The Mail

The Mail

November 10 1997
The Mail

The Mail

November 10 1997

The Mail

Food for thought

As a nutritionist, I found the articles interesting and reasonably balanced (“Eating right,” Cover, Oct. 27). Your articles raise fat as the prime culprit for obesity, and for good reason. But for many frustrated dieters, watching their scales and eating low-fat/nofat food, fat-intake reduction has not solved their problem. That is because their highcarbohydrate diets are sending signals to “store, store, store” to the body, through the high and continuous release of insulin needed to deal with the constant carbohydrate intake. You can’t lose weight when you tell your body to turn on its main storage signal hormone. A high-fibre, whole-grain type of diet would help tremendously. But no one explains to the masses why their low-fat diets are making them fat and diabetic.

Rien Westendorp, Abbotsford, B. C. HI

I greatly appreciated your cover stories on “Eating right.” Consumers certainly are getting confused and tired of all the conflicting information. Please don’t add to that confusion by perpetuating the myth regarding “complete protein” as it relates to vege-

tarian eating. Your point that “no single vegetable, grain or other plant food provides complete protein” is inaccurate. Each plant source contains all the essential amino acids necessary for “complete protein.” The measure of how closely the protein source (whether plant or animal) matches that needed by man is found in its chemical score. Thus, in a food with a chemical score of 50, only 50 per cent of the protein would be available for complete use, so you would have to eat twice as much to get your required protein. Most animal proteins are in the 70 to 80 range. Most vegetable proteins are in the range between 55 and 85 and this percentage can be increased if you combine different sources.

Therefore, even a plant source with a very low score can still provide enough complete protein if you eat enough. As mother used to say—finish what’s on your plate.

Randy Fritz, Edmonton E

As a livestock nutritionist, I read the articles hoping the subject would include accuracy and balance. On both counts you did very well. In future you might want to include more details on the subject of whole milk and lower rates of breast cancer. Research journals are now singing the praises of conjugated linoleic acid as the responsible agent found primarily in dairy products and meat from forage-consuming livestock.

David Steckley, Acton, Ont. E

Where did you get the idea that “cheeses such as Brie [and] Parmesan” are outlawed in the United States? Certainly when I was shopping in Manhattan in June they were available and, perhaps more to the point, very much cheaper than in Canada, where the price of all cheese is maintained at an artificially high level because of our milk marketing cartels.

Anthony Reynolds, Gravenhurst, Ont.

Dubious heroines

Having worked hard just to achieve executive secretary status in the good old days, I was delighted to read that more women are joining the ranks of top women CEOs (‘Top women CEOs in Canada,” Cov-

A warrior's gift

I have just read your article on Charlie Martin (“The loss of a Canadian war hero,” Backstage, Oct. 27) and was deeply touched. This man represents all that is good about the Canadian Armed Forces and its legacy. As a teenager, I enjoyed reading the glorious stories of our victories at Vimy and Passchendale. While those stories are fascinating, and those people who were there did an extraordinary thing, it is the stories like that of Charlie Martin that bring home the true sacrifice. I would like to thank him and all of our veterans, both peacetime and wartime, for what they have done for me and my family. Every time I watch my two young sons at play, I realize the tremendous gift that has been given to us.

Rob West, St. Catharines, Ont. E

Oct. 20). It was interesting to read of their ambition, goals and struggles to achieve those heady heights. But as one who relies wheelchairs for mobility, I feel justified in challenging the right of firms like CEO Joy Calkin’s Extendicare Inc. to brag of 1996 profits of $81.2 million. How can a care indusjustify those kind of profits? Are they doing it by shortchanging employees in this high-turnover field, or depriving consumers on fixed incomes that barely cover transit, drugs and health supplies?

Martha Shultz,

Thornhill, Ont.

briefly acknowledged in your story, RoyOak Mines CEO Peggy Witte is American birth, hailing from Fallon, Nev., not immigrating to Canada until 1979. While Royal Oak has all its properties in Canada and did start in Canada, the company has moved its corporate headquarters to Kirkland, Wash. One has to wonder why one of “Canada’s women CEOs” felt compelled to move successful public Canadian company to the United States; is a more favorable business climate perhaps the answer?

Mike Heywood, Denver E

Computer time

The article “Millennium mayhem” (Business, Oct. 27) perpetuates a misunderstanding. Since the first Macintosh computer was produced in 1984, Mac users have had no worries about the impending year 2000 crisis, at that point an unknown issue. For the record, even the earliest Mac

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR should be addressed to: Maclean’s Magazine Letters 777 Bay St.,Toronto, Ont. M5W IA7 Fax: (416) 596-7730 S E-mail: Maclean’s welcomes readers’ views, but letters may be edited for space and clarity. Please supply name, address and daytime telephone number. Submissions may appear in Maclean’s electronic sites.

is immune to the Y2K problem until 6:28:15 a.m. on Feb. 6, 2040, and Macs built since 1988 won’t lose their way until the year 29,940. As you correctly state, while the consequences of Y2K have in many cases been overblown, it remains a serious problem for many companies dependent upon IBM-compatible computer systems (PCs), operating systems, and vertical market applications. An entire collaborative industry ( has formed to handle it. Numerous studies on how to deal with Y2K reveal something startling: converting an entire company from PCs to Macs is very often less expensive and troublesome than hiring programmers to rewrite the PCbased software, even when the learning curve and employee-retraining costs are taken into account.

Lincoln Dunn, Emo, Ont. IS

Voting on Somalia

Your article “Reviving Somalia” (Canada, Oct. 27) asks: “Is anyone still listening?” I, for one, am and still feel angry at the Liberal government for its early closing of an inquiry that they themselves initiated; it is one of several reasons I did not vote Liberal on June 2. Bravo to former Somalia commissioner Peter Desbarats for keeping the matter before the public.

Audrey Reekie, Ottawa

'All work, no play'

Allan Fotheringham has expressed the sentiments of many of his fellow Canadians in “How I grew up and gave up sports,” (Oct. 27). Salaries of sports heroes have become obscene and have passed the dinky salaries of most Canadians by so much that no one can relate to them. Fewer Canadian teams in all sports will be the result until none are left, and so it will be “Hockey Night in America.” I have pretty well given up on

sports as entertainment for the same reason as Fotheringham. The Leafs can’t win, the Jays can’t win and the Roughriders can’t win. What’s left for a Prairie boy of Foster Hewitt’s day?

Bud Thomson, Alsask, Sask.

As a parent and a coach, I can tell you I would much rather have professional sporting events on television to help foster my

child’s interest in sport than not. Children learn discipline, teamwork, and the relationship between working at something and the accomplishment of an objective. These are life skills, not just sport skills, and I can tell you that most of the children I know who have participated in sport are good citizens of good character. All work and no play makes Allan a dull boy.

Dwayne Beaton,

Lethbridge, Alta.