Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stop. Somehow, It Has To Stop.

#1 Son came into the kitchen the other day on his way back to work. He had already pulled an early shift, and was called in for the evening.

While he grabbed and ate his salad and green beans and home grilled burger, he told me what was going on.

"The other driver is having to leave," he explained between bites. "His brother felt sick a few days ago, and was getting dizzy today so he went to the emergency room. They told him he had a heart attack a few days ago, and was on the verge of having another one right now, so they have to rush him to surgery. And the guy is only 33! But his arteries are already so clogged they have to do emergency surgery!"

Shaking my head, i told him that was a big problem these days, with diseases that used to happen in later years getting people younger and younger, and mourned that fast food was often their only food.

"Yep!" He nodded, took another bite, and continued, "It's true. some of my friends almost live on the stuff. His brother told me that they've told him he has to change his diet or he will die before he's 50, and maybe now he will."

He grabbed a banana for dessert, and continued. "Yeah, I guess it's okay to eat fast food once or twice a week, maybe, but not all the time like some people."

Yes, i agreed with him, once a week to eat out, or eat fast food, or have a treat you don't usually have, and eat healthy the rest of the time.

"Sure, even though the fast food places don't like to hear it, " he grinned. Then, as he threw away his banana peel into the compost bucket, "I've heard some experts say a couple of times a week, and others say never."

So the truth is probably somewhere in the middle of that, i responded. Once a week sounds fair to me.

"Yep" he agreed. Then he was gone.

It really got me thinking.

This killing ourselves with what we choose to eat, and at younger and younger ages, has got to stop. Somehow, some way, the message has to come through. Before we lose most of a generation to preventable disease at younger ages and end up with our longevity average declining.. Before we end up with scads of children having to attend parent's funerals while they are still very young. Yes, that has happened throughout the millennia, but i'm talking about a much higher percentage of times than in previous generations. Before it gets to be too late.

When my own son was diagnosed with gout at age 19, it was a shock. Yes, i've always made sure i have a home cooked meal, with salad and veggies, almost every single night since he was young. Yes, i've raised him to like and eat just about anything he is served. It hasn't made him immune, now that he makes his own money and can eat out more if he wants to.

Since that episode, i've noticed he eats the meals i prepare most nights, instead of only a few times a week. He's painfully gotten the message.

Is it going to take heart attacks, early deaths, or even a collapse of the medical system that can't handle the influx of so many chronically ill young people to wake us up? Certainly i hope not, but i'm afraid it will.

After all, i understand that most smokers aren't planning to quit, even with pictures of the new, graphic cigarette warning labels out. It seems they engage in the mistaken thinking that it can't happen to them, or they will quit eventually and it will be in plenty of time, or that it is too hard to quit, so why bother.

The same thing may happen with the chronic diseases that go along with overeating and eating poorly. Only time will tell.

It makes me afraid.

Somehow, it has to become cool to take care of your health. To feed yourself good, nutritious food. To exercise. To stay away from excess, be it food, or overwork, or stress. To drink in moderation if at all, and stay way from drugs and nicotine. To be concerned about such things.

Burying our heads in the sand has got to stop. Before it is too late, and we end up with a diseased generation of children.

Today is

Anubis Ceremony -- Ancient Egyptian Calendar

Corpus Christi -- Catholic Christian

Father's Day -- Nicaragua; Poland; Uganda

Festival of the Purple Void -- only one internet reference, and not explained there, either, but since purple is my favorite color, and a Purple Void sound like something fun to celebrate, i'm including it!

Grand Duke's Birthday -- Luxembourg

Let It Go Day

Midsummer Baal -- Ancient Celtic Calendar

National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism -- Canada

National Pecan Sandy Day

National Pink Day

Night of the Fairy Goddesses Aine and Finnen -- Ireland (watch out for the antics of the little people on Midsummer's Eve)

St. Agrippina (patron against evil spirits, leprosy, thunder)

St. Audrey's Day (patron against neck pain. throat disease)

St. Ethelreda's Day

St. John's Eve -- start or culmination of many midsummer festivals, including:
Dragaica Fair -- Buzau, Romania
Golowan Festival -- Cornwall
Jaaniohtu -- Estonia
Kupala Days begin -- Belarus; Poland; Russia; Ukraine
Ligo / Lani -- Latvia (pagan midsummer celebration originally dedicated to the god Janis
Midsummer Festival -- Portugal

St. Nicetas Day (patron of Romania)

Typewriter Day

United Nations Public Service Day

Victory Day -- Estonia

Watermelon Thump and World Champion Seed-Spitting contest -- Luling, Texas, US (through the 26th)

Birthdays Today:

Jason Mraz, 1977
Selma Blair, 1972
Frances McDormand, 1957
Clarence Thomas, 1948
June Carter Cash, 1929
Bob Fosse, 1927
Alan Turing, 1912
Edward VIII, King of England, 1894
Alfred Kinsey, 1894
Johannes Gutenberg, 1400 (estimated)
Ptolemy XV Philopator Philometor Caesar, BC47 (Son of Cleopatra VII and Julius Caesar)

Today in History:

The world's oldest parliament, the Icelandic Althing, is established, 930
First Battle of Uji, starting the Genpei War in Japan, 1180
First War of Scottish Independence: The Battle of Bannockburn, south of Stirling, begins, 1314
The mutinous crew of Henry Hudson's fourth voyage sets Henry, his son and seven loyal crew members adrift in an open boat in what is now Hudson Bay; they are never heard from again, 1611
The French residents of Acadia are given one year to declare allegiance to Britain or leave Nova Scotia, Canada, 1713
Empress Catherine II of Russia grants Jews permission to settle in Kiev, 1794
Christopher Latham Sholes receives a patent for Type-Writer, 1868
The Rocky Mountains Park Act becomes law in Canada, creating the nation's first national park, Banff National Park, 1887
The International Olympic Committee is founded at the Sorbonne, Paris, at the initiative of Baron Pierre de Coubertin, 1894
The College Board administers the first SAT exam, 1926
Wiley Post and Harold Gatty take off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island in an attempt to circumnavigate the world in a single-engine plane, 1931
The 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake strikes Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, 1946
The Antarctic Treaty, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on the continent, comes into force, 1961


  1. Yes to your words on eating. It's sad how we *feed* ourselves. Now, I must go find a way to celebrate Banff Park's birthday.

  2. I can still remember the first time I ever saw a McDonald's - I was 16 years old. I bet there are very few young people nowadays who can remember their first fast food meal!
    I can also remember my first restaurant meal - my father was a poor university student when I was young, so there was never enough money for the luxury of eating out.
    I still consider eating out a luxury, and treat it as such.
    Perhaps that's what needs to change.

  3. Leah, it does make me sad, we are filling a hole instead of nourishing a living body.

    Bag Lady, i agree. In the US we spend something ridiculous like forty cents of every food dollar on eating out, or so i have read. That is too much. The 90/10 rule is better, 90% good food, 10% stuff that might not be as good for us.


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