It seems to me that if you wait long enough some university or some company will put out a study that would tell you that whatever it is you like, is bad for you. This last news article was about the brown coloring in the sodas I drink. The article makes reference to a study that shows that the chemicals used for the coloring could be harmful to human beings if taken in a large enough quantity. I can remember at one time there is a study done about eggs and how they would be bad for me or milk and how it was bad for me. We have survived on water from the streams or water from the tap for many years and now we either filter our water or buy bottled water. I think that we keep over thinking about protecting ourselves from every possible problem that could arise from what we eat, drink and breathe. I am reminded of the bubble boy who had no immune system had to live inside a sterile environment for his life. My thought is if we keep on limiting ourselves to what we eat drink and breathe, predicated on a study of the possibility that it might be bad for us, the future of mankind will have to survive in a sterile environment.
There are many foreign countries where the environment (what they eat, what they drink and the air they breathe is far from being safe) I wonder how do they survive? Of course the answer is simple. The human being has survived from its very beginnings by adapting to the environment. And as challenges arose the human being adjusted its ability to survive. I thought of a good example just in my lifetime. Something as simple as going on vacation to Mexico became a concern. Before the trip I was warned not to drink water. If I did so I would end up with dysentery and become very sick. Well the people of Mexico seem to drink that water and survive very well. They do not become so protected from the environment that their bodies do not adjust. I also thought of when I was in Vietnam and was given the same warning about the water. But after a while, especially when the little pills the Army gave you ran out, one can slowly introduced itself to that area’s water. And within a month or so you drink the local water and not get sick. There are places on this earth that seems so toxic and dangerous I wonder how anything survives. But there is life on every part of this planet.
I mentioned earlier the study that warned me about eating eggs. Some years later another study came out contradicting the last study to say they were good for you. The same goes for milk. If I wait long enough someone will do a study that will contradict the study that was done today. Usually the problem with a study is; who did the study, who sponsored the study and how sophisticated was the methodology used in the study. If any of you has ever taken a statistics class you found out that reading the results of a study can go several ways. And it is not beyond the people doing the study to make sure that the study results appear positive for the person or company sponsoring the study.
I lived and worked in Los Angeles for over 25 years. It was during that time that the smog issue was at its highest. Every day as I drove down through the valley to the city I was able to look at the orange/brown cloud that covered the city. Today, on the news, you can see cities in China with the same smog problem. Do the people who live in these areas abandon the areas because of the air? No, they find ways to survive; eventually their bodies will find a way to handle the air. They will continue to prosper and to grow.
So why do we in the USA worry so much about the things we eat, drink and breathe? Well first of all, each one of these studies found some way to mention the word cancer. So far, as I know, there is no cure for cancer. I am a cancer survivor and when I heard that I had cancer my thoughts were that I was going to die soon. Even though I knew my cancer was very survivable. You put the word cancer on anything and you start to worry. I believe that the bigger goal of all the research is to help the human race and in a having a quality life. I know that recently there have been more studies about how long the average life may last. And of course I’m glad to see the probable lifespan of my generation continue to grow. But I also do not want to live forever with the poor quality of life. I do not want be put in that bubble so that nothing can get to me. I would rather enjoy life. And that means I’m going to eat, drink and breathe things that are always good for me. I will use my own judgment on what I consume. I refuse to live in constant fear of the environment around me. My thought is that the environment will always change, not always for the good. And I believe this that the human being will always change to answer the next threat.
When I look at all the Third World countries (I’m not sure how we actually started calling them Third World) and the environments they live in. They do not seem to have a problem with surviving and even living well. Their population seems to grow and their education seems to me at least at par with the USA. The populations of India and China are still growing, even though a large part of each of their population lives in rural areas and with harsh environmental conditions.
So my thought for today is that no matter what the environment throws at us as a species we will survive. I’m hopeful that someday there will be a cure for cancer. But I refuse to live my life worrying that every piece of food, drink or the air I breathe will take my life. Eventually I will pass on, but I refuse to live in fear due to the studies they go in and out of style.