Feb 072007

I don’t like coffee. Never have, never will.

But my fianc/, Lindsey, loves coffee almost as much as she loves me. Being the wonderful and caring fianc/ that I am, I will sometimes accompany her to a coffee house to read while she studies with her nursing friends.

This happened last week at the Bean Cycle. I was reading Plato while Lindsey and her nursing friends studied for their upcoming exam. Somehow a conversation about organic food began between Lindsey and one of her friends. I really didn’t want to join the talk, but Lindsey’s friend came out firing.

She once lived in a commune in Hawaii where she and a few other individuals practiced sustenance living; she avoids conventional dairy and meat products because they’re packed full of hormones and she would never “drastically alter” her body’s homeostasis by eating foodstuffs so rich with added ingredients.

I shall now refer to Lindsey’s friend as Communist Coffee Consumer. Why “communist?” A group of people growing food for the “communal good” where everyone takes freely is called communism. I don’t think that little experiment has ever created any “communal good.” Communal death camps, yes, but no communal good.

I told Communist Coffee Consumer that she and her friends were engaged in an antiquated and backwards agricultural system. Not until the late 19th century did mankind – Americans – discover more efficient and more effective ways to grow food that could feed not just the persons growing the food but entire towns and states and countries.

While Communist Coffee Consumer was telling me she didn’t like eating things loaded with hormones and other junk, I found it slightly self-defeating that she was sipping on some kind of loaded coffee drink. She was so fearful about drinking milk with rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone) that she doesn’t realize the soy milk in her coffee contains 168,000 ng (nanograms, one-billionth of a gram) of estrogen per serving, which dwarfs the puny 11 ng of estrogen in a serving of regular milk. Non-pregnant adult women produce anywhere from 86,000 to 513,000ng of estrogen daily, and we’re told that drinking milk containing rBGH will mess up our hormonal balance?

Besides, USDA studies found there’s no difference between dairy cows fed rBGH and dairy cows not fed rBGH. The rBGH (a synthetic hormone) fed to cows is identical to what the cows produce naturally. So, naturally, naturally produced rBGH is also found in milk from cows not treated with rBGH. Further, rBGH-treated cows’ milk has the same level of rBGH as non-treated cows’ milk.

Yet there’s been constant antagonism towards conventional ag methods. In 1989, the European Union banned meat imports from animals treated with growth-promoting hormones.

U.S. beef producers weren’t too thrilled about the ban. The World Trade Organization intervened and conducted its own set of studies and in 1997 declared that hormones pose no health risk and that the EU’s ban lacked any scientific support. In other words, the EU’s “consensus” turned out to be just that – a consensus lacking scientific data.

Back in 1975, Newsweek ran a story detailing the “ominous signs that the earth’s weather patterns have begun to change dramatically” and warned of an immediate “decline in food production” that would affect nearly “every nation on earth.” Was global warming threatening to end mankind? Nope. The culprit was global cooling.

Did that consensus end up as truth? Hardly. Thirty years later the consensus has shifted from global cooling to global warming. But the fear and doom of global warming is based on the same tenet as global cooling: consensus.

A multitude of scientists today deny that global warming is caused by excess amounts of CO2 and consider warming trends nothing more than part of earth’s natural weather cycle. Israel’s Dr. Nir Shariv and others (including CSU’s meteorology professor emeritus William Gray who called global warming a “big scam”) link global temperature increases to fluxes in solar activity – not human activity. “I am quite sure that Kyoto is not the right way to go,” Shariv said.

Regardless of the topic – food or climate change – the Left relies on consensus – not science – to further their agenda, and that agenda is being furthered at the expense of our freedoms. More on that next week.

Trevor Sides is a senior speech communication major. His column appears every Thursday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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