"THE WRONG PANTS" ARE DESTROYED IN A FIRE AT THE WRONG PLACE

The very same weekend "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" opened at Number One, a fire destroyed all the archival material - props, characters, etc. - of Aardman Animations. Creator Nick Park was philosophical, but it's a terrible loss for animation fans.

OUR MOTHER DEPRIVED US OF CURRY THROUGHOUT OUR CHILDHOOD, AND WE NOW BELIEVE THAT IS THE SOURCE OF ALL OUR HEALTH PROBLEMS TODAY

A Stanford pediatrics professor will face lawsuits if it turns out he's wrong about this, but he makes a strong case that there is no reason other than habit that we feed children under two the way we do. Tots from six months and up can try and enjoy spicy ethnic dishes, red meat, and even potential allergens without fear if handled properly.

Further, say some pediatricians, the widely accepted approach of giving babies rice cereal as their first food is counterproductive, as it fosters a lifelong taste for sugary starches early on:

David Ludwig of Children's Hospital Boston, a specialist in pediatric nutrition, says some studies suggest rice and other highly processed grain cereals actually could be among the worst foods for infants. ''These foods are in a certain sense no different from adding sugar to formula. They digest very rapidly in the body into sugar, raising blood sugar and insulin levels'' and could contribute to later health problems, including obesity, he says.

What struck us while reading this article is how much of the material we get about introducing foods - seemingly authoritative detailed charts, calendars, and the like - seems to be based on no science at all. A good lesson for everyone.

THE GOVERNMENT MAKES YOU JUMP THROUGH HOOPS BEFORE THEY'LL LET YOU SELL FOODS TO BABIES, BUT THEY DON'T EVEN REQUIRE A LICENSE TO BECOME A PARENT (sigh)

The Times business section the other day had this item about a former marketing manager at Sun who opened her own frozen organic baby-food company, which offered some insight into what the feds demand of you before they'll allow you to market baby food:

The easy part was developing the recipes, which consist of nothing more than organic fruits and vegetables, and spring water. Once blended, the foods are placed into plastic cups and flash frozen.

The more arduous task was jumping through several regulatory hoops. As Ms. Stevens quickly discovered, starting a baby food company is not as easy as, say, starting a company that makes clothes or toys. For safety reasons, state and federal governments frown on the commercial sale of home-cooked food.

Ms. Stevens had to enroll in a local Better Process Control School, a cram course approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Only graduates of such a school can legally supervise a food processing and packaging plant. She had to ace 16 different exams before receiving her certification, answering questions regarding correct chlorination techniques and the four methods of crimping a tin lid.

FD.COM: ON THE SOAPBOX

Should pediatricians deny treatment to families that refuse to vaccinate their children? It's become a hot topic in the medical community, as the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine now reports that a third of pediatricians say they're within their rights to refuse to treat unvaccinated children. The medical community is (rightly) concerned about misinformation being spread by the anti-shot lobby about vaccine safety and risks. Epidemiology experts have established that there could be a significant public health risk "if enough people refuse to have their children vaccinated," and yet, of course, many people still do, and proudly.

The author of the new survey herself advocates that doctors accept unvaccinated patients, and then aggressively urge the parents to become productive citizens and accept vaccinations so as not to put the community at risk. Which is sound advice, though we're not so sanguine about the success of that approach, given the entrenched philosophy of the anti-vaccine set. Maybe better would be for certain pediatric practices to declare themselves open to nonvaccinated patients, indeed to market themselves that way, and then put out their shingle in a neighborhood far from Small Fellow and Tiny Girl.

October 11, 2005 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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Comments

FD is right on this one.

Anti-vaccine parents undoubtedly act with the best intentions, but they are placing their children at risk of contracting some terrible and even deadly diseases (a risk which can only multiply as more children are not vaccinated).

While there are some rare one-in-a-million serious reactions that may occur, the other 999,999 children are much better off having been vaccinated. If you need any more reasons to vaccinate, the CDC has an informative website about what could and would happen if more parents deny their children vaccines:

http://www.hhs.gov/nvpo/part6.htm

Posted by: Freelance Fan | Oct 12, 2005 2:00:10 PM

Thanks for the link, FF. This continues to be one of those "controversies" in which it's pretty baffling why there's any debate, and why the media covers this story as it does: It's like reporting that there's a certain controversy on crime. On one side are those who oppose people breaking into their houses. On the other side, and let's all hear them out because if nothing else they feel very strongly about their opinion, are those who support every American's right to rob their neighbor's home ...

Posted by: Freelance Dad | Oct 14, 2005 8:46:25 AM

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