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Making Wise Decisions

Story ID:9113
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:various various USA
Person:Mark Bittman
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Going through some of my old e-mails, I came on this unfinished
post re the need for common sense. I decided that with some
additional thoughts I should send it on. It is relevant today as when
I first penned it in 2011.

If I were to ask x number of people if they had common sense, they
inevitably would of course readily say they do. Sadly, if we take
a good look at our lives we may not be so sure. And then how do we
vote? I think we send too many people to Congress who really don't
seem to have a clue that they are suppose to represent us and not
the big corporations who woo their votes with money and bribes. Yes,
I am guilty too.


I'm still scratching my head re how Representative Steve King of Iowa
was able to get an amendment in the Farm Bill which would take away
compassionate treatment of farm animals. Catholic as he, I am for
compassionate treatment of animals. He definitely is not. How did he
ever get into Congress? How did they allow his "horrible" amendment
to be part of the Farm Bill?

He also is making it hard for the many immigrants who are also probably
Catholic by calling them dogs. I love dogs, but this name-calling was
not meant to be positive. And then just this week he has said that
immigrants have cantelope calves. Well, they "rewarded" him with
this remark by sending a great number of cantelopes to his office.
His actions don't seem very Catholic or Christian to me.

As for his opinion of dogs - not only does he support dog fighting, but
he has said that they make a good family outing. To expose children to
something so cruel makes me wonder about his credentials to represent
the people of Iowa.


When it comes to eating, I applaud Mark Bittman on many of his common-
sensed approaches. As an example of it, I read in 2011 his post titled
" Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables." I am fairly certain this
title didn't grab too many people in a positive way. Of course, it did me
and anyone who is food conscious on any level.

He notes that the first reason we should be subsidizing healthy food like
veggies is because it has been proven time and again that we foolishly
insist on eating SAD foods. While the acronym SAD stands for Standard
American Diet, it is also "sad" that we are often hurting ourselves medically
by refusing to eat a diet high in plants and low in animals products and
processed foods.

Doing so could improve our health and save millions of lives. But no, our
thinking basically is hedonistic. Let's not worry about such trivialities as
good health. For now let us eat, drink, and be merry because tomorrow
may never come.

With this type of thinking, it is understandable that we can even easily
discount works like Professor Campbell's China Study which basically
deduced that eating a plant-based diet could reverse the spiral trend
of eating foods which often cause heart, cancer, diabetes, and stroke.
Obviously, too much common sense for most of us.


This morning while watching CBS Sunday Morning, I was disappointed
re their segment on hamburgers being the most democratic of foods in the
US because so many of them are consumed here. What a disappointment
to note.

Just how healthy are hamburgers? I have often read that red meat is not
healthy. And then I hope we will give some thought to the millions of cows
walking the ramps to slaughter. That picture is enough for many of us who
have become vegetarian or vegan. I am sorry that some people glamorize
eating hamburgers as they did on this Sunday Morning segment and I
would hope that instead they would give more attention to where this meat
comes from and how eating too much red meat is harmful to our health.

Bittman also notes that the food industry doesn't much care about whether
or not the foods they produce for us are healthy. Re this he said - "Their
mission is not public health but profit, so they'll continue to seek the health-
damaging foods that's most profitable, until the market or another force skews
things otherwise. That "other force" should be the federal government,
fulfilling its role as an agent of the public good and establish a bold
national fix."

Such common sense thinking, but do you think it will ever catch on?
We that care can always hope, but we shouldn't hold our breath.


I don't think this information which I saw on the news this week will bother
most people who enjoy Dannon Yogurt. Does it matter to know that one
of the ingredients on some of their yogurt flavors is Carmine? I was
surprised to find out that this ingredient which gives some of their
yogurt a rich red coloring is made from crushed insects and is called
Carmine. It made me wonder what other surprises are out there in other
foods we eat. Well, we are always counseled to eat whole foods and
avoid processed ones. This is yet another good reason to do so. I
won't have to worry about yogurt since I buy the vegan soy yogurt.


I almost laughed when I read the last part of Bittman's quote re our
government being an agent of public good. Yes, it should be but is it?
Even the Mayor Blumberg of New York failed in some of his health
concern issues, but I applaud him for trying.

Of course, government concern for the health of its people isn't a
laughable matter, but Bittman realizes all too well that the chances of
the federal government acting as an agent in this regard are slim to

For me personally through the years I have found that government
policies often don't coincide with mine. That they allow the factory farms
from hell to exist in the first place is not only detrimental to the animals'
welfare, but to ours as well. Aside from keeping them in stressful conditions,
they pump animals with antibiotics to keep them well. How can
this be healthful for people who eat their flesh? And if this doesn't concern
you -give some thought to the concentrated wastes that often find its
way into our water tables.

A case has been made for a plant-based diet, I hope you will consider it.
Maybe one day the number of vegans will be great enough so that the
horrible CAFOs will finally be dismantled and that the smaller number of
farm animals needed will be raised on small farms for those who believe
they cannot subsist without meat and meat products.

For now I hope that people who care about farm animal welfare will
consider including more meatless days in their diet. I hope they will also
ask their Congresspeople to vote against the King Amendment in the Farm
Bill which would negate compassionate laws for our farm animals. I still find
it hard to believe that such an amendment made its way into the farm bill.
I believe we will have to principly blame the Republicans for that. Am I

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