American Elephants

You May Be Able to Eat a Hamburger With a Guilt-Free Conscience! by The Elephant's Child
May 18, 2010, 4:50 pm
Filed under: Freedom, Health Care, Junk Science | Tags: , ,

In history, city population was limited by the  ability of surrounding farms to provide enough food.  Farmers had to plan their plantings to have enough to get themselves through the winter.  What a far cry from the bounty of our supermarkets today, when there are no real seasons for fruits and vegetables, for summer vegetables come from the Southern hemisphere  in our winter, and strawberries seem to be a year around fruit — if a little on the hard and flavorless side.

With such plenitude we have arrived at a very strange relationship with our food.  The European Union devised rules and regulations governing the length and curvature of a banana, the acceptable size of a potato, and farmers were obliged to write the name and address of the hen on each egg.  The EU has relaxed their most stringent regulations, but that they ever were thought reasonable and logical speaks volumes.

Now most stores have special sections for ‘organic’ produce, and cartons throughout the store proclaim that their ingredients are natural, healthy, organic, there is no rBST, low fat, non-fat, low salt, Vitamin C or D added,  and the box is made from recycled fiber, and that’s just the   product label.  On the back you will find the nutritional chart required by Congress.  New regulations may require the nutritional chart to be on the front of the package, not the back. Once again you have a glimpse of the extent to which Congressional elites think the rest of us are far too stupid to turn the box around and read the back — if we want to.  We are still allowed to be uninterested.

It seemed to me that companies could just turn their products around, but then they wouldn’t have room for their logo, required net weight and all the ‘natural, healthy etc. claims. Do pause for a moment of gratitude to food producers who have to struggle  with all the inanities from Congress and still produce food that you will mostly take some pleasure in consuming.

There have been constant food “scares,” many of them derived from the work of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the chief nanny of the food police. Remember “Frankenfood,” or genetically engineered food? Vegetarians have become aggressive in demanding that everyone else become vegetarian as well.  My grocery has a section for “vegetarian food” that simulates all the food the rest of enjoy, made out of tofu and soy beans and who knows what else.  (Tells you something about their love of vegetables when they want them to come in the size and shape and taste of a hot dog).

And there’s red meat!  I know so many ( I started to say people) women who would loftily say “Oh we don’t eat red meat! From today’s Wall Street Journal:

A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that the heart risk long associated with red meat comes mostly from processed varieties such as bacon, sausage, hot dogs and cold cuts — and not from steak, hamburgers and other non-processed cuts.

The finding is surprising because both types of red meat are high in saturated fat, a substance believed to be partly responsible for the increased risk of heart disease. But the new study raises the possibility that when it comes to meat, at least, the real bad actor may be salt. Processed meats generally have about four times the amount of salt than unprocessed meats.

The article is quick to point out that the study is far from definitive.  It is, however, a reminder of constantly changing scientific ideas about what is good for you, and what isn’t.  But the notion abroad is that if we can just find the perfect diet, the right foods,  the perfect combination of foods, grown in just the right way then we won’t get cancer, or heart disease or any of those other noxious diseases that kill us off before we have the chance to die of very old age.

ObamaCare seems to be predicated on a government forcing its citizens to eat just the right diet and get just the right amount of exercise so that you will be healthy and not cost the government any money, or to have to courtesy to die early and save the government all those high end-of-life expenses.  And if you don’t, the government won’t pay for those high expenses anyway.  As Nancy Pelosi said, “We have to pass the bill so we can find out what’s in it.”  We are beginning to find out, and it isn’t pretty.

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