Actually They’re Mostly Peas And Cat Hair

From The Daily Kos—written by Hunter:

The news that a New York state attorney general’s investigation found that the overwhelming majority of so-called “nutritional supplements” sold by some of the biggest retailers in the nation contained none of the actual ingredient they were supposed to be “supplementing” once again raises the question: Is the health supplement marketplace America’s Most Crooked Industry?

The authorities said they had conducted tests on top-selling store brands of herbal supplements at four national retailers — GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart — and found that four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels. The tests showed that pills labeled medicinal herbs often contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies. […]Three out of six herbal products at Target — ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort and valerian root, a sleep aid — tested negative for the herbs on their labels. But they did contain powdered rice, beans, peas and wild carrots. And at GNC, the agency said, it found pills with unlisted ingredients used as fillers, like powdered legumes, the class of plants that includes peanuts and soybeans, a hazard for people with allergies.

“Houseplants” is a nice touch, although the news that the highly priced placebos may or may not contain unlisted ingredients that could kill some people is probably the one more worth focusing on.

Savvy attorney generals across the nation will hopefully repeat the experiment in their own states; the nutritional supplement industry makes money hand over fist—possibly due to the savings that can be achieved by putting little or no actual active ingredients in the products being sold—and the opportunities for high-profile fraud prosecutions could provide an easy boost to political profiles and state budgets alike. It also ought to end for once and for all this notion that the supplement industry needs no regulation. On the contrary, calling something a “supplement” has been adopted as the millennial version of ye olde snake oil.

In the meantime, you probably want to stop taking supplements. If the biggest brands in the industry don’t know or don’t care what’s in those bottles, the nice fellow selling you pills over the internet isn’t likely to give a damn either. You might call to inquire as to sending the unused portion of your pills to Sen. Orrin Hatch, who has been the industry’s champion in exempting themselves from FDA regulation under the banner of we don’t feel like doing that, and maybe he’ll be able to direct you as to how best to get a refund. Go on, give his office a call right now. He’s a bona fide expert in this stuff.

(Note: Do not actually send your unused pills to Orrin Hatch. The industry doesn’t give a damn if those things end up being “mostly anthrax, some filler” but you can put a lot of stuff in your stomach that would be a felony to send to a senator. They’re a bit stuffy like that.)




You Look…Fine

Here are some remarks you may have encountered this Holiday Season from your loved ones:  (Courtesy of New York Magazine)





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Christmas comes but once a year, but criticism lives on forever.

Happy New Year!  Now, go open that bottle of wine you hid under the sofa.


I’m Hip, Man…

Researchers have found that the width of the pelvis, the distance between the hip bones and the diameter of the hip bones all increased as people got older, even after people maxed out height-wise.

“I think it’s a fairly common human experience that people find themselves to be wider at the age of 40 or 60 then they were at 20,” study researcher Dr. Laurence E. Dahners, a professor in the orthopedics department at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, said in a statement.

For years, people thought the widening was because of an increase in body fat, but the new findings show that pelvic growth may lead to an increase in waist size as people get older — and not just because they put on more weight, Dahners said.

The pelvic width of the oldest people in the study (ages 70 to 79) was, on average, about an inch larger than the youngest people (ages 20 to 29), according to the study. That translates to about a three-inch increase in waist size between someone age 20 and someone age 79.
 The new study was published May 25 in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research.


I’ll Have the Special

I spent another two (+) fun-filled hours at the retinal specialist’s office today with my mother.  Most of our time was spent just waiting to get back to the inner sanctum of the exam rooms.

Fortunately, the office is in a quaint old limestone building that had been a private home at one time in this German pioneer community.  It has hardwood floors, high ceilings and interesting architectural details that give you something to look at once the supply of magazines runs out.

After an hour past her appointment time waiting to have my mother’s vision checked, and another hour or more waiting to have her eye injection for macular degeneration, we pretty much ran the gamut of reading material.

By the time we were done I’d thoroughly reviewed a Better Homes and Gardens issue from (I’m hoping) last Christmas and had even delved into a magazine devoted to diabetics; of which I’m not one nor is my 91 year-old mother.

