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Does the Threat of Mad-Cow Disease Affect Your Dietary Habits?

Week of April 11, 2001


Al Druivenga
Corn Farmer, Arcadia, Iowa

"It hasn't bothered me at all. We raise and eat our own beef. I'm more concerned about my livestock getting sick than I am with me getting sick. I'll tell you what has affected my dietary habits more than anything: that newspaper story a few weeks back about the rat head in the McDonald's hamburger."

Fawn Atencio
Artist/Art Teacher,
Lewis and Clark College
"Oh yes! Well, I'm a vegetarian anyway, and now I like vegetables even more. Vegetables are easy. You just pick them out of the earth. There's no worry ... unless a cow breathes on your carrot."

Gary Radin
Dairy-Product Tester, Mulkeytown Dairy

"I was a vegetarian for two years, and I got sicker then than any time in my life. I'll eat anything, but my diet now consists of grilled cheese and Velveeta shells, because I'm broke. I guess I'm not too worried about this disease -- I mean, how many have died of it, 1,000? More people die of car accidents every day. It's not like I'm going to stop driving."

Lewis Reed
6th Ward Alderman, City of St. Louis

"Yeah, now I don't order the Big Mac. I get the 20-piece Chicken McNuggets instead."

Brandon Hellan
Freelance Pallbearer

"Definitely -- I'm eating more red meat. I've been to three steak restaurants in the past week, trying to build up my immunity, because until they tell me they've actually found it in this country, I'm not giving up my steak and burgers. I'll eat my fill, let the juice dribble down my chin and see what happens."

Rob Alford
Office Installer

"No, only when my girlfriend and I go out to a restaurant, and before we order beef, we joke around: 'This ain't gonna kill us, is it?' But it only tastes good instead. I'm thinking that if mad cow is out there, it will weed out all the bad people, like crack cocaine."

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