Sunday, September 18, 2011

Let's Make Life Taste Like Shit

Eating healthy doesn't always taste like shit.  There's plenty of "healthy options" (I fucking loathe terms like that, btw) that have some good flavor.  I'm getting a little bothered though that all sorts of restaurents are being pressured into having healthy options.

"Jack, you asshat, people need to have healthy options these days, what with the rise in obesity and obesity related conditions in America!"  Don't think that I'm saying living a healthy lifestyle is all bunk.  I'm not one of those who will shit on the way someone lives their life.  In fact, a good friend of mine has committed himself to eating a very healthy diet, and he's even recently gone vegetarian for health reasons.  I applaud that kind of stuff.

But why are we telling restaurants that they need to shape up?  Michelle Obama recently "applauded," Olive Garden and Red Lobster for pledging to include healther options on their menus.  I find that kind of sad, to be honest.

Hear me out.

Why did people used to cook with straight pig fat?  Well, that's because pig fat tastes fucking amazing.  One time I had these incredibly thick pork ribs.  These fuckers must have come from like a genetically enhanced super-pig, because they were god damned gargantuan.  Anywho, there was so much meat on it that the layer of pork fat was about an inch thick.  Some of you might be thinking "eww, gross," but let me tell you: you could barely tell the difference between the meat and the fat.

There are so many things out there that have amazing tastes, and some people seek to limit their use or eliminate them altogether from our diets.  Let's take Olive Garden for example.  I happen to know the recipe for their alfredo sauce, and I can actually do a decent job at making it from scratch and have it not taste like ass.  The recipe calls for whole whipping cream and six, count 'em six, egg yolks.  That's heart-attack-on-a-plate material right there.

Because of the ingredients, it has a richness and a flavor that a healther alfredo sauce just doesn't have.  Could you imagine cutting back on the butter in shrimp scampi?  These meals are insanely unhealthy, but holy shit do they taste good.  The thing is, however, is that although it's noble to try to get people to eat healthier, there are plenty of people out there who indulge in these decadent meals and still maintain a perfect bill of health.

I mean, look at our grandparents for Christ sake.  They grew up on cooking their foot in straight cooking lard.  They salted the piss out of their food, and they deep fried shit in peanut oil or whatever is unhealthier than canola.  I've only had one of my grandparents die before the age of 85, and that's because he smoked like a chimney and wrecked the shit out of his lungs.  Hell, all three of the great-grandparents that I knew all lived over the age of 93.

We have to realize that everyone's physiology is different, and just because some people's bodies don't handle unhealthy foods as well as others doesn't mean that we need to make everyone eat healthy all the time.  As with anything in life, the key is moderation.

I don't think this is some grand conspiracy to sterilyze life or anything, but it kinda makes me worry that this would be the outcome.


D Charles QC said...

As someone who is battling obesity (and thankfully for the last 8 years with succcess) I can fully appreciate your comments.

Eight years (and one gaull bladder) ago I was 330lbs and over one year dropped to 215lbs (give or take a pound at times). It saved my life and I know it.

Yes everyone is different in many aspects and the battle both in the mind and physiologicially is something that each of us have to overcome. For me it was lifestyle, stress and basically ignoring the obvious.

Having said that, for everyone a part of the problem is the subject of control and I mean in a sense that is not often thought about. Eating is about the only action that someone feels in control of, even though they become a victim of it. You can be told what to do, you may suffer economically, socially or in a bad marriage - whatever, but you feel when you eat that it is you controlling the subject and for the very depressed, it is the escape from having your life dictated to.

I am not into sweets and cakes (though I go wild over boutique chocolates) and my problem was simply quantity - I gorged. Fortunately for me my youngest daughter fell in love with a sports doctor/dietician (they are now married) and he told me five simple rules that every successful diet is built upon.

1. Always consult a doctor
2. Be afraid of what you put in your mouth - ie, take a hard look and thought before it enters your mouth.
3. Calculate, calculate and then some more calculations - that means you know what is good and not good, your doctor will help, give you limits and objectives - thus stick to it.
4. Quality not quantity - and quality is different for each person, from being non-fat or low carb or whatever. Also if it comes to costs, eat the better quality and more expensive, because if you eating less it will come out less expensive or the same.
5. Never sit down for more than one hour and at least do twice do something that will make you sweat.

Also with quality, being on a diet should never be a punishment because ultimatley you will fail. My breakfast for the last eight years (except on sundays) is two slices of toast with Greek Fetta cheese and smokes salmon plus a freshly squeezed chilled OJ. Compare that to four toast and four fried eggs and two cups of black coffee!

