Many thanks to Dr. Rob at the Musings of a Distractible Mind
blog for tagging me with the 456 billion dollar meme… The idea of this game is to think of the best
way to spend 456 billion dollars. Sam at
BlogMD started this meme when considering how the total amount of money spent
on the war in Iraq may have been better spent (he suggests that we could have
cured cancer by giving that money to the NCI instead). By contrast, Rob’s proposal is rather whimsical, exploring
the number of llamas and goats that could have been purchased for that amount
I’m of two minds – part of me wants to be silly, the other
wants to be serious (a tension that is part of Rob’s daily inner struggle)… but
in this case I’m afraid that silly wins.
My apologies to Sam for allowing his noble meme to
deteriorate so rapidly into chaos but what did you expect, tagging a goat loving
guy who blogs about the history of accordions?
It’s not surprising that his pals would wander off into uncharted animal
territory, rather than suggesting solutions that might actually achieve world
Given my recent concern about melamine and pet food tainting
– I suppose the 456 billion could be used to create US regulated, safe, animal
food factories to support the culinary needs of kitties and doggies everywhere…
except in China, of course, where they make pet food but eat pets. There’s some kind of irony in there somewhere…
Of course, humans are people too… and I also worry about the
safety of the food supply for them. The
latest food debacles (salmonella in Cadbury’s chocolate bars and in US
peanut butter, as well as the E. coli/spinach issue) highlight the fact that
even the West’s attempts to regulate and monitor food safety have fallen down
on the job.
So… in honor of the culinary medical blog “The Blog That Ate Manhattan” – our Grand
Rounds host this week – I am voting to use the $456 billion on safe food for
pets and people. Since math isn’t my
forte, I’m not sure exactly how the cost break down will go, but I think it’s
Cost of creating internationally safe pet food: $50 billion
Cost of creating an air-tight FDA process for ensuring human
food and drug safety: $100 billion
Cost of setting up safe, organic producers of healthy food
all over the world: $306 billion
The cost of a fat, juicy, 100% Salmonella-free wild fish
steak on summer barbeque grill… priceless.
I tag the following bloggers to tell me what they would do
with $456 billion… Dr. Charles, Dr. Joe,
Dr. Charlie, Dr. Jeff, and Mira Kirshenbaum.This post originally appeared on Dr. Val’s blog at RevolutionHealth.com.