Tag Archives: media

Fat-Positive is Negative

9 Jan

Yeah, I said it.  Unpopular, un-p.c. opinion–but I stand by it.

I listened to Lizzo because it’s fun, and feminist and I totally get behind that!  It’s a ‘you go girl!’ moment where I see role-model for young girls. But is she an entirely good role-model?

Lizzo001

I also watched Shrill because I think Aidy Bryant (name/sp?) is funny on SNL.  And I saw her do stand up with a pad of paper and she was hilarious.  I wanted to see what she’s doing with her talents.  But the show was kind of depressing, which is a sad commentary about how our society makes overweight people feel.  [and we should stop that].  But then her boss was made to look like a villain because he cared about the health of his employees.  And the whole fat-positive movement in the show rubbed me the wrong way.

aidy bryant

Fat-positivity is what I call enabling. 

Let me back track just a second.

Kids should not be bullied.  Not anyone, not chubby-trons.  Hefty adults should not have to tolerate back-handed complements, or taunts, or trolling.  People don’t have a right to stigmatize others.  Not for mental illness, sexuality, weight, anything, really.  Mind your business, take care of you.

People that are “other” in some way should be allowed to love themselves.  And to one extent or another all of us are a little bit “other” in some way, many ways.

So there’s that.  I’m anti-bullying.

But, people we have taken it too far on the spectrum, shunning bulling, past neutrality, into enabling behavior known as fat-positivity!  It’s gone too far.  Fat is nothing to normalize or champion.  It’s a health concern.  Really.

Some people are chubby kids, and it’s a genetic trait that they will easily put on weight.  Yes, some medications and disorders can contribute to being overweight.  Also, Americans are inundated with advertising and marketing encouraging us to consume calories.  It’s an epidemic.

And yet, calories are calories.  Nobody has it harder than anyone else calories in, calories out.  You have to balance the two–and it IS possible.  For I’d say most everyone, except in very extenuating circumstances (a small minority).  Lifestyle choices are within your control.  Yes. They. Are.  It might not be easy changes to make.  Changing your ways might be difficult to adhere to.  But it CAN be done.

Things that we do not celebrate:

Mental Illness.  It can’t be helped.  You’re born with it, genetically predisposed to it.  We shouldn’t stigmatize people who suffer with mental illness.  Yet, we also don’t throw a party about it.  Society agrees people should do whatever they can to manage it (see the psychiatrist/psychologist, take medication, use strategies to manage symptoms)

Addiction.  It’s a disease.  But it’s not useful to society, and it’s detrimental to health.  People shouldn’t be criminalized (for drugs alone) or stigmatized–they are sick.  But we do want people to go to rehab, get off substances, and help themselves make better choices.

STIs (STDs if you’re old-school).  They are common.  It can be tricky and high-maintenance to prevent getting them.  But having one can impact other individuals and society at large.  People shouldn’t be called disgusting whores or dirty johnsons if they get one (or more), but I think we can all agree we would like people to treat STIs they have, refrain from spreading them to other sexual partners through abstinence, condoms, etc, and warn others prior to engaging in sexual acts.

Those things are all health concerns that we should not bully people over, but at the same time must be dealt with or consequences occur.  If we were to have mental illness positivity and just encourage people to live as they are and embrace their bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, instead of medicating it what would happen?  Well, it’s ultimately not good for the individual as being untreated can lead to inappropriate or dangerous behaviors, possibly even death to others or themselves.  Same with addicts–“Just champion and embrace your drug use!” we’d say. Then, all the crime, and downward spiral which isn’t good for anybody.  And STIs, well we’ve seen what happens when those health concerns are ignored and it’s no good.

Also, all of these health problems lead to complications, symptoms, consequences.  When medical bills are already spiraling and health insurance is a whole big thing–shouldn’t we do everything we can to alleviate the problems we can control?

Being overweight exacerbates other health problems.  This is science.

According to the Center for Disease Control, People who have obesity, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions, including the following:1,2,3

  • All-causes of death (mortality)
  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • High LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, or high levels of triglycerides (Dyslipidemia)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Osteoarthritis (a breakdown of cartilage and bone within a joint)
  • Sleep apnea and breathing problems
  • Some cancers (endometrial, breast, colon, kidney, gallbladder, and liver)
  • Low quality of life
  • Mental illness such as clinical depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders4,5
  • Body pain and difficulty with physical functioning6
  1. https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/effects/index.html

chubby-tron

anorexic

People die earlier when they are over their BMI.  Ralphie Mae and John Candy might have lived longer if they had not been grossly obese.  And Chris Farley and Elvis Presley had drugs in the mix, but their obesity made their health status even worse.

