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From 31 August 2003 Issue

Omega Three
By Greg Lawson - ParkStranger@aol.com

-"What is our position, Mr. Sulu?"
-"Approaching Omega Three, Captain.."
-"Establish planetary orbit."

Lately I have been thinking that I needed a coffee grinder to grind flax seed. I was convinced by Dr. Michael Greger, our last guest on ACT Radio, Animal Concerns of Texas, that we vegans need more omega-three fatty acids in our diets. I had been buying already ground flax for the last year, but not using it every day. Pre-ground flax loses the omega-three oils rather rapidly unless you keep it in the freezer. After meeting Dr. Greger, I have been doing flax every day. I figured if I invested in a coffee grinder to grind my own flax seeds, I would be even more committed and get into the habit.

So today I bought a coffee grinder for ten dollars. It is a simple device with an electric plug and one button, "ON," and an eighteen page users manual. Eighteen pages? I don't have much time to read anymore, I think I might have internet induced Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. But I like to read the tech manuals on equipment I buy, so I read it.

The first couple of lines warned of the risk of personal injury or death which exists in all electrical appliances, a nice reminder which helped me recall my own fragility. Ever since humans discovered how to use fire, and how to harness the energy of the electron, we have risked personal injury for convenience. My major criticism of the booklet is that it seemed a bit simplistic. It failed to cover the philosophy, history or physics of grinding beans and seeds.

Instructions: 1. Remove all packaging materials before using. (Good idea. I don't need anymore plastic in my diet.) 2. Caution: Blades are sharp, handle carefully. (Ok, I'm glad the blades are sharp, my food processor blades weren't sharp enough to grind flax seeds, which is why I purchased this item in the first place.) 3,4,5, ah... 6, (the one I had been waiting for) To start grinder depress the "ON" button.

Whew, after page five it switched to other languages and I didn't have to read the whole book. Moulin a Cafe, Moledora de Cafe...let's hope French and Spanish speaking people see that it's not a good idea to immerse the base in water, especially when it's plugged in. Let me save you some reading, my foreign friends who are considering buying this device. This is the main point of the book- Appuyez sur le bouton "ON," Presione el boton "ON."

I was a guest on a radio show today, "Senior Junction" on KTEP, hosted by a former vegetarian who started including fish in her diet to get omega-three fatty acids. I told her that flax was a better source. With fish you also get a dose of mercury, DDT, other pesticides and heavy metals. The US Department of Agriculture warns pregnant women that eating fish can cause birth defects. How safe can seafood be if the federal government warns against eating it during pregnancy? The health reasons for avoiding fish are obvious.

It's also obvious that intensive commercial fishing is destroying the ecological balance of the oceans. The UN FAO report on the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2000 reports that 72-78% of major fisheries are fully exploited, over exploited or depleted. According to a recent 10-year study of the world's fisheries published last spring in the science journal Nature, the amount of large, predatory fish such as sharks, cod, tunas, and swordfish has plummeted by 90 percent since 1950. We are causing a major extinction event because we like the taste of fish, we think it's a healthy food and a good source of omega-three. I wish people could sea the true flax of the matter.

Ok, here it comes, the Animal Rights Online Instruction booklet for vegans, an Owners Manual for your vegan body....not 18 pages, just four simple steps.

1. Eat a plant based diet with a variety of fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and soyfoods.

2. Take two tablespoons of ground flax seed everyday. Mix it with oatmeal, mix it into soy loaf, refried beans, casseroles, cornbread muffins or whatever.

3. Take a vitamin B-12 supplement.

4. Attention: Ne Jamias Immerger La Base De L'appareil Dans L'eau Ou Tout Autre Liquide.
4. Precaucion: Nunca Coloque La Base Del Aparato En Agua U Otros Liquidos.
4. Caution: Don't immerse your base in water or other liquids, especially while you are plugged in.

Go on to Man And Other Animals
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