Understanding Food and the Ecology

For those who love to read here is a book IN DEFENSE OF FOOD – Thank you Bentley.

Here is another topic Barbadians delight in giving lip service. We have reached a point where we do not intend to attack the serious issue of food security. Equally important is that we do not use our intelligence and formal education to understand how different foods we consume affect our health.

We express horror at the rising numbers of NCDs in Barbados. However the authorities hail the expansion of the Burger Kings, Chefettes and other fast foods outlets as an economic boon. We glamorize the convenience of eating ‘junk food’ because it is the right of the individual to eat as they please, YET, taxpayers will have to pick up the tab when the national health budget is allocated.

Go figure!

Expect to read the usual empty headed nonsense by a few who like a broken lock will opine –

Blame the BLP!

Blame the DLP!

Blame the White man!

Blame the man in the mirror?

43 thoughts on “Understanding Food and the Ecology

  1. The man in the mirror is I. I make decisions and live by the consequences. I may decide to plant food regardless of the high costs of doing so or import food and pay for it with foreign exchange that I earn. The fast foods appear to be more convenient for some .That too is a judgement call. The sufferers of ailments pay/ paid taxes. It is a matter of choice.

    In summary rely on education about the diseases and good medical research. We are a rational nation ,are we mot?

    • @Vincent

      Do not understand what you. People have the choice to eat what they want read adopt whichever lifestyle they feel comfortable and the state in turn must leverage education to address all issues that result?

      It begs the question then why does government supported by NGOs try to persuade citizens to adopt healthy lifestyle habits?

  2. @ David BU

    We live in a democracy. God gave man free will. Why should another man feel that he has the power to take it away? Are you sure that food is the real cause of the diseases or is this the current ,dominant narrative? New dogma?

    Just to be provocative. The truth may evolve.

    Education is not about schools and teachers. The press, printed and electronic , are Educative Vehicles. Why do we use them only for propaganda and entertainment?

  3. @ David BU

    What is this nebulous animal ,the state ,that you are introducing into most blogs? The State is you and I…. Us/We.

    • @Vincent

      This blogmaster is more comfortable in the world of pragmatism. How do we know where we are or should go unless we evaluate what is before us and adjust to advance and improve. This must be the derivative of an educated people.

  4. @ David BU at 11:12 AM

    Whether you recognize it or not we are constantly receiving evaluation reports .We are extracting what is reasonable, useful and progressive. That is what an educated society does. We do not intend to implement every knee jerk idea. Do you have a problem with that?

    • @Vincent

      The theory of it as you described is not being questioned. The position some will take interpreting what is before us do s also part of the evaluative process.

  5. Some Bajans are putting their money where their mouth is and restoring depleted agricultural land (and even a desert-like, mined-out, St Andrew sand quarry) to productive, food producing farm land.They’re restoring fertility to nutrient-poor soil (or using natural methods to build new soil in place of sand and rocks) while maintaining a healthy environment for wildlife and growing food crops. These crops are produced without spraying and treating the crops and land with expensive, imported (and potentially polluting and, cancer causing) agro-chemicals.

    Walkers Reserve, St. Andrew – mostly on the site of a mined-out sand quarry:

    Walkers Reserve is actively returning quarried areas to ecological health as operations come to a close. The permaculture design, that is guiding the transformation from quarry to food forest, calls for the cultivation of a mixed used agroforestry site for short and long term yields as well as restoring native forest as habitat for threatened wildlife. Terra Genesis International has been working with the people on the ground at Walkers Reserve since 2011, helping to bring together a regeneration plan the meets the needs of the owners, the local community and the planet as a whole. The regeneration plan stabilizes soil and shelters new growth from strong easterly winds. Where there were once windswept dunes, now sheltered wetlands form a sanctuary for migratory birds, and endemic amphibians and reptiles that are under pressure from habitat loss. Walkers Reserve is restoring living systems beyond the richness that was found prior to the quarry being established. Working directly with local farmers, pickers and community members, this burgeoning ecosystem rejuvenates Bajan food security, food culture and agro-ecological diversity by knitting the surrounding landscape and social systems together. The transition from sand quarry operations to permaculture land management provides an inspirational example of post extraction ethics. For the people of Walkers, this transition was never a question of if, but of how.


    PEG Farm and Nature Reserve, Easy Hall, St. Joseph – on lands that were former sugarcane fields of Easy Hall Plantation.

    Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, Rudolf Steiner, and Lilly Kolisko brought us a new spiritual scientific approach to agriculture, which acknowledges Nature’s Cosmic intelligence. Andre Voisin, Allan Savory, and our teacher Kirk Gadzia bring holistic planning to our work with the community and land. Bill Mollison and his gift of Permaculture that has inspired practitioners all over the world including our friends Terra Genesis International who used this design science in their work with PEG. And Jerry Brunetti, Charles Walters, Joel Salatin, P.A. Yoemans, William Albrecht, and Carey Reams whose work grows our understanding of soil/plant relationships and how they can lead us to insights for creating socio-economic change. We have gratitude for many other individuals and cultures both contemporary and ancient who offer their wisdom to the world. The practices of these teachers are at the heart of PEG’s work to regenerate the Land. This approach of combining Permaculture design, Holistic Management, biological soil fertility management, Keyline inspired design, and Biodynamic Agriculture as a whole, is truly an unique message for the future.


  6. Mr Blogmaster to your comment…where at any point in our national development has ANY administration or NGO ever really explored “the serious issue of food security.”….From a strict Bajan perspective what actually is food security to us, I would ask first and first most ?

    Based on our current eating habits and reliance on imports is there any concept whatever that we could maintain the availability and access to a nutritious food supply if there was some catatrophic disruption to our ability to import (that’s food security, right)!

    For practical purposes a cessation of total imports is unlikely so food security per se I suspect the is really controlling the rising import bill of food (and materials to produce our food) !

    On the other point of fast food joints…they are a problem surely but there are now healthy options (or should be) at all of them…BUT, our previous eating habits themselves are a problem too as often that wondrous cooking contained (according to all the new metrics) too much sodium or sugar and saturated oils and fat!

    The balance must be to manage the over-intake of the problematic ingredients and ensure we burn off the calories properly and be ready to eat again… whether we over indulge from at a KFC saturated oiled tasty fried chicken or a too big beef burger at BurgerKing, or a whopping dish of too much greasy beef stew and starchy rice and beans at our kitchen table we HAVE to balance it with exercise, the ‘green’ foods and good life habits…

    Our society shows itself is a bit too ‘decadent’ and ‘content’ (that mirror of @Vincent) in many regards so yes there is and will continue to be a problem!

    I gone.

    • @Dee Word

      A definition of food security is useful, note BU emphasis .

      Food security, as defined by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, means that all people, at all times, have physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life. http://www.ifpri.org › topic › food-security

  7. There has been lots of talk about food security, chiefly pertaining to the rapid increase in the world’s population. There is the constant noise about food out put being incapable of feeding the expected population increase. It is all alarmist propaganda. The major factors affecting food security are food distribution and food loss. .In the case of food loss it is useful to start by dealing with crops. More than forty percent of crops harvested are loss in the post harvest stage ( harvesting, milling, storage, transportation and consumption).Instead of the hue and cry made by alarmists (usually, economists),efforts should be made to rodent proof storage silos:. Storage at correct storage temperature is another prerequisite in ensuring non-spoilage, Adequate cooking instructions are also required to be listed in easily understood language. In the case of fish and meats, correct refrigeration loads of the cold-storage facilities need to be put in place to avoid chemical and microbial spoilage.
    There is no shortage of food; as I have alluded to, distribution is a problem. One can have all the food in the field but if there is no adequate transportation network, the crops will rot in the fields( think of the public in Barbados and the lack of adequate transport network resulting in numerous loss of working hours).
    In addition, most develop countries to get foreign exchange end up having monoculture agriculture. This affects the ability of the exporting country to become self-sufficient in food. Lots of west African countries that used to be self-sufficient in rice now import rice, the agricultural land being taken up with crops for export.

    As for eating habits which I describe as follows: “are the totality of the experiences of a people in one particular geographical locale and encompasses the fauna and flora found therein as well as religious and other cultural taboos associated with every day living.” Basically, if one lives in an area where there are only dogs, dog meat becomes part of the diet; just an every day occurrence. Eating habits are difficult to change. For example the fast-food fad: most young people been brought up eating it. It is part of the culture. No one particularly these days consume eddo soup. Try getting the young to consume eddo soup and see what happens.

  8. Maybe we should stop calling it Agriculture and call it instead Foodculture. That may be a more ‘sexy” name, after all everybody loves food, but who the H loves Agri?

