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Issue Home September 2, 2009 Site Home

100 Years Ago
From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Library Chitchat
Veterans’ Corner
What’s Bugging You?
Dear Dolly
Earth Talk
Barnes-Kasson Corner

100 Years Ago

SILVER LAKE: The annual reunion of Co. H, 141st Regt., Penna. Volunteer Regiment, was held at the home of George C. Hill. Ten of the members were present. Henry Fuller, of Auburn, who attended the reunion, stated that all had a great time. A nine was formed of veterans and they played a game with a nine of young fellows from Franklin Forks, and beat them, but the young fellows were instrumental in helping them win. Mr. Fuller was the youngest man on his side and he owned up to being 66 years of age. Mr. Hill, who is a violinist, played for a dance and the way some of the “boys” got around on their feet would make a younger man envious.

NEW MILFORD: The 27th reunion of Co. F, 141st Regt., P. V. was held at the Jay House, Aug. 23. Three comrades have died since the last reunion - namely, Dr. Moses B. Aldrich of Binghamton, Rev. John H. Green of Windsor Center, Pa., aged 85, and Wm. D. Osmun, of Harford. This leaves 26 living out of the original 96 who were mustered in.

MONTROSE: The Bible Conference was a great success in every way - magnificent audiences, able speakers and splendid singing. Over $500 was subscribed, eliminating the need to borrow money to keep the conference growing. ALSO P. A. Locke, Rip Van Winkle like, came here last Friday, after an absence of 54 years, having gone to Kansas in 1855. From that State he drifted to Texas, later to Oklahoma and is now on a furlough from the Soldiers’ Home at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Mr. Locke is now 85 years of age and when he went away from Montrose the Register, the predecessor of the Republican, was located in a building near the First National Bank on the east side of Public Avenue. An ancestor of Mr. Locke, a Mr. Baldwin, had a poultry house for the raising of fancy stock just below our present location, he told us, and the old Searle hotel was one of the main buildings of the town. He was en route to Washington to attend to business matters and is as active as a man 20 years younger. He served in the Civil War, from ’63 to ’65, in the 28th Iowa Vol. Inf., Co. D.

FOREST CITY: An alarm of fire and reports that the #1 school building was burning, Monday afternoon, caused intense excitement. There were nearly 500 pupils in the building and hundreds of apprehensive parents and other citizens rushed to the building. The fire was a slight affair in the basement. There is a knot hole in the floor directly over the basement and a quantity of small pieces of paper had been poked through the hole by students. The refuse lodged where it could not be seen by the janitor and it is presumed some heedless lad dropped a lighted match through the hole and set fire to the paper. Fortunately the school was emptied without accident, although there was considerable excitement among the youngsters and one girl fainted.

GREAT BEND: A 30 horse-power Pope Hartford automobile, owned by R. N. Ruger, of Binghamton, was smashed by Erie train No. 6, on a crossing near here, last Thursday morning. Mr. Ruger attempted to cross the track in the darkness, the lamps on the machine not working properly, and mistaking the roadway, got stalled between the rails so that he could not move the machine. He attempted to raise it over the rails with a jack and was partially successful when the train came around the curve. Picking up one of the lamps he ran toward the engine, waving the light. The engineer applied the brakes but when the train hit the car it had only slowed down to about 40 miles an hour. The auto was completely wrecked and portions of it strung along the track for a distance of 400 ft.

SOUTH GIBSON: An old-fashioned Sunday school picnic will be held in Wm. Decker’s grove Saturday, Sept. 4, to which the whole neighborhood is invited. A stand will be on the ground, where candy, lemonade, nuts and melons can be bought, also swings and other amusements for the children. Everybody come out and have a good time.

MCKINNEY’S MILLS, GREAT BEND TWP.: A. B. Cole will not carry ammunition and tobacco in the same pocket again. The other day while enjoying a smoke he came pretty near getting killed by a 22-calibre cartridge exploding in the bowl of his pipe. He carelessly mixed cartridges and Tuck’s clippings in the same pocket and when he had gotten about half through the shock came, leaving him nothing but the stem in his teeth, while the bullet whizzed past his head and embedded itself in the woodwork of a couch.

