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Old 10-01-2007, 10:07 PM   #81
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Me too (not necessarily about the same exact issues - but healthy eating in general). Education is all I can think of - maybe coupled with financial motivation? Like charging a 'fat tax'? That would be a tough one, for many reasons.
How about cutting back on the subsidies and incentives that load everything with corn?
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:15 PM   #82
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How about cutting back on the subsidies and incentives that load everything with corn?
If the whacky ethanol subsidies keep pushing corn prices up, maybe food will eventually be sweetened with sugar again rather than high fructose corn syrup. For once a positive impact from government economic meddling.
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:30 PM   #83
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OK, probably true.

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But, what to do about it? You can't just ban decadent desserts for example. I'm entitled to have an occasional decadent dessert if I can 'afford' it (financially and caloric-ly). But in excess, it's not healthy.
Ban dessert - are you crazy! i'm all for dessert - as long as it's the real stuff (real sugar, cream and full fat!) and not the weird stuff they put in cool wh*p!
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Old 10-02-2007, 01:38 AM   #84
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If it's not RBST-free at the very least, and in a container which doesn't let light in, I don't buy it. I primarily buy organic from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, and I've never had any issues with odd tastes from either.
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Old 10-02-2007, 08:08 AM   #85
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So again, let's test your faith. Which do you prefer:

A) The choice between cheap, available but maybe nutrient-poor calories; the choice of available, not-so-cheap, not-so-convenient but more nutrient rich foods, and the choice to say 'NO' to over-eating either of them,

or....

B) Not enough food to go around, period.

Choice B is all that is available to half the world, and most of the world for all of time except the last hundred years.

And we are complaining? I don't get it.

-ERD50
OK, I'm back from the basement and ready to go again. But I'll try to be a bit nicer--except when I can't. Like here.

It always bothers me when I see perceptual choices like the above, ERD50. You are casting choices into an either-or scenerio and then saying the choice is only one or the other or some sort of muddy compromise in between. (and I'll try to keep politics out if it but right here it is very apt: GWB offered the world the same choice when he said "You're either for us or against us." I suspect we all know exactly what happens when this sort of thinking and perception is acted upon. Don't we? Anyway, I see Bush thinking run a muck.)

I have one non either-or alternative that I see possible and worthy of working on:

First, we kill all the lawyers!. Oops, wrong thread. We (the world and us too) can have low cost food that is also nutritious--simultaneously. Not dirt cheap food necessarily. But we could easily over time and starting with our country (as a good model for the west), improve the quality of food for all, Now low cost may mean something different to me than it does to you: I am less concerned with the price at the check out counter and more concerned with the notion (and my belief) that better, less toxic foods will improve health and productivity and create a clearer mind. And it will reduce the total package of expenses of living a long and happy life. Better eating can prevent huge future expenses as folks get older (and even reduce diabetes care expenses for five year olds--if they don't get diabetes at that age). It also may mean fewer sick days taken by workers, especially moms taking care of their sick kids. And again, degenerative diseases in this country seem to start, oftentimes, in the forties age group and worsen in the fifties so that most everyone is at least taking Lipidor and a bp pill too. These are almost certainly due to bad eating habits AND toxic choices AND lack of moderation in foods and exercise. These are often costs that arrive after one passes thru the food check out line and after continuously poor dietary choices--years later. But they need to be included in the costs of keeping the human package working well and operating correctly. They are the back end poor choice costs. I believe, as do a growing number of others, that it is worth paying a bit more up front for better stuff to eat in order to prevent the expensive back end consequences, so to speak. Health care and food choice and exercise choice and moderation choice and etc all combine in a package of consequences over time. Those consequences can be either beneficial, an alert mind and strong well functioning body that does what the mind says whenever and wherever it is told--and for many, many decades too. Or, we face the consequences where the body just decides to take off in a disliked, undirected by the mind, direction--toward disability and degeneration.

The either-or is in the consequences. It shouldn't be in perceptions. False early catagorizations create a living hell, sometimes in the human body and sometimes in a country or region (and oftentimes in greg's mind).

Also, I personally think you mis-perceive how much food is available to eat. Just one simple, possibly different scenerio: if we just reduced our consumption of meat by half, maybe just bought a little higher quality stuff and moved away from greater quantities, it would free up huge amounts of grain. I believe I read somewhere that it takes about twelve pounds of corn to create one pound of beef. Not the most efficient food factory to my mind if true--and I'm not even thinking--too much--about the methane production. Eating fewer, but better quality protein products (like milk), free from hormones and adrenaline and even 'potentially' (a known unknown?) toxic stuff would free up a fair amount of grain--and maybe increase energy to create tastier, healthful desserts.

