Measles, just an annoying childhood disease? Nothing to worry about? Let natural immunity look after them? No need to risk the "dangers" of vaccination? Tell that to the 17 people in Romania who had a little infection. O, wait, you can't. They're dead. 3,400 other people contracted measles in 2015 and this spike in cases is directly linked to the decrease in vaccination rates. In 2007, 97% of people were vaccinated, by 2015 the percentage had fallen to 86, well below the magic 95%. Herd immunity kicks in at 95% vaccination rate. With that many people immunized, the chances of a virus finding a host are low and lower yet is the opportunity to infect another unprotected person. It's not just happening in Romania. The European Centre for Disease Prevention reports endemic transmission of measles in Belgium, France, Italy and Poland. Still, that's Europe, this is Alberta.
Sorry, we are susceptible to the idiocy of anti-vaxxers and the trend to leave children unprotected. As of 2017, Alberta Health Services reports 51 cases of mumps, an unpleasant viral infection causing swelling of head and neck glands, fever, aches, etc. O, yeah. In some people, the affected organs are the testicles, the ovaries or the pancreas. Unpleasant, indeed. Meningitis is a possible development. Babies and children too young to immunize could be put at risk because people decided that vaccines are "too dangerous." It is likely these are the same people giving "natural, herbal" preparations to their kids. Preparations that aren't subjected to testing, government standards and general safety regulations. Vaccinations save lives. Not just the lives of recipients but of everyone. Check out herd immunity. It cannot be emphasized enough.
Look at the picture. Notice any vegetables? Any fruit? Do you know what is under the deep-fry coating on the "chicken?" It seems that we are raising a generation of 'picky' eaters who favour high fat, high salt and high sugar diets. On any kids' menu, you'll find chicken fingers.
Chicken fingers (at least in supermarket prepared or fast food form) are the "tender" that is the small part left from a chicken breast when the breast is cut for cooking. No one knew what to do with these small parts and so, waste not, want not, the chicken finger was born. (Cheap, too.) Dipped in thick batter and deep fried, paired with fries for service, what's not to like? Except if they become a dietary staple instead of a treat or something occasionally given when there's no time to cook, kids develop a taste for oil and salt. What they don't develop is a palate willing to try other foods- spicier, chewier or fresh.
I have heard an adult who was trying yet another diet, give up on her salad because it was just "too much chewing." What? That's why we have teeth. And for most of us, looked after, teeth last as long as we do. Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, and salads do take more chewing. Deadened taste buds (or at least those used to the high salt and high fat flavours) need time to adjust and detect more subtle but better tastes.
Kids who eat mostly from the kids' menu (fast food or warmed from the frozen section of the supermarket) reject more healthy choices. Fries, gravy, hamburgers, chicken wings. grilled cheese and other deep-fried or processed foods become the norm. Everything has sugar. Check labels. Yogurt? High sugar. Most anything processed will have hidden sugar- addictive and unhealthy.
Kids need a chance to re-establish tastes. They need to experience more than fries and chicken fingers. Fruit (although it may need peeling) is the original fast food, only it's good for you. Carrot sticks and celery sticks are tasty. They even (gasp) don't always have to be served with a dip. I have seen a young fellow at a community dinner sit down with his plate and say, "I have the carrot sticks but I couldn't find the dip."
News flash- we don't need dips, dressings, sauces on everything. Fruit and vegetables (especially raw) are a good source of dietary fibre. Keeps you regular.
The rant ends here. Others have said it better but every so often, I am distressed to see that despite changing Canada's Food Rules and all of the news stories about unhealthy eating and its effects, nothing changes.
Yes, I'm of a certain age but I'm pretty spry and like to think still smart enough.