Friday, January 26, 2018


I was sitting peacefully in my own family room, sipping my Peet's French Roast coffee and getting ready to start the day when I heard a news report that coffee can cause cancer.  I got up and poured myself a second cup and ignored the warning.  I like to live on the edge.

Seriously, when you live nearly 75 years, somehow these dire warnings lose their impact.  It's all juice and crackers.  I told Walt that in another 5-10 years someone will tell us that really all the research on the cancer-causing properties of coffee was mistaken and that coffee is really a health drink and can help prolong your life.  I've seen it too many times

It's all margarine's fault.  I think butter was the first "this will kill you" substance that I ignored.  I tried.  I really did.  But I can believe it's not butter.  I love the taste of butter and decided that if it was going to shorten my life, so be it.  I just don't like margarine. I'd rather die happy.

This went on for probably decades and then one day came the news that scientists have discovered that all the chemicals in margarine were actually worse for you than the fat in butter and that people should eat butter instead.  Vindicated!

Sugar was something else that was going to kill us and now we had all sorts of fake sugar substitutes...then people began to worry about them and admit that maybe a little sugar was OK.  (Not sure now that we have Splenda)  Again, I ignored the warnings, so didn't have to worry about the chemicals I was putting into my system in my attempt to avoid the bad sugar.

Liver was supposed to be this super food that gave your body lots of iron.  Weight Watchers required its clients to eat liver once a week.  My mother cooked liver periodically.  But I hate liver and never ate it (except when my mother made me).  People told me I hadn't eaten it with enough bacon or enough onions and I tell them that there isn't enough bacon or onions in the world to make me eat liver.  Now we have learned that consuming liver is the act of eating all of the toxins that an animal was unable to expel throughout its entire lifetime, and there are really toxic materials at farms nowadays.  Liver consumption has also been repeatedly linked with clenbuterol poisoning in Spain, China, and Portugal. Clenbuterol poisoning consists of muscle tremors, headaches and nervousness. The condition can last for days, until the toxin is isolated by (and contained inside) the liver, where it will remain for the rest of a person's life, and impair his health forever after.  (From Health Wyze.)


It seems that if you try hard enough you can find studies that show that everything will kill you.  Life will kill you.

The Today Show's Jeff Rossen has a segment called "Rossen Reports" where he does good research on things like how to tell if there is a hidden camera in your hotel room, how to get out of a train accident alive, catching disreputable home repair persons like plumbers and locksmiths, how to get your car out of an icy skid, etc.  Usually really helpful information.

But occasionally he does things like this morning where he checked the level of germs on the items that we use daily.  Apparently a bacteria reading of 100 was acceptable and anything above that was very germy,.  Hoda Kotb was thrilled that her keyboard came in at 99, while Savannah Guthrie was appalled that hers shows over 200.  Likewise the telephones of each woman had very high ratings.  He also has done segments on germs on airplanes, rental cars, and the "germiest" machines in your gym.

Do reports like this cause panics?  Do we change our behavior or just feel creepily icky when we have to use these things?

I dunno, but I've been flying, renting cars, going to the gym (occasionally), and using implements in my house for decades and am still healthy and do not bathe in Purell whenever I move anywhere.  I don't even use the cleaning wipes they stick next to the shopping carts at the supermarket.
Am I less healthy for ignoring these things?

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