More later today.
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Old 10-02-2007, 09:44 AM   #86
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[if it's]in a container which doesn't let light in, I don't buy it.
What's that about?
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Old 10-02-2007, 09:58 AM   #87
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What's that about?
I believe you paraphrased wrong. If it's not in a light-proof container, they won't buy it.
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Old 10-02-2007, 10:04 AM   #88
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ERD50. You are casting choices into an either-or scenario
Greg, sorry you don't like my writing style. In an attempt to get a point across in a relatively short post to a forum, I am addressing the 'boundary' conditions. It would be tough to handle all the nuances of the middle ground, and at any rate, it helps to agree to the boundaries first. The 'either-or' cases are meant to try to define the boundaries, not to say that is the only choice.

Now, a suggestion (and that is all it can be): Please drop the irrelevant political associations. If you find fault with my reasoning or my data, call me on it - that can lead to intelligent discussion of the topic. But don't try to associate me with some politician that you hate, just because you perceive a similarity in approach. That is an ad hominid attack, and it just weakens your position. I think your viewpoint deserves better treatment than that. Enough of that.

I agree that good eating habits and exercise are important to our health and would reduce health care costs. I think the problem I had with some of the comments on this thread is the assumptions that people were making on what is 'good' and what is 'bad'.

Is 'organic' 'good if it takes more land? Are 'organic' approved pesticides (Pyrethrum and Rotenone) 'good' :

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(Pyrethrum is harmful to fish)
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Rotenone is used as a broad-spectrum insecticide that works by inhibiting the transfer of electrons from Fe-S centers in Complex I to ubiquinone.

Rotenone is classified by the World Health Organization as a moderately hazardous and is mildly toxic to humans and other mammals. .. Its irritating action causes vomiting in humans
Now, wouldn't phrases like that, if associated with 'chemical' pesticides cause much hand-wringing among the proponents of 'natural food'?

All I'm saying is, let's look at this stuff logically. Instead of discounting GM corn out-of-hand and emotionally as 'franken-food', let's look at how it results in less pesticides and allows the use of far more environmentally friendly herbicide (Round-Up vs Atrazine). Maybe, just maybe, the positives outweigh the negatives?

And BGH - maybe cheaper milk means more poor people will drink more milk vs making a less healthy food choice. So isn't that a GOOD thing? But some people are so quick to emotionally throw BGH on Death Row, w/o any evidence, or even a theoretical reason to be against it. And some people are pushing for a ban. Why? If you prefer not to drink milk from BGH cows, fine, exercise your freedom of choice, don't force it on others.

To me, this is all reminiscent of the 'No Nukes' mentality. While people protested nukes, w/o a reasonable alternative and w/o understanding the consequences, they were essentially saying 'Let's build more coal plants'. Be careful what you wish for.

Eat more plants vs meat? I agree 100%. The numbers are staggering at how much water and land would be saved by not processing it through animals before we eat it. I've read (don't have the numbers handy) opinions that reducing the amount of meat we eat is the number ONE thing we could do to reduce greenhouse gas and improve the environment. I personally would not want to go 100% veggie, but I think the US certainly could shoot for a goal of 20% less average meat consumption. Wonder how that stacks up against a few CFLs or hybrids?

-ERD50
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Old 10-02-2007, 11:30 AM   #89
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My new revised list of thread hi-jacking terms: annuity, war, iraq, bush, boobs, health care, gas, gas prices, oil, insurance, and organic milk! address these topics and beware...
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Old 10-02-2007, 12:32 PM   #90
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My new revised list of thread hi-jacking terms: annuity, war, iraq, bush, boobs, health care, gas, gas prices, oil, insurance, and organic milk! address these topics and beware...
Boobs for $500, Alec...
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Old 10-02-2007, 01:20 PM   #91
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Back to milk, and apropos of very little, I grew up on a dairy farm. The milk was sucked through the pipes and through a single disposable filter. It then sat around in a cooling tank until the truck picked it up. We'd drink the milk from the tank, which was obviously unpasteurized and non-homogenized. We'd always shake the milk before pouring ourselves a glass due to separation.

And usually we'd check out the milk in the glasses to make sure the filter was put on correctly. Sometimes it wasn't, and we'd just drink around the little manure specks in the glass (they sink). It is less disgusting when you've grown up with it.

It took a while for me to get used to whole milk from raw milk. Whole milk tasted watery. Eventually I got down to the point that if I drink milk (which is rare), I'll drink skim.

