December 9, 2011 by David Gillaspie
by David Gillaspie
Good health means reading labels.
You read food labels because you have plans, like cooking and eating your next meal.
Not too much salt.
Packed in heavy syrup? Back away.
How many calories from fat? Probably too many.
If you want load of salt and fat, hit the drive-through for some of that Super-Sized goodness.
Since you’ve been paying attention, you know how that ends up: new clothes that you’ll never ask about making you look fat.
In between the occasional grease burgers and chalky milkshakes, you try to eat right.
Highly colored, densely pigmented vegetables like beets, fresh leafy greens like spinach, whole grains like rice, free-range organic chicken are all on the menu.
You know the drill.
Your body tells you when you’ve gone off the tracks.
At the end of a high school wrestling match the snack-bar sells hotdogs for fifty cents instead of two dollars. You get two and squeeze relish and mustard out of plastic packets.
You justify it by thinking it’s a great deal.
During a bottle return trip to the grocery store you see the last two deep-fried burritos under a heat lamp and buy them both with one tub of ranch dip and another of barbecue sauce.
You justify it by saying to yourself, ‘at least they’re not from a gas station.’
By now, the difference between good food and bad has been drilled in every magazine, newspaper, and television show. If you don’t know, you’re either illiterate or stuck on HGTV’s search for a sunny second home.
But you’re neither.
So why is America stuck in the throes of an obesity epidemic? Why are little Johnny and Janey too fat to bend over and tie their shoes?
You know that answer and so does everyone else. We love to gorge ourselves on the sort of food that needs the same warning label as a carton of nicotine fortified Camel straights: THIS PRODUCT WILL KILL YOU!
America cares as much about physical health as they do economic health, which means not much. If we crave a good deal as much as we crave fat and salt, and the best deal in the world is China.
Read the labels in Wal-Mart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Costco. If you wonder how so many discount stores spring up in the same city, check the labels. If it’s a Big Box store in the suburbs, it’s from China with love.
Like bad food for big people, China and America are a lethal mix.
Woody Allen told a joke about a friend who thinks they are a chicken, but no one mentions the impossiblity because they need the eggs.
It’s the same with China.
America doesn’t mention the cost of cheap labor loud enough because we like the stuff in the stores.
How lethal is China?
One of their jailed dissidents won the Nobel Peace Prize. China responded by calling the Nobel judges clowns, then countered the Nobel Peace Prize with their own Confucius Peace Prize.
This year’s honoree is Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
How did he earn the alternative Peace Prize?
The Washington Post reports:
“The Confucius Peace Prize organization announced last month that Putin had been chosen to receive this year’s award, saying that during his 2000-2008 tenure as president Putin “brought remarkable enhancement to the military might and political status of Russia.” It also cited Putin’s crushing of anti-government forces in Chechnya.”
To make it even better, China missed the chance of awarding their Peace Prize in the Republic of Georgia.
Meanwhile, a group of five Nobel Peace Prize winners and human rights activists called for Liu’s immediate and unconditional release from jail. The International Committee of Support to Liu Xiaobo said in an email that Liu is the only Nobel laureate currently in prison, and accused the international community of forgetting his plight.
“Unfortunately, the sentencing to 11 years in prison seems to be forgotten slowly but steadily outside China,” said the group.
The campaign for Liu’s release includes Nobel winners Shirin Ebadi, Jody Williams, Mairead Maguire, Betty Williams and Desmond Tutu. Also involved are former Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel and activists from Reporters Without Borders and other rights groups.
The announcement of Liu’s Nobel prize last year cheered China’s fractured, persecuted dissident community and brought calls from the U.S., Germany and others for his release. It also infuriated the Chinese government, and authorities harassed and detained dozens of Liu’s supporters in the weeks that followed.
It resulted in harsh treatment of Liu’s wife, Liu Xia, who has largely been held incommunicado, effectively under house arrest, watched by police, without phone or Internet access and prohibited from seeing all but a few family members.
America is a far cry from China, about as far as the nearest Target store.
Pass the gravy, please Martha.