HEART LAKE: The picnic grounds, a number of cottages, pavilion, boats, lake interest and privileges, etc., have been sold to Frank T. Mack, of Montrose. Mr. Mack has been conducting this charming summer resort for the past two years.

HOPBOTTOM: William Squires and wife, of LaGrange, Ill., came here to attend the Wright centennial, which was held on the old homestead of Anthony Wright.

THOMPSON: Ernest Plew, a paroled inmate of the Huntingdon reformatory [stole a horse in June of 1907], came on the camp ground Thursday and while the people were listening to a fine prohibition speech, he unhitched Ross Lee’s horse and away he drove to Jackson, and by the time he reached North Jackson he was intercepted by phone. Our constable went for him, brought him back and by order of W. P. Tallman, Esq., took him to board with Sheriff Conklin. [To read more about Ernest Plew go to our website: and click on 100 Years Ago. In “search this site” type Plew. Ernest was convicted of murdering G. W. Hinkley in 1926.]

LATHROP: A new telephone line is being erected in this place. It extends along the west shore of Lake Tarbell, going north to Giles Osborne’s and west to E. W. Johnson’s. Most of the people will have one in their homes. Now all we need is a trolley line.

LITTLE MEADOWS: The Never Sweats and Yellow Jackets crossed bats Saturday. Victory in favor of the Yellow Jackets.

LYNN, SPRINGVILLE TWP.: W. P. Sheldon took in the grange pic-nic accompanied by a lady friend of his from down the valley.

FRIENDSVILLE: Mr. and Mrs. James Murphy, William J. Fitzgerald and Mrs. Gertrude Handrick and son, from Cleveland, Ohio, are all visiting family here.

CLIFFORD: A number of our citizens saw the base ball game at Lenoxville Saturday. It was one of the hardest contested games played there this year; Benton 16—Lenox 14.

HARFORD: The sportsmen of this place are going to hold a pigeon shoot on the Fairground, Sept. 9. Mr. Apgar, the professional trap shooter, will meet with them.

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From the Desk of the D.A.
By District Attorney Jason J. Legg

In September 1999, I was sworn in as a Susquehanna County assistant district attorney. Ten years seems like a long time, but in some ways its still seems like only yesterday. How did the time slide by so quickly? But as I look back across that decade, I am amazed by the work accomplished, the changes in my life, and most significantly the many blessings I have received. To commemorate the ten years, and provide a little historical context, I thought it would be interesting to share with you some of those many memories. And starting at the beginning seems as good a place as any - how did I end up back in Susquehanna County?

I always knew that I wanted to be an attorney - but there was still the difficult question of where would I practice law. In 1996, as I entered my clerkship with Judge Vanaskie in Scranton, I still had no clear answer to that question, but I was thankful that I had found employment so close to home. The initial clerkship was only intended to be a 2-year gig to end in 1998, but I talked the Judge into keeping me for another year as I struggled with the decision of where to seek legal employment. The ultimate question was whether I would return home to Susquehanna County or seek employment in a more urban and certainly more financially lucrative location. If the decision was based solely upon financial motives, there was really no contest. If the decision was based upon grand ambitions in the legal field, then likewise the path would have led to a large firm in a big city. I suspect that I was no different than most people as both financial security and professional notoriety were powerful motivators. On the other hand, there was something about home, about Susquehanna County, that would not let go of me.

Susquehanna County District Attorney Charles Aliano called me in the summer of 1998 - I still had a year left in my federal clerkship - to see if I was still interested in coming home. There was an assistant district attorney position coming available in the District Attorney’s Office, and he said that he would hold the position open for me if I was interested in returning home. The position was part-time, and as I recall now, paid around $14,000 with health benefits, and Attorney Aliano also offered me a position in his private law practice. Even with this added compensation, the prospect of returning home meant taking over a 50% pay reduction from my position as a federal law clerk. The prospects of such a significant pay cut - coupled with debts owed for student loans and an automobile together with the hopes of marriage and purchasing a home - all weighted heavily on my mind. Logically and financially, it made little sense to return home - but my heart would not give up the fight.

