- Weight Problems - The Bigger Issues
- All things have a price.
The safety, security, convenience luxury and ease of the industrial/technological
era have a price. This price is in part monetary, since we all must pay for the
goods of modern life. But this is only a partial payment, and at that, a discount.
- Most of us feel that we work
hard for a living. This may be true, but the living we get is often disproportionate
to the hard work we do. One middle income persons wage from forty hours of
work per week might feed and clothe a family of five, provide a 2500 square foot home, a
vacation cabin. furnishings, two cars, a recreational vehicle, snowmobile, insurance
to replace it all if lost, taxes to support public services, bureaucracy, social aid and
defense, support a part of a 600 billion dollar a year medical industry, pay to college
educate three children, create cash to dabble in the stock market, and generate revenues
for retirement by age 55.
- The modern ability to harvest
the resources of the Earth at an incredible pace has resulted in us all living at bargain
prices. Compare what could be done by axe to the present
ability to harvest and mill acres of timber in a single day. Compare farming by hand
to that possible with todays awesome equipment.
- It would appear that we get more than we earn.
We do. If so, who or what is making up the difference?
- It is the Earth itself and its resources which are
being reaped in excess of the price paid. What is the proper price? Whatever is
necessary to assure the sustenance of the resource for use by future generations.
$1.39 is not a proper price for an eight foot 2 x 4 board, unless that price also
covers the cost to renew the forest from which it came, to clean pollutants which may have
resulted from its milling, and replace the energy required for its production and
transportation with a clean renewable source.
- If the Earth was infinite, or
this generation was the only one to which an ethic need be applied, then our present
course of seeking ever more efficient ways to harvest Earths resources would be
proper and right. But neither is the case. The Earths reserves are
finite, and morally this generation has no right to steal and squander the sustenance
required for the next.
- Not only is modern voluptuary
living a tremendous bargain but also it shifts much of its environmental costs to future
generations. It is as if we mine the Earth, put it through a factory to produce our
products of ease, and directly hook the chimneys and effluent pipes into a future
generation. We are cheating. Not only do we steal the toys of our children to
play with, but also we leave the mess for them to clean up. The environmental toll
is therefore the other part of the price equation, which were not paying.
- We have, however, been unable
to steal without being caught, or to totally seal the pipes exhausting environmental
damage into our childrens generation. Some is leaking out. We are
suffering some of the consequences of our myopic excesses. Acid rain, oil spills,
Chernobyls, Love Canals and Bhoepal represent only headlined tips of the iceberg.
Soil erosions from treating living soil
as if it were a strip mine;
Toxicants used on crops to attempt
Ever-lower micronutrient levels in food
crops harvested year after year with only NPK fertilizer used to replace nutrients lost;
Food processing designed to increase
profits by increasing shelf life and flavor rather than nutrient value;
An ever-increasing demand for and supply
of sybaritic products of ease and luxury, many of which are unnecessaryDoes each of
us really need three cars, 20 pairs of shoes, a garbage disposal, air conditioner, 6
suits, 30 ties, three TVs, 200 toys or 60 bottles of cosmetics? (Less than 1% of purchases
from modern multi-acre shopping malls, often built over natural habitat, are for true
A growing dependence on professionals and
loss of self sufficiency;
And an ever-increasing disengagement from
the Earth, our natural heritage, as we become more and more insulated from it by things
and stuff... These are like, but less easily recognized parts of the
- Pretending as if we are
separate and apart from nature, and that we can squander its riches is a deadly mistake.
The ultimate consequence of such imbalance is lost health.
- Now what does all this have to
do with maintaining healthy weight?
- The bloat of obesity is simply
a part of the bloat of society at large. Were fat in our garage, car, home,
closet, officeabout everywhere you look -- why would we not be fat on our
bodies? If modern technology did not present the option for excesses both in food and
leisure, if it did not permit the dramatic alteration of our environment and the character
of our food supply, if the only food available were that picked raw, fresh and whole
directly from nature, and we had to expend considerable effort to find and harvest it as
our genetic makeup expects we would, obesity would not exist. Nor would many other
degenerative, environmentally induced or influenced illnesses.
- Thats a lot of ifs, and
some big ones at that. The idea of each of us skipping through the bushes in our
loincloths each day collecting berries falls far short of practical possibility.
