: Breathing city air takes a year off your life on average. I am not recommending a gas mask -- yet. Hold your breath if you smell diesel exhaust. Filter your water with a decent carbon filter - a study suggests that 5 glasses of cold tap water a day triples the chance of miscarriage. It is really important to eat good food. The food pyramid is great, except we typically eat too many calories and so can cut down on carbohydrates at the bottom. Forget the rice, potatoes and white bread. We should eat oat bran for breakfast and four and a half cups of organic fruits and vegetables per day. This lowers cancer, stroke and heart attack rates. This was increased from 5 servings to 4.5 cups, in January, 1997 by the DASH study, because the latter can lower blood pressure 10 points in moderate hypertensives and even prevent hypertension from developing This is not impossible; it means eating daily 2 bananas, 2 apples, a cup of grapes, a cup of broccoli and a half cup of beans, or alternates. Eating fatty fish 3 or more times a week reduces the chance of sudden death by 80% compared to those who never eat fish. The specific fish oil that does this is known, but it is always best to eat the food recommended, because it is usually 100 times less expensive. This is almost certainly true of beta carotene, since the pill given to smokers increases lung cancer rates and yet eating a carrot or broccoli [complicated organisms, consumed alive] reduces many cancer rates. Fiber in whole grains, fruits and vegetables trap fat soluble poisons that cause cancer and the precursors of cholesterol, and so protect against cancers, especially of the colon and heart disease. Tending toward vegetarianism is good in that it requires less sunshine and biomass to feed you. Cows make a pound of meat for 7 pounds of grain. A fish gains a pound on 1.5lb of grain. But refusing to eat anything but vegetables, declining even eggs and milk products [Gandhi argued Indian farmers mistreated cows and chickens] results in B12 deficiency in a couple of years, causing permanent neurological damage. Going organic is more expensive, unless you grow your own, but could be priceless and life-saving. Since DDT was banned only in America, you can be slowly poisoned by it on imported fruit. Combinations of pesticide residues are 100 times as potent as they are singly, because one poisons the liver enzyme that detoxifies the other. Eating non-organic foods is a huge, uncontrolled experiment on unwitting participants - us! Much of this information on pesticide and herbicide use, abuse and devastating consequences was available in 1962, and is carefully outlined in Rachel Carson, Silent Springcheck out rachel.org. Her books are worth reading annually lest we forget, especially since many of the same chemicals are still available and wildlife, farm animals and people are still dying from them.
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