That’s not a fate I want to get behind.  I’m not saying you have to be a size zero.  But everyone should be giving up vices, managing their health status, and aspiring to a healthy lifestyle.  For their own health and happiness.  And I refuse to be stigmatized for saying so.

How Does One Person Promote the WNBA?

8 Mar

I’ve had just about enough of WordPress “Myspacing” my writing.  I just wrote a huge paragraph and when I pressed “save draft” it glitched out and erased my work-gah!

Storm-2010 WNBA champions

In honer of International Women’s Day I want to take action.  And I believe in the importance of the WNBA.  And the entertainment factor.  I want more merch availability, more money for advertising, more promotion in general, support from fans, and more teams–way more teams.

But what do I do?  Do I write to someone–who?  After reading a lot of internet articles, I felt more helpless then ever.  How do I–one fan with no money or connections–help a franchise?  The thought is there, but I ended up feeling like a failure, because I left my research with more questions then answers.

Even Chuck

As it is, I have been reading about some notable women in history.  I’ll share the articles with you, so I can at least do something today. . .

http://primajanetcollins.com/

https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/deborah-sampson/

http://lucyparsons.org/biography-iww.php

http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/23/us/flo-kennedy-feminist-civil-rights-advocate-and-flamboyant-gadfly-is-dead-at-84.html

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/world/peopleevents/pande01.html

http://leanin.org/

https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/womenyoushouldhaveheardof

Veterinary Flaws [prequel 0A]

25 Nov

Veterinary Medicine has many problems:  Overcharging clients and advising unnecessary tests and procedures isn’t one of them. And when 20/20 or another journalist bring up an “expose” on veterinary medicine–the public is more then happy to accept it. They eat it up.

McDonalds

And that’s why veterinary medicine has so many problems–the legit problems that’s I’ve mentioned about the Wal-Mart employee issues. The small business woes.  The general public still sees pets as a commodity. And the law sees them as property. So veterinary medicine is easily portrayed as a shopping rip-off. These exposes are not advising that veterinarians aren’t doing enough for the pet (as some might with, say, the topic of obesity), they are telling the public that their vet wants TOO much healthcare.

Anyway, in all my experience (14 years now) as a vet assistant, sometimes a very unhappy one, I have never had an employer charging a fair or comparable exam fee. Of all the nail trims I’ve done–probably one-tenth was charged to the owner’s bill–the rest were free. We routinely give baths, clip matts, or do other small procedures that do require time, but don’t go to the owner’s bill. And unlike human medicine, if there is a mistake, miscommunication, or just buyers remorse, they fees will be reduced or eliminated altogether (by the vet).  So the problem is actually the OPPOSITE of what the exposes/news stories challenge–vets charge too little, and constantly have to negotiate on the behalf of the animal to do ANY gold-startests/treatments, because people choose not to make their animal’s health a priority.  Veterinarians rarely get to employ the *gold standard* diagnostic or treatment.  They have to cater to low-budget options instead.  And that affects the business, wages, and future hiring ability.  Give away enough services and suddenly, there’s no money for bonuses, raises, or to replace a missing worker.  It all trickles down.

So vets aren’t in the business to make money and gouge you. If they were–well they would be dentists, and I and all the other skilled workers like me, would be paid appropriately. Veterinarians would be making the salary they are WORTH.  Instead of having the highest school debt, and lowest pay of any professional.  Instead of making a couple of dollars above minimum wage for my experience, BS in Animal Science, and dedication–as well as SKILL–I would be getting the pay (and benefits) of a human nurse.  Substantially higher.  AND, instead of having people just off the street working at vet hospitals, and largely unregulated employment rules/policies, there would be more eyes on the business if public perception of veterinary hospitals switched from shopping-service to medical necessity.

The public’s perception of animal importance and the media’s coverage of stupid things coupled with silence about actual problems in the career is the real problem with veterinary medicine–but where’s the expose on that?

