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06 Mar 2016 - Are We Irrational about Our Food?

First of all, on Samuelson Sez, full disclosure this week. I am not a nutritionist; I am not a dietician and I certainly am not a medical doctor. I do, however, have some food questions of my own to add to those I get from readers and listeners every day.

These are some of my food questions:
-What is the definition of ‘natural’?
-What is the definition of ‘pure’?
-What is the definition of ‘wholesome’?
What is the definition of ‘locally grown’?...within 50, 100, 150 miles.

Since we refuse to exercise personal responsibility to make our own decisions today, we will probably turn to a government agency to make those definitions for us. I think most of us know what’s good for us, so why do we need the government to issue dietary guidelines?

And what about locally-grown? I like the idea of supporting local farmers, but if you live in a winter climate, that means you face six months without fresh fruits and vegetables, and if you live in a grain producing area, where do you get beef, poultry, dairy, pork and poultry products?

Then, there are the labels....
‘Gluten- free’ - If you have celiac disease, doctors tell me you absolutely must eat gluten-free; if not, you might be missing some healthy nutrients your body needs.
‘GMO-free’ - Why? We have been consuming foods containing GMO’s for decades and I have yet to see a death certificate listing that as a cause of death; 150 scientific studies world-wide say no danger.
‘No preservatives’ - Does that mean the food I purchase is going to spoil before I have a chance to enjoy it when I get it home?
‘No hormones’ - I see dozens of hormone products for humans advertised on TV every week. If they are so great for humans, why are they so bad for livestock?
“No antibiotics’ - When humans get sick, doctors prescribe antibiotics to kill whatever bug we have, why shouldn’t we be able to do the same with livestock? I want my food to come from healthy animals. Fortunately the new rules do allow antibiotics if prescribed by a professional veterinarian.

‘Free Range Chicken’ - When I see that on a restaurant menu I immediately move on to the next item. Why? Because I remember what our chickens ate in the barnyard on our Wisconsin dairy farm.

I guess that is enough ‘venting’ for me this week. Don’t get me started on this year’s potential Presidential candidates, that would take a two-page column!

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