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Death by food

Death by food

Posted: Wednesday, January 25, 2012 9:31 pm
By: By LISA SMARTT

The Messenger 01.25.12

I hate to break it to you. You’re going to die of something. But there’s a lot about dying that we don’t understand. So media outlets have introduced us to a new phenomenon called food fear. It’s the fear that food is creeping around every corner ready to pounce and take us down.
Television shows have supported food fear with great zeal. Only one little problem. According to “studies,” some foods seem to be our friend one day and our enemy the next. Take bacon, for example. Bacon will cause cancer. Bacon won’t cause cancer. Bacon will make you gain weight. Bacon with no carbs will make you lose weight. Bacon will drastically increase your cholesterol. Bacon will make your skin look younger. I know. I’m sure the average pig would be shocked at all the attention he’s getting.
Let’s talk bran. The media messages have been hard to follow: Eat more bran. You need the fiber. But don’t eat bran with sugary raisins. The sugary raisins will completely rot your teeth. And never eat bran muffins because they have way too much cholesterol and fat. Don’t eat bran pancakes because you’ll put syrup on the pancakes and everyone knows sugar will kill you by the age of 30.
OK. Here’s the way I see it. There’s a surefire way to keep your teeth from rotting even if you do choose to eat the dreaded sugary raisins. It’s called brushing. OR to be safe, just go out into a field of anything, get down on all fours … and graze. High fiber, no fat.
Of course, there’s a lot of “nutritional literature” out there about things our grandparents taught us to eat. Again, the message is cloudy at best. Eat eggs. They have protein. Don’t eat eggs. They have cholesterol. Eat egg whites scrambled in water every other Tuesday between the hours of 10 a.m. and noon. (And don’t even think about ordering a bran muffin with those egg whites.)
Let’s be reasonable about eggs. Eggs are not the equivalent of an atom bomb, people. They come from a chicken. If you don’t have high cholesterol, eat them in moderation. I eat two poached eggs every other day. I’m not worried. No one has ever died from eating a poached egg. Never. Show me the newspaper clipping that says “Middle-aged woman in Topeka dies suddenly from eating a poached egg.” Yeah. I think we would have heard about that, don’t you?
It’s time for some country-girl common sense when it comes to food fear: Never eat a pound of bacon at one sitting. Don’t drink a pot of coffee every morning. If you’re tempted to eat four jumbo bran muffins and a massive box of raisins every day for lunch, don’t do it.
I also suggest you not eat four Pop-tarts after midnight with a large glass of chocolate milk. There are just SO many reasons for that. Exercise moderately every day. Eat moderate amounts of all kinds of food. And realize that food fear is a concept made up by people who have nothing better to do than to worry about our prosperity.
No one in poverty-stricken countries ever paces the floor at night worrying about bran overload. Perhaps we shouldn’t either. Take time to love people. Laugh a lot. Oh, and if you’re one of those people who is constantly trying to figure out a way to keep from dying … don’t forget to start living.
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Editor’s note: Lisa Smartt’s column appears each Wednesday in the Friends and Neighbors section of The Messenger. For more information about Lisa Smartt, visit her website, lisasmartt.com.

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