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Popping Pills

 

Are Americans over medicated?

Some facts lead me to believe so.

At a yearly profit of more than $650 billion, the pharmaceutical industry is the most profitable commercial commodity and industry in America. Even during the current recession, health care spending continues to grow.

Including both prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines Americans buy more medicine per person than any other country.

I have friends who are taking 20 or 30 different prescription pills a day. One even brags about it, opening a kitchen cabinet door and while wearing  a model’s smile  shows off all of the prescription bottles stacked inside.

Many of the drugs on the market today are not for a specific illness or condition you may suffer with today. These new pills are designed to prevent certain conditions from ever developing, such as osteoporosis. Never mind you may never develop this condition in your lifetime. The drug is prescribed anyway.  

And many of these preventive type drugs are extremely expensive and once started must be taken for the rest of your life. Or as I like to call it lifetime income for the drug companies. And with the baby boom reaching their golden years that stands to be aLOT of lifetimes and money for them.

It appears to me that doctors have become little more than pill dispensing robots. Go to the doctor. Wait 60 minutes to see him or her. See doctor for 15 minutes. Walk out of doctor’s office with prescriptions in hand.

I read about one doctor who called his practice, “Pill Hill.” I would call it something else:  Pill Hell.  I have news for you Mr. Doctor. Prescribing pills is not the same thing as caring about me.

The pharmaceutical industry seems to have changed the doctor-patient relationship from one where the doctor addresses symptoms and what is causing a problem into a relationship where the focus is strictly on what pill should be prescribed.

Another issue that bothers me in the pill-popping industry is the creation of so-called “new” drugs.  Many of these drugs are not new at all. The pharmaceutical companies just rework and reconfigure the ingredients in an existing drug, give it a new name, and charge ten times more for it. You can see how this works by the proliferation of all the “new” over-the-counter allergy medicines.

The kicker. These new drugs work no better than the old less expensive drugs. But no one will tell you that. Not even your doctor. Un less you ask point blank.

I Have To Wonder

What are all these medications doing to us? There are many adverse reactions from both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. I am not talking about just allergic reactions. Most medicines also deplete the natural supply of nutrients in our bodies. And some medicines kill. More on that in another post.

Are all of these pills making us any healthier?

In a word, NO.

According to Wikipedia, the United States ranks 36th in the world in overall life expectancy. We are tied with Cuba and Denmark for 36th place. Our overall life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.3 years, compared to number one Japan at 82.6 years.

There is a lot of research that indicates the key to healthy aging is a sensible and varied diet, a little bit of regular exercise such as walking, a strong network of friends, and maintaining a positive outlook. But when is the last time your doctor shared that information with you?

To put ALL of the focus on drugs is to fixate only on the quantity of life.  And at that we are not even succeeding, but that is the stated goal of prescribing all of these drugs! A longer life.

Personally I prefer to fixate on the quality of my life.

ADDENDUMS

I am not against all medicine and pills. Far from it. Many drugs and pills are wonderful. If I have an infection I need and want an antibiotic.  Additionally, we have cured many diseases and can ease the suffering of people from many diseases, even lengthen life expectancy for many diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and AIDS. I am all for this kind of proactive medicine.

Today’s post is only the first post on this important topic. I am going to do a series of posts on this topic. Today’s post is just an introduction. Other topics include the role of the pharmaceutical industry  in over medicating and over prescribing, and how pleasurable living can improve health and quality and length of life.

Featured Recipe        Zucchini Pancakes

This is a tasty side dish for when you want some thing just a little out of the ordinary. This dish proves you do not always have to serve potatoes with a meat entrée.

This also makes a nice snack at parties too. Just make the pancakes smaller and bite sized. Have some dipping sauces ready such as a sour cream/horseradish dip, or a catsup/horseradish dip.

These pancakes also make a nice after school snack too.

 The pancakes can be frozen in between layers of wax paper in a freezer container for up to three months.

When shopping for zucchini choose medium to small ones that are heavy for their size. To test for freshness lightly squeeze. The zucchini should give just a wee bit.

This is what you need to make 10-12 pancakes:

4-5 medium zucchini (about 1½ pounds)

¼ teaspoon salt

4 eggs

1 clove garlic

¾ cup flour

½ cup Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon finely chopped onion

Salt and pepper to taste

You will also need:

Oil for the skillet or griddle.

More Parmesan cheese for sprinkling over the pancakes.

Here is what you do:

Wash the zucchinni well and pat dry.

Trim the ends off the zucchini and coarsely shred the zucchini. You can do this with a hand held julienne slicer or a food processor,  as you desire. I used a hand held julienne slicer.

In a colander placed in a sink toss the zucchini with salt to taste. Place a plate on top of the zucchini, and weight it down with some cans. Let the zucchini drain for 15 minutes.

While you are waiting for the zucchini to drain run the garlic through a press and mince the onion as fine as you can.

Then beat the eggs and the garlic in a bowl. 

Stir in the flour, cheese, onion, and pepper into the egg mixture until just moistened. It will be lumpy.

Stir in the drained zucchini into the mixture until just combined. If the zucchini still has a lot of water in I place it in a cloth towel and squeeze the water out before adding it to the mixture.

Lightly oil the skillet or griddle. Place a heaping tablespoon of zucchini batter on the griddle and using a spatula flatten to about a 3-inch pancake. Add about five or six pancakes at a time. Do not crowd the pancakes.

Cook over medium heat 2-3 minutes per side until the pancakes are golden on both sides. Keep finished pancakes warm in a very low oven until all the pancakes are cooked.

I made one batch of the smaller party sized pancakes so yu could see them.

Serve with any meat entrée and extra Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over the pancakes.

Bon appétit!!!

Cost

4-5 medium zucchini             $1.94              

4 eggs                                 $0.48

1 clove garlic                        $0.11

¾ cup flour                          $0.22

½ cup Parmesan cheese       $1.00

1 tbspn chopped onion           $0.13

Salt and pepper to taste

Oil for the skillet                   $0.16

Parmesan cheese                 $0.25

Total Cost = $4.29
Cost per pancake = $0.36 to $0.43

Quote of the Day

I firmly believe that if the whole material medical could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind, and all the worse for the sea. 

Oliver Wendell Holmes

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