Much of modern technology was in fact designed to feed and protect from the
elements an increasingly swelling population. What would we do now, for example,
without modern sanitation, utilities or food distribution? Disease would abound and
starvation decimate large segments of the population. We have the apparent dilemma
of not being able to live with modern technology, or without it.
technology/industrialization has now taken us far beyond assisting us to survive, into the
world of frills and excess. A classic example is the automobile. That which
would be necessary for transportation, comfort, safety and energy efficiency is entirely
unlike the chromed, gas guzzling death traps which have flooded the highways for the past
decades and go through an unnecessary aesthetic model change every year. Practical
solutions to living problems bave become lost in the excitement of marketing opportunities
and profits possible with technological capabilities.
- Technology, like any tool has
the capacity for good or bad. Using technology to solve problems of transportation,
food production and distribution, housing, clothing, and so forth, while at the same time
preventing waste, pollution or health consequences is one thing; using it to simply create
over abundance or frivolous new gadgets in order to create profit and inflated wages
(which excess then in turn fuels further consumption and further motivates profiteers in
an endless spiral) is another.
- Technology Industrialization
- Exploit Resources
- Protect Environment
- Optimize Health
- Emphasize Quantity
- Recycle Resources
- Lower Prices
- Profit Driven
- Cost Reflects Value
- It is mind that has brought us
to the incredible capabilities of altering our environment and manipulating its resources.
It is mind which must direct these alterations to the benefit of this and future
generations. The grocery cart has replaced the spear.
Cunning necessary for sorting through food, consumer
products, and lifestyle choices replaces the cunning required to survive in the wild.
- If we allow ourselves to be
simply swept along by a society, which is moved primarily by the flow of money, not by
beneficence or fiduciary responsibility, we can expect to reap the consequences.
Obesity is simply one consequence befalling some of us. Others fall victim to
stress-related diseases, environmental illnesses, occupational diseases and a host of
nutritionally related diseases - - all to a large extent a result of society targeting
profits rather than health and sustainability.
- Solving problems of weight,
therefore, becomes a matter of taking control and making choices, not simply being led by
others who may not have your best interests in mind. Purchasing and using everything
we are urged to buy on a billboard or TV commercial is a certain road to disaster.
- Choices must be made. If
those choices can be made within the synorgonic backdrop of understanding our natural
heritage and the need to restore balances, lasting progress can be made. Weight
control approached with these understandings will not only bring the many benefits of
increased individual health, but also raise our consciousness about larger issues of
social and environmental responsibility. It will he through such individual
awareness, action and pressure on societys direction makers that our world can
progress toward the paradisaic health and peace it is possible to achieve.
- Sprout Protein
- I have mentioned repeatedly, in
the reviews how the nutritional value of sprouts. Upon germination many seeds
dramatically increase their vitamin content, decrease anti-nutritional factors, and
increase the digestibility of macro-nutrients such as protein and carbohydrates. A
concern of many that are trying to convert more and more of their diet to vegetation, as
opposed to meat, is protein. Although it is practically impossible to design a
varied vegetation based diet which does not contain the full spectrum of amino acids and
levels of protein generally understood to be entirely adequate for not only maintenance,
but growth, the following data will help increase confidence.
- In a recent issue of a
Sprouting Newsletter an interesting comparison was made between alfalfa sprouts, lettuce,
and eggs. This chart was gleaned from the Nutrition Almanac from McGraw Hill
and we reproduce it on the back of the summary sheet for this month. Note how that
1-cup of alfalfa contains 5.1 grams of protein, whereas an egg, generally considered to be
a high protein food, contains 5.2. Also notice the dramatic difference between the
nutrients that we want higher in our diets, such as fiber and vitamins, compared to either
plain iceberg lettuce or eggs, so the lower values of things we want less of in our diet
such as fat and, of course, calories.
- A good thing to try at home, if
you have not yet, is alfalfa sprouts. These can be easily grown by simply putting a
couple of tablespoons in a quart jar with a nylon rubber-banded over the mouth.
Allow the seeds to soak overnight in water, and then rinse a couple of times a day
and set on an incline so that the water drains out. In about seven days the sprouts
are of sufficient length to eat. The hulls can either be floated off by dumping the
sprouts in a larger bowl and filling with water so the hulls either float or drop to the
bottom. The sprouts at this point can either be put into larger bowls with glass or
plastic covers to allow the sprouts to increase in length and greenness. This is
easy to do, and can keep you supplied with readily available, highly nutritious fresh
greens on a continuing basis. Keeping a store of seeds that are sproutable around is
an excellent survival tool as well. Concentrated in small packages, seeds require
little room but could virtually permit the survival of an entire family through sprouting
for many weeks.