My girlfriend (now my wife), Maggie, was not as convinced. She had no connection to Susquehanna County. While her father had been in the military and she had moved around a bit, she had spent most of her life in Virginia. At the time I was clerking, she was working in Alexandria, Virginia, and she liked living and working there. She was arguing for a more southern (and warmer) and urban destination. As I struggled with this important decision, her desires also weighed heavily on my mind and my heart - together with the awful prospect of losing Maggie if the wrong decision was made.

So, why did I make the decision to return home? I cannot give a very good explanation as the reasons seemed to weigh against it, but I can tell you where the decision was made. In August 1999, I was at a friend’s wedding in Montrose, and I had arrived at the church a little early. As I sat quietly in the church pew, I simply decided to accept Attorney Aliano’s offer. Upon making that decision, I knew that it was the right one - there was no real logic to it or a strong argument to support it. It was home, it was family and friends, and it felt right. Even now, ten years later, I still have a hard time understanding how or why the decision was made, but I still know that it was the right one.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801 or at our website or discuss this and all articles at

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. I seem to be getting sick a lot lately and I’m worried that my immune system isn’t working right. Could that be a reason?

A diminished immune system could be the cause of your problems. Go to your doctor for a check-up and diagnosis.

The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs that work together to defend the body against attacks by organisms such as bacteria, parasites, and fungi that can cause infections.

The cells that are part of this defense system are white blood cells, or leukocytes. Foreign substances that invade the body are called antigens.

No two individuals have the same immune system. Some people seem to be dressed in a suit of armor against infections while others get floored whenever there are bugs about.

When it comes to germs, getting older has advantages and disadvantages.

As we age, our immune systems develop defenses against antigens. We acquire antibodies to the germs we’ve defeated in the past. Because of this phenomenon,

adults tend to get fewer colds than children.

Now for some of the bad news:

The thymus, which is located behind the breastbone, is one of the organs of the immune system. The thymus is where immune cells - white blood cells - called T lymphocytes (T cells) mature. The thymus begins to shrink when we are young adults. By middle age it is only about 15 percent of its maximum size.

Some T cells kill antigens directly. Others help coordinate other parts of the immune system. Although the number of T cells does not decrease with aging, T-cell function decreases. This causes parts of the immune system to weaken and increases the risk for becoming ill.

Macrophages, which are white blood cells that ingest antigens, don’t work as quickly as they used to. This slowdown may be one reason that cancer is more common among older people.

There are fewer white blood cells capable of responding to new antigens. Thus, when older people encounter a new antigen, the body is less able to remember and defend against it.

The amount of antibodies produced in response to an antigen is less in older people, and the antibodies are less able to attach to the antigen. These changes may partly explain why pneumonia, influenza, infectious endocarditis, and tetanus are more common among older people and cause death more often. These changes may also partly explain why vaccines are less effective in older people.

Later in life, the immune system also seems to become less tolerant of the body's own cells. Sometimes an autoimmune disorder develops; normal tissue is mistaken for non-self tissue, and immune cells attack certain organs or tissues. Among the autoimmune disorders are: lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma and ankylosing spondylitis.

Diabetes, which is also more common with increasing age, can also lead to decreased immunity.

There are immunizations that are important as we get older. Adult tetanus immunizations should be given every 10 years; a booster may be given sooner if there is a dirty wound.

Your health care provider may recommend other immunizations, including Pneumovax (to prevent pneumonia or its complications), flu vaccine, hepatitis immunization, or others. These optional immunizations are not necessary for all older people, but are appropriate for some.