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Sounding Less Ignorant for NPR

13 Oct

I’m ashamed to admit my “news” source is Facebook.  And people I overhear–at work or at school.  Not the best for a 30 year old.  Also–I’m anti-politics.  I think anyone who gets that far “played the game” and is therefore dishonest and untrustworthy and phony to a certain degree.  So it’s weird I’m in conversations with NPR.  My mate, Cool sent some sort of e-mail response to the news group and now I’m almost famous.  Which is good and bad.  Good, because people like me–caught in-between a job and a career, poverty, and low-income, liberal and conservative–will have a voice,  I can tell the story of many forgotton people.  But bad too–because I am legit-uninformed, not politically involved, and fairly ignorant regarding laws, insurance, and politics at large.  In the interest of doing my segment justice, here are some well-thought answers to potential questions:

opposing parties

–>Aren’t I concerned about being uninsured?

Sort of.  It would be awful if I got appendicitis and had to pay for an emergency room visit.  It would also be terrible if my apartment caught on fire, my car was totaled, or one of my cats ate a string and required surgery.  I worry about a lot of things:  Paying my rent, keeping my car in good working order so I can get to work and school, keeping up with my undergrad loan payments so they don’t garner my wages, keeping my kitties fed, and buying groceries.  In my situation, any number of things can go wrong, so I have to prioritize which is most likely/relevant.  My health–since I have no previous or current issues, has to go on the backburner.  Plus, with health insurance, I do not feel like I’m getting anything back for my money.  I want exams or perscriptions, or something back in the short term for that $100/mo or $1,200/year that means so much to me.

–>What happens if you do have an emergency or health problem?

I pay it off.  Slowly.  I went to the emergency room before.  Certainly I could not afford it.  And no payment plan–other then “pay immediately or lose your good credit” was extended to me.  BUT I paid what I could each month–and the emergency room didn’t turn me into collections.  I made my own payment plan so to speak.  Just paid what I could on a consistant basis for almost 2 years.  And paid off my entire bill–my myself.  It’s what responsible citizens do.  I hardly expect government or tax payers to pay my way. . .  And for non-emergencies I just try to reduce my doctor visits, live wisely, and do what I can to avoid costly medical expenses.  It’s not that hard to sleep, take vitamins, and wash my hands rather than running to the doctor for every sniffle.

–>Haven’t I looked into my insurance options?

I looked into my options briefely.  I can’t say I have devoted an apprporiate amount of time on the issue, because my biggest priorities are studying and attending school and going to work–and when I’m not doing that I’m generally tired.  What I did find was what I deemed unreliable, politically-charged “information” or large sets of data that may or may not pertain to my specific situation to wade through.  It’s been frustraing and has made me feel very ignorant and uninformed about the whole process.

 

Going to the Media

28 Aug

There is a story that needs to be written:

Who takes care of the trails system? The branch of the Centennial on East S. Riverton Ave (across the river from Avista and across Mission Avenue from Witter Pool) is overgrown to the point people are hiding in the shrubbery. I think some grooming is in order.

I sent this note to the Spokane Police, Spokane Transportation, Spokane Parks & Rec, and Spokane Government. Each entity deferred responsibility to someone else, so no one is doing anything.

This is right down the road from where Sharlotte McGill was stabbed to death and is marked as an official trail. To let the foilage grown to an extent that people can hide/drink/drunk/live within is dangerous for everyone that trusts a community trail should be safe.

From Parks & Rec: [Here’s the official word —– The trail between the river and South Riverton is Tuffy’s Trail and is not part of the Centennial Trail. There is an informal, unofficial dirt path that runs closer to the Riverbank where vegetation is heavier but we advise people to stay on the paved and sidewalk trail that runs on top along the street. The vegetation does not encroach on the trail in this location. —– So it looks like that part of the trail might be out of luck. Thanks for letting us know!]

From the Police:  [I believe that would be Parks and Recreation. . .  You may want to check with the street department at 232-8800. Other than that, we’re out of other options.]

“Tuffy’s trail” is the lower dirt trail demarcated by a sign and starts near Napa–well away from the Mission portion I’m speaking of. I’m talking about the Centennial Trail right on Mission, the bike branch–which has a sign saying “Centennial Bike Trail.” It is dangerous to be on the cement there as the trees and brush obscure view from the street and people are hanging out/drinking open container/living/maybe doing drugs there.

