Yes, it has been awhile since I graced these pages with my turgid prose. Part of the reason was not having anything earth shattering to say for some time and a large portion of the reason was my nearly big one heart attack of November 2009. Five stents in two arteries later, plus a new diet and not enough exercise to satisfy my doctors I am still not back to normal normal but am close enough to feel like I have a satisfactory life once again. Like most of us who suffer from heart disease I neglected to take seriously the warning signs until I was nearly dead. Thankfully my local hospital has an excellent cardiac unit and some top rated cardiologists. I received the best care and consider myself an exceedingly lucky man.
Almost dying gives one an unusually acute sense of their own mortality. You notice all of the silly and detrimental things you have done by habit all your life and reassess your uncanny ability to undermine your good health. This ability extends out into our society in many ways. For example it is nearly impossible to dine in any restaurant without having to order food which comes nowhere close to meeting the terms of one’s heart healthy diet. This is especially true for fast food. If I ate one of KFC’s new double down chicken sandwiches without the bun I would be consuming over two days worth of saturated fats. One can of Progresso soup has nearly an entire days worth of sodium. My rant about American food, its production and distribution is for another blog entry but suffice it to say that as Americans we have been given what we crave for a price that is often under the cost of production. Humans crave three tastes, salt, fat and sugar. These items exist in rare quantities in nature but largely because of government subsidies and sophisticated food processing they are made readily available to us in large quantities, easily accessible and inexpensive.
Every day I see people eagerly wolfing down foods that cannot be healthy for their hearts. No wonder heart attack and stroke are major killers of Americans. But the huge corporate food, or as I prefer to call it, edible food like substance, industry just gets us more and more hooked on the worst kinds of stuff. All to make a buck.