Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Junk Science

I know you heard it – it was hard to miss – it was on every channel –
all the talking heads exhorting us to ‘go Mediterranean’ and eat a diet based on legumes, fish, fruit and vegetables.

Guaranteed to help you live longer – and they can prove it!

The study was SO overwhelmingly conclusive that they stopped it early.

All the typical claims of any good snake oil salesmen.

Don’t get me wrong – maybe eating that way will buy you an extra year – only YOU can decide whether an extra year of eating beans and nuts is a life worth living.

My quarrel isn’t with the touted benefits for your heart.
My quarrel is with attributing the longer lives of people in the Mediterranean as only being the direct consequence of their diet.
That’s hogwash.

ALL the Mediterranean states have state funded, universal healthcare.
ALL the Mediterranean states have an average of 36 paid days off from work per year.

Have you been to any of these countries?
They’re lovely – the people are lovely – but their work ethic stinks.

They have 2-3 hours off for lunch – some practically mandate a nap.
For a chunk of every day, their whole damn countries shut down.

They’re not getting in a car, sitting and driving an hour each way to work so they can sit at a computer in an office for 8-9 hours a day, working through breaks and lunch.
They’re walking across town, down the stairs, or out the door to work in the family store, local company or fields.

They’re shopping every day on their way home from work to buy all those locally grown fruits and legumes from local farmers because the ‘refrigerators’  fit under the kitchen counter and are the size of coolers!

Their entire countries are the size of one of our states.
Italy? Roughly the size of Arizona.
Spain? The size of Texas
Greece? The size of Alabama.

They have entirely different cultures than we do, different standards of living, different infrastructures… the list goes on.
That’s not judgmental; it’s neither good nor bad… that’s just reality and it’s just that different.

And all of those lifestyle differences might very well contribute significantly to their healthier hearts and longer lives.

It’s comparing apples to oranges – and there are two of the fruits you need per day right there.

When our country decides to give me universal healthcare, over a month off and a different lifestyle, THEN they can suggest what I eat.

In the meantime, they can keep their magic potions to themselves.

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