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No end to craziness

We live in such a beautiful part of the world that it is a shame that we have this large magnet buried somewhere in the Roaring Fork Valley.

You say you didn’t know about the magnet? Well, unlike the traditional magnet which attracts iron, our magnet seems to attract nut cases and dingbats from all over the world. Two recent happenings in our valley are excellent examples of this strange and distressing phenomenon.

At the lower end of the valley, we have an individual (name I can’t recall) who was recently highlighted in the local press spreading the word about the dangers of eating fish because of possible mercury contamination ” especially in farm-raised salmon. I would suggest he look at a recently published study by the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging.



The study mentions that in addition to containing high levels of omega-3 fatty acid, salmon is much lower in mercury than other fish. This particular study highlighted the connection between eating fish and a significant reduction in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Of course, many other previously published studies have outlined the benefits of fish consumption to heart patients. I can only assume the individual in question has conducted extensive research in his garage in Carbondale, which contradicts this other world of knowledge.



The other example of “the sky is falling” mentality with respect to our food occurred at the upper end of the valley ” namely the removal of beef from the menus of the Aspen elementary and middle schools by their caterer. While I respect Ms. Owsley’s right to run her business as she sees fit, there can be no doubt that her action was alarmist at best and so ill informed and ridiculous that one wonders if there isn’t some other agenda in play.

If Ms. Owsley is truly concerned about children’s safety, I would suggest she investigate the statistics regarding salmonella. Nearly 40,000 cases are diagnosed and between 500 and 1,000 people die each year in the United States.

Interestingly, the source of the salmonella toxin is not from a single cow in Washington state, but from a wide variety of foods, many of which I would bet Ms. Owsley pedals to school every day. Research shows the most common source to be eggs (particularly, the egg shells) followed by chicken, unpasteurized milk, ice cream, potato salad, cantaloupe, salsa, orange juice, roma tomatoes, meringue pie, cheese, mayonnaise, etc.

Compare this hazard to the outbreak of variant Creutzfeldt Jakob disease, (the malady linked to the consumption of contaminated beef) in Britain where 139 people have died over an eight-year period in a country where nearly 1 million cattle were infected!

Let’s also hope that Ms. Owsley has no green onions in her lunch bag ” remember the recent multiple deaths due to an outbreak of hepatitis in Pennsylvania.

I would hope that the Aspen School Board has some oversight into the food that is supplied under Ms. Owsley’s contract. What would happen, for instance, if she came up with an old nursery rhyme staple ” snaps and snails and puppy dog tails for little boys and sugar and spice and everything nice for little girls? Where does the craziness end?

Finally, I found it interesting to note the comment that “I don’t believe the government has much credibility right now.” To me this suggests an agenda which has nothing to do with concern for the safety of our children ” Ms. Owsley’s action reeks of vegetarian hypocrisy, pure and simple.

Bill Myers

Carbondale


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