California Vegan Defends Freedom to Choose McDonald’s

WarehamEllsworthVegan2012-01-21.jpg “Ellsworth Wareham, 97, in Loma Linda, Calif. Mr. Wareham was a heart surgeon who stopped working only two years ago. He is a vegan, but says choice is part of the “great American system.”” Source of caption and photo: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.

(p. A15) . . . last week, when the City Council approved Loma Linda’s first McDonald’s restaurant, many residents bemoaned the decision, worrying that the officials were jeopardizing the city’s reputation as a paragon of healthy lifestyles.
. . .
. . . , Dr. Rigsby [said] . . . he would support having a citywide vote on whether fast-food outlets should be banned entirely from the city. “If this is something that people are really opposed to, that’s how we should deal with it.”
What would happen during such a vote is anyone’s guess. Ellsworth Wareham, who stopped working as a heart surgeon only two years ago, at 95, is often used as an example of someone with more energy than someone half his age. Dr. Wareham attributes his health at least partly to the fact that he has been a vegan for the last 30 or 40 years (he does not remember precisely).
Eating at home, he said, is the best way to ensure that one is eating healthy food. He is certainly not about to let the impending arrival of McDonald’s raise his blood pressure.
“I don’t subscribe to the menu that these dear people put out, but let’s face it, the average eating place serves food that is, let us say, a little bit of a higher quality, but the end result is the same — it’s unhealthy,” he said.
“They can put it right next to the church as far as I am concerned,” Dr. Wareham added. “If they choose to eat that way, I’m not going to stop them. That’s the great American system.”

For the full story, see:
JENNIFER MEDINA. “LOMA LINDA JOURNAL; Fast-Food Outlet Stirs Concerns in a Mecca of Healthy Living.” The New York Times (Mon., December 19, 2011): A15.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the article is dated December 18, 2011.)

“It’s Our Right to Choose What We Want to Put in Our Bodies”

FoodSovereigntySign2011-08-06.jpg “Protesters outside the Los Angeles Courthouse on Thursday denounced the police’s moves against Rawesome, which offers raw milk products.” Source of caption and photo: online version of the NYT article quoted and cited below.

LOS ANGELES — Raw food enthusiasts fit right in here, in the earthy, health-conscious beach communities of Venice and Santa Monica, along with the farmers’ markets, health food stores and vegan restaurants.

But this week, the police cleared the shelves of Rawesome, an establishment in Venice Beach, loading $70,000 of raw, organic produce and dairy products on the back of a flatbed truck.
And then, on Thursday, James Stewart, the proprietor, was arraigned on charges of illegally making, improperly labeling and illegally selling raw milk products, as well as other charges related to Rawesome’s operations. Two farmers who work with Rawesome were also named in the district attorney’s complaint.
. . .
The raid on Rawesome has riled people here who say that unpasteurized milk is safer and healthier. About 150 raw food advocates gathered at the Los Angeles County Courthouse on Thursday to oppose the crackdown.
“It’s our right to choose what we want to put in our bodies,” Ms. Buttery said. “When members filled out an application, they were saying they wanted natural bacteria in their systems. We don’t want labeling. We don’t want animals full of antibiotics.”

For the full story, see:
IAN LOVETT. “Raw Food Co-op Is Raided in California.” The New York Times (Fri., August 5, 2011): A11.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the story is dated August 4, 2011.)

Budgetless California Legislature Votes to Create “Motorcycle Awareness Month”

(p. A1) SACRAMENTO, Calif.–On the brink of insolvency, California may have to pay its bills with IOUs soon. A budget was due three months ago, and the legislature hasn’t passed one.

The lawmakers can, however, point to a list of other achievements this year. Awaiting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature, for example, is a bill that would bar the state from filming cows in New Zealand. It’s the fruit of five committee votes and eight legislative analyses.
California lawmakers also voted to form a lobster commission. They created “Motorcycle Awareness Month,” not to mention a “Cuss Free Week.”

For the full story, see:
STU WOO. “There’s No Budget, but California Is All Over the Foreign-Cow Issue; As Deficit Looms, Lawmakers Promulgate ‘Cuss Free Week,’ Defend the State Rock.” The Wall Street Journal (Tues., SEPTEMBER 28, 2010): A1 & A18.