Utne Blogs > Environment

Don’t Worry, Have a Hot Dog

 by Lisa Gulya


Tags: Environment, Green Living, liberal guilt, BPA, processed meat, air conditioning, New York Times,

Hot DogIt's tempting to succumb to liberal guilt when “everything from melting ice caps to parched croplands threaten an all but certain apocalypse—on our watch,” as we wrote in the March-April issue of Utne Reader, but it turns out there's less to be guilty about than we thought. Tuesday’s New York Times assures us that 10 things we worry about are no cause for concern. From defending the harmlessness of hot dogs and plastic bags to claiming BPA in plastic bottles is not harmful to humans, the list will irk many, even as it frees a few to scarf down a foot-long, take a swig from their Nalgene, and crank up their car’s AC.

hannah lobel_4
8/13/2008 9:19:58 AM

Mother Jones' fact-checker goes to town on the New York Times piece here: http://www.motherjones.com/blue_marble_blog/archives/2008/08/9200_fact_checking_j.html


matt foster
8/4/2008 4:07:28 PM

I appreciate you bringing the article to our attention. It has a good, down-to-earth approach because it keeps it light. I do have qualms with the plastic bags. It is true that paper takes more energy to produce, but plastic doesn't take up less space in a landfill--not over time because they stay there so much longer. You could also argue that paper bags are better because they are able to return to a carbon sink faster than plastic.


lisa_1
8/1/2008 11:29:57 AM

Heidi Girl, Yes, even a New York Times endorsement couldn't get many of us to eat hot dogs. Though I can't deny that they were one of my favorite lunches as a kid. Luckily, I've developed a taste for real food since then. For another perspective, Good Medicine published a story in its summer issue about the dangers of processed meats, and the problem of serving them in our schools: http://www.pcrm.org/magazine/gm08summer/expelled.html . Though I can't help wondering why they can't offer kids vegetarian options that don't masquerade as hot dogs. -Lisa Gulya


heidi girl
7/31/2008 3:45:13 PM

Don't worry -- have a hot dog. And an appointment to the nearest cardiologist office.