Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Eating Meat & Christian Ethics, and BPA is scary

Caricature of me drawn by Emily Ruppel

Two of my latest pieces are... drum roll please...

  • The American Scientific Affiliation's First Symposium on Eating Meat and Christian Ethics - I wrote up this summary of a symposium I was so happy to find (given my interest in this topic) after my attendance at my first ASA meeting. I didn't even blog about it did I? Well it was held in Naperville, Illinois, outside Chicago, and was a great conference where I connected with some truly amazing individuals who are world-renowned scientists (at Princeton, MIT, NASA, and more) and also Christians. The article in the newsletter includes a cute caricature of me with braids by Emily Ruppel, the ASA's new Director of Communications and a cool chick!

    Here's the first paragraph of the article:
    The ASA held its first-ever symposium on the Christian ethics of meat consumption on Saturday of the 2011 conference. As a first-time conference attendee, and as someone who recently committed to avoid factory-farmed meat, I was thrilled and surprised to see this on the agenda at a Christian conference. I had recently published an essay about this very topic, but my editors removed the one paragraph in the essay that discussed the long history of Christian thought on vegetarianism and avoiding meat (and there is one, surprisingly).

  • Prenatal Exposure to BPA and Sexually Selected Traits in Male Mice. Environmental Health Perspectives. Sept 2011.

    This was my first article covering bisphenol A (BPA), a polymer that is an endocrine disruptor and used in everything we eat - it lines cans of veggies, it is in cash register receipts that are on that fax-type paper, it is in bottles we drink from... It's in plastic #7 though not all plastic-7 has BPA so it's a bit confusing. Many things will say "BPA free" now because of the scientific evidence showing it causes harm. I disregarded that until I wrote this article. Yikes - scary stuff!! I ended my piece with:

    “The obvious question is: Does this mean that it could affect gender identity in humans? Admittedly, that is quite a step away, but it does suggest that, at the very least, BPA exposure might make men less ‘manly.’” (says Pat Hunt - who first discovered that her research mice were acting funny after a detergent caused BPA to leach from their cages into their food)

    So, ignore BPA warnings at your peril. But I'm not drinking from BPA bottles! And trying to avoid plastic as much as possible.

I'm headed to Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast soon, and will post an update about where and such... all I Can say is I haven't been this excited about a trip in a long time! I went there back in 1999 when I wrote about leatherback sea turtles for Discovery Channel Online, but that was on the Pacific Coast. I want some Lizano salsa!! Mmmm, good.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"...my editors removed the one paragraph in the essay that discussed the long history of Christian thought on vegetarianism and avoiding meat (and there is one, surprisingly)."

I'm king of curious as to why the editors would choose to remove *that* paragraph, since history is so informative on any issue. And, so often, past is prologue.