Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I beg to differ

I have before me a monthly magazine that shall remain nameless. Each issue is devoted to making every reader (and if the magazine subscription gurus play their cards right, that includes you and me) feel really bad about the food he or she chooses to put in his or her mouth.

Strange way to run a railroad.

More important, however, is the fact that I have caught the magazine telling an outright lie.

It says right here in black and white that the risk of dying is lowest in people who eat the least red meat (the equivalent of 1-1/2 Quarter Pounders* a week) or processed meat (the equivalent of 1 hot dog** every week or two.)

That’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard read.

This is not to say that what we eat doesn’t affect our health or our clothing size or even our longevity, but the risk of dying is not lowest in people who eat the least red meat (the equivalent of 1-1/2 Quarter Pounders a week) or processed meat (the equivalent of 1 hot dog every week or two).

I beg to differ. Friends, the risk of dying is exactly the same in each and every person on the face of the earth, and it has very little -- okay, nothing -- to do with what anyone chooses to eat.

Don’t believe me? Stay with me for a few more sentences.

The last time I checked, the mortality rate was exactly the same as it has always been. The mortality rate, dear reader, for the entire human race is one death per person. If my math is correct, that works out to 100 per cent.

So if you are a person (and if you are reading this, I fervently hope you are), face it, you are going to die one day, unless your car has a bumper sticker that includes the word “Rapture” and even then the chances are still good. Perhaps not today and perhaps not tomorrow, but eventually. The when part remains uncertain and can definitely be delayed through good lifestyle choices, but the whether part, I regret to inform you, is not in question.

Not now. Not ever.

This has been another public service announcement from Rhymeswithplague Enterprises, Inc.

* If you live where McDonald’s have never erected their golden arches, Quarter Pounders are hamburgers. And if you don’t, they still are.

** Next they’ll be telling us that 1 hot dog = 3.14159 slices of bologna, but who really cares?


  1. A public announcement with which no one may argue!

  2. So true, so true! My 4 yr old granddaughter is currently very interested in death, her paternal grandmother having recently died unexpectedly. Her frequent question to me is "Grandma, are you doing to die?" To which I reply "Yes. Someday, but maybe not today, so let's do (xxxxxxx) right now."

    I like my steak rare, please.

  3. True, but on the other hand, I (for one) have already been granted eternal life. So it's all good.

  4. Hmmmm a post about death AND a comment about eternal life. Deep stuff. I think you are right, most of us won't get out of this life alive. And I wish the food police would let us enjoy our butter and steak in peace.

  5. Haha! 'One death per person' Very good, Robert!

    If I ruled the world every child from the age of 3 would know the different between correlation and causality in statistics.

  6. In fact I feel a post coming on, on the subject.

  7. I thought a quarter pounder was a madman with a hammer and a 25 cent piece.

  8. Great post. Hardly a day goes by that I don't read something that doesn't add up. And I agree with Leenie about the food police!

  9. Well I agree. Meat has an enzyme that we need in our system and it isn't good not to eat meat anymore than it is good to eat too much of it.
    What needs be done is eat variety. Don't eat too much of the same thing.
    The dying part? Yes there is no if's but or maybe's about it, we will die and not necessarily from what we eat.
    There are many ways for a person to die and you don't know if today is your day.
    Thanks Great Post :)