Checking-In: Listener Response


It's that time of the week when we check in with our listeners about the stories we brought you in recent days. Destroying E. coli, ADHD drugs and deadening boredom are a few of the topics on your minds.

Checking-In: Listener Response

Our executive producer, Jennifer Moroz joined Piya Chattopadhyay in studio to check in with what you've had to say.

Food Irradiation: The largest meat recall in this country's history has prompted calls for change. And yesterday, we batted around one proposal ... the idea of irradiating beef and other meat products to reduce the risk of contamination.

Sasha Sergejewski flagged these concerns from Montreal:

If food irradiation is adopted, will this technique kill all bacteria - pathogenic as well as beneficial? Does this create an environment in which deadlier bacteria can thrive? Beneficial bacteria fill a niche, keeping dangerous bacteria from reaching toxic levels.

Well, Andrea Gunner has been following the XL beef recall closely. She's an agricultural economist and runs a pasture poultry farm in Armstrong, B.C. She's an advocate for small farmers and we reached her at her farm this morning.

AHDH Drugs: The over-prescribing of ADHD drugs such as Ritalin has been a concern for many years. But now, there is new controversy brewing over low income children and giving them ADHD drugs to boost performance in school. Our conversation about that sparked a larger conversation in our email about the prevalence of ADHD in children.

Christa of Etobicoke, Ontario writes:

My son has always had difficulty fitting into the school model. He needs to move around, and is creative and imaginative. These are qualities that I value but they are not recognized in school.

Now, I am off to a meeting at his school to discuss his behaviour ... and fend off a discussion about having him assessed for ADHD.

Why are so many children being diagnosed? There are a number of factors - class size, standardization of the curriculum, home environment, lack of access to proper nutrition ... and our fast-paced, instant gratification culture. This is not an individual issue, it's a social one.

And we aired another view from our voicemail from a mother with three children, one of whom was diagnosed with ADHD. She lives in Ontario.

Patty Hudson is a Canadian living in South Carolina for the past nine years. She has two school age children and echoes similar concerns from her town of Aiken. She writes:

School kids here have NO outdoor time. There is no recess. Of the twenty five minutes allotted for lunch, kids might be allowed outside for five or ten minutes. In many States, even one hour of gym per week has had to be mandated.
The vast majority of these kids aren't ADHD. They are simply deprived of being normal, energetic children.

Boredom: (Started with Iggy Pop's I'm Bored song) Well if you're bored, you'll know from last Friday's program that there is no research that indicates that boredom is actually a state of stress. Friday we heard from a couple of interesting people speaking on boredom ... and specifically related to how schools are set up.

We heard about a connection between movement to decrease stress and deal with boredom. Toby Wendland is an occupational therapist in Kamloops, BC and shared this:

Our suggestions for children in class often revolve around providing a "classroom appropriate" means to allow for movement. Kids pay a price when we ask them to look like they are self-controlled. A wiser goal is for them to better regulate themselves so they can use more of their energy

Susan Felsberg of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador offered this comment:

People who indulge in risk behaviour are bored because they live in a comfortable oil-based world. If they had to search every day for cooking fuel and hunt for their supper, they would have challenge enough.

And Tracey Read makes a connection with the animal world. She was at a conference about horses and writes from Calgary:

Regarding restless behaviour in horses such as chewing wood rails or pacing along fences - the general thinking at the time was that the horses were bored.
But at the conference, the contention was that animals don't feel boredom and that their behaviours were actually a response to stress. That perspective electrified the room. Now the same idea is being proposed regarding humans.

To add your thoughts to anything you hear on The Current, lots of ways to get in touch. You can call us toll free at 1 877 287 7366. You can tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or like us on Facebook ... just search for The Current:CBC Radio. And of course on our website ... lots of information and audio about past episodes. You can email us from there too, or download the podcast. That's all at And don't forget Canada Post. Our address is Box 500, Station A, Toronto, M5W 1E6.

This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien and Carole Ito.

Last Word - Cuban Missle Crisis Promo

Tomorrow on The Current, we'll look at the 13 days the Russians called the Caribbean Crisis, the Cubans called the October crisis, the Americans called the Cuban missile crisis. At least they could all sense the cold war was about to get as hot as the Sun.

The Current's producer Howard Goldenthal found some unique witnesses to a moment in history that threatened all subsequent historical moments.

Other segments from today's show:

France proposes homework ban, should Canada do the same?

Hacktivism: Going after Amanda Todd's tormenter

Counting the polar bears of Baffin Bay

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