believed that he was fighting in his self-defense, for his honor, or that he was backed up by God.” In a sentiment of chilling pertinence today, after more than half a century of alleged progress has drowned us in mind-numbing commercial media and left us to helplessly watch military budgets swell at the expense of funding for the arts and humanities, Fromm writes:

We have a literacy above 90 per cent of the population. We have radio, television, movies, a newspaper a day for everybody. But instead of giving us the best of past and present literature and music, these media of communication, supplemented by advertising, fill the minds of men with the cheapest trash, lacking in any sense of reality, with sadistic phantasies which a halfway cultured person would be embarrassed to entertain even once in a while. But while the mind of everybody, young and old, is thus poisoned, we go on blissfully to see to it that no “immorality” occurs on the screen. Any suggestion that the government should finance the production of movies and radio programs which would enlighten and improve the minds of our people would be met again with indignation and accusations in the name of freedom and idealism.

Art by Edward Gorey from The Shrinking of Treehorn

Less than a decade after the German philosopher Josef Pieper made his beautiful case for why leisure is the basis of culture, Fromm adds:

We have reduced the average working hours to about half what they were one hundred years ago. We today have more free time available than our forefathers dared to dream of. But what has happened? We do not know how to use the newly gained free time; we try to kill the time we have saved, and are glad when another day is over… Society as a whole may be lacking in sanity.

Fromm points out that we can only speak of a “sane” society if we acknowledge that a society can be not sane, which in turn requires a departure from previous theories of sociological relativism postulating that “each society is normal inasmuch as it functions, and that pathology can be defined only in terms of the individual’s lack of adjustment to the ways of life in his society.” Instead, Fromm proposes a model of normative humanism — a redemptive notion that relieves some of our self-blame for feeling like we are going crazy, by acknowledging that society itself, when bedeviled by certain pathologies, can be crazy-making for the individual…

more…

https://www.brainpickings.org/

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No Masters, No Rulers – A World Without Statist Conditioning

by Gary ‘Z’ McGee, Staff Writer, Waking Times

“The most useful piece of learning for the uses of life is to unlearn what is untrue.” ~Antisthenes

Raised, as most of us are, within nation states, it is extremely difficult to think outside the statist box. It’s tantamount to cognitive dissonance; Might as well ask a fish to breathe outside water, it’s so counterintuitive. But, and here’s the rub, we are not fish, and if we want to continue to be a progressively evolving species on this planet, we are going to have to think outside the box.

The thing is, it’s perfectly okay if “the box” is healthy, sustainable, and moral. But when it’s unhealthy, unsustainable, and immoral, like the statist box is, then it becomes imperative that we think outside of it. If we cannot do this, then we cowardly give in to indifference and ignorance, and we will be ruled by those who know how to gain power over indifference and ignorance. As Plato pointed out, “The price of apathy toward public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”

In order to recondition our statist conditioning, we’re going to have to imagine a world without masters and rulers. No mastery except for self-mastery; no rulers except for self-rule. This seems counterintuitive to our statist conditioning, but it’s not. We simply need to be a little more imaginative about the ways in which we approach the ideas of leadership and rules. Leadership does not imply the need for masters, and rules do not imply the need for a ruler. We simply need a fresh perspective, preferably one that can see past statist driven propaganda. As Plotinus said, “We must close our eyes and invoke a new manner of seeing… a wakefulness that is the birthright of us all, though few put it to use.”

No Masters Does NOT Mean No Leaders

“In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule.” ~Friedrich Nietzsche

A good leader does not seek mastery over others but mastery over the self. It is through self-mastery that a leader leads by example. No masters means no seeking mastery over others (tyranny), and no bequeathing mastery over oneself to others (slavery). It does not mean no leadership. Rather, no masters implies leadership through self-mastery, without the master-slave dynamic muddying up the waters of liberty.

The problem with growing up thinking inside the statist box is that we are brain washed into thinking that the mastery of the state, with its hierarchical power constructs and vertical oligarchy, is leadership. We are conditioned to think that our obedience to the system (house slavery) is the price we pay to not be kicked out of the nation (house).

