When I walk outside to get the newspaper in the morning I never think to check first for skulking lions or packs of wolves. I drive to work with my seatbelt fastened and six airbags surrounding me and don’t bother to keep an eye out for bandits. I go to work in a building that’s never had a cave-in or been attacked by a whale and doesn’t even keep a tally board of how many accident-free days in a row have gone by. I come home to a delicious dinner that I didn’t have to risk life and limb in acquiring (and we haven’t bought any hydrogenated foods in years). If one of my children develops a cough I don’t worry that it’s the plague. My government hasn’t threatened to drag me away in the middle of the night for years.
Yep, our lives are pretty easy and danger free these days — or so I thought. I mentioned to my wife the other day that I had a case of bottled water in the trunk of my car if she needed any. She said I should be careful not to let the bottles get too warm because she heard they’ll release a toxic gas into the water. A few weeks ago I was eating with a group of folks and the discussion was about how cooking food in a microwave alters the molecules and destroys its nutritional value. This is supposedly especially true for vegetables, which I generally avoid anyway, but it makes me wonder what would happen if I microwaved a Twinkie. It seems to me as if the only way to go is up in that case, nutrition-wise.
Now when I was growing up I often heard that if you sat too close to that new-fangled color television set it would make you sterile (today they say that about laptops). I sat close to the TV anyway and it doesn’t seem to have had any effect. Of course, as a kid, I also drank out of the garden hose all the time — something else they now say you’re not supposed to do. The TV didn’t stop me from having children, and the laptop came along too late to impact our family planning (bringing one home all the time, however, does seem to have an affect on my sex life).
It’s hard to tell just what to take seriously anymore. I suppose anything that makes our life easier has just naturally got to have some insidious, toxic trade off (if only Eve had paid attention to the warning label on that apple!). I did some on-line research on the always reliable internet and there might be something to the microwaving thing (here, here and here, — oh, and don’t use one of these to dry your pet after a bath) and to the toxic water bottles, though there appears to be more concern about reusing bottles than the amount of PET that might leach into your premium H20. Still, it’s got to be safer than drinking tap water, right? Maybe not, unless of course you’re trying to avoid the harmful effects of fluoridation.
It’s enough to make you want to get your water direct from a clear mountain stream, as long as you don’t think to much about what all those fish and ducks have been doing in it.
I don’t know, I suppose the next thing they’re going to tell us is that watching television makes you fat.