01 November 2015 - So Let’s Just Quit Eating!

I begin this week’s visit with a suggestion for all of us; let’s just quit eating! I am so tired of all the “scientific studies” over the decades that tell us nearly every food we eat will cause some serious disease and ultimately kill us. During my lifetime, butter, eggs, milk, cheese and dozens of other foods that we enjoy have been declared as dangerous to our health.

But then years or decades later, new “scientific studies” declare these foods to be safe if consumed in moderation, so now we can eat eggs for breakfast and enjoy milk and other dairy products. McDonald’s made news when it announced it would only use butter in its all-day breakfast menu.

Last week, another food attack was issued by the World Health Organization and meat is again in the cross-hairs. The meat industry knew it was coming and were pretty certain it would not be a friendly report. It wasn’t, and let me quote verbatim so you can read the rather vague language. “The France-based I.A.R.C. - International Agency for Research on Cancer, that is part of the W.H.O., put processed meats such as hot dogs and ham in it’s Group 1A list, which already includes tobacco, asbestos and diesel fumes for which there is sufficient evidence for cancer links.

“Red meat, under which the I.A. R. C. Includes beef, lamb and pork was classified as a ‘probable carcinogen’ in it’s Group 2A list, that also contains glyphosate, the active ingredient in many weed killers. The lower classification for red meat reflected limited evidence that it causes cancer.”

Too often people read the headlines and go no further, so I will. The I.A.R.C. quoted yet another organization, the Global Burden of Disease Project which estimated 34,000 deaths world-wide caused by diets high in processed meats. That compares with these other numbers from the organization...one-million cancer deaths a year caused by smoking, 600,000 a year by alcohol consumption and 200,000 per year from air pollution.

If we are going to eliminate everything that can kill us, then maybe we should quit driving automobiles, quit flying in airplanes, no more bungee jumping or sky-diving because all of those activities can be dangerous.
Frankly I am tired of this food fear-mongering and I think a lot of other people are, too. I end this column by sharing the story of the world’s oldest woman, Susannah Jones, 116 years old, who credits her longevity to a daily diet of bacon, eggs and grits for breakfast. She has a sign in her kitchen that reads - Bacon Makes Everything Better.

Again, I think moderation should be the rule and I will continue to enjoy meat in my daily diet.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.