You know the words... Come again another day! Here in the Dallas- Fort Worth area we have been singing this old nursery rhyme for a while now. The rain that we have been desperately needing for a while now has not only got us out of the drought but has turned in to major flooding. But you already know this, so why am I telling you this?
Well, naturally this has became the topic around the office and gets brought up in conversation with patients. Not only because it is the major news line everywhere you look, but also because I hate rain. I really do, I hate grey skies. I am definitely a fan of the sun and warm temperatures. I prefer degrees in the 90's vs the 70's, you may think I'm crazy. But I really do, I like the sun and the heat. So in casual conversation with patients I may something like "I'm so tired of the rain" or "I hate the rain". And a typical response would be like "I know, enough already!" But I had one patient that stopped me in my tracks the other day. Note, this patient has a very good and positive outlook on life. She is one of those people that you want to be around, someone who you can learn a lot from. You probably know someone like that. But I walked in to treat her and almost subconsciously made a comment about how I hate the rain. Her response, "But it is so cleansing." I thought what an interesting perspective. And she is right, it is cleansing, and needed. It births new life, washes away the old. Like the country song, "Rain is a good thing."
You might be thinking, big revelation Dr. Austin! Everyone knows that. I guess the reason I am sharing this story with you is to remind you to always look at the positive. In every situation, even if it seems like there isn't or can't be, there is a positive side. Look for that, and find that. Focus on that. The more you focus on the positive and down play the negative the better off you will be in this life.
When you read the title you may have thought that the idea sounded kinda funny. Who would feed their dog better than themselves? So you might be surprised how common this is or how often I see this. Of course, most dog food comes from a can or from a bag. So I don't want you to think about the preparation or how "appetizing" the food is. I want you to think along the lines of quality.
I have always joked that there are three industry's that price gauge. Those categories are the Baby category, the Wedding category, and the pet category. These are three areas in life that you can plan on spending more on a product than it is actually worth. Meaning a similar product in a different category would be a lot less but because it falls in to one of these categories you will be gauged for it. If you have ever planned a wedding or had a baby you know exactly what I am talking about. The pet industry is one of them. The lady at the pet store 2 weeks ago while I was buying a crate for my dog didn't seem that interested when I was explaining this to her. But this was a perfect example of what I am talking about. I was buying a new crate for my dog because the old one wasn't large enough anymore. There were plastic ones, and there were metal ones. The plastic ones looked like they were two laundry baskets put together, one flipped upside down and put on top of the other, with a gate on the front. I hope you can picture what I am talking about. It literally was the same quality of plastic, maybe even the same hole designs on the side as laundry baskets I have seen before. They are probably made at the same place! But where a laundry basket may cost you $3 at WalMart, these dog crates were $140. Because it is made for a dog. The metal ones same thing, You could go to HomeDepot and get the raw materials for practically nothing but these were $89. All because it is meant for a dog.
So what do these 3 categories all have in common? What makes them special compared to others? What gives companies the power to charge us whatever they want for products that fall in to these categories? It's a very simple answer, it is because we are crazy. When it comes to these 3 categories we are absolutely crazy. Weddings? Crazy. For what we pay for flowers, for a dress, for food for people we don't really care about that much, crazy. For one single day we will spend 30k, 50k, even 100k. That is a nice size down payment on a house! But remember we are crazy in this category. There is no rational thinking involved. Ever had a baby? Same thing, you will buy so much crap that is completely unnecessary or useless, and you will be happy while you are doing it! Cuz you're crazy. There is something in my living room right now called a MamaRoo that certifies me as crazy, so you are not alone.
