Thursday, June 4, 2009

When dyin' ain't enough

Okay, I like to read the snarky comments on the Nutrition Action Healthletter put out by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. My favorite feature is the Right Stuff versus Food Porn that praises or shames food products or restaurant menu items.

Here's part of the description of Bertolli Oven Bake Meals. If you can't guess, it's the Porn side of the page.

"No more frozen dinners that you just pop in the microwave and eat. Now you get to use (and wash!) your own baking dish and sprinkle your own cheese. Odds are, you haven't had so much cooking fun since you baked a cake with the heat of a light bulb in your Easy-Bake Overn."

After an hour of baking, you end up with two servings that have 630 calories, 20 grams of saturated fat and a lot of salt in each serving.

I get it, but inside the issue the drama is a tad much. Speaking about the "long shadow" of livestock, cue the scary Clint-Eastwood spaghetti-western music, the executive director of the center starts his column with this.

Citing a study released recently by the National Cancer Institute, Michael Jacobson says the more red and processed meat you eat, the greater the risk of dying. Not a new or particularly effective argument given the diet of a lot of people.

But wait, there's more. And I'm not talking shamwows. This is important.

"If avoiding an early death doesn't persuade you to eat much less (or no) beef and pork, you might be moved by the environmental consequences of raising cattle and hogs," Jacobson writes.

All the cow burps and farts, fertilizer and pesticide for livestock feed make this a big ole disaster, contributing 18 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions each year. I would like to see somebody prove it. And don't tell Oprah on me for saying that.

By the end of his column, Jacobson is asking for somebody to "please pass me a veggie burger." I can hear the sobs.

Get all the smog-spewing cars and trucks off the Houston Loop (now that's a scary place at rush hour), and I'll think about eating more chicken.

More sobs ensue.

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