The Bacon Conundrum

http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/15/scientists-in-oregon-discover-bacon-flavored-seawe/
http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jul/15/scientists-in-oregon-discover-bacon-flavored-seawe/

Are we the first generation to actually think we will beat death? Do we believe that if we do everything possible to keep ourselves alive as long as we can we’ll be around when the cure for death is discovered and live forever?

This smacks into reality when we consider whether or not we would want to be doing, what we are doing now, for eternity. If this day-to-day existence is the only one we will ever be able to experience, is it worth prolonging? Q examines this question on Star Trek repeatedly. What is there to do once you’ve done everything? In one episode, a Q choses to die just to end the boredom of living forever and being omniscient.

But I digress, regulations with the sole function of increasing your life span are very much in our awareness at the moment, because of the bacon conundrum. It was one thing when it was just smoking. All of the ex-smokers hated anyone smoking and all of the helicopter parents felt the risk of a whiff of smoke, when entering a building, could doom their babies to poor health and artificial voice boxes. But now, we are talking about ham at Sunday dinner, pepperoni pizza and bacon and eggs. All but the strictest vegetarians among us partake.

However, if regulations are justified to limit the habits of smokers, to keep them from harm, similar laws will need to be applied to smoked meat products. Age limits on purchases and warnings with graphic photographs, for instance. Possibly restaurants that serve these implicated foods will require identification before entrance, if public consumption is allowed at all.

Will you have to show ID to purchase a pepperoni pizza? Does this mean that we’ll now be seeing colonoscopy photos of cancers on packages? Perhaps post surgery depictions of abdomens when the guts needed to be removed. Same level of risk, same requirement for equal legislation.

Or could we possibly, look at the absurdity of the above and recognize that both bacon and smoking have no redeeming qualities other than enjoyment? And before someone jumps up and says, “second hand smoke”, second hand smoke is NOT as dangerous as bacon so the rules can apply to bacon without suggesting that second hand smoke needs to be treated the same way. In other words, the “risk” presented from second hand smoke is less than the risk from the consumption of cured meat products.

Could we all come to grips with the fact that we are all going to die? Yes, even you. There is more to life than avoiding death. Enjoyment of bacon, for example. Living causes death. Regardless of what you do, you are going to die. Get over it.

For all of the “harm” smoking was doing, it gave people a break in their days. People congregated for a drink and that often included a smoke as well. People went outside purposefully to smoke creating an opportunity to get up and go out. It was a very social activity. Now, you can’t even smoke alone in parks. But you can eat bacon.

No one has ever bothered to explain why, despite the fact that they smoke and eat processed meats, both Spain and France have longer life expectancies than we do. True story. So what’s up with that? Could it be that consuming these products is not the defining issue about how long we live?

If regulations are there to enhance our health, shouldn’t enjoyment of life and being social factor into the equation? Being social has been shown to enhance your life expectancy beyond any other single factor. Smoking was one of the things that people did when they were together. Now, the bingo halls, legions and bowling alleys are almost all gone. Did we enhance the life expectancy of this group of smokers by socially isolating them?

It could be argued that bacon has less value in that it is not generally done in groups. It is less familiar to hear someone say, “lets go out and eat bacon together. ” or ” meet me for some smoked pork belly” but I digress. There is no question that it is delicious. But leniency on the rules cannot be argued because it brings people together. Smoking did.

Not surprisingly, our casinos have never been big hits. If you are going to fly to a city to go to a casino, you are not going to fly here. Many other casinos allow you to smoke and drink. There is a recognition that not everything has to be about prolonging life. Many cultures actually relax and enjoy themselves without obsessing about all of the ‘evil’ out to kill us.

But, health considerations, specifically what you consume, (not how you live) have trumped all others. Lung cancer victims, especially those that have never smoked, are treated as pariahs. Everyone knows that smoking causes lung cancer so if you have it you are guilty of indulging in a socially unacceptable activity no one shows you mercy. Truth is, many of them have never smoked. Turns out smoking is not the ONLY cause of lung cancer. Go figure!

Increasingly, in light of our war on smokers, we will have to face the reality that many of our friends and relatives, who have never smoked, will die anyway, often of what used to be referred to as natural causes. Treating all death as a pathology that could have been prevented allows us to believe that we are the generation that will beat this and live forever, if we just make enough laws about how people can behave. Perhaps we should be rethinking all of this.

The Perils of Play

IMG_3790Lawyers and insurance companies are ruling the world and they are taking us in the wrong direction. Simply put, there is more to life than avoiding death. We have been sucked in anyway to avoiding risk at all costs. This is especially acute in today’s parents who have coddled this generation of children so much; they are likely to never leave home.

Many of the children have never walked to school, or been unsupervised for any length of time. Their lives are spent in the home or during a scheduled activity or play date. No parent would risk abduction and let their child play outside alone! Lets not forget the perils of having sunshine on unprotected skin or the risk of a fall.

But we have taken it so far the saying, “Better safe than sorry” is no longer a truism. Take the playground issue for instance. After a particularly damning report about the perils of the city’s playgrounds; that actually was written with a view to how things “should” be built in the future, not a comment on the current dangers on the playground, the city of Toronto ripped out all of it’s play equipment from public properties and schools.

We have all heard this argument. “Now that there is a report saying that the playground is potentially dangerous we are exposed legally.” Again, with the lawyers and the insurance companies. If a child was hurt and the parents decided to go for a windfall of cash, the city would be liable. There was no way to take the risk. Rip out the playgrounds.

The post-game analysis done by the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ),
showed a great improvement in safety citing 550 less injuries on playgrounds. Now, an injury is described as any time a form is filled out and “includes injuries attended to by teachers or school staff, as well as those in which the child went home or to a health facility”. Funny thing that the CMAJ article made no mention of how this lack of activity affected the children, their ability to concentrate, their weights or their happiness, to name a few undiscussed variables. The study focused entirely on the reduced risk of injury.

