Friday, April 02, 2010

American paranoia

There are so many things that we are paranoid about in this country, that people in other countries seem not to worry about.

The list of foods that pregnant American women "can't eat" grows longer every year: alcohol, sushi, raw meat, processed meat, pate, most seafood, soft cheeses, unpasteurized milk/juice, caffeine. I even saw a pregnant woman the other day avoiding beans. I have no idea what could possibly be wrong with eating beans. In Europe, pregnant women drink wine. In Japan, pregnant women eat raw fish. Neither seems to be a problem.

We refuse to let children eat peanuts and shellfish at a young age, in case they happen to be allergic to them. Yet, I wouldn't be surprised if we had the highest incidence of food allergies in the world.

We use anti-bacterial soaps and lotions for everything, on an everyday basis. I'm not a doctor, but I'm pretty sure the more that we use anti-bacterial products, the stronger the remaining bacteria become. I'll bet the US has more drug resistant bacteria than any other country, by now.

I can't think of any other examples off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure there are more...

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