If you would like to ask a question, please write

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

No Library Chitchat This Week

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Veterans’ Corner

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What’s Bugging You?
By Stuart W. Slocum

Crane Flies: Scary But Harmless

Looking like giant mosquitoes, craneflies, family Tipulidae, are often encountered in a variety of habitats. Easily identified by their extremely long spindly legs, skinny wings and elongated bodies, this family of strange looking insects contains the most number of species of all the flies. Of about 1500 North American species, at least 300 are found in Pennsylvania. While many species are intimidating in size (up to two and one half inches), none bite, and all are harmless. Their extremely long legs are easily broken off. The males’ sluggish flight patterns are erratic, consisting of spiral undulations. In contrast, the females fly in straight, direct paths. Adult crane flies are often encountered in moist woodlands or along streams, where their fat, leathery larvae develop in the water or soil. Although they are most often seen in the cooler evenings of spring or fall, there are actually some wingless species that can be found crawling about on the surface of snowbanks during the winter months. The adults are relatively short-lived, only flying about for a few days while seeking a mate. Most species do not even feed, although a few do have an elongated beak suitable for sipping nectar from flowers.

Adult crane fly.

The unique-looking larvae are generally found in moist or wet areas, although some live in relatively dry soil. Their aquatic habitats vary from fast-flowing streams to marshes and seep holes. Decaying leaves and rotting wood also can harbor crane fly larvae. The larvae are elongated, tapering at both ends. A ring of fleshy finger-like lobes distinguishes the posterior end. They breathe through a pair of small holes, called spiracles that are located at the posterior end of the abdomen. There are some species of crane flies that have true aquatic larvae. These breathe directly through their skin.

Crane fly larva.

While most crane fly larvae are scavengers, which feed on decomposing plant matter, others are either predators of small invertebrates or herbivores that feed on algae, moss or other plants. Crane flies and their larvae are an important food source for birds, spiders, bats and other predatory insects. In cases of overpopulation, certain species of crane fly larvae can cause damage to lawns or grasslands by feeding on plant roots. Crane flies are generally considered to be beneficial. This is due to their larvae’s consumption of decaying organic matter, which aids the process of biological decomposition. The adults neither bite nor transmit disease. However they are unpopular due to the fear factor caused by their size and mosquito look-alike appearance. Questions, comments and suggestions regarding this article, identifications or any other insect-related matters are welcome. Please email them to

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Dear Dolly,

Dear Dolly,

My friend is dealing with breast cancer. She has finished the chemotherapy treatment and appears to be recovered. It's been about 6 months. I want to be supportive and I'm not sure If I should keep asking her how she's doing or if I should just move on and not bring up the subject. What do you think? -Nancy

Dear Nancy

I'm glad you asked. Surviving cancer is a life long process. Your friend may look well on the outside, but the effects of chemotherapy are long term. It challenges your body and spirit in a big way. Cancer leaves behind the feeling that nothing will ever be the same. Your support is an important part of your friends recovery. Acknowledge her struggle, give her "permission" to talk about it and be a good listener. Your friend will change the subject when she's ready.

Dear Dolly,

My Dad and I are probably going to be moving into a house in a year or less, which will probably be either small or average size, with a small or average size yard. I want to get a dog. My dad said I could get two or three dogs if the place was big enough, but I said no way, that's too crazy. My dad is home all day - he has a stay-at-home job - but I would be the prime caretaker of the dogs (my dad just isn't responsible with animals). I am 15. I'm 99.9% sure I want a golden retriever. I absolutely love them. But I was thinking I should get another dog too, especially to keep the dog company during the day since my dad will be working and I'll be at school. So I was just wondering what you think I should do, two dogs or one, and also what breed you think I should get. I want warm and affectionate - main reason I choose a Golden, and besides that, they're beautiful. Thanks for your help. -Luka

Dear Luka,

Have you considered the cost of owning a dog? Just like a child, a dog needs frequent medical, (veterinary) care. They need shots on an annual basis and need treatment for worms, fleas and ticks a couple of times a year. You have to add in the cost of spaying or neutering. Obedience training is a must with a large dog. The investment is on going. When you figure that a large breed dog will live for 10 to 14 years, you need to ask yourself if you realistically can make that kind of commitment at your age.