Now with funding the way that it always is — tight, the city did not have a plan to replace all of the equipment with the recommended “safer” equipment. The wealthier neighbourhoods did fundraising and refurbished the playgrounds but after 9 years many of the playgrounds remain barren. So now we also have an economic split. The poorer children are more likely to have no way to be engaged and active during the school day and become higher risk for being named a troublemaker.

In other cities, the rules have become so strict that normal games like tag are not allowed because it requires “touching”. Throwing things can be hazardous. Boisterous play can result in someone getting hurt. In other words, we are asking our children not to play because it is dangerous.

So an entire cohort of children is not being allowed normal physical activity. This same group of children is the fattest, most out of shape generation of children North America has ever seen. The way that we are dealing with this lack of exercise is to take away play. Interesting.

Children that cannot make the adjustment to this lack of exercise can become troublemakers because they will have difficulty concentrating or paying attention. These children may be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and medicated. For that matter, in 2011 one in ten children were diagnosed with ADHD in the US. If children cannot sit still, they are given a pharmacopeia of drugs to help them calm down. So let me summarize, many of our children are driven to school and then they are not allowed to play all day and we medicate them to keep them from being too restless. There is no way to over state this.

A particularly nonconformist principal in New Zealand decided to get rid of all of the rules on his playground at school and yes, there were a few injuries, but many of the other “bad behaviours” decreased. In fact, the students focused better in class. Bullying, tattling and vandalism all decreased and fewer children were getting hurt. Perhaps, just perhaps, kids need to be able to play to stimulate themselves and well, be normal children.

Now the question becomes, how do we deal with the lawyers and the insurance companies that are salivating at the thought of a child breaking her arm on the playground? Until we address that issue, we are putting all of our children at real risk, not just the normal childhood risk of a scraped knee or a bruise.

 

How to Lead a Low Drama Life

Master Coach Lori Race is ready to share with you her secrets on how to create a more Zen-like existence. 

Beautiful, Bodacious, Boundaries

Learn How to Say No.

The Perils of Play

IMG_3790Lawyers and insurance companies are ruling the world and they are taking us in the wrong direction. Simply put, there is more to life than avoiding death. We have been sucked in anyway to avoiding risk at all costs. This is especially acute in today’s parents who have coddled this generation of children so much; they are likely to never leave home.

Many of the children have never walked to school, or been unsupervised for any length of time. Their lives are spent in the home or during a scheduled activity or play date. No parent would risk abduction and let their child play outside alone! Lets not forget the perils of having sunshine on unprotected skin or the risk of a fall.

But we have taken it so far the saying, “Better safe than sorry” is no longer a truism. Take the playground issue for instance. After a particularly damning report about the perils of the city’s playgrounds; that actually was written with a view to how things “should” be built in the future, not a comment on the current dangers on the playground, the city of Toronto ripped out all of it’s play equipment from public properties and schools.

We have all heard this argument. “Now that there is a report saying that the playground is potentially dangerous we are exposed legally.” Again, with the lawyers and the insurance companies. If a child was hurt and the parents decided to go for a windfall of cash, the city would be liable. There was no way to take the risk. Rip out the playgrounds.

The post-game analysis done by the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ),
showed a great improvement in safety citing 550 less injuries on playgrounds. Now, an injury is described as any time a form is filled out and “includes injuries attended to by teachers or school staff, as well as those in which the child went home or to a health facility”. Funny thing that the CMAJ article made no mention of how this lack of activity affected the children, their ability to concentrate, their weights or their happiness, to name a few undiscussed variables. The study focused entirely on the reduced risk of injury.

Now with funding the way that it always is — tight, the city did not have a plan to replace all of the equipment with the recommended “safer” equipment. The wealthier neighbourhoods did fundraising and refurbished the playgrounds but after 9 years many of the playgrounds remain barren. So now we also have an economic split. The poorer children are more likely to have no way to be engaged and active during the school day and become higher risk for being named a troublemaker.

In other cities, the rules have become so strict that normal games like tag are not allowed because it requires “touching”. Throwing things can be hazardous. Boisterous play can result in someone getting hurt. In other words, we are asking our children not to play because it is dangerous.

So an entire cohort of children is not being allowed normal physical activity. This same group of children is the fattest, most out of shape generation of children North America has ever seen. The way that we are dealing with this lack of exercise is to take away play. Interesting.

Children that cannot make the adjustment to this lack of exercise can become troublemakers because they will have difficulty concentrating or paying attention. These children may be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and medicated. For that matter, in 2011 one in ten children were diagnosed with ADHD in the US. If children cannot sit still, they are given a pharmacopeia of drugs to help them calm down. So let me summarize, many of our children are driven to school and then they are not allowed to play all day and we medicate them to keep them from being too restless. There is no way to over state this.

A particularly nonconformist principal in New Zealand decided to get rid of all of the rules on his playground at school and yes, there were a few injuries, but many of the other “bad behaviours” decreased. In fact, the students focused better in class. Bullying, tattling and vandalism all decreased and fewer children were getting hurt. Perhaps, just perhaps, kids need to be able to play to stimulate themselves and well, be normal children.

Now the question becomes, how do we deal with the lawyers and the insurance companies that are salivating at the thought of a child breaking her arm on the playground? Until we address that issue, we are putting all of our children at real risk, not just the normal childhood risk of a scraped knee or a bruise.

 

How to Lead a Low Drama Life

Master Coach Lori Race is ready to share with you her secrets on how to create a more Zen-like existence. 

Beautiful, Bodacious, Boundaries

Learn How to Say No.