I got an email from Amazon this morning. It was about a comment I made on a book that I did not read. I expected to get trashed and another bit came in this morning. It was everything I expected. Take a look. The book is Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us
If you look at the other 1-star folks they make better points than my simple contribution. The author works at the New York Times and is available as a guest speaker for a fee. I guess that is called gainful employment; but, it does seem to be another instance of finding whatever facts are need to represent a viewpoint that has already been arrived at.
Today’s remarks about my little thoughts determined I am without honor. Not a stretch for anyone visiting my poker blog. But, this is in my wheelhouse as I was associated with the food industry since starting to work in my Dad’s super market at age 13. I later worked for a wholesale grocer and dealt with buyers and with the buying committee and we dealt with those food giants on a daily basis.
The book could have been written in a few sentences. It would have said something my generation and the preceding one knew. “Prepared foods aren’t as healthful as foods prepared from scratch where we know every ingredient used.” Yes, labels can contain frightening ingredients. We should pay more attention. OK, the rest of that thick book is filler.
He makes it a Machiavellian conspiracy by food technicians. The most honorable man (Yet, Brutus is an honorable man.) taking me to task talked about “Bliss points” and “mouth feel”. Well, damn their hides! I tend to watch show like Julia and Jacques and isn’t that about those food feature? No they don’t use those terms but older ones that talk like my original comment there.
People use terms associated with the field. I was a programmer and as jargon ladened as it gets. You understand doctors when they butcher Latin? That isn’t a conspiracy. It is reducing complex ideas to a word that is understood in the field.
The heinous machinations of “Corporations” seems to happily go beyond our valid points for discussion. Visit the local grocery and you’ll see a host of items that we should limit in our diets. Parents work on that with kids; but who hasn’t given them an after school snack that was “wasted calories” to see them through to dinner? Or opened a can of Spaghetti-O’s when things got rushed. That isn’t the end of the world.
Many people don’t “eat right” but that isn’t correctable by the White House or the New York Times, or the Mayor of New York. Now it is time to wonder if they have the right. On the list of man’s inhumanity to man, I’ll put their interfering easily equalling the individual’s poor choices. I think the founders mentioned the pursuit of happiness up front and ahead of an interfering government or media.
Like Julia, I enjoy stirring in a bit of butter to further enhance a rich sauce. Do it in moderation and you can live as long as Julia and be happier for it. When my mother was failing I cooked a full, rich, and healthy meal every day. These days it a bother where my single person household ends up with annoying leftovers when I do. I don’t eat as well as I should but, dammit, don’t tell me what to do.
In bemoaning the state of food, I look back at what was the norm when I was that boy. It would be hilarious to get the PC reaction to those bygone days. The floor of the meat area was covered in sawdust. Meat was prepared on porous, wooden butcher blocks that Yuppies fight over for decor but were all but impossible to maintain. The cooler in my grandfather’s store was converted from using ice.
Produce was loose and could be handled by anyone prior to purchase. Prepackage was just coming in and many hated that they couldn’t select the 4 tomatoes or pork chops themselves.
Yet with meat scraps caught by the sawdust and all the rest, there were no odors or health issues. It was hard work to maintain but customers were healthy and seemed happy. (Hamburger on sale was three pounds for a dollar.)
My little sisters would stand on the floor of the car and look over the dash to be able to see where they were going. If that were tried today, my sainted mother would get two to ten. Amazing isn’t it that my generation survived and so many have made it to a ripe old age?