Parents usually wind up taking on the responsibility for a pet when the novelty wears off, or the owner goes away to college. You know your father is not responsible with animals, so who will take care of your dog when you're not around? The Humane Society is overflowing with "throw away" pets who are no longer convenient and do not fit into the busy lives of their owners.

Guess by now you know I think two dogs would be out of the question. My suggestion would be for you to volunteer at an animal shelter for a few months. You will be exposed to a variety of breeds. The hands on experience will make you a prepared and more responsible pet owner. After you have moved into a house with a yard, gotten some experience as a volunteer and have a plan in place for your pet's future care, you will be able to make a better decision.

All Transcript readers are welcome to submit their questions to Dear Dolly at

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From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that military sonar exercises actually kill marine wildlife?

Unfortunately for many whales, dolphins and other marine life, the use of underwater sonar (short for sound navigation and ranging) can lead to injury and even death. Sonar systems - first developed by the U.S. Navy to detect enemy submarines - generate slow-rolling sound waves topping out at around 235 decibels; the world’s loudest rock bands top out at only 130. These sound waves can travel for hundreds of miles under water, and can retain an intensity of 140 decibels as far as 300 miles from their source.

These rolling walls of noise are no doubt too much for some marine wildlife. While little is known about any direct physiological effects of sonar waves on marine species, evidence shows that whales will swim hundreds of miles, rapidly change their depth (sometime leading to bleeding from the eyes and ears), and even beach themselves to get away from the sounds of sonar.

In January 2005, 34 whales of three different species became stranded and died along North Carolina’s Outer Banks during nearby offshore Navy sonar training. Other sad examples around the coast of the U.S. and elsewhere abound, notably in recent years with more sonar testing going on than ever before. According to the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which has campaigned vigorously to ban use of the technology in waters rich in marine wildlife, recent cases of whale strandings likely represent a small fraction of sonar’s toll, given that severely injured animals rarely make it to shore.

In 2003, NRDC spearheaded a successful lawsuit against the Navy to restrict the use of low-frequency sonar off the coast of California. Two years later a coalition of green groups led by NRDC and including the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the League for Coastal Protection, Cetacean Society International, and Ocean Futures Society upped the ante, asking the federal courts to also restrict testing of more intense, harmful and far ranging mid-frequency types of sonar off Southern California’s coastline.

In filing their brief, the groups cited Navy documents which estimated that such testing would kill some 170,000 marine mammals and cause permanent injury to more than 500 whales, not to mention temporary deafness for at least 8,000 others. Coalition lawyers argued that the Navy’s testing was in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Two lower courts upheld NRDC’s claims, but the Supreme Court ruled that the Navy should be allowed to continue the use of some mid-frequency sonar testing for the sake of national security. “The decision places marine mammals at greater risk of serious and needless harm,” says NRDC’s Joel Reynolds.

Environmental groups are still fighting the battle against the sonar, lobbying the government to curtail testing, at least during peacetime, or to at least ramp up testing gradually to give marine wildlife a better chance to flee affected areas. “The U.S. Navy could use a number of proven methods to avoid harming whales when testing mid-frequency sonar,” reports IFAW’s Fred O'Regan. “Protecting whales and preserving national security are not mutually exclusive.”


Dear EarthTalk: How does the microwave compare in energy use, say, to using a gas or electric stove burner to heat water for a cup of tea?

The short answer is that it depends upon several variables, including the price of electricity versus gas, and the relative efficiency of the appliances involved. Typically, though, a microwave would be slightly more efficient at heating water than the flame on a gas stove, and should use up a little less energy. The reason: The microwave’s heat waves are focused on the liquid (or food) inside, not on heating the air or container around it, meaning that most if not all of the energy generated is used to make your water ready.

Given this logic, it is hard to believe that a burner element on an electric stovetop would be any better, but an analysis by Home Energy Magazine found otherwise. The magazine’s researchers discovered that an electric burner uses about 25 percent less electricity than a microwave in boiling a cup of water.

That said, the difference in energy saved by using one method over another is negligible: Choosing the most efficient process might save a heavy tea drinker a dollar or so a year. “You’d save more energy over the year by replacing one light bulb with a CFL [compact fluorescent lightbulb] or turning off the air conditioner for an hour - not an hour a day, one hour at some point over the whole year,” says consumer advocate Michael Bluejay.