It’s unfortunate there is apathy for that part of the trail and the safety of the people on it. Someone ought to care. . . Maybe if you write a story on the issue, someone will find the motivation to do something in order to avoid another tragedy.

Going Postal

8 Jun

I watched a documentary about the infamous rash of shootings perpetrated by (postal) workers in the U.S. with the expectation of judging and criticizing the violent offenders.  While I watched the film, I was hit by another feeling–empathy.  For the violent offenders.

Even though I would not, under any circumstance, say what they did was justified or warrented, the movie made clear these were not just crazy individuals.  The stressors and managerial styles of employers pushed them over the edge.  The pressures of the job and abusive atmosphere at work helped them snap.

Why do (Former) Employees Shoot?

-70% of all Americans are unhappy in their jobs.

-feel powerless

-work more and more hours

-companies squeeze more out of employees

-emphasis is placed on profits–not people

-more pressure to perform leads to higher stress loads.

 -treating workers like machinary dehumanizes–>easier to be cruel

-competition with co-workers for (perceived) limited benefits/raises/hr/pay

-alienation at work due to competition or under-performance

-increasing frustration

-employees feel resentful

-tied to work for the income

-manager nit-picking of employees

-feeling of helplessness

-feeling of already having failed

-fear of getting terminated

-employee feels wronged

-have to be subjected to same conditions day in and day out (1/3 life is spent at work)

-identity and self worth are tied up in job

-(threat of) getting fired takes away not only income, but self-worth, identity, and social network.

-media attention on other shooting/attacks inspires the desperate

-perceive self as hero to others in same situation

-revenge/avenge

-kill many innocent people to symbolize larger organization (which can’t be killed).

And the ultimate solutions:

-Co-workers need to report, report, report.  It’s better to investigate a “feeling” than leave it alone and face tragedy.  Awareness of signs and signals–and telling those concerns to the right people can prevent many such incidents.

-Having a plan.  Practicing that plan.  All places of employment need to go over an emergency plan in case of shootings.  Or fires, bombs, terrorist attacks, etc. . .

-The media needs to be careful about sensationalizing shooting events, which can influence other unstable people to commit crimes.

-As always, America needs to put more emphasis on mental health care.  Screening, funding, and supporting it is imperative.

-Businesses need to evaluate their company ethos, goals, and managers to make sure the environment is need a hostile pressure-cooker.

-Impossibly, the U.S. needs to put less emphasis on capitalism, production, and money and more on work relations, vacations, and human rights.  This is a tall order.

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Next American Beauty

24 Oct

America the Beautiful 2

a documentary following up on one of my favorite documentaries (“America the Beautiful) EVER.  And that’s saying something.  The first was about the harsh beauty industry and it’s treatment of women in order to make lots and lots and lots of $$$$$$.  This one focuses in on the obesity epidemic and health and dieting industries.

95% of all diets fail.

1/3 of American adults are obese.

1/3 children are overweight.

400,000 die from obesity every year and this was widely publicized   The figure was according to the CDC, a VERY trusted source.  Proven erroneous.  25,814 is the true number.

Thin people are perceived as attractive, intelligent, and of a higher class.  This is evolutionary according to a researcher on the documentary.  But I don’t buy that.  Super-thin cavemen would not thrive.  They would need to eat more frequently, they would not have great insulation, thinness would not support an appropriate muscle mass for escaping predators. . .

BMI invented by a mathematician 1830-1850.  Never intended for

Overweight Side Effects:

spinal problems, higher instance of miscarriage, joint problems, increased cholesterol, skeletal problems, increased heart size, and increased blood pressure, and stroke.

Raw Diet=uncooked.  No animal products, no caffeine.  Blame animal products for heart disease.  They say “You will be completely disease free.”  My comment:  What the fuck is this bull shit?!  They are drinking wheat grass shooters as a part of their detox.  Wheat grass offers vitamin K, the end.  Which no one is lacking.  $80 for a gallon of grass juice!  That is rich people throwing away their money.  I say that’s privilege.  And who can stick to such a regimen?  It is hardly realistic.

Smoking helps with weight loss.  What?!  So this is not about health.