    For lunch I had breadfruit cou-cou [made with a free breadfruit] with some black belly lamb stew with plenty of carrots which i grew myself. ‘longside it I put some okras which I grew myself, and a nice piece of avocado pear [also a gift] A drink of water and I good.

    I was going to sit on the veranda and read a book, but here David is distracting me with food talk. Only one more thing in life I like better than sweet, tasty, fresh food.

    If it doesn’t rain this evening I will spend from 4 to 6 doing some heavy gardening.

  9. @ Vincent Codrington September 21, 2019 11:00 AM
    “We live in a democracy. God gave man free will. Why should another man feel that he has the power to take it away? Are you sure that food is the real cause of the diseases or is this the current ,dominant narrative? New dogma?”

    We have never seen such a convincingly supportive argument for the decriminalization of the use of marijuana as a culinary supplement as this the one you are prosecuting in favour of fast foods.

    Carry on my friend, the miller is behind you!

    BTW, the government is sitting on a veritable taxation mine when it comes to paying for the convenience of fast food.

    Now who would object to a 10 % increase in fast food prices when it is going towards the cost of keeping Barbados beautiful and the upkeep of public health institutions at which many NCDs sufferers will eventually find themselves?

    If you are forced to make a Sewage contribution via your water bill (although living in St. Lucy) why not make a similar ‘forced’ contribution to the much needed upkeep of the health services and environment when you voluntarily pay a visit to KFC, Chefette or Burger King?

  10. @MillerSeptember 21, 2019 2:22 PM “If you are forced to make a Sewage contribution via your water bill (although living in St. Lucy).

    So you live in St. Lucy or St. Phillip or St. Andrew, Christ Church or wherever and you go to Bridgetown and you have a need to do number 1, or a urgent need to do number two, do you “hold it” until you get home, or do you use the toilet at work, or a a fast food place in ‘town?

  11. @ SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife September 21, 2019 2:32 PM

    Your simplistic interpretation of the bigger message disallows you from understanding the gravamen of the argument.

  12. Gravamen my @

    I haven’t had a child in elementary school for decades but some of my taxes pay for schooling no?

    In my family we are too duncy to go earn Barbados scholarships or to go to university, but some of my taxes pay for Barbados scholarships and for the university education of other people’s sons and daughters, no?

    I’ve never broken the law, not even a traffic offence, but some of my taxes pay for policing no?

    I watch my health, have spent less than 24 hours in the QEH in nearly 70 years but some of my taxes pay for dialysis machines and nurses and health care no?

    i haven’t travelled in years but some of my taxes pay for the airport, no?

    I’ve never taken a cruise, but some of my taxes pay for the port, no?

    i applied for a government job in the late 60’s and I haven’t heard back from Service Commission yet, but for nearly 50 years some of my taxes have gone to pay civil servants and the political class, no?

    Gravamen what?

  13. Of course when governments collect money from the people they should spend it wisely on providing goods and services for the people

  14. @ SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife September 21, 2019 2:46 PM

    Jenny -ass the simpleton, the question is whether you would be prepared to pay an additional 10 % ON YOUR FAST FOOD FARE in order to make a contribution towards a greener and cleaner Barbados or towards the escalating cost of maintaining the public heath services in Barbados whose praises you extol ad nauseam.

    You have a choice (unlike the sewage tax contribution). Deal or No deal??

  15. @ Miller at 2:54 PM

    Neither Simple Simon nor I eat fast foods. And that is by choice. We have a preference for local home cooked foods. We also pay our taxes and user fees even when we do not use the facilities like sewage plants etc. We are responsible citizens leading by example not by long convoluted talks.

    • @Vincent

      And if people (by choice) drop unwanted items into the sewage system it wouldn’t/doesn’t concern you because your taxes are available to fix it?

  16. @ David BU at 5:14 PM

    Your question is a non sequitur.The law and common sense forbids the dropping of certain proscribed unwanted items into the sewage system. Where does choice enter into this equation.? Do you have a choice to drive on the right side of the road?

    • @Vincent

      Will agree to disagree with your passive position. Just to say it is this outlook that finds us where we are today. The health of a nation is the wealth of a nation some say?