- Colon Cancer and Fat
- A prospective study performed
at Harvard Medical School on 88,751 women between 1980 and 1986 showed positive
correlations between red meat intake and the incidence of colon cancer. There was a
particularly high incidence in women who ate beef, pork or lamb daily compared to those
who ate fish or chicken. Additionally, it was found that there was no correlation
between higher intakes of vegetable lipids and colon cancer.
- This is a significant study
with a mass of data collected over a period of over 512 person years. For those
maintaining there is not evidence for such diet disease links, this is strong evidence to
- No one knows for sure why high
fat diets lead to increased risk of colon cancer. Some believe it is due to the
increased bile acids secreted to process the fats. Bite acids are neoplasia inducing
by increasing a turnover of mucosal cells. It is also believed that the micro-flora
within the colon change populations under high fat diets and that these new microbial
balances can also be cancer inducing. The level of fiber intake is inversely related
to colon cancer. It may be that decreased transit time through the colon, shortening
the time of exposure of the mucosal cells to cancer promoting agents, may also be a
mechanism. Additionally as we have mentioned before in the
review, fats are subject to degradation and oxidation with the resultant products being
highly toxic and free-radical generating. If held in the colon for long periods of
time the result may be the induction of colon cancer.
- The recommendation is clear:
decrease the level of animal fats in the diet, increase vegetation based products. A
tired old theme we continue to repeat throughout the reviews.
Willett, Walter C., M.D., et. al., Relation
of Meat, Fat, and Fiber Intake To The Risk Of Colon Cancer In a Prospective
Study Among Women, The New
England Journal Of Medicine, December 13, 1990, pp.1664-1672.
- Recycled Paper
- Lets look at what happens
when a ton of paper is made from recycled fiber as opposed to a ton of paper made from
- First of all, with that ton of
recycled fiber seventeen mature trees are saved. That alone is a good enough reason
to opt for the recycled paper, but thats not all. We additionally have
significant savings from lower use of electricity and water which is required to make the
recycled paper, and we also have decreased air pollutants released and less refuse is
created for the local landfill.
- It takes 4,1OO fewer kilowatts
hours of energy to produce a ton of recycled paper rather than virgin paper, which is
enough energy savings to heat and air condition a home for six months. The water savings
to make recycled paper is 7,000 gallons. Additionally, one ton of recycled paper
produce 60 pounds less air pollutant than the ton of regular paper does, and not sending
the recycled fiber to the landfill saved a full three cubic yards of landfill area.
- Recycled paper is something we
are now all keyed into looking for and recognizing but we should be sure that even the
smallest paper purchase, such as a greeting card or a box of personal stationery, is on
recycled paper. Granted were not going to turn the world upside down by buying
three greeting cards a year of recycled paper. But by directing our purchasing
dollars and asking retailers for earth friendly options we create a subtle-economic
pressure which manufacturers listen to. Also remember if we pay attention to the
small things were more likely to do the big things as well.
- Decreased Medical Care Results In
Better Patient Outcomes
- The Diagnosis Related
Groups-based Prospective Payment System has been devised to decrease medical costs by
getting patients out of the hospital earlier. A follow-up study in The Journal of
the American Medical Association of over 14,000 Medicare patients showed that of
five-disease categories studied, the hospital stay dropped 24% and in-hospital mortality
declined from 16.1 % to 2.6% after this program was introduced.
- This reminds us of other
studies demonstrating instances where physicians going on strike resulted in decreased
mortality. There is the strong suggestion that more conventional medical care does
not mean better health care.
Stanley S. et al., Comparing Outcomes of Care Before and After Implementation of the
DRG-Based Prospective Payment 8ystem, The Journal of the American Medical
Association, October 17, 1990. Pages 1984-1988.
- Ecological Economics
- Modern economics, blind to the
limits of the natural world, is in part responsible for hastening the Earths demise.
John Maynard Keynes, the father of modern economics, completely left out any
mention or factoring in of the environment when he devised economic measurements and
functioning. Working so closely in time to the Great Depression, Keynes naturally
focused on unemployment, inflation, and other elements of the money cycle. At that
time, natural resources appeared to be so abundant that scarcity, depletion and
environmental damage did not even factor into his picture of the economys
functioning. Unfortunately, we are still operating under the
economic assumptions and standards set by Keynes, only now a handful of economists see
this as a fundamental flaw in their discipline. There is an almost complete lack of
regard for the environment, as if modern economics and the natural world are almost
completely separate from one another, rather than being tightly interrelated as they
- Strictly economically speakingif
there could be such a thing, if economics or any persuasion could stand alonewe are
making great progress. It now takes on average only 15 days to produce what it took
an entire year to produce in 1900. Of course damage is appearing in the form of acid
rain, ozone holes and greenhouse gases, but if we could overlook these problems, the
economics, for now, look good.
