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Archive February 2006
Wednesday 22 February 2006
It's time to get out your tinfoil hats, as we go for a ride through the insane reasons why I don't want to live in America again. Many of these could also function as reasons why I'm vegan, if I'd only known of them before I was vegan, but I didn't, so they only function as post-hoc justifications instead.

There are a bunch of sane reasons I don't want to live in America too, to do with government, societal mores and economics, but they'd meet with much less entertaining arguments than the insane reasons, so...

I'll start with my anecdotal evidence. Of the people I know in the US, more than half have some sort of debilitating condition resulting from malfunctioning organs - kidneys especially. Of the people I know outside the US, there's a couple of allergies, and one minor non-debilitating condition brought on by accidental misapplication of medication. It's possible that this is not a difference in illness but a difference in reporting, but even so, the difference is striking - and I'm pretty sure the non-US people wouldn't stoically not mention hospitalisations. If I did LJ polls, this would call for an "American, intact organs", "Unamerican, intact organs", "American, exploding organs", "Unamerican, exploding organs" poll. But I don't.

Now things with non-anecdotal sources. I realise the sources I'm linking are flimsy ones - I'm just going with whatever Google comes up with first on the topics I remember. You can do your own research if you want to dig up actual studies.

Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone is banned in Europe, Canada and Australia. It's legal since 1993 and doesn't require labelling in America. Growth hormones end up in milk and meat as a result of this being used, and some of them are identical to some human hormones. Oh, did I mention hormonal imbalance problems as another thing that's unnervingly frequent in Americans I know, and entirely absent elsewhere? Well.

The U.S. Public health service recommends that fluoride levels in community water supplies range from 0.7 to 1.2 parts per million. Up to 63 percent of children living in 'optimally' fluoridated areas (from 0.7-1.2 parts per million, ppm) show fluoride overdose symptoms.Instant tea, one of the most popular drinks in the United States ... contain as much as 6.5 parts per million (ppm) of fluoride, well over the 4 ppm (what happened to 1.2?) maximum allowed in drinking water by the Environmental Protection Agency.Conversely, in the UK, only ten percent of the country has artificially fluoridated water to bring it up to 1ppm, and in much of western Europe, fluoridating the water supply is illegal. (Cue hilarious bad-teeth jokes from Americans.)Probable side effects of excessive fluoride (including around 1ppm) include hypothyroidism, brittling of bone and teeth, pineal gland calcification... oh, and people with kidney problems are advised not to ingest fluoridated water. So have fun dehydrating, you all-too-common diabetics in America.

Omega-3 fatty acids are apparently best consumed in close to a 1:1 ratio with omega-6. The typical American diet has around a 1:20 ratio. Bonus points! Ruminant livestock fed on grain, as is prevalent in the US, make for omega-6-ier meat and milk. Hope you like borderline personality disorders, bipolar disorders, migraines, eczema and psoriasis, Americans! They seem to be popular products there. (No information on ratios outside America, though, on this count.)

Did you know you can supplement your omega-3 intake with oily fish? If you like being poisoned with heavy metals and other toxins, that is! Hoorah!

Oh god, the bread, the horrible bread! Of the huge selection of breads in the local supermarket when I lived in the US, only two were vegan-edible - one if the vegan also avoids human-hair-extract. What happened to "flour, water, yeast, maybe some salt, sugar or herbs" as bread ingredients? Using peapod.com's online shopping I picked a loaf of supermarket bread entirely at random, Schmidt's Blue Ribbon Bread King, which displays this:
"INGREDIENTS: Wheat Flour, Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Yeast. Contains 2.0% or Less of Each of the Following: Soybean Oil, Salt, Wheat Gluten, Whey, Natural Flavor, Enzyme, Calcium Sulfate, Diacetal Tartaric Acid Esters of Mono and Diglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Monoglycerides, Calcium Propionate (a Preservative), Processed Corn Flour, Calcium Iodate, Azodicarbonamide, Ferrous Sulfate (Iron), Niacin (a B Vitamin), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Folic Acid (a B Vitamin)."
What happened to "flour, water, yeast", I think, is another complaint, that everything in America goes mouldy really bloody fast. Everything, that is, except the mutant horrible bread, which you can leave out and open in a field of bacteria-coated fungus and rabid chipmunks and when you come back the field will be dead. I assume this super-mould isn't really any super virulent strains of microscopic beasties, but is rather an effect of humidity and temperature, but the reason is irrelevant, it still sucks. I like my food to still be edible a day later, and, ideally, unlike American bread, to start out edible on day one as well.

Speaking of ingredients, fuck "high fructose corn syrup".

How can Americans all drive so much, and yet still drive so badly? How can a country so fixated on driving still have goddamn stupid road rules that, for example, use "who arrived at an intersection first" as a determinant for who has the right of way? I think each of these questions functions as the answer to the other.

In comments, please debunk any of these that can be debunked, or, preferred, provide me with more amusing insane reasons not to consume anything ever. [23:55] [14 comments]

Monday 13 February 2006
Most amusing spam I've had in a while.
Subject: Fucking St.Valentine

What are you to do if you have bad erection? Especially in the forthcoming Saint Valentines Day???
Don t worry, it is not the last of pea-time...
The most simple way is to visit our site, order the medication and that is all you are to do!

Do not kill the clock!
[23:45] [3 comments]

Wednesday 8 February 2006
This is how I grow a beard.

I like how my having a beard casts the whole room into shadow.

How do you grow a beard? [00:24] [7 comments]