  17. Q what is the difference between “fast foods” and ” local home cooked foods”?
    Dont they both usually both produce carbs fats and protein building blocks when digested in phase one of metabolism, and dont all of these end up mostly as acetylCoA in phase 2 of metabolism etc? .

  18. @MillerSeptember 21, 2019 2:54 PM “Jenny -ass the simpleton, the question is whether you would be prepared to pay an additional 10 % ON YOUR FAST FOOD FARE .”

    My choice is NOT to eat fast food.

    I like to grow food.

    I like to cook food.

    I like to eat what I have grown and cooked.

    I prefer NOT to eat fast food. They are too high in fat, too high in salt, too MONOTONOUS, too expensive.

    I have taken my choice.

    Feel free to take yours.

    How does any of this make me a JennyAss?

    And if governments have had difficulty collecting the VAT paid by consumers, why would anybody think that government will be able to collect a 10% on fast foods?

    Would the merchants of fried grease easily surrender this free 10% to the Barbados Revenue Authority?

    You may be naive.

    Perhaps I am not.

  19. @BajeSeptember 21, 2019 1:54 PM “I just learned today from a Haitian friend many people there eat cat meat on a daily basis.”

    Haiti produces cat meat in commercial quantities?

  20. @MillerSeptember 21, 2019 2:54 PM “Jenny -ass the simpleton, the question is whether you would be prepared to pay an additional 10 % ON YOUR FAST FOOD FARE .”

    My free haul today: 1.5 kilos of carrots, 11 mangoes and 10 hot peppers.

  21. Would you like some phthalates with your mac and cheese? Never mind, you’re getting them anyway – especially if you buy the packaged macaroni and powdered cheese together in a box products – the ones parents like because they are cheap, quick and easy to make and its a food that most children like to eat).

    97% of Tested Mac and Cheese Products Found to Contain Chemicals Used in Plastics, Rubber, Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants and Printing Inks

    New studies on the dangerous impacts of phthalates on our health seem to come out every week. Given their hormone- or endocrine-disrupting effects phthalate exposure has been linked to a host of health conditions making their widespread use a serious public health concern. Pregnant women and children especially are at heightened risk.

    The chemicals have been linked to diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis in women. Furthermore, phthalates can affect a child’s brain and interfere with the sexual development, causing genital birth defects, lower testosterone production in young boys, and breast development in girls as early as the age of two.

    In 2014, 12 billion pounds of these chemicals were produced by the global chemistry industry. Though phthalates are not intentionally added to food, they can migrate into food products during processing, packaging, and preparation. Higher levels of phthalates tend to be found in highly processed or fatty foods.


    In a first-ever report, published by the Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging, on phthalate levels found in cheese powder from macaroni and cheese, researchers detected phthalates in nearly every product they tested. Out of the 30 products analyzed, 29 tested positive for phthalates.


  22. @ GreenMonkey September 21, 2019 8:26 PM

    If one were to take the numerous advisories that suggest one shouldn’t eat certain foods because of unintentional and intentional food additives, one would have very limited food choices indeed. One should limit one’s intake of red meat and processed meats( sausages, bacon ,ham) because of the presence of nitrites: the ideal situation being not to eat them at all. Similarly, one shouldn’t eat bread because of the presence of acrylamide formed in the crust when baking bread. Also one shouldn’t use canned goods because of the migration of Bisphenol-A (commonly known as BPA) which is used to line the interior surface of cans.
    There is a concept called risk analysis/assessment in food which seeks to estimate the risk to the consumer when foods are ingested. First let me state a fact that is often overlooked. There is no such thing as a totally safe food; the role of the manufacturer and the regulatory authorities is the mitigation of the risk one encounters when foods are consumed. In any population, there is going to be sub-sets who suffer from allergenic or allergenic intolerance to foods( under these headings would fall foods such as nuts, shell-fish and so on). The allergenic response is only discovered on consumption and can have lethal consequences. I chose these examples to illustrate the risk factor.

    To mitigate harm to the consumer foods and food ingredients undergo rigorous testing to establish the lowest observable effect level (LOEL) and the no observable effect level (NOEL). As the former implies, the lowest level at which an adverse effect is observed is noted. NOEL indicates that no adverse effect was detected when tested. To arrive at these bench marks, test animals are fed the ingredients at very high levels( indeed levels so high that the average person would need several life-times’ to consume). There is also the problem of extrapolating data from animal model -systems to that of humans. Do studies in animals correlate one-hundred percent with the human condition? For ethical reasons humans can’t be used as test subjects.

