Letters for Jan. 10, 2015

• Gluten, smuten • Accident bound to happen on bridge • Weather and climate aren’t the same thing 

Gluten, smuten

What the hay is gluten and why are so many afraid of it? All you hear lately is gluten free and how you will live forever by becoming gluten free, or something like that.

I went to a restaurant and they raved about gluten free tacos. I told them I like gluten and wanted gluten added to my tortilla. They looked at me like I was from outer space.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. Gluten also shows up in many whole grain foods related to wheat, including bulgur, spelt, farro, kamut and triticale.

For a small number of people, approximately 1 percent of the population, gluten can be a matter of life or death. These people contain a condition known as celiac disease.

For a good many of the remaining 99 percent of the population, there seems to be an anti-gluten fad happening. Many swear by it and others call it a health nut hoax.

Living gluten-free may make you fat. There are some people who go off gluten as a means to lose weight and end up gaining weight instead. That’s because they consume gluten-free packaged products that are often just as high in saturated fat, sugar and sodium as other junk food.

Jimmy Kimmel, on his late night talk show, did a segment on the streets of L.A. asking people who were on gluten-free diets, what is gluten? The results were alarming, yet hilarious, not one person could tell him what gluten was.

Kimmel said it best: “Some people can’t eat gluten for medical reasons, but a lot of people in Los Angeles don’t eat gluten because someone in their yoga class told them not to.”

It’s the new cool for many health enthusiasts to be gluten free.

Now here’s the real clincher. After spending many hours researching gluten, I still have no idea what the heck it is. All I can say is gluten, smuten.

James “Kimo” Rosen

Kapaa

Accident bound to happen on bridge

Is it just me, or does anyone else feel nervous driving directly after Kalihiwai Bridge going toward Kilauea? Those concrete barriers sure do not leave drivers an “out.” If someone crosses the center line, you’re done.

Shouldn’t there be a rumble strip on the hill proceeding the bridge as a huge safety measure? It’s so dark as it is at night, a few extra reflectors would help also.

Come on state highways, let’s not wait for another bad accident to happen.

Christopher Kaplanis

Kilauea

Weather and climate aren’t the same thing

Please don’t confuse climate with weather. Weather is what conditions are in a short period of time. Climate is what the weather does over time and space.

We have today a Northwest Passage for the first time in history. In 1959, my husband’s last skipper, Bill Anderson, took the Nautilus under the poles. CO2 levels then were 315.94 parts per million (ppm).

Today, there are, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association’s Mauna Loa Observatory, 402 ppm. The highest in recorded history.

You can see for yourself, on a graph, the rapid rise in CO2 levels since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

In 1760, CO2 levels were 280 ppm. This can be measured. My husband taught me: If you can measure it, it’s there.

“Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets have decreased in mass,” according to NASA.

Glacial retreat decreased snow levels. Soon there will be no snow on Kilimanjaro.

According to some, Hawaii, as climate changes, will create heat-related illnesses. Decrease in trade winds. Massive coral die offs. Rise in sea levels.

No cause for fear, but plenty of cause for concern. Can we do anything about it? Probably not. Should we try? I think so.

As a practical American woman, if it’s too hot in the house, I turn off the heat. What do you do?

Bettejo Dux

Kalaheo

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