9/11 Open Thread: Food versus Health and more
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 --
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?
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.
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.
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)
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.
Hola campesinos! Quelle hombre dice da kine esos?
Title Image is First_Aid_Kit and is public domain
Its an open thread so have at it. The floor is yours