I was born and raised in East Tennessee. I wouldn’t exactly say we were hillbillies, but we were certainly country folks. To give you some examples of what I mean, indoor plumbing was not a part of my early life. We had an outhouse. I can remember when the ice man brought ice for our “icebox.” We didn’t have a refrigerator. To us, running water meant you had to run and get it. As children I remember baths being in a washtub on the living room floor and my two brothers and I shared the same bathwater because the water had to be heated on the wood burning stove. We necessarily only got maybe one bath a week. But we survived.
every building, churches, schools, and our own houses, regularly used
copious amounts of a miraculous fireproof product known as asbestos. It
was used for insulation as well as outdoor siding. No one knew or
suspected it was a problem, but we still survived.
remember in school we played with mercury. It was fun. We would pour it
out into our hands and roll it around and pass it among our friends. It
was a scientific experiment. We all managed to survive.
our buildings as well as our own houses were painted with lead based
enamel paint. When it was time to re-paint, we scraped the old off and
painted with new lead based enamel paint. We didn’t wear masks. How is
it possible that I still survived?
had my own gun by the time I was twelve years old. We all went hunting
on a regular basis. We took our guns to school and kept them in our
lockers. Nobody ever shot anybody. We saved our ammunition for rabbits
and squirrels. Oh, and by the way, all we used was lead based
ammunition. We often would eat our game and pick out the lead buckshot
at the table. Of course everything was fried in pig fat and often served
with gravy. When we were out hunting, we drank water from the creeks
and springs which were readily available to us. We played with
firecrackers, the real ones. Aren’t those things supposed to be
dangerous? Our cars didn’t have seat belts or airbags. And yet we
what is the point of all this? I was recently listening to some folks
from the food police as well as the CDC, the Centers for Disease
Control. According to them there is no way anyone could survive any one
of the incidents I reported earlier let alone all of them. But we did.
Oh and by the way, most of my relatives from earlier generations lived
well into their 90s and beyond. All lived under the same conditions I
described earlier. They apparently didn’t get the memo that you cannot
survive the way we lived.
a question. Were the earlier generations, including my own, stronger
than today’s people? When we used unpasteurized dairy products without
ill effect, were we just lucky? When we butchered our own livestock
without benefit of Federal inspection and managed to survive, were we
get me wrong. I am very grateful for modern medicine. I am pleased with
what we have learned in the past few years. I know our lives have been
made better by new discoveries, but I seriously doubt that the situation
of my early life was nearly as bad as today’s food and medicine police
would have you believe. We lived uncomplicated lives. My mother saved
mayonnaise jars for canning vegetables. She didn’t know you were not
supposed to do that.
I believe people are stressed more by the fear of food and their
environment and that fear is far more harmful to them than either their
food or the environment. Relax. Eat a hot fudge sundae. Have some gravy
and biscuits. Life is a terminal condition. Enjoy it. You only pass
this way once.
Ron Scarbro October 3, 2012
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