eating bacon to live longer

bacon - sea of baconI just heard about a 105-year-old woman in Texas who says her secret is that she eats bacon every day.  I don’t know if that will stand up to medical scrutiny, but it’s worth something.

The article reveals her bacon “secret”, which should be enough for the whole article.  But then it talks about her birthday party, which featured over 200 guests, which is okay, I guess.  But then it goes into explaining why bacon has gotten a bad rap lately.  It’s somewhat ironic, given the subject of the article.  Apparently some research study linked processed meat to a premature death.  But check out their results — they claim that eating less than 20g per day (which is 0.7 ounces) could prevent an estimated 3% of premature deaths each year.  So if you eat only a bite or two of meat per day, you have a 3% chance of living longer.  For people who follow that advice, I wonder what the odds are on premature death due to not enjoying life as much…  (To each their own, but that advice wouldn’t work for me.)

The article then references another study saying that even a single serving of processed red meat increased the risk of participants dying by 20%.  I may not be a statistician, but I figure the risk of dying is 100%.  🙂  You can eat all the plants you want, but it is appointed for everyone to meet their Maker at some point.

Obviously bacon is somewhat unhealthy — not completely, but in some ways.  However, if a single serving of bacon (or any red meat) increases your risk of dying by 20%, and this woman has eaten bacon every day for 105 years so far (which could be up to 38,000 times), what would her risk of dying be?  I’d like to see one of those researchers calculate it and go tell her.  Maybe she’s like one of those cartoon characters who is invulnerable to the laws of physics because they don’t understand it.  🙂  Either way, whatever she’s doing has worked for her.

This breakfast platter from Tony's I-75 restaurant in Birch Run, MI, has 1 pound of bacon.
This breakfast platter from Tony’s I-75 restaurant in Birch Run, MI, has 1 pound of bacon.

I’m not claiming that all this research is bogus, but I think there’s a LOT more to it than just saying eating meat will kill you early.  I’ve known quite a few people — including my grandparents — who ate big country meals all the time (which included lots of butter, gravy, and fried foods), yet lived to be 90+ and still had above-average health.  I know that’s a small sample, but when you consider how Americans used to eat versus what we now “know” about nutrition, it’s amazing any of them lived past 25.  I’m not saying fattening foods are healthy, but I do wonder if natural / organic fattening foods might be healthier than much of the modern stuff with preservatives and additives and chemicals.  I can’t prove it, and I’m not convinced either way yet, but I do think there’s a lot more to nutrition and healthiness than we currently know.

Regardless of whether bacon is good for me or not, I’m now hungry for bacon…

how to eat what you want and be healthy

The government recommends we get so many vitamins and minerals in our daily diet to be healthy and fit.  However, many of our food choices don’t contain sufficient amounts of them, so we have to make do with what we have.  You could take vitamin supplements, but they don’t taste good, and they aren’t very filling, nor are they fun.  Another possible option is that you keep eating until you get a sufficient amount of your daily nutrients.  For example, if you’re eating pizza for lunch, but each slice has only 10% of the Vitamin C you need each day, then you’ll just have to eat 10 pieces.  This will ensure your body is getting all the required vitamins and minerals that it needs, plus you will enjoy the process of being healthy and eating right.  🙂

Granted, you may take in a few extra calories and thus gain a few pounds, but you’re giving your body the nutrition it needs.  What’s more important — being healthy or being skinny?  (And, when it comes to eating, being happy or eating small portions of boring foods?)

the special days of March, pt 1

As we have done in previous months, we will look at the special days and holidays of this month.  Since it’s March, I reckon we’ll focus on March’s holidays.  🙂  As usual, this is not a complete list — those can be found elsewhere.  But I guarantee you will not find another list like this one.  Not only do we list the best of the unusual and strange and obscure holidays, but we add our own unique commentary and analysis.

Let’s start with looking at the month-long celebrations and observances.

  • Music in Our Schools Month — I think students should be exposed to different types of music, like with Music Appreciation classes.  But make it fun.  Too many people know only the “Top 40” stuff on the radio.
  • National Frozen Food Month — This may sound like a bachelor’s food only, but there are now some nice frozen foods, like lasagna, which are really good.  Mmm… lasagna…
  • National Noodle Month — Speaking of lasagna…
  • National Nutrition Month — I’m not sure if this should be the same month as National Frozen Food Month.  Also, I figure this would be January, when everyone is starting a diet and trying to eat healthy.  By March, most of us have given up.  (Maybe they want renewed emphasis on nutrition…)
  • National Peanut Month — Peanuts are good by themselves, but add chocolate, and they’re even better.  Or you can have something with peanut butter and chocolate, like Reese’s, which are excellent.

The only weekly celebration worth mentioning is:

  • 2nd Week National Bubble Week — A good idea for bubbles is to blow them over cubicle walls at work and act like you don’t know what happened.  Another good office prank is to rip a bubbly fart, but you surely don’t want to get caught for that one!

