Tuesday, April 21, 2009

who to believe

I just had an interesting conversation with my friend Leslie about the FDA and food regulations, and what's safe to eat and what's not. It lead to a broader conversation about how to weed through all the information out there to find out the truth about things. Thanks to the internet you can find out almost anything immediately. For instance, when my soon to be in-laws were in town, we were trying to figure out the weather in both farenheit and celcius. Gail went for the dictionary and and found the equation I went straight to Google and printed out a 3 page chart of conversions.

There's just so much information, and I find it frustrating. How do you find out what's actually true--which organization or website do you believe, and why do you believe it over myriad others stating opposing facts? I received an email the other day about the dangers of drinking water from plastic bottles that have been left in the heat. Almost as soon as I sent it my inbox was flooded with responses including links to websites that both disputed and supported this information, as well as emails from friends saying thanks for sharing. So basically, this did nothing for me, I still don't know if it's safe or not, and how can I?

I personally believe most of the things we ingest, whether proven safe or harmful, probably each contribute in some miniscule way to health problems. Sometimes I don't rinse an apple before eating it--the horror! Is this going to cause cancer, probably not. But it could be a contributing factor along with using skin cream that is not all-natural, and heating my leftover maccaroni in a plastic container, and sitting near a smoker in a bar, and eating a hamburger that is not organic and talking on my cell phone, and drinking a coke and so on and so forth. And these are things I simply cannot worry about when I have to do things like pay bills and apply for a resident visa in another country and drive an hour to work everyday. Of course we should not be careless, and should avoid harmful things when we can--which is why it's important to know what even is harmful.

This particular issue, the watter bottle issue, is not that big of a deal to me, but others are. Political issues, for example, are more important to me. I do not want to know only the liberal's or conservative's point of view, I want to know the truth, and I fear that I rarely am exposed to the truth through the media. Does the US really supply 90% of guns to Mexico, or does it supply 90% percent of the traced guns which is only about 60% of the total. Hmmm. Who actually knows the answer? Who is the ultimate decider? And why do we trust these people so much anyway, they could tell us anything.

My personal conclusion is that you have to take it all into account, ponder it all and then forget about it. If anyone knows of any 100% reliable websites that are confirmed by other 100% reliable websites with information pertaining to anything beneficial to me please let me know.


  1. I feel the same way. It seems like most of the time, people will just find research that supports what they want to believe. I guess for me, if someone warns me about a possible danger in a food, and its fairly easy for me to change, I'll do it. If you really want the TRUTH, I guess you have to investigate into all the studies done, see if they were done correctly(put college statistics class to work) and all that. And who really has time for that?? And now, I will go on with my day not worrying about this. :)

  2. In a study of 10 American new born babies, an average of 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants were found in their blood. so your pretty much screwed before you even get started in the world. (This information is exempt from your 100% internet reliability test. I actually learned it at a environmental health conference, the old fashioned way to learn things.)

    Here's something proven to be harmful to you: http://www.ocregister.com/multimedia/lead/