So back to my original thought, are you feeding your dog better than yourself? You know how many people feed their dog organic and they eat like crap? Food that contains wild caught salmon from Alaska yet they eat farm raised Tilapia themselves. Or grain free dog food, I guess your dog is on the Paleo diet? But you eat Cheezits. Or there will be something floating around Facebook telling you to not use these certain dog food brands because they come from China and the quality in compromised. But you have no idea where your food came from. I met someone one time that juiced regularly for their dog. I kid you not. They juiced fresh fruits and veggies daily for their dog. Now I am not a vet but I started thinking, I don't think dogs are meant to eat fruits, vegetables, and wheat grass. But do you think this person did it for themselves? Nope. Crazy right? I saw this crazy in full action when I went to a dog expo in Dallas a couple of years ago. The clothes for dogs, cameras to keep an eye on your dog while you are at work, crazy. But the quality of food was a major concern to every one there. And there were plenty of vendors to prove it. We are very concerned about what goes into our dog's mouth. Are we as concerned about what goes in to ours?
You probably noticed last week that Chipotle announced they would no longer carry GMO sourced products. Chipotle has long took a hard stance on the quality of the food they serve. You may have been disappointed one day if you walked in and found out that they are temporarily out of pork or barbacoa due to the quality not being up to snuff. But you should be happy! A fast food restaurant that actually cares about what you eat! So this is great news right? That Chipotle is no longer just labeling GMOs but now going GMO free. I mean who could this make mad, why would anyone care that they are going this far? I mean why would it bother anyone that a restaurant just made their standards stricter? To me, and probably you, this sounds like a good thing. Well not to everyone.
Shortly after Chipotle's announcement I ran across a couple different articles that weren't as pleased as I was with this decision. You can reference them here;
Why We Can't Take Chipotle's GMO Announcement All That Seriously.
Why People Say No To GMO: Popular Psychology And Ethics, Not Science, Spur Dislike.
The first article goes on to criticize Chipotle's decision because they really arent that "healthy" to begin with. Because they sell stuff like sodas, and have too much salt in their food. While I do agree that sodas are not healthy it is pretty absurd to criticize a step in the right direction regarding food quality just because they have a soda fountain. I don't really get the logic, Give me GMO's since you serve soda! In a perfect world maybe Chipotle wouldn't serve sodas but there is no such thing as a perfect world, and Chipotle has more integrity than most. I actually watched a documentary on Chipotle a while back, and they featured a Wall Street expert who criticized Chipotle for their high standards. Saying something to the extent that it is not sustainable, due to rising food costs, and that they could make much more money and score higher profits for their share holders if they cut quality. I thought, this guy just doesn't get it. The founder said himself that profits were not why he started Chipotle and that was not his focus. But that investor doesn't get that people like me, who drop in for a salad from time to time, their high standards are the ONLY reason I do! And that is a large part of their popularity. There are a lot of places that serve burritos out there, and Chipotle doesn't have the best one on the planet. There is more to them.
The second article goes in to defending GMO's, that Science has proven them safe so philosophers have proven why we are opposed to GMOs. That we go through a cognitive process of disgust and distrust and pick sides, and once we pick the side we are on, it is almost impossible to switch that way of thinking. They have used this same argument in regards to antivaxxers. So in other words, we are crazy, we are driven on emotion and we ignore science. So don't worry, don't educate and inform yourself just listen to what ever the scientists are telling you. They are never wrong, and they are never paid for by corporations. So let's ignore articles like this this that popped up this week, Scientific peer reviews are a 'sacred cow' ready to be slaughtered, says former editor of BMJ. Or the countless other incidences of scientific fraud and corruption. You are dumb, they are smart, so just shut up and listen.
So back to my original question. Why would people be coming out of the woodwork attacking Chipotle's stance on GMOs? Or should I say who is behind the attacks? Stop reading now if you think everyone is honest and has your best interest in mind. I don't want your world to come crashing down. If you didn't already know your media is heavily influenced by corporations. In this case, Big Food. Companies like Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, and Bayer have heavy stock in the hopes you never find out how bad GMOs are for you. Some of these companies also conveniently have pharmaceutical products for you once you are sick. There are people behind the curtain pulling the strings, in this case attacking someone who is standing up for you.
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