9/11 Open Thread: Food versus Health and more

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First_Aid_Kit

This column, except for he qualities of the odors, might be considered to be some sort of pot pourri. I'll just start with the head --

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Food versus Health

Last week I wrote a column entitled Food for Thought About Health Care. (Links: https://caucus99percent.com/content/94-open-thread-food-thought-about-he... and https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/09/04/1883228/-9-4-Open-Thread:-Fo... ) In it I devoted some time to an NYT Op. Ed. discussing the link between diet and health; specifically, between our shoddy diet and our shabby health. One of the connecting links brought up in the op ed, if not in the column, is obesity. USians are largely overweight to obese, and this contributes to many specific health issues. Now (2 days later, as I write) I stumble across a very interesting follow-up; an article originally published in The Atlantic on September 30, 2015 that was written by Olga Kazan, a staff writer at The Atlantic. Said article was titled Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s, and I found it via pocket at https://getpocket.com/explore/item/why-it-was-easier-to-be-skinny-in-the.... The study, which was reported in Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, found that a person eating a given amount of calories comprised of given proportions of macronutrients and engaging in a given amount of exercise in 2006 would have a BMI about 2.3 points higher than a same aged person did in 1988. In essence, people with the same diet and exercise regimen today are about 10% heavier that their peers were two decades ago. So, how is this happening?

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One of the authors of that study suggested three factors that could account for this difference:

1) People are exposed to more pesticides, flame retardants, chemicals in food packaging and other chemicals in general. These might be altering our hormonal and other chemical processes that regulate or otherwise have to do with weight gain.

2) People are taking a lot more prescription drugs, including happy pills, many of which have been linked to weight gain.

3) It is possible that our gut biomes have changed in response to our massive consumption of artificial sweeteners and the fact that we now eat more meat, meat that is notoriously dosed with a variety of hormones and antibiotics throughout its growth cycle.

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Next up Housing and Homelessness

I suspect that this is an issue area where about all we can do individually is inform, educate and advocate, both among friends, family and co-workers and to/with the powers that be. Volunteerism, where the opportunity exists is also an option, but such opportunities seem a tad scarce. This section is, therefore, intended to provide information and possibly inspiration. It is based on a recent article in the Christian Science Monitor titled Atlanta refused to give up on homelessness. It’s working.; Link:https://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2019/0823/Atlanta-refused-to-give-... ). NOthing much in the article looks like a magic bullet or brand new idea, beyond, perhaps, the focus. Nonetheless, it seems that it would be a very good article to download, print out and hand to your local city council member or county board cf supervisors rep. It might even be possible to get permission to print in bulk and use as an informational handout at such meetings.

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In brief, we're looking at a public-private partnership (surprise!) tasked with moving people into “permanent supportive housing.” Such housing isn't simply a roof, but comes with other support services from meals to transport, meetings with social workers and the like. There is help with employment and no doubt training in life skills too. The focus is to move people into permanent housing, which, obviously, will require both employment and everyday skills. Shelters are perceived and used strictly as conduits to permanent housing. If they can, those in such supportive housing pay rent, but never more than 30% of income. The long and short of it is probably best encapsulated in the article's sub-heading:

Sometimes trying longer, and harder, actually works. Atlanta is using new funding to alleviate homelessness, but the key is services that don’t let people fall through the cracks. (my emphasis)

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Open Employment versus Unemployment (Jobs and joblessness)

This item is from an article by Ellie Anzilotti originally published by Fast Company on August 17, 2018 titled This Company Hired Anyone Who Applied. Now It’s Starting a Movement.. I encountered it here: https://getpocket.com/explore/item/this-company-hired-anyone-who-applied... ). The sub-head more or less tells the tale:

Greyston Bakery uses a practice of open hiring: filling positions on a first-come, first-served basis, no questions asked. Now it wants to teach other companies how to do the same.

The article tells some stories and statistics of two companies that independently discovered that hiring those often passed over such as ex-criminals in one case and "all comers" in another paid off big dividends for both the company and the employees, as well as the local community as a whole. One of the companies, Greyston Bakery has now opened a Center for Open Hiring, within its own offices, to teach other companies about the practice and process. As of the date of the article, 14 other businesses and organizations have joined the center.Though not all employees work out well, that is true also for those hired following hiring policies and practices that cost up to $4,500 per hire. Anybody with a company, or hiring responsibility, should consider adopting the practice, IMHO, and anything else that can help to spread it would only be good for society and the economy.

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Hola campesinos! Quelle hombre dice da kine esos?

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Title Image is First_Aid_Kit and is public domain

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Its an open thread so have at it. The floor is yours
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smiley7's picture

A similar program of your essay existed in Ann Arbor, MI in late eighties--toured the complex during a sister-city visit from the hill.

The city had converted an old, large l-shaped strip mall into homeless housing and social services offices with a med clinic and job works admin, iirc.

Recall being very impressed. It was served by a free bus route.

Priorities and gov't leaders? ...