- Lets look at the Gross
National Product, every economists favorite economic indicator. A close look
at the accounting system used to produce the GNP shows that human welfare and natural
wealth are not factored in. As a countrys factories and buildings age or are
allowed to go to ruin, a subtraction is made from the capital accounts of that country to
reflect depreciation. However, no such subtraction is made for the deterioration of
forests, soils, and so forth. When trees are cut and sold for timber, for example,
the proceeds are counted as income and thus added to the GNP. However, no
subtraction is made for the deterioration of the forest, which is actually an economic
asset, which could have provided revenues long into the future if it had been managed
- Besides completely ignoring the
destruction of natural wealth, the GNP as it is currently calculated, has another major
failing: it counts as income, many of the expenditures made to combat pollution and its
adverse consequences. The Alaskan oil spill of March 1989, the single most
environmentally damaging accident in U.S. history, actually created a rise in the GNP
since much of the $2 billion spent on labor and equipment for the cleanup was added to
income. In another absurdity, much of the $40 billion in health core expenses and
other damages incurred by U.S. citizens annually, solely as a result of pollution, is
counted on the plus side of the national income ledger. So, while any rational
person would believe that our country certainly would be better off if the Alaskan oil
spill had never happened and if people didnt suffer respiratory ailments from air
pollution, our GNP suggests the opposite. There appears to be reward for
- Under the strictly mathematical
logic of discounting, it is perfectly rational to drive a natural resource to extinction
if its growth rate lags behind the market rate of interest. Cohn Clark, professor of
applied mathematics at the University of British Columbia says, If dollars in banks
are growing foster than a timber companys forests, it is more profitable (indeed
more economical) to chop down the trees, sell them, and invest the proceeds elsewhere.
Economic decision-making also fails to account for the many functions
which natural systems perform which are either difficult to quantify or less important to
the decision-maker than strictly economics. A forest, for example, which is
producing wood for timber is also protecting upland soils from erosion, safeguarding
downstream croplands from flooding, providing habitat for countless plant and animal
species, and storing carbon which would hasten global warming if it were released.
But the single individual who owns that forest may not be as concerned about all
that as about profit. The primary problem often is that private investors dont
consider these ecological costs to be losses since they are social losses. We have
discussed this before; the privatizing of profit, the commonizing of costs.
Relatively small measurable private gains can thus result in a huge unquantified
social loss, and our modern economic rules will detect nothing wrong and send us no
warnings. It is a problem of applying numeracy, the numbers, but not ecolacy
- Recalculating the GNP so that
it takes into account the depletion and deterioration of natural assets such as forests
and water supplies is a critical first step toward lessening the gap between the real and
the apparent economics of a country. So far, Australia, Canada, France the
Netherlands, and Norway are among countries which have begun compiling inventories of
their natural resources, but they do not yet integrate these figures into the national
capital and income accounts. At this point, only the U.S. and West Germany have
plans to calculate an alternative GNP figure which takes environmental damage into
account, but probably not until the mid 1990s.
- Every twenty years, the United
Nations Statistical Commission revises its System of National Accounts. Most
market economies follow the U.N.s accounting procedures, and this commission is
currently making changes. Unfortunately, the U.N. Statistical Commission has decided
to make only limited reforms this time and wont reform again until around 2010.
They ore currently drafting guidelines for countries wishing to develop
environmental and resource accounts, but the traditional approach to figuring the GNP
still will be considered acceptable, and reports given based on that will still be valid.
By the time 2010 rolls around, a growing number of countries will be trapped in
economic decline from the destruction of their natural assets. Without any forests
to supply it with timber, a $50-million lumber mill is useless too country.
- A few, but too few, governments
are taking the initiative to help solve the disparity between ecological and economical
wealth. The government of the Netherlands in April of 1990 proposed planting a total
of 625,000 acres of trees in five Latin American countries over the next twenty-five years
to compensate for and offset the estimated carbon emissions tom two coal-fired power
plants to be built in Holland during the 1990s. They can see that their power
plants will take on environmental toll, and they are willing to try to make environmental
amends. Making such investments and compensations mandatory, for both public and
private investors would help ensure that future economic activity does less overall harm
to the worlds environment.
- Tax policy is another even more
broad and effective way to achieve environmental protection. Most governments raise most
of their revenues by taxing personal and corporate income, but by systematically taxing
economic activities which pollute, deplete or otherwise degrade the environment
governments could raise revenue in a way that promotes environmentally sound practices.