No masters means freedom. Not the pseudo-freedom espoused by the state, but real freedom. It means no slavery, whether soft or hard. It means the individual is free to discover his/her own self-mastery through the leadership of others and not through obsequious to others or the system. As Epictetus said, “No man is free, who is not master of himself.”

A good leader knows when to follow (obey) as well as when not to follow (disobey). A true leader will not blindly kowtow to the state, but wisely question it, knowing that the state is mostly made up of individuals who tend to seek mastery over others rather than self-mastery. It’s because of this tendency that most states dissolve into authoritarian regimes that rule by force (fear and violence) rather than leadership (honor and prestige). Lest we give into the inherent insanity of the state, we must remain self-empowered individuals seeking self-mastery through sound leadership rather than self-inured individuals blindly following the mastery of the system that keeps the state entrenched.

No Rulers Does NOT Mean No Rules

“Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber.” ~Plato

As it stands, we are a nation within which the majority of us do not engage in politics. Is it any wonder we are governed by orange-faced bigots and dumb and dumber bipartisanship? Ad hominem aside, the powers that be only have power when we the people agree that they have power.

The problem is that the majority of the people are not proactively engaged in politics and tend to be ignorant to the ways in which power works. This bodes well for those in power, for the entrenched masters and rulers, but not so well for those seeking self-mastery, self-rule, and freedom and justice for all. As Lord Byron once said, “Those who will not reason are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves.” Lest we allow ourselves to become bigots, fools, and slaves, we must be proactively engaged with our own freedom and aware of how the powers that be are working to keep us that way. “No masters, no rulers” is an extremely poignant phrase that keeps us circumspect and vigilant regarding our own freedom and liberty…

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About the Author

Gary ‘Z’ McGeea former Navy Intelligence Specialist turned philosopher, is the author of Birthday Suit of God and The Looking Glass Man. His works are inspired by the great philosophers of the ages and his wide awake view of the modern world.

This article (No Masters, No Rulers – A World Without Statist Conditioning) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is printed here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Gary ‘Z’ McGee and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this statement of copyright.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/03/24/no-masters-no-rulers-world-without-statist-conditioning/

 

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Dining Out Is Just About the Worst Thing You Can Do to Your Finances

Illustration by Sibel Ergener

by John McDermott

It’s not just the check—restaurant meals put us in a ‘consumer mindset’

One of the most common pieces of advice you’ll get from personal finance experts is to eat out less. By cooking at home, you almost always manage to spend less money on food (not to mention eat healthier).

But a new study not only confirms that eating out is bad for your finances, but suggests that eating out is among the worst things you can do for your personal financial health.

“What we saw consistently throughout the study was that when people reported their dining-out budget for the second time during the experiment, it was significantly higher than what they stated the first time,” Penn State professor Amit Sharma, one of the study’s co-authors, tells Futurity. “What this tells us is that obviously they thought they would spend less in a week, but as the week progressed, they realized they were spending a lot more and they rationalized that increase.”

Specifically, people increased their personal dining out budgets from less than $18 in the first week of the study to $55 in week two, when they realized the first figure was unrealistic.

I’m not sure where these study respondents live that any of them think $18 would last them a week’s worth of dining out. They certainly don’t live in L.A., where $18 gets you a tablespoon of quinoa with a side of two fig leaves, or New York, where $18 is the admission price for the privilege of waiting to maybe buy a cronut.

What’s most interesting, though, is the rationalization part. Rather than curb their dining out in the face of that information, people just readjust their budgets to meet their actual spending habits.

People’s tendency to overspend is partially due to valuing immediate gratification over the long-term benefits of saving. In Sharma’s study, people’s weekly budget goals were no match for their pressing desire to go out and eat some delicious food. “We tend to discount the future more than we should and, therefore, place higher value on current consumption,” says Sharma.

Worse, the study suggests that eating out changes people’s mindset from saving to consumption.

