Noteworthy Notes, March 2015 Edition

Time for our monthly trip around cyberspace for tidbits.

Just in: Newsweek published an article on how water fluoridation might be linked to increases in ADHD diagnoses. I personally thought there were too many question marks to draw conclusions, but if you have alarmist tendencies, you may want to get a filter that takes out the fluoride or start adding to the world's plastic-trash heap by buying bottled water.

Lovely pic from the City site

If you're curious about the City of Bellevue, I found this: "In January 2011, the concentration of fluoride was reduced from 1 part per million to 0.8 part per million, the lowest concentration in the acceptable range defined by the WA State Department of Health. Based on surveys conducted by the Seattle-King County Health Department and the University of Washington School of Dentistry, there has been a 49 percent reduction in dental decay as a result of adding fluoride to drinking water."

In heartening news, I'll bet you heard how McDonald's has decided to go with antibiotic-free chicken in the long run. Meaning, suppliers of their chicken will (gradually) not dose their chickens prophylactically with antibiotics, something that contributes to antibiotic-resistant bugs.

Awesome! The pic from the McDonald's website includes the tagline!

Now supposing you recoil at the thought of fast food and tend to clog up the aisles at Whole Foods instead. You'll be happy to hear I found this article on relative "bargains" to be found there. Basically, rejoice if you love organic tofu, almond milk, organic frozen berries, coconut oil, and such. Some of the items found were plain silly (dried basil!), but it was nice to know about the berries, since we've been on our smoothie kick. And it's always worthwhile to know where I can find the cheapest hearts of palm (what? you mean people actually buy those, and they don't just stay on the store shelf for decades?). Not to mention vegan "cheese"--don't get me started.

Man, if that doesn't make your mouth water, I don't know what will

If it's all just too much trouble, Puget Sound Business Journal named these "5 Cheapest, Most Delicious Restaurants in Seattle" from Urbanspoon's annual list. Clearly I need to get out more. Paseo, anyone?

Unless you'd rather have the heart-of-palm salad with vegan cheese

Arsenic--It's Not Just for Murderers Anymore

In Dorothy Sayers' mystery novel Strong Poison, a woman is on trial for the murder (by arsenic poisoning) of her lover. Is she guilty or not? Certainly she had some motivation, and she did hand the fellow his cup of coffee. Fortunately, Lord Peter Wimsey has taken an interest in the case and--not to spoil anything--makes some surprising discoveries when he investigates a certain man's hair clippings. The clippings, you see, contain traces of arsenic. Murder will, and does, out, and all ends happily.

The chemicals entering our body leave their traces, for good or bad. This is true whether you're a human being or an animal eaten by human beings. Riding the pink-slime, food-additive wave, journalist Nicholas Kristof recently wrote about chemicals found in Big Ag chicken, including antibiotics, acetaminophen, antihistamines, antidepressants, caffeine, and even that old murder-mystery favorite, arsenic. Similar to Lord Peter's analysis of hair clippings, scientists found all the goodies in feather meal, a poultry by-product made from--uh--feathers.

Antibiotics we all know about--chickens raised in close quarters, around and next to and on top of each other, tend to get sick more and need a boost fighting off all the germs. But the other chemicals? It turns out the antihistamines, acetaminophen, and antidepressants are given to relieve anxiety. Chickens, like humans, get anxious under stress. The caffeine? Well, that keeps them awake longer so they can eat more and fatten up faster. And the arsenic? Is some chicken being poisoned by a vindictive lover? No--arsenic actually fights infection and makes chicken meat plump and appetizing. Like Airborne and Botox, all in one. Mm, mm arsenic.

If I worked as a PR specialist for Big Ag, I would see this as a $$$ opportunity. Dose those chickens up just a bit more, and you could market a Headache-Fighting Chicken (acetaminophen is better known as Tylenol)! Or how about a Cheer-You-Up-Chicken (one pumped with antidepressants)? A caffeinated Five-Hour-Energy Chicken?

Honestly, what has my un-chemically-plumped, free-roaming, organic, antibiotic- and additive-free Skagit River Ranch chicken done for me lately? Looks like, if I want to poison my husband or children, I'll have to hit the grocery store. For nefarious purposes, nothing I find at the Bellevue Farmers Market will do the trick...

See you Opening Day, Thursday, May 10, 3-7P, in the First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue parking lot!