In late 1989, Congress passed a tax on the sale of ozone-depleting
chlorofluorocarbons. Initially, they are being taxed at $1.37 per pound, which is
roughly twice their current price, and the tax will rise to $3.10 per pound by 1995 and
$4.90 per pound by 1999. At this time in the United States, just a 1 percent tax on
pesticides and fertilizers would initially raise more than $100 million annually.
Taxes could be introduced which would penalize the use of virgin rather than
recycled materials, generation of toxic wastes, emissions of acid rain forming pollutants,
overpumping of groundwater, and similar environmentally unsound practices. A comprehensive
set of environmental taxes could easily reduce the governments need for federal
income taxessome estimate as much as 25% less income tax could be tokenand it
would speed the transition to a more ecologically sound economy. With the public
more and more in favor of spending to help the environment, but of course not wanting
their own income taxes increased, these seem promising solutions. Widespread
environmental deterioration will lead to environmental downfall and social disruption.
Now is the time to remember that the economy 5 optimum size is not necessarily its
maximum size. As ecologist/philosopher Garret Hardin says, For a statesman to
try to maximize the GNP is about as sensible as for a composer of music to try to maximize
the number of notes in a symphony.
World Watch, September/October 1990
- Journals in the Kitchen
- A recent header article in The
New England Journal of Medicine entitled Chemistry in the Kitchen
certainly caught my attention. The authors describe a method by which ground beef can be
lowered in its cholesterol and saturated fat content. They describe heating the meat
in polyunsaturated fats first, and then rinsing the product with boiling water to extract
the fat and cholesterol, and then recombining the fat-free broth with the meat to add back
the meaty flavor.
- The National Cholesterol Education Program is
making an aggressive educational attempt in getting people to lower fat intake to less
than 30 percent of calories, with less than a third of that being in saturated form.
An intake of cholesterol should be less than 300 milligrams per day, as per their
- This effort attempts to address
the mounting evidence showing a link between certain dietary markers and atherosclerosis,
but the approach here discussed misses the mark. Further processing of meat to
extract certain lipid fractions is not the solution. Nor is the fundamental cause of
atherosclerosis the fact the meat has cholesterol and saturated fats in it. As we
mentioned before, it is likely that it is the processing of the meat in the first place
which adversely effects the make-up of its contained lipids, which result in
atherosclerotic lesions. It is also the excess consumption of such processed meat
that is causing the problem. Nevertheless, it is remarkable to note in a mainline
scientific medical publication a rather extensive discussion of recipes and cooking
procedures in the kitchen as a direct link to health consequences.
- In the same issue of that
journal are some other very noteworthy remarks. An editorial by two M.D.s out of
Harvard responded to the article about trying to remove the fats and cholesterol out of
hamburger, for example, by stating that the optimal intake of cholesterol is probably
zero, meaning the avoidance of animal products. Now this is rather
remarkable since most mainline nutritional thinking is that the four food groups must be
eaten daily, and that anyone consuming a vegetarian style diet is taking a dramatic gamble
with their health. They also make the observation in this rebuttal to that article
that conversion of the diet to margarines, which can contain as much as 35 percent of
their fat as partially hydrogenated fatty acids, which can compete structurally and
functionally with important natural fatty acids, as suspect until proven innocent.
They further go on to extoll the merits of a vegetation-based diet by stating
beyond our land of meat and potatoes the worlds vast array of vegetarian
containing no cholesterol and little 16:0 and 14:0 fatty acids provides an eating
adventure between the occasional meatballs that Americans are only beginning to explore.
- As one surveys the popular
press, however, and the musing of various nutritional and medical experts, and the
dictates of food regulatory officials, one can be lead easily to the conclusion that diet
is insignificant in health as long as the four food groups are eaten daily, and that diet
has little to do with disease at all.
- I just received in the mail
today an invitation to a post-graduate course put on by the American Society for Clinical
Nutrition. Now this came along with the premier nutritional
journal in this country, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and this
program is a function of this journal. The remarkable thing is the title of the
course, Diet in Prevention and Treatment of Chronic Disease.
- Well, as Ive mentioned
before the scientific literature if filled with evidence and testimony demonstrating the
dramatic and wide links between diet and disease. Unfortunately, this information
simply has not sufficiently moved out into the professional audience, or to the public at
Cheryl, M.D., et. al., Chemistry in the Kitchen, The New England Journal of
Medicine, January 10,1991, pp.73-77.
Frank M, M.D., et. al., Chewing the Fat, The New England Journal of
Medicine, January 10,1991, pp. 121-123.
- Toothpaste Bronchospasm
- This falls into our weird case
of the month category.