But from the physiques of the many people who passed by us during our time of butt-numbing incarceration, it must be a pretty popular magazine.

My mother, who weighs all of about 116 (not much over the 98 pounds she weighed when she got married in 1938), remarked to me later that she’d never seen so many men with big bellies in one place.  I had to agree that, yes, this seems to be the future of America.

Tonight I was watching an old Golden Girls episode where Sophia’s sister, Angela, visits from Sicily.  Angela is played by Nancy Walker, whose dry comic delivery is the perfect match to Estelle Getty’s Sophia.

Dorothy asked Angela if she’d found an apartment yet, since she was thinking about moving closer to Sophia.  Angela said yes, she had that very morning.

“I was at the Senior Center for the Early Bird Special:  de-caf coffee, low sodium bacon and a chest x-ray.”

Only in America.


The Secret to Staying Thin

I was standing in line at the counter of the mini-mart where I get gas, waiting to pay for my fountain drink.  If you keep the foam cup from your initial purchase (mine was a 44 ouncer) they let you get refills for just 88 cents as opposed to the regular price of $1.50. 

 Hey, I’ve always said I was cheap so don’t look so surprised.

There was only one person in front of me, a girl of about 19 or 20, blonde, fairly tall (which is relative since I’m only 5′ 3″), and quite slim.  She didn’t have anything in her hand when I got in line behind her but, somewhat impulsively it seemed, she reached over and grabbed a little bottle of 5 Hour Energy drink, the kind they keep prominently displayed right next to the register. 

I always thought the only people who bought those were balding overweight truckers who were trying to stay awake on the long haul from El Paso to Houston.

Then, she said something to the clerk, who turned around and grabbed a pack of Marlboro cigarettes from behind her and plunked it down next to the bottle.  I think the combined total of her purchases came to around $8.00 and change.

She paid for her items and headed for the door.  I paid for my industrial strength drum of Diet Coke/Diet Dr. Pepper custom mix and did the same. 

I passed her on the way out, standing with, I’m assuming, her boyfriend at the back of the store.  He was about her age, height and build.

So, now I think I know the secret to staying thin:






…..ought to just about do it. 

Don’t you think? 


A Mind is a Terrible Thing to “Waist”

Today I read that one of supermodel Kate Moss’ favorite mottos is:

 “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.” 

 Now, I have to interject here that she qualifies this by saying that even though she tries to remember this, it doesn’t always work for her. 

Even with that disclaimer, I would like to add my take on this:  horse patootie!

Yes, there was a time long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away where I, too, would have subscribed to that motto.  I would deny myself not only sweets, pastries and the lovelier gastronomic delicacies, but also the basic necessities of existence—like food itself— in my desire to attain or maintain a girlish figure. 

Back in the early 1970s my Starter Husband and I endured the infamous Atkins diet, where one ate only meat, and maybe some eggs, for every meal….every day.  The sheer boredom and monotony of that diet was enough to trigger weight loss.  I think that’s the reason why I couldn’t look another steak in the face for years. 

Yes, the weight came off,  but I was so famished and woozy that I couldn’t enjoy the skinniness without having to go lie down for a bit first. 

I don’t think this is what Kate meant by her comment. 

And I have to laugh, somewhat ruefully to be sure, at how “fat” I thought I was at that time in my life—fat enough, in my mind, to put myself through such torture.  I wish I was as “fat” now as I was then! 

No, I don’t weigh anywhere near what I did almost 40 years ago, and to be brutally frank, I don’t give a rat’s ass if I don’t.  I could deny myself all the things I enjoy—like chocolate, the gift of the gods—but would I really feel any better if I did?  (And if I became truly “skinny”, what would I do with all the surplus skin?  I bet Kate never had to worry about that one.)

I walk two miles almost every day and try to eat in moderation, with the occasional splurge—about which I refuse to feel guilty. 

I’ll never again look like the young woman of my late 20s, but I’m comfortable with the old bat I’ve become in my 60s. 

To honor the many ladies who take issue with Ms. Moss, I dedicate this ATC. 

May we all eat for the right reasons.