June 13, 2020

When I watered my garden this morning, I noticed my bird feeders were getting low.  I have mentioned I provide different types of food for different types of birds.  I have grain in one and black oil sunflower in another along the fence, and two hummingbird feeders next to the house.  The lawn also provides an abundance of worms which are especially in use now by the Blue Birds who are feeding their young in the bird house.  I have yet to see or hear these chicks, but the frantic back and forth of the parents make it clear they are doing well.  Even the squirrel is doing well, feeding off the seeds kicked out by the cardinals rummaging through the feeders.  I do not mind him eating off the ground, but I have chased him off when he got into the feeder itself.

The Friday night commentary show Melissa and I watch featured Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian an American cardiologist, Dean and Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.  His main point was that the Pandemic is magnified by the fact that 12% of American Adults are metabolically unhealthy.  This is defined by obesity, high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, and hypertension.  Nearly half of Americans are diagnosed as diabetic or pre-diabetic.  Mozaffarian said the shocking death rates are caused by the rapid pandemic coinciding with a slow pandemic, as obesity has skyrocketed over the last 40 years.  Sadly, none of this is even mentioned in the daily briefings we have heard from around the country.

Melissa and I have been on a diet for the last six months trying to curb our own problems.  I often hear weight is a response to America’s sweet tooth.  I have always said I will forgo desert to save room for the carbohydrates I really want.  The number of low-carb diets that are popular now let me know I am not the only one.  When I went for a cup of coffee this morning, I noticed the slice of “specialty bread” next to the pot had gone moldy.  This is happening more often as we cut back on carbs.  I tore the moldy parts off the bread and took them out for the squirrel.  We kept the rest.  After all, the bread is “special.”

THOUGHTS:  A century ago, there was a concern that we would not have enough food to feed the world.  Huger and vitamin deficiency was, and still is, a concern for many.  The intentional goal was to focus on production of cheap, shelf stable foods fortified with vitamins.  This focus worked and we now produce enough food for everyone, even if cost and distribution keep it from those who are in need.  Much of what is produced rots in fields, storage, or like my bread, in homes.  It has caused other problems as these foods are often high in calories.  We were able to fight global starvation and the ravages of scurvy, rickets, and similar diseases.  Perhaps now we need to build a different system to allow us to stay healthy and still be fed.  If you venture out, stay safe.

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