I am so proud to introduce Cliff Notes to you authored by my partner, Cliff Young! Our journey to health has been a side-by-side endeavor. I'm all about essence... if it feels good do it. I remember that kale is good for me, I eat it and feel great so I'm sold. I don't have to remember all the vitamins and minerals it has for me to continue eating kale. Cliff on the other hand is a details person, a science guy and a methods man. He does actually want to know the big WHY's. One night I was listening to him talk about the book he'd just read with my mouth wide open in awe. I asked if he'd mind writing some of it down and Cliff Notes was born!
Cliff just went back into the field as a paramedic (he's been a medic for the better part of 20 years now) and many of our conversations lately have been on health care, the kinds of sickness he's seeing out there and most recently... THE FLU! I've asked him to share a little on the flu for his first entry!
Thank you for welcoming Cliff to lacylike!
Ever wonder where the word 'influenza' comes from?
The word Influenza comes from the [Italian language] meaning "influence" and refers to the cause of the disease; initially, this ascribed illness to unfavorable astrological influences. Changes in medical thought led to its modification to influenza del freddo, meaning "influence of the cold". The word influenza was first used in English to refer to the disease we know today in 1703 by J. Hugger of the University of Edinburgh. (Wikipedia, 2012)
Most people don't know that Influenza has a great deal to do with what we eat every day as Americans.
Along with influenza, like bird-flu (which is viral by definition), the relationship between ‘factory farms’ and all kinds of pathogens, like new strains of campylobacter, salmonella or E. Coli (all bacterial) has been established. Each case of food-borne illness cannot be traced, but where we do know the origin, or the “vehicle of transmission”, it is, overwhelmingly, an animal product. According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), poultry is by far the largest cause. Recently, a study published by Consumer Reports states that 83 percent of all chicken meat (including organic and anti-biotic free brands) is infected with either campylobacter or salmonella at the time of purchase.
I am sure, like me, you have had the stomach flu once or twice before. It’s actually called the 24-hour flu because it comes and goes quickly via vomiting and/or diarrhea. And you didn’t really catch a bug, you ate one. In all likelihood that bug was created by factory farming. Factory farming is defined as 'a large industrialized farm; especially: a farm on which large numbers of livestock are raised indoors in conditions intended to maximize production at minimal cost.' (Merriam-Webster 2012) The CDC estimates that seventy-six million cases of food-borne illness occur each year in America. If you do not personally know the farmer that raised the chicken you are about to eat there is a 99 percent chance that it came from a factory farm (Excerpts from “Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer, Back Bay Books 2009).