Although a microwave may not save much energy or money over a stove burner when heating water, it can be much more energy-efficient than a traditional full-size oven when it comes to cooking food. For starters, because their heat waves are concentrated on the food, microwaves cook and heat much faster than traditional ovens. According to the federal government’s Energy Star program, which rates appliances based on their energy-efficiency, cooking or re-heating small portions of food in the microwave can save as much as 80 percent of the energy used to cook or warm them up in the oven.

The website reports that there are other things you can do to optimize your energy efficiency around the kitchen when cooking. For starters, make sure to keep the inside surfaces of your microwave oven clean so as to maximize the amount of energy reflected toward your food. On a gas stovetop, make sure the flame is fully below the cookware; likewise, on an electric stovetop, make sure the pan or kettle completely covers the heating element to minimize wasted heat. Also, use the appropriate size pan for the job at hand, as smaller pans are cheaper and more energy-efficient to heat up.

Despite these tips for cooking greener, Bluejay reiterates that most of us will hardly put a dent in our overall energy use just by choosing one appliance over another. According to his analysis, for someone who bakes three hours a week the cheapest cooking method saves only an estimated $2.06/month compared to the most expensive method.

“Focusing on cooking methods is not the way to save electricity [at home],” says Bluejay. “You should look at heating, cooling, lighting and laundry instead.”

CONTACTS: Home Energy Magazine,; Treehugger,; Michael Bluejay,

Send Your Environmental Questions To: EarthTalk, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; Read past columns at:

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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoskiw

National Fruits And Veggies Week August 31 - September 6

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is observing National Fruits and Veggies Week August 31 - September 6. We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for you, but did you know that they are critical for promoting a healthy body? Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, fiber, and minerals, that may help protect the human body from chronic diseases.

Not only can eating fruits and vegetables help limit your risk of disease, it also can help lead to weight loss. Vegetables and fruit are low in calories, and if they replace fatty foods, you will naturally loose weight. But eating fruits and vegetables on top of what you already eat will make you gain weight. While they may be low in calories, fruits and vegetables still have calories. So if someone was to still eat fatty foods, not exercise and add fruits and vegetables, they would gain weight due to the increase in their food intake. The key is to substitute high calorie fatty foods for lower calorie vegetables and fruits.

Years ago, it was recommended that everyone received five servings of their veggies, but new research has proven that is not the case. Because every body is different, every body needs a different amount of servings per day. For example, an average height, healthy weight female would need only 2.5 servings, whereas an average healthy weight male would need 3.5.

It is encouraged that adults get their recommended amount of fruits and vegetables; adolescents and children need to as well. It is essential for a healthy diet to eat fruits and veggies during the growing years. Keeping your children on a healthy diet can sometimes be confusing and challenging, especially since most children are not too fond of eating vegetables or fruit. To keep your entire family healthy, try slowly adding fruits and veggies in your family’s diet. Try replacing candy with Veggies in your children’s lunch boxes or when you snack at work. To make fruit seem more appealing, try adding it to basic things, like breakfast cereal.

Many schools are now participating in P.A.C.K., a program designed to encourage parents to pack healthier food options in their children’s lunch boxes. This program also helps fuel kids want for fruits and veggies by making them be more appealing and fun. P.A.C.K works by making a game and competition out of eating the necessary servings each child needs. One way is by calling certain weeks, “purple week” or “red week.” During these weeks children have to bring a fruit or veggie of that color to school for lunch. Children who have participated in this program claim that it evolved into a competition between classmates to see who could bring in the biggest or most unusual fruit or veggie.

Many children, especially teenagers, are now taking the jump toward vegetarianism. This choice has been causing a sense of fear among parents. Many are concerned that their children will become malnourished, or not intake the necessary vitamins needed for growth. The truth is however, that a vegetarian diet is a very healthy choice, but one should always consult with their doctor before changing their diet drastically.

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