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Nanny, get out of my !*&%$!! Kitchen!

December 2, 2013

I have a friend whose daughter is into so-called healthy eating, and at least once a month she sends me something related to how food kills you. This month it was a video talking about how any food that browns while cooking has something in it called acrylamides. In general the gist of the thing was that baking, broiling, barbecuing, frying and in fact just about anything that imparts a brown color to the finished product causes cancer. I guess that leaves boiling or eating it raw. Of course that’s on top of red meat, any sort of fat or oil, dairy products, potatoes and all other starches, fruit juice, eggs, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, cooking in general, and just about anything else related to growing, harvesting, preserving, preparing, or eating food.

Enough already! If the paleo diet was so freaking healthy, why did those folks die at 30? How does the raw food diet square with trichinosis, botulism, salmonella, listeria and all those other food-borne illnesses? If sweets are so bad for you, should we kill all the bees, corn and sugar cane? Why do skinny people and vegetarians get diabetes or have heart attacks?

OK, I’m not completely immune to the idea that some foods probably aren’t very good for you if eaten in excess. But guess what? I don’t need Mayor Bloomberg or some doctor on TV constantly trying to sell their version of what’s healthy. If my pants get tight, it’s time to cut back. I know that because I have a brain, which co-incidentally got to be its modern evolutionary size because our ancestors discovered animal protein and fire. Oh yes, and they also had to go out and expend calories to eat and clothe themselves. If they wanted to send a smoke signal or have a warm cave, they had to gather and maybe chop the wood. Today, the most energy most of us expend to get food is walking to the car and cruising up and down the store aisles, assuming we don’t have it delivered via the internet or a smartphone.

Could all the money that is invested in these “studies” that experts love to quote have more to do with providing a job and an income than real science? Look over the research grants available on the government’s website sometime. Some people are making a pretty good living telling us how to eat, think and act. Give someone enough cash, and they’ll have no problem coming up with something to spend it on. Creating a nanny state seems to be a pretty lucrative trade. 

I certainly don’t have a beef with anyone that wants to follow whatever the latest food fad is at the moment. If you want to eat your fish and chicken raw, more power to you. But please, extend me the same courtesy. None of us will live forever. Being 95 and so frail you can’t do much more than breathe is not all it’s cracked up to be. Heck, there are some celebrities that hope that some of us born before 1960 will just go ahead and die.

In the modern age, where getting your exercise consists of turning on a computer or changing the channels with a remote, it stands to reason that civilizations that still actually do go out and hunt and gather will be healthier. As a species, we will probably have to gradually adapt to living in a cocoon-like environment that only requires 600 calories a day to sustain life. Fortunately, we aren’t there yet.  

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go bake a chicken.

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