Letters: It's All About Cheese
AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Now, to your letters - all about one story, in particular. We recently told you about a billboard campaign launched by the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine. It features the image of an overweight woman squeezing her ample leg, with the message: Your Thighs on Cheese.
Dr. Neal Barnard, a vegan who eschews eating any animal products, including cheese, leads the group.
DR. NEAL BARNARD: It's very high in cholesterol - ounce for ounce - about the same as any steak you can find, and surprisingly high in sodium. So how often do you want to eat such an unhealthy food? I would argue, never.
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
Well, many of you would argue otherwise. There was a distinct theme to your letters about our story, a theme best summed up by this old commercial jingle.
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UNIDENTIFIED GROUP: (Singing) Cheese, glorious cheese. So scrumptious and luscious...
SIEGEL: Seldan Deemer(ph) of Atlanta was actually preparing a cheese-free dinner while listening to our report but, he writes: It compelled me to open the refrigerator, pull out a block of Dutch gouda, and slice off several pieces. Mmm, cheese.
CORNISH: Several more of you complained about Dr. Barnard's hard-line, no-cheese stance. Lee Burdett(ph) of Altamonte Springs, Florida, called it, quote, just one more foolish display of the self-righteous and misguided vegan agenda.
She goes on to say: High school human biology textbooks demonstrate how our bones, cells, hormones, and many other bodily functions depend on saturated fat.
SIEGEL: Mrs. Burdett concludes: Why doesn't Dr. Barnard spend his ad money to educate about the dangers of giving kids a constant supply of artificially colored and flavored sugary candy and soda, and leave the real foods - like cheese - alone?
CORNISH: Indeed. From the look of our inbox, the cheese does not stand alone. Bill Jackson of Canby, Oregon, writes: Touch my cheddar, and you will pull back a stump.
SIEGEL: Duly noted, Mr. Jackson. And everyone who wrote in, we do not want to take your cheese. We just want your letters. Go to NPR.org, and click on Contact Us.
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CORNISH: This is NPR News.
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