The Mayo Clinic just came out with a study that drinking more than 4-6 cups of coffee a day could shorten the length of your life. Now, I do not know the specifics of this study, just what my friends on Good Day New York were telling me. People under the age of 55 should not drink so much coffee. They could die. From nothing specific, but it’s not good. I think that anxiety causes death in people that read all of these studies. Did my cousin Bernard live until 104, in pretty decent health until the end, because he did not drink coffee? Did he live that long because in his 20’s he survived on whatever food he could find in the forest in Poland? Or, did he live until 104 because he had no children to drive him crazy? (I, personally, am going with that one.)
Nothing good can ever come from these studies. Should I stop drinking Tab because saccharin causes cancer in laboratory animals or should I continue drinking it because the nice man at the Coca Cola company told me that those studies were bogus? (Or should I just keep drinking it because it’s curiously refreshing and the can is a pretty pink color?) There are people who live well into their 90’s who live solely on diet coke and cigarettes and weigh 400 pounds…(I have no actual study on that particular statistic.)
A study was done that nursing moms were less likely to get breast cancer. Another study was done that nursing moms were just as likely to get breast cancer. Chocolate is good for you. Chocolate is bad for you. A glass of wine a day is good for your heart. A case of wine a day is better for your heart (I made that up, but still think it’s true.) Juicing detoxes your body and makes you glow. Juicing deprives you of certain nutrients and you are just hallucinating that you are glowing because you are hungry. Windex is bad for you. Car emissions are bad for you. Drinking water is good for you, but drinking too much water is bad for you. It never ends.
And I am convinced that it’s all in the cards, my friends. If God wants you to live until 86 eating and drinking whatever you want whenever you want, then that is what is going to happen. If He wants you to live until 56 never having eaten an entire cheesecake in one sitting, that is also going to happen.
So as this is the month of Elul, and the high holidays are upon us, let’s put the studies where they belong (in a place that doesn’t give us angina) and enjoy each day. Be the best friend we can be, the best parent we can be, the best person we can be and hope that we are protected from the bad and only know from the good.
By Banji Latkin Ganchrow