The FDA has now approved a patch for depression. Slap one of these patches on your skin, and a slow dose of mind-altering drugs is slowly absorbed into your blood. This approval, of course, comes from the same federal agency that claims skin care and cosmetic products containing toxic chemicals aren't dangerous because the skin doesn't actually absorb anything.
Like most drugs, the approval of this patch for depression is based on the absolutely loony (and scientifically dishonest) idea that depression is caused by a lack of synthetic chemicals circulating in the brain. All disease is just a matter of chemical deficiency, according to Big Pharma and the FDA. And if all Americans just had all the right chemicals pumped into their bodies (at several thousand dollars a month in prescription drug costs, by the way), we'd all be healthy and pain free!
The side effects of this drug, of course, are only found in the small print. These include high blood pressure if you happen to eat anything containing tyramine, a dietary compound that is incompatible with most depression drugs. Those foods include cheese and smoked meats. Giving up cheese depresses a lot of people all by itself, thereby creating demand for even more depression drugs. Clever gimmick, eh?
McDonald's finds more trans fats in french fries
McDonald's has just "discovered" its french fries contain far more trans fats than previously thought. This is devastating news to McDonalds customers who, as we know, are spuriously concerned with the nutritional content of the food they somehow manage to swallow.
McDonald's claims that new measurement techniques caused the trans fat figures to leap by 1/3 to 8 grams of artery-destroying trans fat per serving of large fries. It makes you wonder about the other nutritional information McDonald's is about to start printing on its food wrappers, doesn't it?
Then again, it also begs the question: Do people who eat at McDonald's actually read nutrition labels? And if so, can they possibly understand them? Apparently McDonald's doesn't. The restaurant chain is just now figuring out how to measure trans fats -- a technology that has existed for decades.
I'm still glad McDonald's restaurants exist, though. They make great restroom stops on long highway trips (those big signs are so easy to spot, even when you think you can't hold it another mile). I haven't actually purchased anything from McDonald's in the last eight years, but I have entered their buildings via the side door near the restrooms. All McDonald's restaurants smell exactly the same, have you noticed? There's nothing quite like the consistency of factory food mixed with chemical taste additives.
Is bottled water bad for the planet?
Believe it or not, bottled water is now being sharply criticized in the U.S. by the Earth Policy Institute, an environmental group. While the group does some great work in many areas, it misses the point on bottled water
: if people weren't buying bottled water in plastic bottles, they'd be buying soft drinks in aluminum cans anyway. There's a container garbage problem either way.
The group also says that tap water is just as good as bottled water, which makes me wonder what they're drinking. Sure, tap water is probably okay if you're a horse (although I would never let my dog drink it). But unless you enjoy consuming carcinogenic chemicals and fluorosilicic acid -- a chemical dripped into the water supplies in many U.S. cities -- then tap water just isn't a safe option.
That fluorosilicic acid, by the way, is often scraped off the inside of coal power plant smokestacks. If it wasn't sold to cities to be dripped into the water, it would be considered a toxic waste product regulated by the EPA. Don't believe me? Read this article.
Granted, there are a lot of silly bottled water products on the market that are over-hyped. Coca-cola's Dasani water is just filtered tap water with a trace of minerals thrown in. Many "vitamin water" products are often just colored water with a trace of low-cost vitamins. Popular sports water products are just water, artificial colors, salt and a few low-grade minerals. These are rip-off products, if you ask me.
But there are also quality, genuine bottled water products on the market that I believe are worth every penny. Those would be the ones from natural mineral springs, like Evian or Aquarius water out of Oregon.