[Re: Bite, “Meat the 21st Century,” May 15-21] I’m sorry to hear that Jessica Cassyle Carr has serious food allergies, but that’s no reason to misrepresent meat substitutes to the rest of us. Said author “gave up all meat substitutes ... realizing their processed nature and general lack of food value. No seitan, no tempeh, not TVP, no tofu, nothing,” after a Quorn mishap. Did she forget her CalorieKing at home?
As compared to even the leaner cuts of meat like pork loin, seitan, tofu and tempeh all have comparable protein counts, higher levels of calcium, magnesium, B12, and other essential vitamins and minerals, and all with no cholesterol. And none are as processed as she would have us believe—these are whole foods, nominally made from soybeans. Seitan may be just kneaded up and boiled wheat flour, but it’s still not as processed as the biscuits she’s been eating with all that chicken. In fact, though TVP is an industrial job, seitan, soymilk, tofu and even tempeh can all be made at home.
Is she making false claims on meat substitutes to hide the guilt of having turned into a meat-eating sinner?
I’m sure bacon makes everything taste better. I love it, too, but refuse to eat it out of conviction that eating animals is cruel and unnecessary.
In Need of Assistance
I was impressed by Jerry Ortiz y Pino's recent article "What are We Paying For?" [Re: Ortiz y Pino, May 1-7]. However, I have to draw different conclusions than he did. I recently placed and lost my father in one of Albuquerque's assisted living facilities. Who was lacking in caring? Even having him in a facility, my workload was akin to having a second job. Nor did I witness a lack of caring from one of the hospice nurses, assisted living staff, care home owners or funeral home staff. Each was hard-working, kind and very helpful. I did not see one person displaying the trappings of wealth skimmed from the helpless. A quick look online indicates that care-home dividends are in the range of 2 percent—hardly profiteering by greedy investors.
So what's going on? What I encountered, and what I observed each of the workers in this industry dealing with were reams and reams of paperwork to be filled out to satisfy myriad regulations passed by well-meaning legislators. Were any laws violated in caring for my father? There is not a person alive who can guarantee that no laws were broken. The price of this bureaucratic overhead and considerable liability is an ever-spiraling price tag for Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. This is not a new process in societies. Joseph A. Tainter, in The Collapse of Complex Societies, details how this spiraling, well-intentioned complexity eventually brought down Roman, Mayan and other civilizations. Perhaps some introspection on the part of legislators would contribute the most to improving the quality of life in our society and to lowering the price tag of our large social programs. I would like to say more, but I need to go. I need to fill out more IRS paperwork to begin to settle my father's estate before the weekend is over.
[Re: Blog, “Hot Polling Action #5,” May 13] Our desert backdrop is perfect for pro-Iraq War movies like In the Valley of Elah and The War Boys, [along with] anti-Mexican movies. Once we are at war in a jungle, Florida will be the next "Hollywood." They pay us peanuts. Go buy yourself something nice! Don’t give your money to the box office so they can rub their wealth in your face on E! Personally, I hope all movie studios go bankrupt. Let's make our own entertainment!
[Re: Neverending Story, “Berg Goes to the Ball,” May 15-21] Laura Berg did not receive an apology letter from Veterans Affairs Secretary James Nicholson. Instead, Nicholson wrote an apology for using the term "sedition" to Sen. Jeff Bingaman, though Berg saw a copy of the letter.
[Re: Spotlight, “When the Lights Go Out,” May 15-21] Photographer Jason Andrews should have been credited for the pictures of cobra//group.
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter.