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Wednesday, 9 November 2011

In Twinkie Deconstructed, the author attempts to track down each ingredient in that wonderful icon of junk food. The list of what goes into the "natural and artificial flavors" alone would make your head swim.  I took a look at my frozen burrito and nearly had a heart attack when I saw "titanium dioxide" listed as an ingredient.  WTF?  That stuff's in paint!

But then, one wonders if all the hype over these strange and mysterious chemicals that go into so much of what we eat is really a big deal.  It's true that a Big Mac and fries can sit on my back patio for literally months without so much as a hint of degradation; while their homemade counterparts become spoiled and mold covered within a single day.... but does that in and of itself prove they're harmful to us?  Maybe that means they're just EXTRA good for us.... where does hard science weigh in on this?

The fact of the matter is, the food my parents were serving me 40+ years ago wasn't exactly straight from Mother Earth.  When did it all go to hell?... or maybe it never did. Hmmmmm.

A fridge in 1963 stocked with all sorts of unnatural (and tasty) substances

Every day, I work in a laboratory where we use hard physical science. I'm forever amazed and simultaneously disgusted at the subjective faux science we call nutritional medicine.   In this world, Monday's poison is Tuesday's health food.

I'm sure there's vegan health nuts reading this shaking their heads in shame; however, my point is not that we should treat our bodies as a bio-hazard dump site and chew on junk food all day.  My point is that it's almost 2012 and I don't think we have the slightest clue what's good and what's bad for us.

Grandma and granddaughter cooking up a healthy lunch..... or carcinogenic suicide snack?
For instance, the hot dog is not exactly considered a health food. Yet it's composed of pork lips and assholes.  Mankind has a long tradition of eating every part of the animal; for thousands of years we've been eating the pig's nether regions.... is this suddenly a bad thing?

The preservatives in the hot dog have actually been found to enhance iron absorption.  And you'd pay good money at a health food store for an anti-oxidant that's present in your Oscar-Meyer wiener.

Sandwich meat aisle.... or health food aisle of the future?
So, why is everybody so goddamn fat? Perhaps it has almost nothing to do with our grocery store selection, and a whole helluva lot to do with our inability to stop stuffing our faces.  At least when I was a kid there wasn't a Filet-o-Fish waved under my nose at the slightest whiff of hunger.  It's an issue of portion size and NOTHING to do with whether I'm eating a whole grain pita or a no-grain Hostess snack cake.

Eat less - or - work out and dress like idiots. The choice is yours.
 Also, think about the fact that we are living waaaay longer than nature intended.  We can point the finger at preservatives in our hot dogs and corn syrup in our Pop Tarts; however, for the most part, college age kids look spectacular, and we all know college students eat like shit.  I, for one, subsisted on nothing but beer and Arby's Beef-n-Cheddar during college, and I never looked better.

My opinion: screw all these health fads. Just stop eating so goddamn much and accept the fact that when you get old, you're going to get unhealthier and gain weight.

And a little exercise wouldn't hurt

I think I'll leave you with a great quote from the novel Zorba the Greek.  Next time you start breaking out in cold sweats because you just realized your salad dressing contains high fructose corn syrup, remember this conversation...
"What is your favorite dish, grandad?"
"All of them, my son. It's a great sin to say this is good and that is bad."
"Why? Can't we make a choice?"
"No, of course we can't."
"Why not?"
"Because there are people who are hungry."
 I was silent, ashamed. 


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