Never did really notice the taste to vary in different seasons or anything like that.
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:27 PM   #92
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Does "buddameouk" count?
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:30 PM   #93
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:42 PM   #94
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OK you troublemakers, don't get me started cause I saw a very distinguished looking lady in the Library of Congress reading room with her elderly mother and both in their Sunday best, bonnets and all.

The elderly mother said, "Lottie how much longer we gonna be, dem prunes and dat pepper gravy I ette for breakfast ain't agreeing with me." Damn, I nearly ripped the page out of a 1674 copy of the Guttenberg Bible.

BTW, that conversation was in June and I learned more about the effects of prunes on elderly ladies bodily functions than I ever wanted to know. It was not pretty.

Hormones in milk is baby stuff comparatively.
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:44 PM   #95
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ah geez can o' worms is officially open

anyone think we need universal health care? how about universal free organic milk?
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:54 PM   #96
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ah geez can o' worms is officially open

anyone think we need universal health care? how about universal free organic milk?
Should I pay off the mortgage, or invest the money in an annuity and use the dividends to buy organic buttermilk futures?

-ERD50
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:21 PM   #97
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And BGH - maybe cheaper milk means more poor people will drink more milk vs making a less healthy food choice. So isn't that a GOOD thing? But some people are so quick to emotionally throw BGH on Death Row, w/o any evidence, or even a theoretical reason to be against it. And some people are pushing for a ban. Why? If you prefer not to drink milk from BGH cows, fine, exercise your freedom of choice, don't force it on others.
-ERD50
ERD50,
Yes an all you said (and thanks for the reasonable tone).
I heard a really good review a few years ago of a book exploring relative risk from an economic standpoint. (Unfortunately, I haven't had luck in finding the actual study). Basically, the author looked at the cost (dollar per man-years of life saved) for various regulations and policies. For example, including seat belts in cars and mandating their use had a cost of approx one dollar for each man-year saved. Asbestos abatement work/regs/etc costs millions of dollars for each man-year of life saved. Now, these millions of dollars for asbestos abatement (and other similar regulation) actually caused an increase in overall mortality, since the money spent was not available for things which would have been of greater value as defined by the market (e.g. on average, people had less money to spend due to these regs.) If, for example, even a very few people waited to buy a newer, safer, car, then there was far more risk of death than from the asbestos. The more over the-top regs do have this effect, reducing money available to consumers for better food, safer cars, health care, etc.

Mandating "organic" food without a shred of evidence that is is safer (and some evidence that it is manifestly more dangerous) would be dangerous for this reason. A poor single mom who has to pay 30% more for vegetables and milk is going to have less money available at the end of the month, and she'll need to make some tough choices, some with health implications. And, it's not all about health: If she's got $20 at the end of the month to take everyone to the zoo, isn't that worth something in this equation?
People are voting with their dollars right now, as long as they have accurate information then they should be free to do as they choose and let the invisible hand work.
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:28 PM   #98
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When I was a kid, bad tasting milk was easily fixed.

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Old 10-02-2007, 03:49 PM   #99
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what is "real chocolate flavor"

guess they were trying to stand out from the not quite chocolate flavor competitors? (ovalt*ne might fall in that category, now that i think about it..hehe)
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:59 PM   #100
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A problem with OGM corn for example, though, is that the pollen goes all over. Read of one organic farmer who lost his crop due to nearby OGM corn.. and then to add insult to injury got sued by Monsanto or whomever for illegally possessing the OGM hybrid result. Other strains are solely designed to create a pipeline for sales of proprietary pesticides or weedkillers. I'm all for science and testing when it can be controlled adequately. When you have an OGM crop that kills off pests, it could also negatively affect other beneficial insects, or populations of birds and other animals that might need those pests to live, so you affect a whole ecosystem. I'm not saying the human payoff may not be there, but we have to be attuned to, and prepared for, unintended consequences.

I tend towards tree-hugging only 'cause in a world with no trees I don't think we'd be around very long. The apparently bucolic landscape in which I currently live is actually extremely sterile. There are virtually no worms, no squirrels/chipmunks/raccoons or any of that sort of thing. Many bird species have been killed off (even tiny songbirds) due to their apparent tastiness factor. At one point in my life I was quite familiar with a certain crowd (slogan: Better Living Through Chemistry) who would have been thrilled to live aboard the Starship Enterprise, subsisting on synthetic Jell-O-type cubes that represented a steak dinner. While I'm sure it's do-able, I remain underwhelmed by the prospect.

Sorry if someone has posted this elsewhere here:
Dutch boffins tout green petri-dish synthetic meat | The Register
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