    The crux of the matter lies with the interpretation of NOEL and LOEL where carcinogens are concerned. In the USA, under the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act any test compound that results in signs of carcinogenesis is automatically banned : no matter what level the adverse effect is detected at. As mentioned previously, the test compound is fed at very high doses to animals, Paracelsus (born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheimborn) ,the founder of toxicology famously stated that all substances are poisonous if consumed in high enough amounts. For example, chlorination of water is a widespread practice ;at levels of 200ppm it is not carcinogenic, but at 1000 ppm it is. The question is should it be banned? In risk analysis/assessment. the pros and cons of the benefits to society are weighed and it is used at the lower levels. If chlorine were not used, there would many cases of water-borne infections which would out number the cases of cancer and entail massive public health remedial efforts costing millions ( it sounds callous) but that is the way it is.

    • @Dr.Lucas

      Are you saying that if you do not not fall into that subset that has a violent reaction to certain foods you should eat any food without fear because of the rigor of risk assessment that would have been undertaken by the authorities?

  23. @ SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife September 21, 2019 7:18 PM
    “And if governments have had difficulty collecting the VAT paid by consumers, why would anybody think that government will be able to collect a 10% on fast foods?”

    Let us be tautological and pose the following question:

    Since “governments have had difficulty collecting” the taxes levied on private and commercial properties why would anybody think government will be able to collect the recent increases imposed on certain properties?

    The failure to collect VAT is a direct result of political corruption/interference and bureaucratic incompetence.

    Not the validity of the tax to steer or direct public policy.

    Neither you nor VC smoke cigarettes or drink rum (we are hoping) yet you find no difficulty with the government’s imposition of a swathe of taxes (import duties, excise, VAT etc) on these so-called unhealthy ‘consumer’ items.

    Why not on fast foods bought from well-established outlets using the existing tax levying and collecting system.

    You, Simple Simon, have cursed like Peter and ‘preached like Paul about the state of the people’s health with the young people riddled with NCD’s and posing a potential burden on the already overburdened public health services.

    Don’t you think that a strong correlation or linkage can be established between the rise in NCD’s among the young (with the concomitant ballooning of fat around their waists) and the massive expansion of fast food outlets?

    Don’t you think that similar “educational” programmes concerning the dangers of smoking and drinking have been used to alert people (like you and VC) to the eating of too much fast food?

    Now where would the government get the additional revenue to provide the inevitable additional health care arising from these preventative fat-causing aliments or even to bury the dead ‘poor’?

    From more taxes imposed on your ’teetotaler’ properties and ‘non-smoker’ pension incomes?

    Get real my friend!

    And if you don’t impose and collect these taxes (user fees) upfront then the IMF would have to care of your fiscal ailments as it is doing right now.

    What this space. Coming soon at every BWA and Surepay outlet:
    More impositions on your water bill!

    Any dollar of prevention is always worth more than a pound of cure!

    BTW, would you back any government’s proposal to impose VAT on medicinal marijuana when its sale and consumption (like fast foods) becomes “common as muck”?

  24. @ David
    In moderation is the operative word. The hue and cry about bread was silly.Acrylamide was found at about 2-7 ppb(billion).People have been eating bread for thousand of years and the researchers with little to do and new equipment carried out the test and by chance discover some acrylamide. Do you really think the people have stopped eating bread in huge amounts? The same with cattle and the talk of harm to the climate. People should really examine themselves. Humans created all of the pollution and I don’t hear any talk that they should curb their population. The creator of the world’s problem seek to blame animals. There is a lot of esoteric research, so that the researcher can say he has x-number of publications to further his career. Every so often you will notice some alarmist headline on food..

  25. @ Dr. Robert Lucas

    It appears that the American Association of Pediatrics believes that at least in the USA (where much of our own imported foodstuffs originate) the current standards of risk assessment for the presence of chemical contaminants in food are deficient, especially so when it comes to assessing the potential harm contaminants can cause to growing infants and children vs fully grown adults.

