Archive | April, 2012

Stairs or escalator?

14 Apr

Image

It always amazes me how little decisions we make every single day can impact our health and societal health on a greater scale. The incremental choices, that we often view as trivial, end up amounting to the greater picture that comprises our health.

For instance:

To watch the latest reality show on television, or go outside for a walk?

To start the day with another soda, or opt for water?

To try incorporating more veggies in my diet, or sticking to fries only like I’m used to?

To snack on a twinkie, or eating fruit instead?

Maybe if we can tweak just a few little things about ourselves, the big picture of “health” and wellness would be less daunting.

Every decision we make, counts.

Craig E. Steinfeld

@CESteinfeld

(Special thanks to my brother, Alec @ALsteinfeld, for the image used and inspiration)

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Meat Fuels Man’s Greatness

5 Apr

The following is an essay submitted to the New York Times ethicist contest on: “Why it’s ethical to eat meat.”

As humans we have always explored. We have built structures unrivaled by other species. We have pushed ourselves beyond what previous generations of humans thought was possible. Ethically speaking, we have an obligation as a species to progress, to push society forward, and to continue using our intellect and brain-power for the highest human achievements.

Without the consumption of animal proteins, early hominoids would have lacked the energy to keep pushing forward. Our brains would have lacked the essential fatty acids that have allowed them to develop to the bodily super computers they are today. Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically DHA (not found anywhere in land-based plants), as well as cholesterol and saturated fat make up a large majority of the fats that fuel and promote cognitive processes. Ketones, from animal fats, supply carbon for brain lipid synthesis. They provide sure source of brain energy when glucose is not present, a far too common problem for early hominoids.

We have an ethical obligation to fuel our brains properly as they are our competitive advantage over all other species. In fact, we have a distinct obligation to continue pushing humanities development forward. Meat, specifically seafood has played a significant role in keeping our brains sharp and ever-evolving. Early civilizations were most advanced (based on fossil records) when near water sources (ex: Lakes Turkana and Lake Victoria). Shore-based civilizations were breeding grounds for early brain development. In addition, iodine, another essential nutrient found abundantly in seafood, leads to intellectual increases. Many anthropologists posit that Neanderthals died off due to iodine deficiency as they left coastal areas to explore new lands.

From a nutritional standpoint, without animal proteins and DHA fats from seafood, our development as humans would have stagnated around 200,000 years ago. We would not have progressed enough as a species and society to be cognizant of the notion that eating meat may or may not be ethical to begin with. Without animal proteins, we would have not only halted our own evolutionary process, short-changing ourselves as a race and society, but we may have suffered a similar fate as our ancestral Neaderthals. Survival, after all, is our ultimate ethical obligation.

Fortunately, brave many numbers of hominoids continue to eat meat, contributing to our continued development, evolution, and survival.

@CESteinfeld