What I'm Reading (Dec. 28)

By Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA — Dec 28, 2023
Ignoring science at the risk of the next generation – water distribution of the Colorado Elite Universities are just cartels. Where’s the beef? Where’s the chicken?
Image by Michael von Aichberger from Pixabay

“On 24 November 1922, the Colorado River Commission officially allocated water rights to the seven U.S. states of the Colorado River Basin. The Colorado River Compact and subsequent agreements, collectively known as the Law of the River, eased years of dispute among these states, and they constitute a milestone in the history of the American West.

…The terms of the compact, however, were largely the product of development aspirations and political dealmaking, and they relied on optimistic estimations of the amount of water the river could supply that were not supported by existing surveys or science.”

From EOS, Fixing the Flawed Colorado River Compact


I saw this tongue-in-cheek idea float by the other day in The Atlantic – “Keep the endowment, but spin off the university.” While that was a parody, this next article is deadly serious concerning the misalignment of universities and their endowments.

“The power structures within the Ivy League are also misunderstood. Indeed, many casual observers are confused why the current geopolitical conflict in the Middle East has been so disruptive to the governing apparatuses at the Ivies. Why did this issue precipitate a knife fight between the bureaucrats on campus and the donors outside them? Why have the donors, like Wall Street titan Bill Ackman, declared war on the Ivy Presidents? And how are the power structures governing the Ivy League related to all the other problems emanating out from our elite campuses? 

The fundamentally misunderstood truth about the Ivy League is that most of the problems that emanate from elite campuses are merely downstream of an overarching mission to accrue monopoly profits and an intra-institutional attempt to capture them. The Ivy League is, as BIG has written years ago, organized as a cartel. And like all aging cartels, it's degrading.”

From Big, How to Crush the Ivy League Cartel


To be truthful, I have been eating a lot less beef, partly because I do not make most of the dinner-time meals and because I live right by the water, so fresh seafood is plentiful. On the other hand, I can get behind an occasional filet mignon. But this may be generational.

“Unless beef consumption becomes remarkably sustainable, I think younger generations will always have a stronger moral opposition to eating beef on purely environmental grounds,” says Daniel Rosenfeld, a PhD student at UCLA who studies the psychology of meat-eating. Our dietary choices are closely linked to our self-image, and how we compare ourselves to others, Rosenfeld says, which means that people can respond strongly to suggestions that we should be cutting down on one food or another.

Meat consumption, in particular, is becoming highly politicized. In 2020 Rose coauthored a paper sketching out the greenhouse gas reductions that would happen if Americans significantly cut their meat intake. The study was picked up in the press. “How Biden’s Climate Plan Could Limit You to Eat Just One Burger a MONTH” ran a headline in the Daily Mail, a British right-wing newspaper, despite the fact that the then presidential-candidate hadn’t proposed any limit on meat consumption, and Rose’s paper didn’t mention Biden at all. On Twitter, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene dubbed Biden “The Hamburglar.”

From Wired, A Demographic Time Bomb Is About to Hit the Beef Industry


I’ve been thinking about chickens for quite some time now. Between Chicken Run: The Dawn of the Nugget and a more sciency piece on wasted meat. And then I ran across this. I promise the last word on chicken for a while. One hundred years ago, chickens, when purchased, came intact. It was only with the rise of the supermarket and a “butcher” counter that chicken parts became available – a trend that ended with the nugget, not really a part, at best, a manufactured amalgam.

“A major reason chicken became so overconsumed appears to be the convenience of boneless, skinless breasts. They are the most popular form of poultry because of their ostensible ease to cook and inoffensiveness as a piece of flesh—when, really, they are the hardest part of a chicken to coax flavor from. But this cultural preference means that the average American household is failing to maximize what it gets out of each chicken. Or, as the writer Sophia Hampton put it in an essay for Bon Appétit: “What we are left with is an unquenchable demand for stripped chicken boob and piles of that unwanted everything else.”

From The Atlantic, If Not Vegan, or Vegetarian, How About Chickentarian?

Chuck Dinerstein, MD, MBA

Director of Medicine

Dr. Charles Dinerstein, M.D., MBA, FACS is Director of Medicine at the American Council on Science and Health. He has over 25 years of experience as a vascular surgeon.

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