Browsing through almost any news writings–papers, magazines, E-mails–it is virtually impossible to overlook the fact that, despite all the nutritional information that is being offered via newspapers, magazines, television, radio, billboards and all other means of mass information, the eating habits of our people seem to get worse, instead of better.
A senior citizen magazine to which I subscribe–the AARP BULLETIN–pointed out in its November issue that the IOM (Institute Of Medicine), the medical branch of the National Academies, recently issued a special thousand-page report, prepared by 21 of its experts, which concludes that “To reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, you should get 45 percent to 65 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, 20 percent to 35 percent from fat and 10 percent to 35 percent from proteins.”
Another article, in the same issue, states that, “In fact, experts say, you can cut your danger of heart disease a further 30 percent by controlling your weight, stopping smoking, eating under 10 per cent saturated fat and more than five fruits and vegetables daily and exercising regularly–at least 30 minutes on most days.”
Back in early September, it was announced that some 200 chefs, grocers and seafood distributors had threatened a “pre-emptive strike” against fish, particularly salmon, that had been altered through biotechnology. Reportedly, the Food and Drug Administration is treating transgenic animals as new drug applications, which means all of the agency’s deliberations are conducted in secret, according to THE NEW YORK TIMES.
More than a month later, the TIMES reported that schools were to be allowed to serve irradiated meat, despite the objections of such groups as Public Citizen that irradiation destroys vitamins and nutrients and can cause chemicals linked to cancer and birth defects to develop. The General Accounting Office, the auditing agency of Congress, reported that food poisoning in American schools has been increasing 10 per cent a year.
A community newspaper, THE LOS ANGELES BAY OBSERVER, recently announced that, “New government research shows that tomatoes should not be considered our only major source of lycopene, the phytochemical (natural plant substance) that could help prevent certain cancers and other health problems. Watermelon may be just as good a source.” In fact, the article points out, watermelons contain more of the cancer-fighting substance than tomatoes do, especially the red seedless ones.
So stop letting people shame you into hiding the fact that you crave that delicious fruit, that my friends and I call “A LETTER FROM HOME.”