Appointments in a few, thanks for today's OT and have a good one.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@smiley7
favorable outcomes. (Sounds like a fortune cookie, but I mean it.) Getting ready for another short trip starting tomorrow so penultimate get ready today with final final load early tomorrow. Re-thought our garden project, will be mostly raised beds. Tha'll cut the prep ime from years into months, we hope, but also cost much, much more. (Digging is free)

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

gulfgal98's picture

I want to share this excellent article by Matt Stoller on the fall of Boeing Aircraft Corporation. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/11/boeing-capitalism-...

Boeing is the latest poster child for what happens when financial people (hedge funds,etc.) take over a corporation and loot it into the ground. Boeing is not the first, but it is the most obvious because the public safety issue involving the crashes of the 737 Max. Neoliberal capitalists have destroyed American production of quality goods because they are more interested in the financialization of a corporation than in manufacturing quality products. And this has been allowed to happen due mainly to deregulation and the gutting of anti-trust laws.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." John F Kennedy

enhydra lutris's picture

@gulfgal98
another tab, so I'll definitely get around to it. Boeing was also long propped up by government largesse. Somewhere, somewhen, there was a govt decision to maintain multiple weaponry and weapons systems manufacturers perennially operational and healthy in case the day of need should come we bought shit we needn't have, at ridiculous prices through processes encouraging grift and behaviors that otherwise would've been fraud. Who knows how Boeing, or several of the others, would've otherwise fared.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

How Finland Solved Homelessness

Salmi is a beneficiary of Finland’s much-lauded “housing first” approach, which has been in place for more than a decade.

The idea is simple. To solve homelessness you start by giving someone a home, a permanent one with no strings attached. If they want to drink, they can; if they want to take drugs, that’s fine too. Support services are made available to treat addiction, mental health and other problems, and to help people get back on their feet, from assisting with welfare paperwork to securing a job.

The housing in Finland is a mix of designated standard apartments sprinkled through the community, and supported housing: apartment blocks with on-site services, built or renovated specifically for chronically homeless people. A Salvation Army building in Helsinki, for example, was converted from a 250-bed emergency shelter to an 81 apartment supported housing unit.

Formerly homeless residents have a rental contract just like anyone else. They pay rent from their own pockets or through the benefits afforded by Finland’s relatively generous welfare state.

The approach is working. As homelessness rises across Europe, Finland’s numbers are falling. In 1987, there were around 18,000 homeless people. In 2017, there were 7,112 homeless people, of which only 415 were living on the streets or in emergency shelters. The vast majority (84 percent) were staying temporarily with friends or relatives. Between 2008 and 2015, the number of people experiencing long-term homelessness dropped by 35 percent.

The reason? Finland approaches homelessness “as a housing problem and a violation of fundamental rights, both solvable, and not as an inevitable social problem resulting from personal issues,” said an analysis from Feantsa, a European network that focuses on homelessness.

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Peace Sells

enhydra lutris's picture

@Not Henry Kissinger
the article. Finland is right, it is a housing problem, and here, at any rate, that is a market economy/capitalism problem. Real estate speculation runs rampant and the system is designed to keep prices high by allowing "investors" to build and dole out housing on a limited basis to only those possessing a certain amount of capital and revenue up front.

As an aside, I couldn't help but notice this bit:

The vast majority (84 percent) were staying temporarily with friends or relatives.

One cannot help but wonder what our numbers really are giving all those living with parents and/or offspring and/or siblings. In some cultures, having a large extended family share domicile, at least until some members become independent and well off enough to procure their own residences is quite common, but for many others, this isn't historically the case, and is at all events counter to the so-called "American Dream", which may have been at least in part manufactured by social propaganda in order to get people to buy into suburban tract homes.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

Not Henry Kissinger's picture

@enhydra lutris @enhydra lutris

Real estate speculation runs rampant and the system is designed to keep prices high by allowing "investors" to build and dole out housing on a limited basis to only those possessing a certain amount of capital and revenue up front.

Engineered scarcity even moreso.

That is why the system needs some people to go without.*

It's a feature of Capitalism. Not a bug.

*Same goes for the healthcare system, BTW.

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Peace Sells

ggersh's picture

First they came for immigrants
next they came for the homeless
next
next
next

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/11/internment-camps-homeless-h...

Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, said the early stages of Trump's effort, as well as his past policy moves, demonstrate that the White House is "clearly not acting in good faith to end homelessness."

"They've proposed drastically shrinking or eliminating federal programs that keep the lowest-income people affordably housed; tripling rents for the lowest-income subsidized residents and raising rents for all others; evicting 100,000 people, including 55,000 American children, from subsidized housing; and allowing homeless shelters to discriminate and refuse shelter to transgender and other LGBTQ people," said Yentel.

"The solution to homelessness is affordable homes," Yentel added, "not further criminalization, punishing poor people for their poverty, sweeping people experiencing homelessness into increasingly unsafe areas, or warehousing people in untenable and unsustainable conditions."