Serious savers know that a commitment to saving is about more than abstaining from the occasional splurge — it’s a mindset that informs every aspect of their lives. They understand that while spending $5 at Starbucks may seem like a minor purchase, it’s actually very important. That daily $5 purchase each morning equates to more than $1,200 over the course of a year, so serious savers opt for the shitty office brew. Conduct that calculus on all the small, seemingly inconsequential purchases in one’s life, and you have significant savings.

The people MEL profiled in our Into the Black series, for instance, didn’t pay off their debts because they refrained from buying expensive cars. They did so by identifying and cutting out any and all unnecessary purchases, no matter the size, and letting the savings accumulate over time. They bought cheap beer, hosted game nights and potlucks and took up free hobbies such as rock climbing instead of meeting their friends out at fancy cocktail bars.

But going out to eat seems to take a person out of that vigilant savings mindset: What’s a $5 coffee when I already spent $12 on lunch?

Way more than they could have imagined. In fact, foregoing that morning coffee could turn them into a millionaire, according to personal finance guru David Bach. If you’re younger than 30, and put the money you usually spend on a morning latte into a retirement account, it’ll grow to $1 million by the time you’re retirement age.

And that’s money you can dine out on.

https://melmagazine.com/dining-out-is-just-about-the-worst-thing-you-can-do-for-your-finances-bbee7062048e#.yywk7ha3p

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Pain Is the Best Antidote to Your Unfilfilling, Sedentary Office Job

by John McDermott

If you’ve wondered why some people insist on inflicting pain on themselves, you now you have your answer

The debilitating effects of a sedentary office job will terrify anyone who has one. Spending your day hunched over a desk ruins posture and flexibility, causes neck and back pain, makes your bones soft (really) and increases the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Simply put: Sitting all day makes us fat, sick and sore—not to mention bored and unfulfilled.

The antidote, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, is pain, specifically in the form of a hyper intense workout regimen.

The suffering that comes with running a marathon or participating in a race like Tough Mudder, which entails crawling around in mud and pretending you’re a Navy SEAL, obviously helps offset the weak bones and paunchy stomach that typically come from hours spent staring blankly at a computer screen. But it also fights against the existential dread of monotonous office work. “For individuals who feel that modern office work has made their bodies redundant, obstacle racing and other forms of short but intense and painful activities provide a brief but acute reappearance of the body,” study coauthor Julien Cayla, assistant professor at the Nanyang Business School in Singapore, tells Futurity.

The findings coincide with pre-existing research about office workers needing to engage in some kind of physical activity to stay sharp. Tough Mudders are on the extreme end of the spectrum, however — most people would benefit from taking periodic walking breaks throughout the day. Sitting for long periods of time slows down your cognitive functioning, while walking gets blood flowing to your brain, makes your thinking more balanced and gives your senses a break from the usual office stimuli, fostering creativity.

But the findings also suggest a disturbing conclusion about the nature of modern work, and our relationship to it. Simply put: Our work doesn’t meet our fundamental needs as humans. The modern “knowledge economy” revolves around people doing silent, sedentary work for more than half their waking hours, creating work that doesn’t occupy physical space, but instead lives only in the ether of the internet.

It’s a scenario so utterly unsatisfying — both physically and spiritually — that people have to crawl under electrified fences in sub-freezing temperatures just to feel alive. Which is not to say we were better off as an agrarian or industrial civilization. But there’s something undeniably fulfilling about working with your hands and forging something tangible, a satisfaction our current job market fails to provide us.

https://melmagazine.com/pain-is-the-best-antidote-to-your-unfilfilling-sedentary-office-job-abf96f398515#.y7t6mo1uc

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Why Power Brings Out Your True Self

Hutson_BR

SELF-ACTUALIZATION: Power can release your inhibitions and set your true nature free. But how you handle power depends on who you were before you got the crown. (Apparently Henry II of England, above, was an impetuous, divisive fellow.)National Portrait Gallery, London

Are you a tyrant or a servant?

