“It may be good for business but is it good for our community?

http://www.sxc.hu/It’s pretty hard to turn on the radio or open a newspaper without hearing or reading about the sad state of the economy. So it’s no surprise that businesses are looking for innovative ways to stay in the game, including adding the sale of alcohol.

Recently a couple of local businesses, including a hair salon and a cinema, have received press for becoming licensed to serve alcohol. Both are independent businesses as opposed to large franchises or chains, and both are located in an area that has its work cut out for it when competing with big box and mall locations. It can’t be easy.

That said, when you can get a drink at the hockey game, the ball game,  the theatre, as well as the hair salon and maybe even the cinema, one has to wonder what kind of a message we are sending to our children. How do we teach them about the increased risk of chronic diseases, including stroke and cancer, about low-risk drinking, and about the importance of moderation, when we continue to allow the slow creep of alcohol into more and more aspects of our lives? People need to make a living, but don’t families and children also need alcohol-free spaces that encourage a culture of moderation?

Dr Oz: Brandy vs Vodka

I was recently watching Dr. Oz when his assistant of the day said that she missed her youth from the 1960’s and loved going on dates, to parties, and drinking socially.  Dr. Oz said that the most popular drink in the 1960’s was brandy and his assistant said that she loved Brandy Alexanders – she said they tasted like an ice cream soda.  Today, the liquor of choice is vodka. So which is better for your health: brandy or vodka?  Dr. Oz said that brandy is better because it is high in antioxidants and protects against heart disease and cancer.  The rich color of brandy is a sign that it is packed with antioxidants.

I was most upset when I viewed this episode, which I felt promoted brandy drinking without limit! Dr. Oz, why did you not mention the importance of drinking in moderation?  Research shows that alcohol is a carcinogen, has no protective factor when it comes to cancer and is only beneficial for the cardiovascular system when consumed daily in small doses, which is less than one standard drink. 


Why get rid of a $1.55 billion winner?

I recently read an article in the Financial Post around alcohol sales and revenues that astounded me. I’ve always heard that that the LCBO is a winner for the province, but it’s a money-making machine with record-breaking profits! In the fiscal year of 2010-2011 $1.55 billion was transfered to goverment coffers from sales at the LCBO. With these kinds of profits, why would the government even consider cutting loose (privatizing) the LCBO? Shouldn’t Ontarians have their wine (in moderation, of course) and profits too?

Winning taste is great in moderation

Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery made headlines again but this time its for winning a taste testing contest at Queen’s Park. Recently they had one of their beers pulled from LCBO shelves for its over the top name and graphics. Now it’s being recognized for the quality of one of its other products. I’m all for promoting local business, and as the old adage goes…everything in moderation. The low-risk drinking guidelines are a good “moderation” tool when it comes to alcohol.