Why Do I Love Science?

Yes, if you follow some of my photos lately, I’m getting pretty plump.  Right smack in the middle down to my butt.  Lots of folks are noticing it and starting to wonder.  “Are you dakine?” is what they’ve been asking me.  Since I can’t hide my weight gain much longer, I’m going to have to confess, that yep, I was dakine. For those who aren’t from Hawaii, dakine is the equivalent of the term “whatchamacallit” and is the pronunciation rhymes with “da pine.” It pretty much covers every single possible word you could fit in there when you just can’t find the right word.  My quick and dirty translation can be found via looking at this photo as to what “dakine” means here.

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Thanks to the science of genetics, I was able to avoid a fairly risky surgical procedure to see if my baby has birth defects.  This is something that was not available several years ago and I would have had to undergone a chorionic villi testing procedure to check for defects.  I no longer had to undergo an invasive procedure and easily have a nice vial of blood that detected my baby’s genetics and amplified it for testing.  No pain either except for a poke in the arm. What’s even more wonderful is that the tests I’ve taken has shown the lowest risk for birth defects in my baby.  Whew, what a relief!  Despite being considered a high risk pregnancy because of my age, I was still found to have no defects based on these test results.  That’s even after walking around the GMO papaya fields and handling these supposedly “toxic” fruits, I’m okay as well as my baby.  (Quite unbelievable to many of the activists who have previous wished that I had birth defects because I support biotechnology.  That’s how lovely the environmental anti-GMO zealots are here in Hawaii with their messages of love towards those who speak out against them.)

So yes, I’ll come clean as to why I am in awe of the science of genetics and why I support it across the board.  It really does make people’s lives better and helps us improve how we live our lives.  I have no fear of this technology because I’ve been witness to what it has done for my dad’s farm and others also.  I have studied it and gone through the myths that so many people just believe to know what is true and what isn’t.

I have a hard time understanding why so many have become so fearful of it.  The evidence is there and I support it. I’ve even had my genetics tested to find out my ancestry and it has opened a whole new world to me.  I did the 23andme.com genetics test and found out that I’m much more of a chop suey mix of ethnicities than I was told.  I even found distant relatives in Brazil that I never knew I had but was able to confirm.  I found my relatives in Hiroshima too via the test.  It was mind boggling to find out all of these links and learn more about my family history.  It’s just amazing information that I can share with my kids about their heritage and our family history that I would have never found out otherwise.

Did I say that I love science? The evidence has also pointed to what’s best practice for raising my kids.  I’ve breastfed my two kids exclusively as directed by the pediatrician.  My oldest was nursed for 27 months and my youngest to 40 months!  Yes, I was that mom who lugged my Medela pump to work religiously to give my kids the best nutrition possible.  I vaccinated my kids to give them the best possible chance at life with nary a second thought.  The evidence points to breastfeeding and vaccinations as being good and I applied it in how I raised my kids. It’s no secret that I appreciate all science and the evidence that it provides us for better living.

I’lll be honest too in that I am not one of those moms who feel the need to feed my kids organic, GMO free food either.  I myself won’t consume organic food for the possibility of contamination and the potential for serious illnesses as a result.  It’s also just too stinking expensive to buy here in Hawaii, where a gallon of milk runs $5.69 and organic milk runs $3 more!  I stick to conventional foods and biotech foods.  A kale, quinoa, broccoli, lentil salad or some other exotic concoction of some thing “healthier” just doesn’t appeal to me.  Organic peanut butter just doesn’t cut it for me and gives me bad indigestion too.  I prefer a nice Teddy’s Bigger burger here and there or some a Blazing Steak’s plate any day over some odd combination of health food.  I even chew on some of my dad’s GMO papaya strips that I make from the excess off grade fruits to help with my indigestion from a baby belly.

I choose to understand the science and facts and use that to guide eating and shopping habits. My support of this science even makes me want to share it with others and hopefully, I will get that chance.  I’ve made a decision to donate my baby’s cord blood to the Hawaii Cord Blood Bank so that others may be able to benefit from something that is normally tossed out.  I believe in the “pay it forward” mantra that if we do that, others will do the same for us someday.  If it can help someone, why not? The same genetics being studied in medicine is also being applied in so many other sectors that most people aren’t aware of at all.

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Biotechnology is a tool that is revolutionizing our lives and so many people are just totally in the dark about it.  Medicine is being changed by the research going on and so is agriculture but instead of embracing it, a segment of our population chooses to be willfully fearful of it.  I know that in my own life, it has changed it for the better.