At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, Michelle Obama told the crowd, “Being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.”

Growing up, Michelle said, she and Barack learned important lessons from their families about “dignity and decency” and “gratitude and humility.” “At the end of the day,” she said, “when it comes time to make that decision, as president, all you have to guide you are your values, and your vision, and the life experiences that make you who you are.”

Research in cognitive science reveals the former First Lady is right: Power exposes your true character. It releases inhibitions and sets your inner self free. If you’re a jerk when you gain power, you’ll become more of one. If you’re a mensch, you’ll get nicer. So if you happen to all of a sudden become president, or at least president of your lab or book club, what inner self will come out?

Psychologists generally define power as control over others, by providing or withholding resources, without social interference. Tapping your true nature, though, begins with feeling powerful. Getting the corner office boosts creativity and reduces conformity.

In a 2008 experiment, undergraduates were asked either to recall a time they had power over someone or to recall a time someone had power over them.1 Then they were asked to draw an alien creature. Some were shown an example creature that had wings. When feeling powerless, seeing a creature with wings increased the chance a student would add wings to his own creature, a demonstration of conformity. Those made to feel powerful, however, remained unaffected by the example, following their own creative urges.

Power also makes people more likely to act on their desires. In one experiment, those made to feel powerful were more likely to move or unplug an annoying fan blowing on them.2 When working with others, the powerful are also more likely to voice their opinions. In another experiment, students were paired for a joint task.3 The one assigned to be the leader of the pair typically expressed her true feelings and attitudes more than her subordinate did.

When people obtain power, don’t expect them to behave dramatically differently from how they did before.

We are less deliberative and more persistent in pursuing our goals when we gain power. In one of a series of experiments, researchers asked students to recall having or lacking power, then asked how much time and information they would need to make various decisions, including which roommate to live with or which car to buy.4 Those who felt powerful said they’d need less time and information. In a second experiment, participants made to feel powerful spent more time trying to solve an impossible geometric puzzle. In a third, they were quicker to interrupt someone who disagreed with them.

Overall, power makes us feel authentic. In one study, participants recalled a time they had power or a time they lacked it.5 Then they rated their personality traits in three contexts: with their parents, at work, and in a social gathering. They also rated their feelings of authenticity in the moment, with items such as “I feel like I can be myself with others.” Feeling powerful increased the consistency of people’s personality ratings, which in turn increased their feelings of authenticity.

Power’s effects on expression result largely from the fact that it frees us from dependence on others, allowing us to ignore their concerns and pursue our own objectives. Intoxication from power leads us to focus more clearly on whatever goal we have in mind. With clear focus on a goal, we then pursue it.

Those goals are often selfish, which would seem to support the historian Lord Acton’s dictum that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” But it’s not that simple. “The model is more complex than that,” says Melissa Williams, a psychologist at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School, who has written about what leads power to corrupt or ennoble. In a review article in the Journal of Management, Williams summarized research that outlines four main categories of traits—personality, individualism, values, and desire for power—that can guide unethical or ethical leadership.6

It’s no surprise the traits of narcissism and Machiavellianism are stoked by power. A German study comparing 76 inmates convicted of high-level white-collar crimes with 150 managers on the outside found that the criminals were more narcissistic.7 A Dutch study published last year found that among 225 managers, those scoring higher on Machiavellianism were rated by their subordinates as abusive (“Our supervisor ridicules us”).8

Ethical leadership, on the other hand, arises out of several positive personality traits. In one study, 81 leaders in Dutch organizations were evaluated by their subordinates.9 People rated their bosses on traits such as agreeableness and honesty-humility. They also rated their bosses on aspects of leadership style, such as ethics and supportiveness. Honest, humble leaders were more ethical than others, while agreeable leaders were more supportive. They served their followers rather than demanding to be served.