D Charles QC said...

Jack, I wanted to add on regarding your comments.

Your and my parents ate with fats and grease but also were twice as active as most of us were also they did not snack as much - it was often three meals a day like clockwork.

Obesity studies are starting to come to the same end conclusion - it is not the sugars or the quality of a lot of food but the snacking that screws you and the portion sizes (the later was my problem).

Thus we can do some targetting, with the fingers pointed at three groups (and I support this).

Commercialization - marketting showing us how much we want to eat the stuff - which our kids fall for.
Sedentary lifestiles - the internet, computer games (you and I suffer that), easy transport and the television set. My parents (and I as a kid) would walk to everywhere, walking even to get the paper was a work out (Gibraltar is town on the side of hill), in summer we would go to Spain and swim in a lake and ride bikes, I played football. As a young adult the computers started and it all stopped.
The third finger is parents today - allowing their kids to sit all day, buy food and not make it - like our Mums used to do) and for also giving in to the product advertisements. As a child we would eat out every Saturday evening and that was it.

We, as a population, have sold our stomachs and our heath out to a convenient lifestyle - no grand conspiracy though, we did it to ourselves and the food and take-out companies milk it because we let them.

Silverfiddle said...

Amen Jack!

We eat pretty healthy at the Silverfiddle hacienda, because my wife is a health nazi. But we also indulge in greasy pork ribs I smoke myself, deep fried trout and other unhealthy but oh-so-delicious treats
on occasion. Point is, we don't eat like that every day!

I do not like the federal government inserting itself into the marketplace like this.

By all means, make restaurants provide full disclosure on ingredients and content, but this is insidious. I can't help wondering what benefit or government largess Olive Garden is gaining by capitulating in this way.

And McDonalds replacing french fries with sliced apples will surely result in a financial windfall for the Obamacrats as Apple producers increase contributions in gratitude.

Jack Camwell said...

Damien, thanks for those remarks. I applaud your will to live a healthier life-style and the progress you've made. Also, very excellent tips and points about our increasingly sedentary lifestyles.

Silver, it sounds like I'd love to dine in the Silver household.

Jersey McJones said...

Jack, it's a very funny post, and I get what you're saying, but hear me out...

Do you know why people used to cook with lard?

Because they were poor.

Yes, it tastes good! That's why they ate it. That, and there wasn't really a choice.

To this day, you and I and the pharmaceutical giant that manufactures my heart pills, love that kind of food.

As a society we should have basic standards for what we allow to be sold as "food." This is how you get to enjoy to the right to sell food. You are protected from criminal prosecution for poisoning a person as long as you obeyed the rules for preparing food.

It's the God damned foundation of the restaurant business for time immemorial.

And if restaurant chains want to get in bed with national politics to sell "healthy food," to get "soccor moms" to bring their kids in to eat, satisfied in the belief that they "at least I gave them an option of something other than that greasy cheeseburger," then fine. Whatever. I don't care.

Show me a truly egregious intrusion on rights in this regard, other than bribery and graft and protection (common crimes), and I'll get to see one very rare thing.


Silverfiddle said...

@ Jersey: This is how you get to enjoy to the right to sell food. You are protected from criminal prosecution for poisoning a person as long as you obeyed the rules for preparing food.

Progressivism in a nutshell.

The right to sell food?

Free people interact in the free market. It doesn't take a government to grant you the right to sell food.

If government told us all to wipe our asses with pine cones you'd fall right in line...

Jack Camwell said...

Some of this stuff might be unhealthy for people, but it's far from poison.

My beef isn't really with restaurants giving people more options. Actually, it's a good thing in terms of freedom and liberty, because they are allowing people to eat out and still maintain whatever healthy lifestyle they're working on.

But I know some liberals that would just as soon ban things like cooking lard and what not. A private food manufacturer, producer, cook or whatever should not be told by anyone in the government how they are and are not allowed to prepare their food, so long as the food is sanitary and not actually poison.

I love food. I can tell you that french fries cooked in peanut oil vs. vegatable or canola oil taste a lot better (I know that's an allergy issue, not necessarily a health issue). I think pork fat, properly cooked, tastes amazing.

I prefer to use whole whipping cream in my alfredo sauce to milk.

There are liberals that would love to limit food options for the purpose of making Americans healthier, and I can't help that my conservative paranoia kicks in with issues like this. I don't want the future to be some cold, steryle existence for the sake of "safety" or health.