I don't feel like writing about nutrition today. I may return to the subject, but today I'm going to tackle all of the world's problems.
Vertigo had a good post on fitness centres and it got me thinking. Of course he is right, gyms are silly and unnecessary. We can get all of the exercise we need in everyday activity. In my opinion, most of the hype about weight training is a marketing to make people think that they need to spend money to get a workout (buy weights, membership, etc.). If people knew that all they really needed was walking, running or cycling along with a little heavy lifting around the house, an entire industry would fade into oblivion.
The problem is that people don't do it. As a researcher, I frequently ask people to do things, make dietary changes, exercise, whatever. People are recruited to do these things and they say that they're interested and that they'll do it. Then they don't. Many people aren't good to their words. Not only is it annoying as a researcher, but it says bad things about the integrity of our society when lots of people aren't honest.
We watched a video in one of my classes the other day about poverty and giving loans to people who have no credit and no way of establishing credit (Think third world countries). For years banks have refused to loan to these people because they didn't have anything to put as collateral. If the people didn't pay back the borrowed money, the bank just lost the money. There was no repossessing of a car or house or shoes, these people were too poor to have these luxuries. Finally someone loaned the extremely poor some money and come to find out their payback rate is over 95% (that's better than most banks get). So people with absolutely nothing are better at keeping their word than volunteers in the most affluent nation in the world. I think the US is backwards and would benefit greatly from third world countries. Honesty and integrity is of far greater value than any amount of wealth a person can attain.
In high school I read a book by Joseph Conrad called "The Heart of Darkness". It was about early European "exploration" in Africa. The Europeans went up a really big river (sorry, high school was over 10 years ago, some of the details have faded) until they ran across the "savages". These tribes of savages lived off the land and battled with other tribes in the area. They would often place heads of their opponents on stakes to demonstrate their power. The Europeans traveled up this river and just had to defend themselves from these savages (who had really been doing alright without the help of European explorers). So the Europeans slaughtered some of them in order to (pre-emptively) protect their lives. Boy, those Africans were sure savages...
I think as members of industrialized nations we are just as savage as those Europeans as we support (by buying) the exploitation of developing nations. It's unfortunate that industrialized nations blind the consumer to what we are supporting. We just go in and give someone money for something, the cheaper the better, right? In order to demonstrate integrity and honesty, lets not take advantage of those in other countries who are battling poverty. If you believe, take a stand.
My thoughts may have drifted during that post. I have a couple more nutrition posts on the way, and a couple of other topics I've been thinking of.