Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Screw a Long Life

Apparently, red meat kills you. In the study linked, people who self-reported eating more red meat were much more likely to die before those who reported eating less red meat.

Now let's just ignore the possibility that people who report eating more red meat are those less likely to understand or care what eating healthily actually means and aren't actually eating that much more than some of the red-meataphobes who under-report out of guilt or shame. Let's also assume that there are not some other factors that correlate with red meat consumption (like over-consumption of every other non-leafy-green-vegetable food known to man) that are the real causes of the shorter life span. Even assuming all of that, I just don't give a damn.

Here's my thing. I'm perfectly happy doing things to make my quality of life better. I exercise, sporadically. I only rarely eat between meals. I drink carbonated beverages as treats instead of my standard beverage. I drink more than a liter of water a day. I just honestly have no interest in going out of my way to increase the length of my life. I'm not going to give up my favorite foods just because I'm aiming to break the triple digit mark of old age.

Now, I'm all for moderation, but there's a point in which a life of sacrifice isn't worth the sacrifice. I honestly don't want to live to 90 by having spent 70 years not eating what I wanted to eat. Due to my genetics and modern medical technology, I'm probably going to live to 90 anyway. I may just die at 90 instead of 95. My lifestyle has never been one to significantly shorten my life anyway. I fully support not eating a steak, hamburger, or sausage for every freaking meal, but I think you're a bit silly going vegan or vegetarian for health concerns. I fully support your decision to do so on ethical grounds, but I mock you for doing so for health concerns. Death really isn't that big of a deal. You're going to die eventually and we're talking about years and percentage points here, not decades of wasted opportunity. Honestly, I don't think I'd even give up a food I liked if I believed doing so would allow me to live in perfect health forever. I get bored with things I enjoy too quickly. I'm eventually going to get bored with life.

An example of taking idiotic measures to improve your health, one of the researchers was on NPR yesterday afternoon and mentioned how cooking meats at high temperatures created chemicals that were harmful to your health. He recommended not grilling meats, or, if you refuse to give up methods of cooking that bring the most flavor to the meat via the Maillard reaction, microwaving them first before grilling them a very short amount of time.

Honestly, I'll take my chances with a slightly increased risk of cancer and eat my nicely seared medium rare rib eye or lamb chop on a Saturday evening. If I find a lump in my nut sack or feeling the first twinges of an oncoming heart attack in my 60s, I promise you that I won't think to myself, "If I'd only had a more boring dietary life!"

Honestly, I think the researcher who suggested such a travesty should be forced to die repeatedly for the rest of our dietary sins just for suggesting that.

Microwaving a steak. Son of a bitch.


Julie said...

Yeah... there was a guy on Oprah yesterday that they think might live to be 150. They said it would be a good quality life but still.

A. How will I afford to live that long and

B. Why would I want to when all my friends and family will be gone.

courtney said...

I've all but given up red meat altogether because my doctor told me to. I have cholesterol issues and she said the easiest way to avoid medication for awhile is to cut out red meat. It's not like I was a big beef eater before, but I don't miss it at all, so I don't really consider it a sacrifice. If I were in my 60s, I'd consider the damage done and probably just continue eating whatever I want, but if I can start counteracting my heart problems in my 20s, I'd like to avoid dying of a heart attack before I'm 40.

People can definitely take it too far, but I wouldn't mock anyone for wanting to prolong their life by eating healthier. As long as people practice moderation, I don't care what they eat.

Microwaving a steak is just silly, though.

A Free Man said...

I give up. I quit doing drugs. I quit drinking. I even quit smoking. I'm not damn giving up a big steak. Bite me. I'll die early.

Mickey said...

I'd gladly give up all meat to avoid lumpy testicles.