Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Picture a Day - Day 182

A few signs you're turning into an adult.

1. You realize that a tv show you used to watch while preparing for spelling tests (The Simpson's) is older than some college students.

2. Sleeping in is no longer an option because your body is the king of routine. So even if it is the weekend you're up by 7 just because and you don't even mind because you have errands to run.

3. You've watched a food go from being vilified, to being heralded as the cure for all human ailments, back to being the scourge of the ages.

I find it hilarious sometimes to think back to what the media was raging against when I was much younger.

I remember the great witch hunt against cholesterol. Eggs were declared America's number one on the wanted list. People were freaking out and actually using powdered eggs that claimed to have no cholesterol. We were all told to just eat our frosted flakes for breakfast.

Even poor little shrimp, who just wanted a little love and possibly some cocktail sauce, was kicked to the winds. It got so hilariously sad vegetable products would proudly put huge red stickers claiming they're cholesterol free on their packaged. Well no shit sherlock.

But slowly the panic died down and the egg industry got enough money to go to every single house and show that the research was inconclusive and screwed up because they did it by feeding a lot of cholesterol to rabbits. What a shocker that an herbivore can't digest cholesterol properly when it would never eat it in the first place!

Now (at least as of press time) eggs and shrimp are touted as a great food because of their high amount of protein compared to other meat sources. I wonder what will be in store for the eggs next year. Will they be kicked out of paradise for daring to have a white shell? Will everyone and their dog be guzzling down 5 eggs a day because of their high omega-3's and antioxidant properties. Will the eggs finally wake up from their coma and find that Heather had been cheating on them all along with their clone and suddenly they have no idea who the father of their son is?

If you wonder why I make light of these incredibly stupid trends it's because if I really sat and thought about it I'd start crying. People who flunked Bio 101 should not be the ones determining nutrition for every Tom, Dick, and Moron.

The human body is an incredibly intricate and confusing jumble of proteins. We don't even being to truely understand how a single cell works (I keep hearing how someone is trying to create one but it isn't going so well) much less how every differentiated cell communicates with each other so your organs will do that voodoo that they do so well. (If you want just a taste check out this pathway that shows how the hormones interact)

I get that it's human nature to want a quick fix for everything and to believe you're above other people. Oh if I just eat nothing but pomegranates I'll live for 500 years and never get sick. Avoid that evil red meat and I'll never suffer from fatigue (or other made up placebo induced ailments).

But there is no magic cure, no pill that will make everything all better. If you like pomegranates feel free to indulge yourself (I personally enjoy the weird bitter astringent flavor you get off them but I'm weird), just don't expect that it means you are somehow better than everyone else who doesn't eat whatever comestible was crowned Food of America.

Your body is an intricate system that is designed to reset itself back to your DNA. It's quite amazing really how much is encoded in our DNA with all those little interons and exons to help us to just adapt. But we have yet to find a way to overcome our DNA safely. The few attempts at shooting a new gene in has lead down the road of leukemia.

So what really makes all those arm chair food scientists think that just eating an apple will completely wipe out the chance you could get the same heart disease your grandmother or uncle suffered through? Because they read an abstract of a paper as they can't wrap their minds around the whole thing and majorly inflated the claims?

All I'm getting at is that while a piece of spinach will not make you as strong as popeye (though I don't know why you'd want to be), a piece of chocolate is not going to turn you into a puddle of gasing human flesh laying on the floor either. Life is too damn short, so enjoy that piece of cake.
*If you're wondering where this little rant came from I finally got myself an angel food cake pan and christened it with a box of mix. But emblazoned on the box was a little sticker claiming that angel food is fat free. Of course it's fat free because it's nothing but flour, water, and a ton of sugar.

But I don't care because it's oh so tasty. Angel food is probably my second favorite cake. The first of course being the ice cream cakes from Dairy queen. I could live in that fudge center.


Anonymous said...

I believe in moderation when it comes to food - nothing is purely "evil" or "good" food. (Unless of course, you're allergic to it.)
I once read a claim that you shouldn't eat apples because they have arsenic in them and then the next day another article claimed that apples were a "power" food. Unfortunately companies will keep on making money off such schemes because people don't want to change their diets or lifestyles drastically. Alas.

Congrats on the new Angel Food Cake Pan!

Linda said...

Amen, sister! Everything in moderation, shun no food! The problem comes when people vilify certain foods (carbs, bad! fat, bad!) and deprive themselves of those nutrients.
Eat what your body needs and if you listen it usually tell you.
Awesome angel food cake. Yummy.

Caroline said...

Angel food cake is so yummy! It would even be great for a wedding cake!

Becky (rksquared) said...

Hmmm...when the Simpson's first aired, I was already beyond spelling tests. On the other hand, I've never ever had a problem sleeping in. Of course, I haven't had a "routine" 8-5 type job in over 10 years, and the closest thing to a routine that my body has developed is the one that keeps me up until 3:00am and won't let me get out of bed until most "normal" people are already a few hours into their days.

The way I see it, those two things cancel each other out. (That's what I tell myself anyway.)

valerie said...

Mmmm cake. I'm not a fan of angel food though. I'm more of a chocolate cake kinda gal.

All that aside, again, I find it incredible that so many people trust the media and don't believe that it skews things any which way it wants. You've cited excellent examples too!

Poor eggs. I feel bad for their checked and shameful past. They never did anything wrong. I still enjoyed them even when they were "bad." They make me feel good. They make me nice and full and I never have to eat snack between breakfast and lunch when I eat eggs. Sorry, weird tangent.