The Tao of Politics

One of my main concerns is: how can I make a difference? There are thousands of political blogs out there. It’s easy to get lost in that ocean. So I may blog about politics on occasion, or I may blog about health issues, depending on where my interests lead me, and where I feel I can contribute something of significance.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

PFOA, It's everywhere
A couple of years ago I went looking to find a new pizza pan to buy. Do you know how hard it is to find a pizza pan that is not coated with Teflon or some other nonstick material? I spent months looking for just a plain pizza pan, without a nonstick surface. Eventually I found one, but it wasn’t easy.

Now the EPA has asked for a ban on PFOA, a chemical used in the manufacture of Teflon, which is showing up in everybody’s blood stream, never goes away, and is potentially hazardous. Anyway, read this highly informative article; and follow all its links. They are also informative. And here is a website that has downloadable letters that you can send to major fast food corporations asking them to stop using materials that contain PFOA (such as the boxes they keep French fries in).

God, you know, you eat something as presumably innocent as a goddamn French fry, saturated fat aside, and it contains some chemical you’ve never heard of. This is a scary situation. I am fairly conscientious about trying to eat a healthy diet. But in spite of all my efforts, something like PFOA, which is apparently ubiquitous in the environment, could spell my doom. Very discouraging.

Cause and Effect
This article speculates that obesity may be caused by adenoviruses. It says that “obesity has doubled in adults in the United States in the past 30 years and has tripled in children.” It goes on to say that, in effect, this increase is difficult to explain by increased food intake. I would like to ask, is it easier to explain by some rampant virus? Has everyone forgotten Fast Food Nation? Food consumption in this country is radically different now than it was thirty years ago. All portions, especially those of soft drinks, have increased substantially. What used to be a large fountain soft drink is now probably a small. So intake of calories has measurably increased. The food industry spends billions of dollars each year promoting its products, the consumers consume them, and they gain weight. Surprise!

OK, maybe some viruses are causing some people to gain weight, but you can’t blame the obesity epidemic on a virus. If you do, you’re closing your eyes and ears to what’s really going on out there, with people selling, buying, and eating more and more food. And gaining more and more weight.

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Four books in one volume, including, for the first time in print, The Tao of America. Click here for more information about this volume, including excerpts.

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