- A twenty-one year old
non-smoking woman presented to a physician with a six week history of wheezing and
dyspnea. Treatment included the use of theophylline beta-agonists and inhaled
- It was found that the patient
was using Crest Tarter Control Toothpaste and that the symptoms abated when she switched
to a gel based toothpaste. Rechallenged, the wheezing was re-ignited within ten
- She was sensitive to the
artificial spice in the mint and wintergreen flavorings used in this toothpaste. She also
recalled that she developed similar symptoms when chewing wintergreen or peppermint
artificially flavored gums.
- This is just another example of
the almost endless possibilities that exist within our modern environment for enciting
P.A., M.D., et. al., Shortness of (Fresh) BreathToothpaste-Induced
Brochnospasm, New England Journal of Medicine, Volume 323, Number 26,
- Scale of Change
- So many of the problems we face
today in health and the environment are the result of rapid changes that occurred in our
modern times. Weve talked before about genetic time warp were in since
the industrial revolution.
- For all those born prior to
1945, consider the changes experienced as described by the International Bakers Services:
We were before television, before penicillin, before polio shots, frozen foods, Xerox,
contact lenses, Frisbees and the PILL.
- We were before radar, credit
cards, split atoms, laser beams and ballpoint pens; before pantyhose,
dishwashers, clothes dryers, electric blankets, air conditioners, drip-dry clothingANDbefore
Man walked on the Moon!
- We got married first and THEN
lived together. How quaint can you be?
- In our times, closets were for
clothes, not for coming out of. Bunnies were small rabbitsand rabbits were not
Volkswagons. Designer jeans were scheming girls named Jean or Jeanne, and having a
meaningful relationship meant getting along well with our cousins.
- We thought fast food was what
you ate during Lent, and Outer Space was the back of the local theater.
- We were before house-husbands,
gay rights, computer dating, dual careers and commuter marriages. We were before
daycare centers, group therapy and nursing homes. We never heard of FM radio, tape
decks, electric typewriters, artificial hearts, word processors, yogurt, and guys wearing
earrings. For us, time-sharing meant togethernessnot computers or
condominiums; a chip meant a piece of wood; hardware meant hardware;
and software wasnt even a word.
- In 1940, Made in Japan
meant junk, and the term making out referred to how you did on an exam.
Pizzas, McDonalds and instant coffee were unheard of.
- We hit the scene when there
were 5-and-lO stores where you bought things for five and ten cents. The corner
drugstore sold ice-cream cones for a nickel or a dime. For one nickel you would ride
a street car, make a phone call, buy a Pepsi or enough stamps to mail one letter and
two postcards. You could buy a new Chevy coupe for $600, but who could afford one?
A pity, too, because gas was only 11 cents a gallon!
- In our day, cigarette smoking
was fashionable, GRASS was mowed, COKE was a cold drink and POT was something you cooked
in. ROCK MUSIC was a Grandmas lullaby and AIDS were helpers in the Principals
- We were certainly not before
the difference between the sexes was discovered, but we were surely before the SEX CHANGE;
we made do with what we had. And we were the last generation to think you needed a
husband to have a baby!
- No wonder we are so confused
and there is such a generation gap!
- BUT WE SURVIVED!! What
better reason to celebrate?
International Bakers Services Inc.
- Environmental Tidbits
- Ironically enough, one of the
main complaints that the employees of the American Automobile Association had about their
location in Falls Church, Virginia was frustration with endless traffic jams on area
highwaysso they moved their headquarters to Orlando, Florida where the automobile
isnt such a problem.
- Should everyday disposables be
banned? Consider that Americans throw away 1.1 million tons of disposable cups and
plates per day, which would be enough to serve everyone in the world six times.
Encourage your family to go cold turkey and just say no to
disposable dishes. It can be done and its not that hard! For picnics and such
our family has bought sturdy plastic dishes which can be washed indefinitely, yet are not
breakable or heavy. They pack just as well as paper or Styrofoam plates.
- Every day, 3,500 rural acres
are bulldozed in America to make way for new buildings and highways. Be wary of all land
clearing in your community and become active in zoning issues and the like to help
preserve what you can. Remember: think globally, ACT LOCALLY.
- Consider buying a realistic
artificial Christmas tree and encourage everyone you know to boycott real pines. It
seems ridiculous to see Christmas trees loaded onto trucks to be used for a week and then
discarded, when we need so many more trees in the world. There should be a penance:
for every tree you cut down, you must plant ten. Incidentally, thanks to yours and
others support the Institute has helped plant 5000 trees. Let us know if you
can find an acre to plant some more.