Diets= deprivation, then regain and increase weight.  It is NOT lack of discipline!  This does not work long term.  A restrictive diet can only be maintained short term, and by those with unnatural devotion.  Psychological willpower must overcome biological drive to eat.  Biology dominates the psychological restriction.  Decreasing calories slows metabolism, which is why people gain all weight plus back.

Adolescent boys with eating disorders:  Which goes against everything I know about eating disorders.  Our capitalistic society preys on, and objectifies WOMEN.  To learn over 1 million males struggle with eating disorders was shocking.  Especially straight males.  All of the boys of the documentary lost weight because they wanted to impress girls.

Famous (tall) black model was 103-117lb during her entire career.  4 hours cardio per day on no calories.  Thinner is better.  Get thinner, thinner, thinner!  Kate Moss=bad representation.

A woman with an eating disorder is 12x more likely to have a daughter or a sister with an eating disorder.  Insurance companies don’t cover eating disorders enough.  They make sure the suffers live, and pull funding, before life skills are formed, not to mention before mental stability is realized.

Eating disorder suffers fight back with denile and defensiveness.  Dieting ability is a diagnostic precursor for eating disorders of all types:  Anorexia, binging behaviors, or compulsive overeating.

50 billion dollars a year on diets/dieting products.

On any given day in the U.S. half of all women are on a diet.

1 in 4 men are on a diet.

Almost half of American children between first and third grades say they want to be thinner.

In 1970 the average age for a girl to start dieting was 14.  By 1990, the average age fell to 8!

I don’t know if I trusted the information in this documentary like I trusted the first documentary in the series.  I felt like the “facts” and “interviews” were manipulated.  Also, I felt the documentary was skewed toward–fat is not unhealthy, BMI is wrong and inaccurate, lawmakers trying to help the obesity problem are corrupt, eating disorders are more prevalent then overweight people, average woman in America is size 14, etc, etc. . .

 

Batman is Cursed

27 Jul

I debated posting this one–I don’t have a lot to say about it, haven’t really kept up with the news about it (especially the victims), and it may be a little too cheeky for good taste.  And yet I think this is a tragic event that deserves mention.  So in order to acknowledge this as close to the event as possible, I’ll jot something down before spending an overabundance of time researching it.  [Most of my time is spent frantically trying to finish reading and outlining my anatomy text before school starts.  And I have just one more (long, long, long) chapter to go!!!!!!!]

There are a lot of reasons I think the Batman franchise is cursed, but I am going to discuss my take on James Holmes’ shooting rampage at the midnight showing.

-Don’t get down on Colorado too much.  I just know there will be many comparisons to the Columbine shootings, but violence can occur anywhere.  And this guy came from California.

-Also, we need to remember that it does no good to be fearful of public places.  Avoiding theaters is not going to accomplish anything.

-The point is–damaged people can be anybody anywhere.  This guy had a degree and looked to have a future.  And yet, something went terribly wrong.

-As an aside from my thoughts on the murderer:  A lot of the news sources are specifying that one of the victims was 6 years old.  As if the older murdered people are any less tragic.  Life is life, people.  PS–who takes their elementary-aged kid to a midnight movie showing???

-It is difficult NOT to blame the parents.  And if his mother was so certain something like this could happen, well, she should have done something to prevent it.

-I also think the parents should have been paying more attention, monitoring activities (and bedrooms), regulating behavior, and generally communicating more with the Columbine Shooters.    Parental involvement (and school activities) does a lot to curtail this stuff.

-I hate what Holmes did.  I think it sucks and it was preventable and it never, ever should have happened.  And I am not making any excuses for him–he should suffer for what he did.

BUT

-Don’t be too quick to condemn this 24 year old neuroscience graduate.  Any one of us could snap and do something extreme.  When people get desperate enough-they are capable of anything.  And undiagnosed mental illness, untreated depression, or just overwhelm could have contributed.

-I think we need to have periodic screenings for mental health.  There MUST have been some sign that James was about to lose it.  His mother didn’t seem surprised at all.  And healthcare and prescriptions need to be affordable so people having trouble can turn to those resources.  It is partially society’s fault for ignoring this stuff when it’s treatable.

-That said, once a person does snap, they need to face appropriate consequences.  I hope James Holmes does.  And I’m glad he didn’t take the coward’s way out like most and commit suicide.

