The Denver Zoo was host to the recent "Paint the Zoo Pink" event to support the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. According to a 9 News article, "The Denver Zoo's hippos, Bert and Mahali, eagerly supported the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation Sunday afternoon. Their jobs during the event were very important: they had to open their mouths wide and eat two pink sponge cakes which were dropped in whole." (Full Story)
While fund raisers like this are very helpful in raising money and awareness about the cancer battle, there is a slight problem with this particular event detail. Sponge cake is made from refined flours and sugars, which are the two of the leading suspects in the rise in cancer rates over the last 20-30 years. Refined carbohydrates are behind all the diseases of civilization...heart disease, diabetes, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and yes, even cancer. Gary Taubes in "Good Calories Bad Calories" carefully outlines the available information on tribes of people in various corners of the world who were observed during a switch from their native diets to Western foods. Things went from cancer being so rare that in the few instances it did occur, it was seen as very remarkable and was closely studied by health care workers to having obesity, cancer, diabetes and heart disease being common, and even rampant in populations who didn't even previously have words for these diseases.
As long as the medical community seems to be steeped in denial about the cause of diseases of civilization (including cancer) I fail to see how throwing cake at innocent herbivores is supposed to help. The 9 News story provided this quote...
"Breast cancer survivor Hollen Ferrendelli said she hopes the hippos' afternoon dessert will push our legislators to make health care a top priority during the coming legislative session."
So who exactly do I have to throw pink-tinted baked goods at to get people to realize that the very food they may be eating is increasing their risk of getting cancer? I don't have any hippos handy, and I wouldn't want to harm my cats by having them eat garbage after all the time and effort I took getting them on their own version of the Atkin's diet. I guess I could throw Zingers at the squirrels, or better yet, some anti-low-carb doctors and a politician or two.