- Of course your children and
grandchildren like toys that go. But consider some alternatives to standard
battery-operated toys, since a common disposable battery requires fifty times more power
to manufacture than it will ever generate. Some green toy companies are
producing solar-powered motorboats, cars and trucks - you just need to hunt a bit to find
them. In this manner, a toy becomes a teaching tool for kids too. After all, this is
the world that awaits them once the fossil fuels are all used up - solar power, wind
power, etc. If they play with it now, perhaps they will be better able to work with
it in the future.
- On an encouraging note, the
Netherlands National Environment Plan includes a proposal to replant more than 600,000
acres of tropical rain forest over the next 25 years in Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica,
Ecuador and Peru. Less encouraging news comes from Japan, a country needing to
perhaps more sincerely address environmental problems: 650 species of animals in Japan are
in danger of extinction, including 20 percent of Japans vertebrates. Much of
this is blamed on a rising resort development rate, which is accelerating deforestation
and water pollution.
- Heres a thought-provoking
question: How do you think a persons body is going to react when it genetically is
programmed and prepared to expect fresh, clean spring water and it receives instead 47
gallons of soda pop each year and 37 gallons of chemical-treated water? Thats
the going average here in America.
- How much ore we really
consuming here in America? Looking at steel, per capita we consume 917 pounds per
year. In Bangladesh the per capita consumption of steel is 11 pounds. Energy
consumption is more embarrassing, with the U.S. at the highest per capita in the world,
with 140 times more energy consumed per capita than in Bangladesh. We are behind
only one country, East Germany, in the consumption of red meat: per capita we -eat 168
pounds of red meat annually. The Indians average 3 pounds annually. What
things are we advised to cut back on? What are we most guilty of overconsuming?
Cars, meat and disposables. Ironically, abundance hasnt really made
people more happy; instead consumption becomes o sort of treadmill with everyone trying to
keep up. Well, as Aristotle said -- 23 centuries ago The avarice of
mankind is insatiable. Let me leave you with a
philosophic quote from Henry David Thoreau, who spent much of his time avoiding society
and certainly avoiding materialistic things. Remember, he had three chairs in his
home: as he said, one was for himself, two for company, three for society. In this
world of consume, consume, consume, ponder the words Thoreau wrote as he sat by Walden
Pond: A man is rich in proportion to the things he can afford to let alone.
Watch, November/December 1990
- The book entitled The American
Hunting Myth, by Ron Baker discusses the system which perpetuates sport or game
hunting. If you are a hunter or support hunting, these points may not change your
mind or impress you to alter your thinking; nevertheless, as is true of almost any issue,
a bit more knowledge or information cant hurt. Lets look at some of the
- First of all, the euphamistic
language surrounding hunting. Game wardens write and speak about taking
so many deer, or harvesting a certain number this season. One of their
favorite terms is wildlife management. Hunters are called sportsmen.
Even buying a hunting license makes it legal,
clean, and official feeling. Killing off large numbers of any one species is called
population control, while ensuring that proper species ratios are maintained
through hunting is called ecosystem management. Eating
some of the meat from an animal which has been killed means you are a subsistence
hunter rather than a trophy or recreational hunter, which somehow makes it more
justifiable or benigneven if you do proudly display the antlers above the fireplace
in your den, relive the moment of the kill with a grand, oft-repeated tale, and your
family didnt really need the meat at all. In fact, of course, there are very
few true subsistence hunters in the United States, only a few living in primitive
conditions and actually hunting the surrounding land for their food.
- Under the term habitat
improvement programs many herds ore bolstered with lots of extra food provided by
the Department of Natural Resources or State Departments of Conservation. These
government wildlife agencies, particularly those on the state level, share responsibility
for deterioration of habitats as a cycle develops: deer and other animals are fed
excessively by food supplied artificially, then the manipulation results in a greater
number of fawns or offspring born in response to the improved food supply, and thus the
yield for hunters is higher. However, as with any time man gets too involved in the
matters of nature, it never works cleanly. Too often there are still too many deer
and longer seasons have to be permitted, or the taking of more antlerless deer, to
compensate for an overgrown population. These may be the same people who defend
hunting the most common way by asking if youd rather see the excess deer slowly and
painfully starve or be quickly and mercifully shotone clean blow to the heart.