Patriarchy Loves a Diet

21 Jul

These are stats from a documentary I watched about the obesity epidemic–that I can no longer remember the title of–sue me.

As a nation, we spend 137 billion on fast food and 60 billion on weight loss products.

Health care costs 147 billion in America.

39 million missed work days.

Whoa.

As I’ve said before–it’s all about calories consumed vs. calories expended.  There is nothing complicated about that.  Half the battle is just knowing where your calorie count is throughout the day, so you can make informed choices.  The other half of the battle–is finding the will-power to execute the CORRECT choices.

As a disclaimer, I have to tell you I have never dieted.  Not a true– trying to lose weight, limit food or only eat certain things, and ramp up the exercise to lose X amount of pounds–diet at any rate.  I think that is just a big money-maker.  Women, especially, are made to feel bad about their body (through media and culture), then presented with some pseudo-science so they can “fix” themselves.  The diets are complicated, rigorous (to keep women busy focusing inward instead of on important world matters), and impractical for long term.  Meaning, women will be forced to try diet trend after diet trend in an attempt to “fix” their body.

Showing people losing or maintaining weight is a simple process is not in the best interests of business or patriarchy.  That’s why it is usually presented as such a huge, work (and money)-intensive undertaking.  If women knew they just had to balance calories in/calories out–which is a cheap, lifelong, simple process, a whole lot of companies lose money.  Besides, I think it’s unhealthy to cut out entire food groups.  Not to mention high maintenance.  Which gets us back to what women spend their time doing.  Patriarchy would rather women are jumping on the latest diet bandwagon, spending loads of cash in order to get thin, and preoccupied with their bodies–it dis-empowers them.

No–no way.  I couldn’t last one day on a typical diet.  I love food.  It may be my favorite thing in the world, even.  And I do not believe in such things as dieting for feminist reasons, and because I think women are too focused on weight.  BUT just as good body image is important, so is good health–and the above stats show this country has a deficit in that.  Here are some tips (as tried by me, a naturally thin, and newly RE-fit person) that will save you calories (and as a bonus, money):

-Always have a healthy snack (wheat thins, dried fruit, a granola bar) in the car.  If you get hungry on the road or tempted by greasy fast food–pop some of your healthy option to take away the hunger pangs and re-direct your mind.  This is especially true for road trips.  Pack a cooler at home, or go to the grocery store before leaving.  You’ll reach the destination faster too, b/c you can just grab a smarter choice snack from the back seat instead of stopping at limited choices with bad food.

-Try never to eat fast food.  I can’t remember the last time I’ve eaten at Mickey D’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, or Carl’s Jr.  Not because I TRY not to go there, or am ethically opposed (I am, but since when does that stop me?) but because I genuinely do not care for the food OR I like just other places better.  There is nothing good about FAST food.  If you MUST eat out–upgrade to bar & grill fare or better.  It’s still not great, but higher quality.

-At restaurants–stick with the appetizers (only!)and share them with your dining companion.  Salads are expensive (sometimes MORE calorie-laden then other choices) and leave me hungry so I make poor choices later.

-I never, never, never have the will-power to control my portions.  At home, use small plates, or load up the plate with produce before squeezing the entree on.  At restaurants ask that they box half of your (giant, over-sized) portion up before even bringing the food to the table.  This ensures you will eat ONLY half–and that you have left-overs that are a full meal.

-Instead of eating ice cream, cake, pies, cookies, and other high-cal foods for dessert–stick fruit in the freezer.  It’s a really yummy treat, plus since it’s frozen it will force you to eat slower and your stomach is more likely to register when it is full.  I’m a dessert person from way back, but frozen grapes, mangos, or bananas are adequate to super-yummy in the evening.

-Watch out for those empty calories!  Attempt to eat foods that will make you full over time instead of drinking your calories, eating salty stuff that leaves you hungry in an hour, or gobbling down a bag of junk.

-Water is boring, but obviously necessary.  To help you WANT to drink it, freeze juice, lemon juice, or those Popsicles that come in the liquid tubes in the ice cube tray.  Plunk a flavor cube in the water for more taste.

-On days you know you will eat too much, go on a run, hike, or exercise vigorously to counter that.  And eat less the next day.

