Death, taxes and eating organic

If carbonated beverages, hot dogs, French fries and fried chicken, also known as comfort foods, were known as healthy alternative foods would you eat them more often? How many people actually given the choice between perfect French fries or carrot sticks, would choose carrot sticks? My guess is the majority would prefer French fries.

Recently, a big box store sold a batch of organic berries from Oregon, where 87 people nationwide, including five people in Hawaii, contacted the Hepatitis A virus.

Sometimes, eating organic really is not that healthy after all. There have been numerous accounts of organic produce, meats and poultry being recalled for salmonella, botulism, E.coli and many other life-threatening diseases. I have never heard of a GMO being recalled, but that’s for another column.

Pesticides can be used in the growing of “organic” vegetables and fruits, and often are. They just must be derived from natural sources, not synthetically manufactured.

My question, is this any better? Not to me. Just because it’s a “natural” pesticide, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safer or even good for you.

Did you know that the French fries at Burger King are cooked in trans fat-free vegetable oil and do not contain animal products, while the side salad ranch dressing alone has 240 calories — ironically, making the value-sized French fries with 200 calories a more healthy alternative to a side salad and dressing?

My brother-in-law’s brother, a strict vegetarian for many years and the poster child for eating healthy, died a young man at age 53 from leukemia. An obese friend of mine who ate almost anything she desired her whole life lived into her mid 80s.

What really aids longevity? Some say happiness, some say diet, some say genetics. Nobody can answer why a smoker may live longer than a nonsmoker, or why a junk food junkie can live longer than a someone practicing a strict vegan or vegetarian lifestyle.

Kauai has a huge alternative vegan and vegetarian culture, believing they are living a healthier lifestyle. For some it may be true, for others it may not. There are people that need the proteins from meat, poultry and fish to function optimally, while others can get by without.

The answer seems different with everyone.

Is it possible many things we know are wrong concerning health? Could it be that the all American hot dog is the new health food? Remember one man’s meat is another man’s poison.

I recently saw a bumper sticker that said, “Try organic food … or as our grandparents called it, “Food!” My favorite organic food joke; the wife says to the produce manager, “These vegetables are for my husband, have they been sprayed with any poisonous chemicals?” The produce manager replies, “No, ma’am, you’ll have to do that yourself.”

Whether it’s fat free, sugar free, or gluten free, or whether you’re a carnivore, vegetarian, vegan, hot dog junkie or keep kosher, one thing’s for sure — death, taxes and eating organic, nobody’s getting out of here alive.

• James “Kimo” Rosen is a retired professional photographer living in Kapa’a with his best friend Obama Da Dog, Rosen also blogs as a hobby www.dakinetalk.blogspot.com

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