Embracing apocalypse, embargoing pleasure

From up here in the CrowsNest, we’re keeping a close watch on the health police.

Just before Valentine’s Day, Health Canada said dark chocolate ‘contributes marginally’ to overall exposure to heavy metals. (‘Take that, sweetheart.’)

This followed release of a Consumer Reports study of lead and cadmium levels in various chocolate bars.

In its coverage, CBC News took pains to detail the health perils posed by these metals before quoting Health Canada’s bottom line. ‘…consumption of chocolate by the Canadian population does not represent a health concern.’

Enough said, surely, and too much reported.

So much for February.

Back in January, the Canadian Centre of Substance Abuse and Addiction advised Canadians to limit alcohol consumption to two drinks per week.

And for heaven’s sake, don’t enjoy yourself while you imbibe.

This advice felt off-kilter to us, and so it proved to be.

The new temperance crusaders released updated drinking guidelines after consulting 6,000 peer-reviewed studies.

Impressive number, except that only 16 of those studies were deemed to pass muster for the review’s mathematical modelling.

Thankfully, experts stepped forward to question the wisdom of our lifestyle monitors.

Dan Malleck, a health sciences professor at Brock University, wrote in The Globe and Mail that “persistent research results suggest that abstinence can cause greater health harm than moderate alcohol consumption.”

So let’s raise a glass to ‘moderation’.  That’s the watchword aboard our ship, where we often enjoy a sip of grog in good company.