Those are really the only tricks I sometimes remember to use.  I’m blessed with the metabolism of a hummingbird, luckily.  Which I fully realize is a fleeting gift, so I need to try to establish healthy habits for when it expires.  For those that have less stellar metabolisms, and for everyone who wants to improve their health, give my tips a try.

Pink Slime–> Late yet still Relevant

17 May

I think it’s a very Native American practice.  Really.  I would eat “pink slime” any day of the week.

But before my commentary–what exactly is it?  Pasted directly from the Wiki:

Pink slime, also known as lean finely textured beef (LFTB[2] and boneless lean beef trimmings (BLBT),[3] is abeef-based food additive that may be added to ground beef and beef-based processed meats as an inexpensive filler.[4][5] It consists of finely ground beef scraps, sinew, fat, and connective tissue, which have been mechanically removed in a heated centrifuge at 100°F (38°C)[6] from the fat into liquid fat and a protein paste.[7][8] The recovered material is then processed, heated, and treated with ammonia gas[1] or citric acid to kill E. colisalmonella, and otherbacteria. It is finely ground, compressed into blocks, and flash frozen for use as an additive to beef products.[9][10] The term pink slime was coined in 2002 by Gerald Zirnstein, who at that time was a microbiologist for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service.[7] Some state officials have objected to the nickname, saying that “lean, finely textured beef is the proper name.”[11]

In the United States, the additive itself cannot legally be sold directly to consumers. However, it can constitute up to 15% of ground beef without additional labeling,[9] and it can also be added to other meat products such as beef-based processed meats.[9] Prior to the invention of the disinfection process, beef scraps could only be sold as pet food or as an ingredient for cooking oil.[4]

And of course, I fully realize Wikipedia is not the greatest source.  It isn’t necessarily fact-based, and it’s certainly not peer-reviewed.  BUT what is the first place everyone looks for info?  That’s right–the Wiki.  So the entry is a good overview of what most people are told about the product.

Shame on the media for stigmatizing it.  Shame on people in the general public for getting grossed out rather then exploring the consequences of eating or not-eating it.

I commend producers and scientists for being ingenious enough to utilize products that would normally get tossed or wasted.  “Pink slime” is good for the environment.  It means landfills are not getting filled as fast.  It means an animal didn’t have to give up its life so someone could take 4 prime cuts of meat and toss the rest of the carcass in the garbage.

And I know a lot of people are going to get down on me for saying this, but this is MY blog so I’m going to anyway.  I think the whole labeling movement is extraneous.  There you have it.  Here’s why:

Labeling costs a bunch of money.  And I don’t know if anyone else has noticed but we are in a recession.  I think that money would be better spend on EDUCATION (more of this solves about every dilemma you could ever come up with), law enforcement and safety workers, health-care, small business start-ups and job creation, bettering the roadways, Native American people–in general, fixing marginalized and forgotten people/communities, better animal regulation (I’m looking at YOU puppy mills), *insert a long, long list of bigger priorities here*

Not only does labeling cost loads of money, it takes time to implement.  And there are logistical concerns.  Ever noticed how much information (and marketing) is already on a label?  How do we get any more facts on there while keeping it easy to see and understandable?  Labels are only so big.  And how long do we give companies to over-haul their product’s image?

Also, it requires regulation.  And who will do it (and with what money will we pay them?)?  The FDA, USDA, EPA are already busy, diluted, and ineffective enough without that added responsibility.

You’re really not going to like this point.  I would argue that the general public is not educated on agriculture.  See Wiki justification above.  I mean, the average person has never been to an actual farm (or any facility) in the basic and essential steps of food production.  It is easy to complain about agricultural practices when you don’t know what animal/food production entails.  It’s easy to look down on hormones, additives, procedures, and the like when you don’t understand WHY they are used.  To criticize, people must know the chemistry, biology, biochem, economics, and logistics behind current practices.  I am arguing here, that the general public does not have enough information to make well-informed decisions about food cultivation.  Instead they tend to jump on the latest bandwagon from the loudest media-hype.

Lastly, the public only seems to want food ingredients/hormones/additives/processes they DON’T like to be labeled.  Once any entity goes through all the trouble of labeling their product with whatever, the public will SEE what is in said product and stop buying it.  What company would agree to spending a fortune, taking extra effort, painstakingly disclosing every last fact about the ingredients and processes that go into formulating the product–only to LOSE business?

So pink slime–I’m for it.