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Aug 7, 2009

This week, dear listeners, is one of our bleaker shows. We start off talking about how food and our relationship with it has been engineered to the point now that sometimes you have to wonder if the word food has lost all meaning. From patented seeds to paltry science, we have become both victim and enabler in the downfall of our diets. Even the supermarkets are against us now. As if that's not enough, the general tone of political debate has gotten so bad that both of us are tired of it. Everyone with an opinion thinks they're completely right, and the concept of compromise to achieve a larger good seems to be a thing of the past. After that, an attempt to lighten the mood with a silly story about replacing Central Park with an airport.

Opening Music: "Alive WIP v2" by George Carpenter
Closing Music: "Blau.ton" by Rauschwerk

Big Dave (OZ)
nine and a half years ago

Our health system seems to be very similar to the UK. Public coverage for all emergencies, if it\'s not life threatening, such as knee joint replacement, or elective surgery, as it\'s called here, you wait or go for private cover. They encourage private cover, to reduce the stress on the public system. The big problem with private cover over here, is that doctors can charge whatever they want if you\'re a private patient, and your insurance may not cover the full amount, it\'s called \"the gap\", and it can be many thousands of dollars. If you\'re a public patient, there is no \"gap\", and it could be the very same doctor, but you may have to wait. It\'s far from perfect, but it\'s more equitable than what you\'ve got. I\'ve only had to use it once, and it worked fine for me.

Food, this organic v conventional v genetically modified debate is way to complicated for most of us. If you\'re not getting your food directly from the farm, you have no guarantee of what has or hasn\'t gone into it. Brian Dunning of the Skeptoid podcast discussed the topic in his latest podcast. Very informative.

As to the general state of the world, cheer up guys, it\'s not as bad as you think, but maybe my judgment is off, after all I live in the best country on the planet, that should start some arguments.

P.S. Antarctica won\'t melt, the ice covering it might, but there is still a massive continent underneath. It\'s where the Nazis have there secret bases.

Dave (UK)
nine and a half years ago

...and don\'t forget all that Nazi gold!

nine and a half years ago

Thank you for your response Jer. You have a point. However, I will never trust corporations. An entity focused on the singular procurement of capital at all costs; how do you trust that? I dont think there are mad scientists plotting. I think there are scientists taking orders from boards sitting at the helms of massive companies, boards with people thinking about their next big house or awesome sports car. I would never use one source to decide on something either. If I used one source they would have laughed me out of school lol. The documentary was a flash point is all, and then I started digging and it started getting worse. If you dont concern yourself with the little things, when does it become a big thing? If a company could make chicken from plastic for cheaper than raising actual chickens, make it taste good and get the government to let them sell it to make a crushing profit; you dont think they would market it as the new best diet food and send us all with a \"happy\" meal? Always mind the little things, big things are always little things at one point. Sure, there is a lot of good food out there, but there is some bad stuff as well and I think its better to sound the trumpets before it gets worse. Maybe I\'m just being paranoid, but I\'d rather be a healthy paranoid than an over weight cancerous consumer with a smile. As Doctor Who would say, \"not in every shadow, but any shadow.\" I appreciate the commentary Jer, I will consider it.

nine and a half years ago

Just remember to keep getting those antioxidants in to you. If you have a garden, grow green beans and eat them often.

Drink lots of green tea & a glass of red wine every night or two.

One thing you guys didn\'t touch on and is a worry for me, is Trans Fats. They are putting that shit into everything these days. I recommend reading about it and finding out which products have them and avoid them.

good show once again

Benjamin Santiago
nine and a half years ago

Got to disagree with you Jer, while I can\'t recall enough about Monsanto on its own to give you a conclusive case about it (I know there was a lot of stuff about them in the Corporation, which is freely available on the internet) and agree with you that most documentaries have an agenda, there is clearly a problem with food in the western/westernized world.
Changes in portion size over the last 20/30 years.
How most of the cheaply available food is complete shit.
While I might not necessarily have a problem with GMO foods it is their terrible business practices that Lando and what I saw of the documentary pointed out that make them unacceptable, if we had more of a say over what we put in our body maybe that would help. I agree that having a \"true\" democracy in the Californian sense would be impractical we should be able have SOME KIND OF say.
Although this is a bit more on the hippie side, when you have animals that are supposed to be free and graze and they are limited to have machines hooked up to their teats and then we call this \"food\" there is definitely a problem.
On a more positive note Jer, your music is dope.
Also guys (Lando + Joe) I was realizing how many episodes you had the other day, really glad you guys are still going. KEEP IT UP

Dave (UK)
nine and a half years ago

You think Monsanto\'s bad now, check out who\'s been appointed advisor to the FDA.

Moving onto health care, here\'s the U.K. perspective. The National Health Service has been around about 60 years. It\'s a completely integrated health service that is free, at the point of need. It is funded by the tax-payer. As I understand it this compares fairly well to Medi-Care and Medic-Aid[sic?] in that you pay nothing at all (small exceptions include prescriptions, which in turn are means-tested).

If you wish a better service you can \"go private\". \"Better\" means sometimes getting an operation without having to wait weeks on end or it may mean getting a single room and wine with your meals. Going private usually involves taking out separate MEDICAL INSURANCE. This does not affect your right to NHS care if needed.

As I understand Obamacare it\'s still basically medical insurance. That means you\'re still basically having to shell out up-front and then argue about payment with the insurance companies afterward. So with the cost of this new program allegedly being less than the current one all I can see happening (and I reserve the right to be wrong) is doctors/surgeons et al shipping out because their funding will dry up; and insurance companies will not pay out for certain treatments because of lower reimbursements.

I like the idea of people being able to contract out of taxes on the understanding they fund their own medical care. I also appreciate that paying taxes for a national health service is a good way of ensuring equal health care for all.

Sounds like your new system is going to be a piss-poor mashup of both systems. Not good...

Oh, vis. politicians, heard this analogy the other day. The left and right wings are attached to the same bird but its body is hidden behind a shield.

Oh, I\'ve also learned that if you don\'t like what I\'m saying about the current U.S. administration you can send an email to the White House informing on me *ahem* informing them of me.

Benjamin Santiago
nine and a half years ago

there could not be a fifth horseman for greed. He\'d want there to be another horse and another horse and another horse and another horse and another horse and another horse and another horse and another horse and another horse and another horse and another horse and another horse and another horse and another horse....

Benjamin Santiago
nine and a half years ago


nine and a half years ago

Lando, I have to be honest - I don\'t think you need to be that concerned with the food you are eating. Just because a documentary points certain things out doesn\'t make it necessarily true. Believe me, if I trust Michael Moore\'s \"Sicko\" like you did this documentary, I\'d be living in Paris right now. Something to remember: almost all food, in one way or another (be it through cross-fertilization or straight-up lab work, or a combination thereof) is genetically altered, and has been for many hundreds of years. Corn, in its original and natural state, was nothing like it is today. Neither was parsley. Cows, horses, dogs, some species of birds...all domesticated by humans, therefore, altering their genes to fit this certain domesticated lifestyle (it works the same ways with plants). Most pesticides are completely harmless (except to insects, which can not only kill a crop, but infect it with much worse than whatever pesticides might do). Most \"natural\" foods on the market are not actually natural at all, even if it is a tomato grown on a vine. It seems to me that you are conjuring vague notions of groups of \"mad scientists\" who are screwing with the genes of so-called \"natural\" plants. While I am not naive, and believe, like all things in life, there are extremes and that sometimes these occurances you speak of exist, I highly doubt you should be that concerned when in your local grocery or food market.