Virtual Voices

Follow the money

Culture

I keep asking people about cheese: Is it good for you or not? And yogurt, what's the deal? Are dairy products helpful for humans or only for baby cows? Speaking of cows, do people thrive better on a diet that includes meat or on a vegan diet? How about wine: Do the cons outweigh the pros? Or chocolate: beneficial increase of antioxidant levels-or wishful thinking? Food-based vitamin supplements versus synthetic: opinion anyone? I was eating a lot of tofu till someone told me tofu is actually bad for you.

We love to bandy these questions around, and everyone has an opinion. It seems to me that if we can send a man to the moon, as they say, these lesser matters should have been solved definitively ages ago. They would be too, if there were such a thing as "pure science." But just as there is sin in the individual heart, there is sin in the system. And it doesn't take much imagination to conclude that it is the collision of vested interests, each with their own campaigns of disinformation, that keeps things murky.

But truth has a remarkable way of clarifying when your bottom line depends on it. While you and I leisurely debate over lunch whether text-messaging while driving has been proven statistically beyond a margin of error to be dangerous, car insurance companies, not nearly so philosophically inclined, backed the bill that made it a crime in California starting this January.

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In our ivory towers and armchairs we can wax eloquent on the relative merits of exercise in promoting health. But Keystone's Plan 65 has a program called "Silver Sneakers" that picks up the tab for my father's gym membership.

Follow the money is always a good way to truth.

To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.

Andrée Seu
Andrée Seu

Andrée is the author of three books: Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me, Normal Kingdom Business, and We Shall Have Spring Again. Follow Andrée on Twitter @Andreespeterson.

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