    August 2018, VOLUME 142 / ISSUE 2
    From the American Academy of Pediatrics
    Policy Statement
    Food Additives and Child Health

    Food Additives and Child Health
    Leonardo Trasande, Rachel M. Shaffer, Sheela Sathyanarayana, COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH


    Our purposes with this policy statement and its accompanying technical report are to review and highlight emerging child health concerns related to the use of colorings, flavorings, and chemicals deliberately added to food during processing (direct food additives) as well as substances in food contact materials, including adhesives, dyes, coatings, paper, paperboard, plastic, and other polymers, which may contaminate food as part of packaging or manufacturing equipment (indirect food additives); to make reasonable recommendations that the pediatrician might be able to adopt into the guidance provided during pediatric visits; and to propose urgently needed reforms to the current regulatory process at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for food additives. Concern regarding food additives has increased in the past 2 decades, in part because of studies in which authors document endocrine disruption and other adverse health effects. In some cases, exposure to these chemicals is disproportionate among minority and low-income populations. Regulation and oversight of many food additives is inadequate because of several key problems in the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Current requirements for a “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) designation are insufficient to ensure the safety of food additives and do not contain sufficient protections against conflict of interest. Additionally, the FDA does not have adequate authority to acquire data on chemicals on the market or reassess their safety for human health. These are critical weaknesses in the current regulatory system for food additives. Data about health effects of food additives on infants and children are limited or missing; however, in general, infants and children are more vulnerable to chemical exposures. Substantial improvements to the food additives regulatory system are urgently needed, including greatly strengthening or replacing the “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) determination process, updating the scientific foundation of the FDA’s safety assessment program, retesting all previously approved chemicals, and labeling direct additives with limited or no toxicity data.


    The potential for endocrine system disruption is of great concern, especially in early life, when developmental programming of organ systems is susceptible to permanent and lifelong disruption. The international medical and scientific communities have called attention to these issues in several recent landmark reports, including a scientific statement from the Endocrine Society in 2009,42 which was updated in 2015 to reflect rapidly accumulating knowledge3; a joint report from the World Health Organization and United Nations Environment Program in 201343; and a statement from the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics in 2015.44 Chemicals of increasing concern include the following:

    bisphenols, which are used in the lining of metal cans to prevent corrosion45;

    phthalates, which are esters of diphthalic acid that are often used in adhesives, lubricants, and plasticizers during the manufacturing process17;

    nonpersistent pesticides, which have been addressed in a previous policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics and, thus, will not be discussed in this statement46;

    perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFCs), which are used in grease-proof paper and packaging47; and

    perchlorate, an antistatic agent used for plastic packaging in contact with dry foods with surfaces that do not contain free fat or oil and also present as a degradation product of bleach used to clean food manufacturing equipment.48


  26. @ David BU
    @ Miller

    Do you not find it strange that Fast Food outlets receive G o B and Health Ministry approvals and now you are flying a kite to impose a tax on them? What is the real social objective? Are we creating sins so that we may feel and shout Holier Than Thou?

    @ Green Monkey

    @ Dr.Lucas

    Excellent and balanced inputs into the discussion. We do need peer reviewed research findings against which to measure these uninformed assertions. The question of food and public health is a lot more complex than some of us think.

  27. @Miller t 3:06 a.m. “BTW, would you back any government’s proposal to impose VAT on medicinal marijuana when its sale and consumption (like fast foods) becomes “common as muck?”

    Medical marijuana use will never become common as muck, because unlike eating food which all people have to do multiple times a day, most people most of the time are not sick. I mean acetaminophen is a “common as muck” medicine right? Yet I and hundreds of millions of others haven’t taken any for decades, so there goes your tax collection opportunity.

    Also I am morally opposed to taxing prescription medicines, including prescribed marijuana. It is wrong to burden sick people with taxes on their necessary medicines. So no tax on prescribed medical marijuana.

    But tax recreational marijuana.

    Tax spiritual marijuana, just as the spiritual wine used in communion services is taxed

  28. @ SirSimpleSimonPresidentForLife September 22, 2019 12:10 PM

    Would you support the taxing of the same Mary Jane- the new Cinderella who has finally come in from the cold- for culinary purposes?

    What’s the difference between the taxing of the packaged parsley, thyme and marjoram and the taxing of marijuana?

    After all, if the former whore Mary Jane is now the talk of town in medicinal circles, she must be just as good for the kitchen in her role as the Mother of Prevention.

    Why must Bajans be forced to buy ‘medicinal’ marijuana from Johnny-come-lately’ money grabbing people when the honest and well-informed members of the Rasta community have been preaching for donkey years of this plant’s medicinal and holistic properties?