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trump will be amerika's last president

ameriKa's been crapified and yes that
has trickled down

enhydra lutris's picture

@ggersh

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

earthling1's picture

where I found this link yesterday.
Ep37 William Davis MD Cardiologist Reveals the Solutions to Modern Chronic Disease — The Fat Emperor
https://thefatemperor.com/ep37-william-davis-md-cardiologist-reveals-the... William Davis MD Cardiologist Reveals the Solutions to Modern Chronic Disease — The Fat Emperor

But in it he notes;
"So one of the great insights I think into coronary disease as well as so many other conditions is the dysbiosis, we’ve all experienced the disruption of bowel flora. So Parkinson’s disease is looking like a disease of dysbiosis. Lou Gehrig’s disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Dementia is looking increasingly like a disease of dysbiosis. And specifically, probably, if we believe the data is, it’s flooding out of Spain, a disease of fungal overgrowth, interestingly, intestinal fungal overgrowth and coronary disease is looking like not entirely, but to a large part of disease of dysbiosis."

The biome of our gut has changed greatly since pre- industrial times and it effects every human on the planet except those remote tribes who still maintain an ancient diet.
This Cardioligist believes some manmade chemical or substance has destroyed a critical bacterium in our guts that even effect our mental health.
He posits it is the Lactobacillus Reuteri that our gut flora lack.

"I’m doing this Lactobacillus reuteri yogurt. That is restoration of a species that most modern humans lack now, but had most of us had up until all throughout history, up until the mid 20th century. So something antibiotics (herbicides, pesticides, whatever) has eliminated this bacteria that we typically got from mother’s milk during breastfeeding years when we were babies, but is now absent. Now, here’s something for you. Lactobacillus reuteri exerts all its age reversing effects, like smoother skin, thicker dermal collagen, increased muscle, increase bone density, increased libido, increased testosterone in male, it exerts all those effects via a boost in hypothalamic release of oxytocin.

00:46:22 What else does oxytocin do? It increases empathy and a desire for connection to other humans and feeling good about other people. Well, I wonder then, is the loss of lactobacillus reuteri and thereby higher levels of oxytocin, is this part of the explanation? To tell us why, there’s record, social isolation, record suicide rates, record divorce rates, and who knows, maybe even gun violence in the US, which of course, is out of control. So is this target idea that what we’re doing is restoring like Lactobacillus reuteri, we’re doing specifically by making yogurt from the Lactobacillus reuteri, and people saying, “Hey, I feel closer to my partner. I understand the problems of other people.

Excellent read.

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enhydra lutris's picture

@earthling1
for now, will take a pass. I sort of remember this guy's whole Wheat is evil / grains are evil schtick too. We, a a tribe, no doubt have problems with our gut biome, and those problems no doubt have a greater impact. Scientists are starting to see more and more evidence of such effects, but we are very complex systems, and we live pretty much in symbiosis or interdependence with said gut biomes. Hyper-multivariate, making simplistic analysis ludicrous and true double blind single variable experimentation almost impossible.

For now, I choose to reject very little of this stuff outright, but to likewise buy into none of it very much. Most of my internists (I have some auto-immune issues and known gut biome issues). Most of these guys launch into long, tedious Gish gallops, and, in the end it turns out to be don't eat beans, don't consume dairy, don't eat grains, start Dr. Killjoy's miracle wonder diet, take Zelda's miracle probiotic capsules or something along those lines. Ignorng all the contradictions, where are the post success medical examinations of all of the hordes of those successfully cured of whatever ails ya?

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@earthling1
empathy-boosting appears to be closely linked, not with a broad love for all of humanity, but quite specifically with an enhanced concern for members of one's own tribe, and at the same time suspicion of persons not of one's own tribe.

it's a weird and powerful molecule.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@lotlizard

Netanyahu: Israel will annex Jordan valley post election

This is beginning to smack really nastily of lebensraum....

Bad

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@thanatokephaloides
the agenda has been obvious for a very, very, very long time. they want it all, and they have every intention of taking it.

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4 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

enhydra lutris's picture

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5 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

magiamma's picture

et al

I remember my friend in Canada standing with me downtown talking about how the Vancouver city library allowed sleepers during the cold winter months. People could come in and sit at a desk and sleep with their heads on the tables as long as they did not disrupt anything. Humane. They also a have a needle exchange program and drug center right downtown. Unlike here that dose not, so people throw their needles on the beach. Right. Where kids play. But SC is the place where the Silicon Valley developers are salivating over. Can you say Silicon Beach. They most definitely do not care about the homeless. In other news, I now have two chrysalises and four more cats growing. I've kinda gotten over worrying about them so much. Just check every so often to see that they are not in the sink. Thanks for the thoughtful ot. Have a good one...

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

enhydra lutris's picture

@magiamma

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

lotlizard's picture

@magiamma

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mhagle's picture

Shipping container homes. Not useful for tight urban areas, but they are definitely sturdier than mobile homes.

I am sitting in one right now and I love it. It is 8 x 53 or 54. Cost about $5000 so far. We still ought to insulate the walls on the outside. Insulated roof with overhang for window shade made it completely fine in the summer with one window type air conditioner plus a dehumidifier.

I don't know if I will ever do it, but always have thought of a little shipping container community with gardens, rain capture, solar, etc.

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Marilyn

"Make dirt, not war." eyo