Of course, a direct perfect hit, no suffering. What they dont mention
is that there are so many excess deer only because theyve been fed to encourage
increase. In reality, if we just stayed out of it, very few would starve and only in
the most severe winters, once a natural balance was achieved. Also, starvation
claims the weakest and oldest, as a natural way to ensure survival of the fittest and
strengthen the species; hunters are after the largest and strongest, thus removing them
from the gene pool. If we were hunting with clubs and ancient weapons, we too would
get only the slow and weak ones, and this would not weaken the species. But were
hunting with the gross advantage of high-tech, high-powered rifles so were able to
get at the best. Some states grow their deer population so intensely to get ready
for a big and lucrative harvest that car/deer accidents are a very real threat
to people on the highways. Farmers complain of overrunning herds of deer, which
would not be a problem if the herds werent encouraged to multiply by artificially
supplied food and manipulated habitats.
- In fact, the reality of game
management usually conflicts with current game management theories. Game biologists
deal mainly with the continuance of individual species; deer, bear, grouse, pheasant, etc.the
species which mean income. They do not work to establish healthy populations of all
native species, interacting harmoniously within wild ecosystems. Because of the
economics of it all, in fact, many game officials could care less about the unprofitable
species, and are primarily concerned about the management of the species which
bring economic rewards to their state in terms of hunting/fishing/trapping licenses
purchased and the influx of the sportsmens dollars during the seasons. The
bottom line is that in most states, deer management is designed to maximize
fawn production to maintain deer herds at artificially high levels.
- At the same time, natural
predator species are kept at a low, so they dont interfere with the really important
hunting species - man. This is considered one of the main reasons that wolves are so
generally despised - the fear that they could interrupt a blissful human hunter/prey
relationship. Thus, the two main objectives of wildlife manipulators are to keep
populations of favored game species at abnormally high levels, and to reduce the number of
large natural predators if and when predator populations rise above predetermined levels.
Therefore, large natural predators such as timber wolves, mountain lions and
coyotes, and sometimes smaller predators such as lynx and bobcats, are a hindrance to
game management goals. New York State has
usually had a five-month coyote hunting season, combined with an additional trapping
season. There is no doubt that they are trying to keep coyote populations as low as
possible without introducing the threat of extinction, but this is a very dangerous
balancing act for humans to be attempting. Human hunters also fight among
themselves: when a muzzle-loading primitive firearms season was scheduled for deer hunting
before the high-tech rifle and shotgun season in New York began, the hunters who did not
have primitive firearms were angry that the other hunters got first shot. The fear
was that the population of deer would be reduced too much and the big trophies taken
before the real deer season got under way.
- Hunting groups have - and use
very effectively - extremely strong lobbying abilities with their states
legislators. The legislators response to the introduction of bills which
promote more hunting is often not related to what their constituents want, but more to the
pressure of bunting group lobbyists. Any attempt by wildlife officials to shorten
hunting seasons or close off some geographic areas to hunting due to decline of herds is
usually met with angry hunting groups lobbying to kill such bills before they become law.
Since some hunters are very verbal , even though they ore a small minority, and
non-hunters are generally very quiet through indifference or ignorance, the system is
- Here in Michigan, our deer
hunting season begins in the fall with a bow and arrow season, followed by the traditional
firearms season. Hunting is very big business here in the north country, and
generally speaking the economic benefits are anticipated most eagerly by small town local
merchants. Nevertheless, car after car has a dead doe or buck draped across the
trunk or roof, bloody and gutted abdomen exposed, tongue lolling... my children are
horrified as we pass these cars, and its not a pretty sight for anyone except
perhaps for those who are economically benefiting. I dont think too many
people actually like to see a dead animals body, in fact if we had to see the origin
of our prime rib dinner in the slaughterhouse, most of us would have a hard time choking
it down. Did any of us, especially as children, really enjoy the scene in Bambi when
the mother deer is shot, and did we empathize with the hunter? But, my own father
was an avid hunter, keeping bird dogs, and I have many relatives and friends who very much
enjoy and staunchly defend what they adamantly think of as the sport of
hunting. Young boys look forward to hunting almost as a rite of passage. I
have fond memories of hunting with my father, although it was never tasteful for me to
actually participate in the killing part, particularly if the animal was only wounded.
Nevertheless, I understand that part of the fascination is quietly stalking
wildlife in a natural setting, with family or friends to share the experience. All
pros and cons aside, one thing our family does enjoy is the beautiful herd of deer which
come to our back yard pond for water and the food we put out for them. When we see
the survivors after deer season has ended, its as if we can breathe a sigh of relief
for those who didnt get killed. You cant help but be happy for the
hunted if they have managed to elude the hunter, to hang onto their fragile freedom for a
bit longer and thus somehow make us believe the wild and nature still exists.
American Hunting Myth, Ron Baker