Now let’s look at the individual day holidays and observances:

  • 1 National Pig Day — Since most people don’t keep pigs as pets, I reckon it’s best to celebrate them by eating sausage, bacon, and ham.  Mmm…
  • 2 Old Stuff Day — Uhh… what?!?  I reckon you should be thankful for antique cars and such things.  This day ought to make the Important Evil Genius happy, because he supposedly has a rather large collection of antiquated old relics that he plans to build a doomsday device with.
  • 3 I Want You to be Happy Day — I really do want you to be happy, every day.  That’s why I publish this great blog — to make everyone’s day a little more surreal.  🙂
  • 3 If Pets Had Thumbs Day — According to some scientists who believe in evolution, this would make animals a lot closer to humans.  But that’s silly. In fact, this whole day is silly.  What’s the point of it?
  • 3 National Anthem Day — If this is for the national anthem, there’s already a holiday or two where that is traditionally sung and/or played.  But perhaps this means we should each have our own anthem this day.  I’ve always thought it would be awesome if we each had our own theme song.  It could play when we get to work (although that might reveal your lateness to your co-workers) or when we walk into a meeting at work.  Of course, we’d want the option to turn it off, for when we needed to be in stealth mode.  But I think this could be really awesome.
  • 4 Holy Experiment Day — Uhh… what is this for?  I’ll figure out something.  How about on this day you try to live a completely holy life.  Although, if you’re a Christian, you should be trying to do that every day.
  • 5 Multiple Personality Day — Isn’t that normally considered a disorder?  If so, why are we celebrating it?  It can be confusing to have multiple personalities, so I recommend against it.  Besides, if you want to add or remove parts from your current personality, you can do so without adding the disorder.
  • 6 Dentist’s Day — I appreciate dentists, but I’m not going to celebrate this day.  They already make plenty of money, plus I don’t want to go to the dentist any more than I have to.
  • lasagna6 National Frozen Food Day — This would be a good day for lasagna.  Mmm…  Of course, there are other options, like Hot Pockets, and there are some frozen desserts that are pretty good.
  • 6 On this day in 1912, Oreo cookies went on sale for the first time.  Now we might take them for granted.  But imagine eating your first Oreo, then discovering how good it is with milk.
  • 8 Be Nasty Day — Why is this a holiday?  We shouldn’t ever be nasty.  There’s a place for joking amongst friends, but we shouldn’t ever be nasty.  (I could come up with better holidays than this…)
  • 9 Employee Appreciation Day — Employees should definitely be appreciated.  This would be a good day to give everyone the afternoon off, or to let them leave early, or to at least buy their lunch.  If this day is on a weekend, it should be observed on the following Monday.
  • 9 Panic Day — This is just stupid.  If there’s a reason to panic, then panic, but don’t schedule it!
  • 9 Daylight Saving Time Begins — We’ve discussed this before, and we decided it should be changed to better accommodate the average working person.  I really don’t like losing an hour of sleep, nor does that help productivity the following Monday.  There is a better way…
  • 10 Middle Name Pride Day — This is good if you have a good middle name, but some people may not.  Also, it’s a good time to learn why you were given the name you got.
  • 11 Johnny Appleseed Day — This is to honor a man who planted and sold a lot of apple trees some 200 years ago.  He lived a simple life, and he was a deeply religious person.  And, if you’re curious, that wasn’t his real name.  I didn’t know you could be famous for planting apple trees…  He has become a legend in some ways.  I need to figure out how to become a legend, other than planting trees.  Perhaps someday this blog will be legendary.  If my blog traffic continues to grow at its current pace, eventually the whole world will be reading it.  🙂

This post is getting really long, so I’ll continue the list tomorrow.  (There will be a link above this post to the next one.)

the special days of November, pt 1

It’s now November (albeit halfway over), and like we did last month, we’re going to look at some of the special holidays this month.  I’m going to cover only maybe half of them, because there’s a bunch (and some are just stupid).   You can find the full listing at other sites, but you can find our original commentary and analysis on these special holidays only at this site.  Let’s begin with the month-long celebrations.

November is :

  • National Model Railroad Month — I’d like to have one of those huge model railroad sets, because I like trains, and I’d do some interesting things with it.  The background scenery would be really cool and random, and I’d be tempted to make multiple trains race toward each other and crash on a bridge, like Gomez Addams did for one of his hobbies on The Addams Family TV series.  He also made the bridge explode at just the right time.  (That really was a great show.)
  • Peanut Butter Lovers Month — This one requires no explanation.  But I will make a suggestion or two — you can mix it with jelly, of course, or you can mix it with chocolate.  Mmm…
  • Good Nutrition Month — This must be some type of mistake.  Why would someone schedule this the same month as Thanksgiving?  That just makes no sense.  Because during the Thanksgiving holiday (which can stretch over a few days, as far as the eating is concerned), all diets are declared null and void.  In addition to eating lots of the main dishes like turkey, ham, dressing, etc., desserts will also be consumed in large quantities.  Pecan pie is a regular at my get-togethers.  I propose we move Good Nutrition Month to January, when everyone wants to start diets.
  • National Blog Posting Month — This is obviously a new one, and thus isn’t on some of the lists I’ve seen.  The idea is for bloggers to try to publish at least thirty posts in thirty days.  That’s a noble idea, for sure, but it’s just not gonna happen here.  This is another holiday that could be scheduled better, like during the middle of winter when there’s no major holidays and when it’s too cold to be outside much.  Besides, I’ve got too much stuff to do for writing every day.  🙂

Now let’s look at some of the week-long celebrations :

  • Week 1 — Chemistry Week — Some school students may think chemistry is boring, and with certain teachers it is, but it can be a really cool subject.  Certain combinations of ingredients create explosions, which is cool.  And if you study how the basic elements form compounds that are essential to life, it reveals the magnificence of creation, which points to God, our Creator.
  • Week 3 — Game and Puzzle Week — It’s a good excuse to bring out some board games, which tend to get neglected with all the modern technology we have.  So bring out Monopoly and/or dominoes, to suggest a few.  (BTW, did you know you can get Monopoly in all kinds of “flavors” now?  I’ve seen one for Transformers, Family Guy, The Simpsons, etc.  You can even create your own version on their website and they’ll send it to you.)

I’ll continue this in the next post, or it’s going to get really long…