Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ode to Bacon

In a recent study put out by the American Cancer Society, it has been discovered that red meat is a carcinogen. What does that mean? Red meats such as bacon, hot dogs, sausages, deli meats etc. cause cancer. An incredibly shocking discovery, the ACS claims that such red meats increase the risk of colorectal cancer, the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States. Colorectal cancer is a type of colon cancer having to do the development of cancerous polyps, or a cell that releases mucus and other vital fluids in the colon. However, colorectal cancer can be cured by removing cancerous polyps. But how does this all effect you?

There is no need to go vegetarian yet! According to the study, processed meats are carcinogenic and are ranked in the same category of cancer risks with smoking tobacco. However, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, cancer risk increases with the amount of meat that is consumed. This is more a matter of moderation than elimination of consumption. Susan Gapstur of the American Cancer Society recommends, "consuming a healthy diet with an emphasis on plant foods and limiting consumption of processed meat and red meat."It is also recommended by the ACS that meat should be prepared by broiling or baking rather than frying to avoid the development of more carcinogens.  

There is no need to panic, processed meats are fine in moderation. As long as one maintains a healthy and balanced diet, the occasional strip of bacon will not cause cancer. It is however important to keep in mind that eating meat has little to no health benefits. For more information on healthy alternatives for processed meats, check out this CNN article


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Gun Culture

This morning while watching the news, I was taken aback by the news of yet another school shooting at Northern Arizona University. One person was killed and many others injured with the shooter in custody. The news comes only a week after the tragic shooting at a college campus in Oregon killed ten people. Tragedies such as these have become so common that news have them have become is broadcasted nonchalantly. The event was summed up in the same amount of time it took to announce that Chicago is starting an annual Halloween Parade this year. How has gun violence become so common on our society? Chicago is perhaps one if the most violent cities in the United States when it comes to gun violence. This year alone (as of October 9th) 2,360 people have been victims of shootings in Chicago. Gun violence is reaching outrageous numbers, and it is time to change this. Since 2001, there have been 406,496 deaths by firearms on United States soil. Is it really justifiable to have minimal restrictions on gun laws if so many are killed every year?  No matter how extreme you see the issue of gun control, it is barbaric to believe that nothing should be changed. It is unconstitutional to ban guns all together, a right guaranteed to Americans in the 2nd amendment. However, the second amendment was made so that militia men could fight governmental suppression in Colonial America. Is this policy outdated? Is it fair to permit the right to bare arms if thousands of innocent people are being shot every year?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

It's October 3rd

It's that time of year again, October 3rd. In perhaps one our generation's most referenced movies Mean Girls, October 3rd is the day Aaron Samuels, the stereotypical jock/ heartthrob, asks down-to-earth new girl, Caty Heron, what the date is. She responds, October 3rd. A simple and seeming meaningless quote, but every year to pretty much any teenager, October 3rd is exciting. However, the movie Mean Girls, based on The North Shore of Chicago's high schools, is a comedy but many of the topics, such as bulling, that are evident in the movie are very important to talk about. On average, 3.2 billion students are bullied every year. With new social media outlets seemly to pop up every day, students are given more and more opportunities to bully their peers. There are countless amounts of anti-bullying campaigns that try to stop bullying by spreading statistics and information. But just how affective are they? There is a reason that 64 percent of students who are bullied don't report it. It is perfectly justifiable, bullying is hurtful and embarrassing. The key to ending bullying is not to lecture children and teenagers about the statistics and effects of bullying, but rather to create tangible methods and actions students can take when they see or experience bullying. Programs such as New Trier High School's Names Can Really Hurt Us program try to make students understand that bullying happens to everyone by having students shares their stories. As I experienced the program, I felt like I understood bullying more than I ever had before when statistics were spat at me. What do you think the best method is to stop bullying?