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Sunday, July 20, 2014

SECRETS OF LONGEVITY

                        Alexander Imich            
Meet Alexander Imich, the world's oldest validated male supercentenarian. He turned 111 on Feb. 4 (a fellow Aquarian, thank you very much). Born in Poland in 1903, he currently resides in an Upper West Side apartment in New York. He became the world's oldest living man a short while ago when the previous record-holder, Arturo Licata, died just days before his 112th birthday.
 
“Not like it’s the Nobel Prize," Imich remarked after being pronounced oldest man alive by the Gerontology Research Group. “I never thought I’d be that old.”
 
So what's the supercentenarian's secret? Here's what he told the New York Times in a recent interview:
 
• Not drinking alcohol.
• Quitting smoking.
• Playing multiple sports, including running and swimming.
• A diet "inspired by Eastern mystics who disdain food," the Times said. (This is not exactly true: Eastern mystics were known to subsist on roots, tubers and other plant matter in minimal quantities while Imich's diet includes modest amounts of some animal foods.)
• Good genes.
 
And finally,
• Not having children.

While having children has actually been shown to increase lifespan (while possibly also causing the formation of gray hairs, at least in the opinion of our father), such a view as Mr. Imich's, if shared by the world at large, would certainly do a lot to curtail overpopulation which is 7 billion and counting. There is expected to be 9 billion people on Earth by 2050, which raises the question: how are we gonna feed 'em all?

National Geographic claims to have the answer. It says that with an increase in the world's population of 35 percent by 2050, crop production will need to double. Why? Production will have to far outpace population growth as the developing world grows prosperous enough to eat more meat.

But we have a better idea. Change dietary patterns.

Since most land is used as pastureland over cropland, and much of cropland is used to feed the animals that then graze on pastures, if we as a world stop eating animals, then more of the cropland can be used to grow plants to feed people, as can much of the pastureland as well.

Feeding the world is not a problem if humans eat as nature intended. Of course this is often neglected in articles on food shortages and global warming, since the articles are often written by meat eaters who like everyone cherish their habits and guard them jealously.

But we are primates remember, and are fashioned to consume the foods that our ape and gorillas and other furry-chested cousins consume: sweets, greens, seeds - and some beans because they are inexpensive, environmentally friendly (as nitrogen fixers) and tasty too.

Do your part in the fight against world hunger today. Choose plants.

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