Another influential personality trait is one’s propensity to feel guilt. Business managers who said they’d feel strong guilt after, say, running over a small animal were also more likely to report feeling responsible for others, and in turn they were rated as more effective leaders by their peers, superiors, and subordinates.10

One study looked at the role of social responsibility among CEOs.11 The more the chief executives expressed internal moral obligation—feeling the need to be responsible and do the right thing—the more they were seen to be moral and fair, and the less they were seen to act “like a tyrant or despot.”…

more…

http://nautil.us/issue/46/balance/why-power-brings-out-your-true-self

 

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The Real Story of David Rockefeller That the Media Isn’t Telling

Mint Press News
Waking Times

No one person encapsulates the enduring legacy of the “robber barons” of the Industrial Age quite like David Rockefeller. Rockefeller, who died today at the age of 101, was the last surviving grandson of John D. Rockefeller, the oil tycoon who became America’s first billionaire and the patriarch of what would become one of the most powerful and wealthiest families in American history. David Rockefeller, an undeniable product of American nobility, lived his entire life in the echelons of U.S. society, becoming symbolic of the elite who often direct public policy to a much greater extent than many realize, albeit often from the shadows.

Rockefeller made it clear that he preferred to operate out of public view despite his great influence in American – and international – politics. Due to his birthright, Rockefeller served as an advisor to every president since Eisenhower, but when offered powerful positions such as Federal Reserve chairman and Secretary of the Treasury – he declined, preferring “a private role.

As evidenced by the numerous obituaries bemoaning the loss of the last of the Rockefeller’s grandsons, he was largely successful in hiding his most significant wrongdoings from public view, as evidenced by his characterization as a generous philanthropist and influential banker.

But as is often the case, Rockefeller’s true legacy is much more mired in controversy than major publications seem willing to admit. In addition to having the ear of every U.S. president for the better part of the last 70 or so years, Rockefeller – once again operating “behind the scenes” – was instrumental in shaping the more cringe-worthy aspects of U.S. policy during that time, as well as being a major force in establishing banking policies that led to debt crises in the developing world.

Rockefeller – as the head of Chase Manhattan Bank from 1969 to 1981 – worked with government and multinational corporations throughout the world to create a “global order” unequivocally dominated by the 1 percent, of which his family was a part. As the New York Times noted back in the 1970s, Rockefeller became embroiled in controversy when his constant trips overseas caused the bank to become less profitable, as he prioritized the bank’s influence on foreign politics over its actual business dealings.

During his time as Chase CEO, Rockefeller helped laid the foundation for repressive, racist and fascist regimes around the world, as well as architecture for global inequality. In addition, Rockefeller helped to bring the debt crisis of the 1980s into existence, in part by direct action through Chase Bank and also indirectly through his former employee-turned-Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker. Two years before the debt crisis erupted, Rockefeller, Volcker and other top bankers met at the International Monetary Conference in 1980s to argue for the establishment of a “safety net” for major banks – like Chase – that were embroiled in bad loans given largely to countries in the developing world.

David Rockefeller, center, chairman of the Chase Manhattan?s Bank?s International Advisory Committee and the banks? former chairman of the board and chief executive officer, receives the 1983 International Leadership Award from the U.S. Council for International Business, presented by Dr. Henry A. Kissinger, former Secretary of State, left, and Ralph A. Pfeiffer, Jr., U.S. Council Chairman, at New York?s Pierre Hotel on Thursday, Dec. 9, 1983. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to world trade and investment. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)

After the crisis brought financial ruin to Latin America and other developing areas throughout the world, Rockefeller – along with other bankers – created austerity programs to “solve” the debt crisis during subsequent IMC meetings, provoking inequality that still persists to this day. However, thanks to the “safety net” conveniently established years prior, Chase avoided the economic consequences for its criminal actions.

In addition, Rockefeller supported the bloody and ruthless dictatorships of the Shah of Iran and Augusto Pinochet of Chile while also supporting Israeli apartheid. Rockefeller then went on to found the influential Trilateral Commission while also serving as a major force on the Council on Foreign Relations that he, along with his close friend Henry Kissinger, would come to dominate.

