I want to be inspired by two recent headlines that promise our government is taking a positive role when it comes to our health. I really do. And I was until I Roku’d a film recommended by Netflix when reality came crashing back down. While I’m sure there are people who work for government that are doing their best to make the world a better place, the bottom line is that we are living in an oligarchy. Money is what makes the world go round. Unfortunately, many of those with a lot of it are blinded by the sight of obtaining even more, making everything that falls into their wake of greed irrelevant.
Let’s start with the good news. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released Jan ’11, are now highlighting the merits of vegetarian and vegan diets. From the Huffington Post (or is it AOL/Huff Post now?):
The new guidelines sing the praises of plant-based diets: “Vegetarian-style eating patterns have been associated with improved health outcomes — lower levels of obesity, a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and lower total mortality. Several clinical trials have documented that vegetarian eating patterns lower blood pressure.”
This is good health news if ever I’ve heard some. Never mind that when George McGovern was put in charge of this task, back in the 70s, his research told him pretty much the same thing. When he tried to enact the changes, however, the meat and dairy industries lobbied to have him fired. They were successful and our food pyramid’s been championing way too much meat and dairy ever since. But, hey, better late than never right?
Next is an AP wire about Colorado considering adding more exercise in school. Given the last study I read on this, now a decade old, showed that kids in 2000 were getting approximately 23% less exercise than they were in the 70s all I can say is about time. Too bad it’s not a done deal. But with the testimony of their expert I’m sure it’ll happen.
“I like that. Going to recess is fun,” said 9-year-old Nathanial Guzman, a 4th grader at Knowledge Quest Academy in Milliken, Colo. “Personally, I don’t think our brains would work if we didn’t exercise enough.”
The proposals co-sponsor, Rep. Tom Massey, liked Guzman’s endorsement. “Perfect, there’s our tagline right there.”
Which kind of reminds me of the scene in Aliens when the stranded little girl seems to have better ideas than all the specialists sent to study and/or kill the aliens and Wild Bill’s “let’s put her in charge” reaction. Yep, the kid’s right. Active kids are smarter kids. And how are the people running our school systems supposed to know unless the kid’s tell them?
Finally, in the film that spoiled my good mood, an artist/college professor is falsely accused of terrorism on the eve of his modern art exhibition’s opening that was going to show the dangers of allowing genetically modified foods to spin out of control without public knowledge. The government has spent millions of dollars to prosecute this guy, even it’s such a flimsy case that the defense attorney continually jokes about the absurdity of it.
At the film’s end, the case has dragged on for years but yet to go to trial because the government can’t find enough evidence—any real evidence—to convict him of anything. It seems obvious that the massive GMO industry is somehow behind the odd persecution. After all, they’re trying to force the entire European Union to eliminate the labeling of GMO foods so it’s not stretch to think that they could push the FBI around. And since they’ve got nothing on the artist it all plays out as more bizarre than scary. But we do live in a strange culture indeed.