Last week it was announced by people who constantly announce these sort of things that Omega 3 fish oils can increase your chances of getting cancer. Also literally everything increases your chances of getting cancer. Everything. I recently heard someone say this sentence verbatim: "Don't stay in the sun for too long, the Sun can increase your cancer risk." Interesting way of putting it. The preferred alternative, I guess, is a world with no Sun. Then again, an absence of the Sun will increase our Solar System's chance of being obliterated in a giant black hole by about 100 percent. So it's a lose/lose, I suppose.
In any event, Omega 3, which sounds like a video game from the early 90's, might cause you to die. Just yesterday they told us it might save our lives, help our hearts, cure our ADHD and mow our lawns, but now it's going to kill us. This country seems to have the same relationship with dietary supplements that we have with Middle East dictators -- one day we need them, the next day they're plotting to murder us. It's the classic love story.
This earth shattering fish oil revelation came on the heels of the CDC changing its mind and deciding that salt is actually pretty OK for you. Turns out, despite 40 years of anti-salt propaganda, the stuff really isn't Satan's seasoning after all. It's just, you know... Salt. Put some on your food if you like. Don't eat a gallon of it. You'll be fine. That is, until they do another study next year and discover that table salt actually causes infertility, dandruff, and spontaneous human combustion. And cancer, obviously.
Meanwhile, Purdue researchers published a report saying diet soda is just as bad as regular soda. But other researchers say it's not as bad, while other researchers say it can be as bad but sometimes it's better, while still other researchers have decided to research the research of the researchers to come to a definitive conclusion as to the badness or non badness of diet colas. All of this, as the FDA proposes new arsenic level limits on apple juice manufacturing, even though many doctors and health experts insist the arsenic/apple juice hysteria is overblown and unnecessary.
Ok, call me crazy but I've got this idea I can't shake: What if we all just calmed the hell down, stopped looking for the perfect dietary algorithm that will bring us everlasting life, stopped worrying overly much about the long term effects of substances that really won't harm us if we consume them in moderation, and instead went back to simply eating fruits and vegetables, getting our proteins and our calcium, drinking plenty of fluids, and making sure to exercise a few times a week? What was wrong with that plan? Was it ever actually found to be ineffective? Is being healthy really so complicated? Were people eating plenty of fruits and veggies, milk and protein, exercising regularly, and mysteriously dying in droves all across the nation? Did something actually happen to cause us to say 'hey, let's turn the rudimentary concept of basic dietary health into an indecipherable and ever changing calculus'? I think something did happen. I think some folks realized there's a lot of money to be made on things like multivitamins and antioxidant supplements. I think researchers are in constant need of things to research so their funding doesn't dry up, which may incentive them to do the scientific equivalent of digging holes just to have something to fill. I think it's good business for everyone to convince us that being sensible, disciplined and active isn't going to be enough to keep us from dying.
Actually, they're right. No matter what, we will all die. Nothing will stop it. Every moment brings us closer to our inevitable demise. Contemplate that. Confront it. You will die. You are mortal. Death awaits you. Merry Christmas.
Is this depressing? It shouldn't be. It should be liberating. It frees you and your wallet from trying to supplement yourself into immortality. Relax, enjoy yourself. Have a steak. Drink a beer. Have some soda if you like. Have a freaking candy bar or something. This party will end for all of us, no need to let the food spoil. I'm not saying we should be reckless and indulgent. I'm saying that if being a high strung, red meat phobic, paranoid, health food Nazi would add 3 years to my life on the back end -- Well, I'll take the burger and the slightly earlier exit. You can be miserable for a few years longer, and I'll meet you on the other side. We've become so obsessed with extending our lives that we forget to actually live them.
I don't have time to worry about these things. I worry about a thousand things already, there's no room in my paranoia rotation. If there's an opening in the future maybe I'll add "weekly updated list of foods that scientists say will cause cancer." Until then, I'm going to eat like a reasonable human being and then carry on with my day. I suggest you do the same. Until you die in agony, which could happen at any moment regardless of what you eat for dinner.