Buyer Beware:If it’s too good to be true, leave it on the shelf.

Last week I read an article in the newspaper that made me strut around the house yelling “ AT LAST”!
What brought me to such a euphoric state? Well it wasn’t the discovery of a drug for woman comparable to Viagra, but rather an announcement that the FDA made that they were going to take a far more aggressive role over deceptive ad practices.
One of their first targets is the worlds’ biggest yogurt maker Dannon, who agreed to pay a $21million fine and stop making exaggerated health claims for two popular Dannon products. Marion Nestle, a New York University nutritionist stated that “The claims aren’t about health, they’re about marketing”. DUH! I’ve been ranting about how absurd the notion that a food product has been developed with so many magical health properties for years.
Activia is supposed to cure “irregularity” which is the latest problem that seems to effect a great majority of Americans. It used to be called constipation, but I guess that’s too harsh a word. When did this start and why are so many afflicted with this problem, and why do they have to buy a specific product for their situation?
Well it sells because it contains probiotics, a beneficial bacteria for the colon, but so do most yogurts. It also contains 19 grams of sugar which means it has it has over four teaspoons in a four ounce container. Aren’t we supposed to be more aware of sugar content? So now you become regular but you get diabetes? Makes sense to me.
What about beans? Lots of fiber and cheap. I just got five 15 ounce cans for 4 dollars. We all know about the power of the bean, yet there are no cutesy commercials touting their benefits with a movie star as a spokesperson sharing the great outcome they got from eating beans. There’s not even an animated bean dressed in spandex jeans circling around a group of constipated adults sharing the latest research on beans and their benefits.
Do you think lifestyle might have an impact on irregularity, like lack of exercise, very little sleep and too much stress? When you’re stressed out your intestines suffer big time. It’s hard to get anything to pass through.
Aside from the above, the most important message we should take away from the latest food fiasco is “buyer beware”. If it’s too good to be true, leave it on the shelf.

We are a piece of the universe and not the center of it!

I was in the Chicago airport waiting to board a flight to Vancouver, Canada, when the gate agent announced that the flight was going to be delayed. She then asked the passengers to line up and re-book their flights. There was a lot
of sighing and distressed looks but for the most part everyone maintained a certain degree of calm.
However, one gentleman ( and I say that loosely), kept trying to weasel his way to the front of the line.
Finally he was able to get the gate agents attention and began to assault her with demands as to his absolute need to get to Vancouver as he had extremely urgent business.

She kept her cool and kept repeating that there were a lot of people ahead of him and he would have to wait his turn.
It was then that he decided to use the phrase that has become the mantra of the 21st century culture of entitlement.
“Do you know who I am” he snarled. She had a sardonic grin on her face as she picked up her microphone and said, “Attention, attention,does anyone in this room know who this man is”? He seems to have lost his identity”.
There was suddenly an outburst of guffaws from those in line. The man, now red-faced and looking like he had been constipated for months responded, “Well, we’ll see about that! I want to speak to your supervisor, where is he”? The agent, once again with a huge smirk on her face said ” He’s at the end of the line waiting for me to get him a new flight”.

This type of behavior has grown exponentially over the years as more and more of our society feels their “special” or entitled. They have in essence lost their identity and their humanity. When we begin to believe that we are the center of the universe instead of a piece of the universe, we lose sight of the fact that we are part of a global community that needs to exhibit patience, kindness, compassion and a lightness of being.
The holidays seem to increase the stress that is already so much a part of our society. Perhaps this season, more than ever give the gift of patience, a gift that could influence peace and good will towards all mankind.