Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Funday: If It Isn't One Thing...

After a week filled with our normal workloads, a bit of travel, some family visits, and unseasonably warm conditions in all three of our office locations, we're more than ready to get some time to ourselves this weekend to relax, spend some time at home, and enjoy some time with friends.

In a week where the news came at a steady, but not unusually rapid pace, we're still a bit more intellectually tired than we normally might have been. The continuing right-wing war on women, the unfortunate events in Afghanistan, the foreign visit by England's Prime Minister - and of course, the NCAA basketball and hockey tournaments - are all topics that we've been keeping an eye on, right along with the 2012 political races.

There was an odd story that caught our attention this week, though - especially because every member of our staff enjoys a good, thick, juicy Omaha Steak on occasion.

According to the results of a Harvard study, released this week in the publication 'Archives of Internal Medicine', people who eat a lot of red meat are "more likely to die at any given time" over a span of 20 years than those who eat less red meat.

There are a lot of things you can call our staff without us complaining too much; Progressives. intellectuals, feminists - you can even call us crazy, if it'll make you feel better. But when we've had a busy week, and the weather has been as beautiful and unseasonably warm as it has, we sure hope you don't call us late to dinner, when you've been putting a few choice burgers and steaks on the grill.

We're aware of some of the less-than-appetizing food stories that have found their way to the front page of many newspapers lately, including the news about 'pink slime' - which we agree is pretty nasty stuff. We're not as worried about some of these things as some of our friends and family, however.

The key note to focus on in the Harvard study is one that several nutrition experts, including Alan Aragon, also caught when looking at the study data: that the correlation made by the researchers really wasn't 100% valid. The initial research paper mostly ignored the fact that all the study participants were nurses. The Harvard study also didn't mention what the study participants' intake of grains, fruits, and vegetables were, in comparison to how much meat they consumed.

In other words, no one focused on how much moderation the study participants actually practiced, with respect to how much meat they were eating.

It's proven science that measured, appropriate amounts of red meat - including steak and hamburgers - are actually a good thing for human beings. Moderate amounts of alcohol, proper medications, and even occasional inhaled stimulants - like those in certain kinds of incense - are all beneficial for humans.

So while we don't recommend eating steak for every meal, or gorging on burgers all day every day, we don't think there's any real reason to freak out about red meat. We think the same approach to red meat we had at the beginning of the week is one we'll keep going into the weekend: moderation.

We hope you have a moderately fantastic weekend, whatever you choose to eat.

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