Both of these organizations have come under fire for using their powerful influence to bring about a “one-world government” ruled by a powerful, ultra-wealthy elite – an accusation to which David Rockefeller confirmed as true in his autobiography. Far from the generous philanthropist he is made to be, David Rockefeller deserves to be remembered for his true legacy – one of elitism, fascism and economic enslavement.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/03/23/real-story-david-rockefeller-media-isnt-telling/

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Hamburgers Are Bigger Than Ever, but the Meat Has Always Been Questionable

 

by Quinn Myers

From ‘pink slime’ to bug burgers, a look at the quintessential American meal

For most of the world, the symbol most associated with America isn’t the bald eagle, George Washington or even the stars and stripes—it’s the hamburger and fries. But how much has this simple meal — a ground-beef sandwich with fried potatoes — changed since its glory days of the 1950s? Let’s find out.

The Ingredients

1950s: According to Andrew Smith, author of The Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food, the quality of hamburger meat was so bad in the early 20th century that by the 1950s, customers needed reassuring that what they were getting was actual meat. “Heading into the ‘50s, White Castle had beef slabs delivered to each outlet a couple times a day,” Smith says. “It was ground up in front of any customers in the store to assure everyone that their beef did come from a cow, as opposed to a variety of meat and other products from other slaughtered animals.”

White Castle employee pointing out a White Castle inspected meat sign

So during the burger’s heyday, most people could feel confident that they were, in fact, getting 100 percent ground beef, while the fries were exactly as advertised: Potatoes, sliced in the restaurant and fried in animal oil.

Today: In 2008, a study by Brigid Prayson of the Cleveland Clinical Foundation tried to find out whether it was even possible for America to produce as much beef as was apparently being consumed — an interesting question, considering that there are fewer cattle being raised now than in the 1970s, and yet we’re eating more beef than we were then. The answers weren’t encouraging, and a test of a variety of fast-food burgers found that the amount of real meat in burgers ranged from just 2 to 14 percent. The rest was made up of what has become known as “pink slime,” or in the words of the study, “a mash of connective tissue, blood vessels, peripheral nerve, plant material, cartilage and bone.”

This nauseating goop was then doused in ammonium hydroxide, an antimicrobial agent once classified by the Department of Agriculture as “generally recognized as safe,” though the practice is banned in the European Union. McDonald’s and other chains have since claimed that they no longer use the stuff, but after a brief public backlash, it has crept back into grocery stores, with a 2014 study claiming that up to 70 percent of the ground beef sold in stores contains the dreaded pink slime.

McDonald’s pink slime

The meat isn’t the only thing chock-full of chemicals now, either. A quick look at the fry ingredients listed on McDonald’s website reveals not just potatoes but rather a dozen different things, including chemicals with such appetizing names as sodium acid pyrophosphate (that’s the one that maintains their friendly yellow color). Essentially, most of the water in the fries has been replaced with fat, and a bunch of chemicals are added to make them taste like they were fried in animal fat, rather than the mix of corn and soybean oil they’re actually fried in.

The Size

1950s: “The combo of french fries and burgers as a meal became solidified during World War II, since meat was rationed and you needed to bolster what small amount of it you had with something else,” says Smith. How small exactly were the burgers? In 1950, the average burger weighed just 3.9 ounces—not so much bigger than a modern-day White Castle slider, at 2.2 ounces, according to the Centers for Disease Control. For their part, an average order of fries weighed roughly 2.4 ounces.

Today: As rationing came to an end, burgers began to fatten up. “Chains like Burger King came along offering bigger burgers with more meat, and the increased competition led to an arms race of the sizes and the styles of burgers,” Smith says. As a result, the average fast-food burger has quadrupled in size since the 1950s and now stands at a gut-busting 12 ounces. Fries, meanwhile, have nearly doubled in size, weighing in at 6.7 ounces (again according to the CDC)…

more…

https://melmagazine.com/hamburgers-are-bigger-than-ever-but-the-meat-has-always-been-questionable-ba04dc37f0e7#.mugo2w70w

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