Halloween will make your child scream (36132)

Definition: Slop-A thin, tasteless drink or liquid food; a food waste or gruel for animal feed.

Definition: Sty-A pen or housing for pigs.

When I was a youngster, I would often visit my grandparents in Virginia. Outside the kitchen there was a slop can, where discarded food waste was stored. When the can was full, I would accompany one of my 13 cousins to the pigsty, where we would feed the pigs until they became large enough to be slaughtered. Those pigs had no chance in their destiny. They would just lie in the cool mud that protected them from the sun and lounge around all day.

After a pig became an appropriate size, it would be slaughtered and the family would enjoy all of the parts of the pig, such as ears, feet, smoked ham hocks and, finally, chitterlings (intestines). It was interesting that while pigs ate slop, they never developed hypertension, diabetes, etc., as far as I know.

When I was working toward my master’s degree in public health at the University of Michigan, my wife, who was my great supporter, refused a job in a pig slaughtering house after she heard the screams of the pigs and was promised all the ham and bacon she wanted.

Little did I know that I would ultimately hear the screams of many humans before they died of diseases such as obesity, hypertension and diabetes resulting from eating those tasty morsels made from processed pig organs.

The only difference is that we, as humans, are capable of making healthier choices of what we eat.

With the change to a healthy diet and lifestyle changes, including lowering consumption of alcohol and eliminating smoking, we humans could easily be capable of living to 100 years with fewer disabling diseases. I would suggest that we also add more fruits and vegetables to our daily diets and less meat to the plate.

My answer to all those who read this column is to take on a new mantra such as “STOP EATING THE SLOP!” I would also suggest that you take some advice from Gary Null, who is featured on the radio station WBAI (99.5 FM) in New York and gives health-saving information on a daily basis. He has written many books and can be found on the Internet.

I hope that this column gives you food for thought and will lead to a longer and healthier life.