  29. @ Vincent Codrington September 22, 2019 12:10 PM
    “Do you not find it strange that Fast Food outlets receive G o B and Health Ministry approvals and now you are flying a kite to impose a tax on them? What is the real social objective? Are we creating sins so that we may feel and shout Holier Than Thou?”

    Creating sins? Sins -if you want to refer to these activities as sinning- are already there; and have been from time immemorial.

    Sins like drinking alcohol, gambling, smoking and yes, fornicating.

    Why not add gluttony and prostitution to the list of taxable activities and let the GoB get its share of the action?

    While you are at it, VC boy, how about taxing the use of marijuana while keeping ‘exempt’ similar intoxication activities like going to church (the opiate of the Bajan masses)?

    BTW, you have indeed made a rather interesting point in exposing the duplicitous nature of the policies of the government on its NCD’s and obesity fighting programmes; just like what pertains at the schools and public facilities where it is easier to find a money-making sweet-drinks dispensing machine than a fountain for the dispensing of healthy cool drinking water.

    It’s all about the money, isn’t it? So why not stop with the hypocrisy and make some more money off the fast food outlets?

  30. The current debate on Marijuana et al has exposed the idiocy of some people including the Minister of Environment etc. who is reported to have told a group (including school children) that there is no harm in using a “little” of the drug. There are a number of credible studies that support the thesis that the use of marijuana in young adults is detrimental to their health and can cause damage to developing brains yet someone who is supposed to be a role model is telling people of a vulnerable age that he believes there is no harm in using a ”little” marijuana. There are a number of what people called “parros” and other individuals with mental health problems all over Barbados and the last thing the country needs are more drug addicted people with addled brains on the street because some fool of a Minister delivered flippant remarks to an audience of children.

  31. @ Green Monkey September 22, 2019 10:59 AM

    “Our purposes with this policy statement and its accompanying technical report are to review and highlight emerging child health concerns related to the use of colorings, flavorings, and chemicals deliberately added to food during processing (direct food additives) as well as substances in food contact materials, including adhesives, dyes, coatings, paper, paperboard, plastic, and other polymers, which may contaminate food as part of packaging or manufacturing equipment (indirect food additives);”

    There is some truth in the extract, especially where migration of non-intentional additives are concerned. Recently, however, all of this has changed with the efforts of organizations like the above mentioned one. Where infant formulae are concerned, the safeguards are rigidly enforced . Having said all of that, foods that are generally recognized as safe(GRAS) are periodically retested( every decade or so) as improvements in analytical techniques become available and resolution of the detection precision improves. GRAS additives are those that over centuries by common use(salt) are known to be safe. I get regular updated information on food additives every ten years or so from the institute of food Technologists. The process of review is an on-going one and with new techniques new food additives are added to the GRAS list and old ones found wanting lose their GRAS status.
    Many food colors have been found to cause allergenic and hyperactivity in sensitive children. Colors are added to improve the appeal of foods to the consumer so foods can do without them. For example in some of the Scandinavian countries caramel is not added to Coca Cola .The reason is due to the fact that sugar is heated in the presence of gaseous ammonia resulting in the Maillard reaction or non-enzymatic browning occurring. The intermediate compounds include nitroso-amines which are considered to be precursors of carcinogenic compounds. In the USA, colorant is added as the risk assessment is considered to be low. Similarly, the use of mono-sodium glutamate(‎Chinese Restaurant Syndrome ) in foods have been the source of a lot of alarmist hype, locally and abroad. I have written articles debunking the hype associated with it.MSG is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids. Glutamic acid is found naturally in tomatoes, grapes, cheese, mushrooms and other foods.Umami or savory taste is one of the five basic tastes (together with sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness). It has been described as savory and is characteristic of broths and cooked meats. Mono-sodium glutamate is responsible for Umami. It is known that if used in excess hyper-activity can result especially with young children and for this reason, children under three-years should avoid using it.. The point remains that there are sensory receptors on the tongue which detect MSG. MSG is found naturally in peas and cheeses;is one therefore going to stop consuming peas?
    As I have said there is no such thing as a hundred -percent safe food. For example the rise in allergies seem to be connected with children being too clean: they aren’t exposed to mud and so on. It has been suggested that the rise in allergies have been caused by the lack of stimulation of the immune system caused by being excessively clean.

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