To Our Wealth and Hellness

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A free range, grass fed, all certified natural organ...toast: to our loss of perspective and ever creative solutions to problems real and imagined.

When we visit my parents, mom goes out of her way to buy at least two different kinds of milk. Skim for the parents, whole for the under two crowd, and often 2% thrown in for good measure. It occurred to me that this may be slightly belligerant.

I know about special diets and imposition; how even noble ambition toward health and fitness can take on an unhealthy life of its own. My late teens and early twenties were invested in pushing the limits of imposing, annoying, Debbie-downer discipline. I would be a huge, ripped, strong, (and good looking) baseball star at Slippery Rock.


The vice associated with health and wellness is the opposite of gluttony, but it may as well be the same. What do the quantities or content of foods matter, so long as an appetite, a particular appetite, promotes a whole lot of imposition and loss of perspective and, above all, extra self-concern?

It’s no leap to claim that any diet (and exercise) plan can run the risk of consuming us. I think one of todays biggest tempters toward loss of healthy, yes, "holistic" balance has to be the organics. Have you read the rationale or considered the costs of seeing that all way through?

I try to be understanding of those who swear by it. You can't argue with anecdotal testimony, and certainly special circumstances do exist. But by definition, everyone doesn't have said special circumstances.

I use to be in the know on this. In order to sift through the junk science and billions of claims by people who stand to profit from selling organics, you really do need to know the basics of biochemistry. I mean, serious reading. Organic chemistry. Anatomy and physiology of the digestive system. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The International Journal of Sports Nutrition. The center for science in the public interest. This is what a nerd looks forward to on slow weekends in college.

And now I don't have time for that. I mean, you will sometimes catch me reading this site that I absolutely love. But I'm supposed to know the latest and greatest of how to remodel collagen and re-align scoliosis and effectively increase the explosive strength of high school athletes. After thinking critically over literature in my own field, I'm just not into pouring over the variables that influence the oxidative processes of various types of triglycerides.

So the bottom line with organics is 1) I don't claim to be an expert on this, and 2) I'm just not buying it. While there’s certainly value in the checks and balances that allow us to reach environmental and food quality middle ground, an ounce of science only stretches so far. And there does seem to be more review articles like this.

Can organics really abolish all (or even any) of the maladies of the earth and her people? Is it likely, even probable, that things would be worse without all those darn highly efficient, high yielding farming techniques? Remember, Americas poorest and least educated cohort suffers not from malnourishment but from obesity.

When our bodies are frail from a lack of getting outside and actually moving, and years of coffee for breakfast, are organic potatoe chips really the answer there? Is organic soy nard the solution for vegetarians who feel constant fatigue and anemia and blood sugar swings? Are traces of pesticides the cause of all the stress and lack of sleep associated with our economic competitiveness and all nighters with the Wii (or blogging)? It's possible, but I doubt it.

Even if there were some benefit, are the costs justified? The "well off" have slightly better nutrition with which to fuel their polo matches and family conflicts while everybody else starves. Try asking an old time farmer or the 3rd world about minutia regarding food they don't have. They are freaking starving, and would probably choose this "unnatural" fertilizer over cow dung and bugs in their food, anyway.

Take care of your body and the environment we all share – yes. Maybe for you that means organic food and no meat. Fine, there are a lot worse things to do with your life. But please have equal grace toward my position. Don't go reversing the moral compass on me - you who consider sex and relationships to be a matter of preference while suddenly our choice of food is handed down from some universal moral standard. Yeah, you're right, let's not go there.

And for everyone, in your effort to maintain a clean running, pain-free, long lasting machine of a body, do give some attention to where you're going.

Whatever the case, I'll keep trying to put some effort into eating fresh produce and non-processed foods - organic or otherwise. I'll continue with less effort debating the marginal-at-best benefits of organics, because I can't afford it (in time). I literally can't afford to continue with my small part to help the third world and feed organic blueberries to my family of 6.

And whatever milk mom has on hand when we visit will do just fine.

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