Experiments in Chaos—Failures from April 24, 2016

Every once in a while, I find something I enjoy eating, only to discover that it's bad for me. Liver? Cheap, nutritious, tasty, and bad for me. Apparently the liver processes toxins or something evil, so I shouldn't eat it. Tuna? Good for me, unless I buy the chunk light variety, which is much cheaper. That has too much mercury or plutonium or something, so it's bad for me. I have to buy the solid Albacore, which is more expensive. I have an idea. Can we just agree that everything that's cheap and tasty is bad for us, and then eat what we want? Because ain't none of us getting out of this thing alive anyhow, and we might as well have a nice meal while we wait for the inevitable.

I'm not absolutely certain when, or how, we started thinking of certain foods as good and certain foods as evil. Not long ago, High Fructose Corn Syrup was the evildoer. There are some hints in the name, but I'll save you the trouble by telling you that High Fructose Corn Syrup is a form of sugar, and avoiding one type of sugar and overindulging in another isn't going to do you any good. There's nothing inherently bad in the stuff, it's not radioactive, it's not trying to enslave you into a life of ill health, but if you eat too much of it then it's bad for you. So eat a variety of foods. Sometimes, you want a sugary snack. Sometimes, a handful of cashews might do the job. It's not so much what you eat, it's how much of it. And, yes, if you decide to have some celery, you can put a little salt on it.

And, besides, I like things that are bad for me. For instance, sugary cereals. They're like candy with nutrition added. And they'll put anything in there. They'll add iron, copper, lead, arsenic, they don't care, they'll pump it in. "Yeah, this cereal may be 92% sugar, but it's got 25% of your daily requirements of copper." I'm sorry, but when was the last time you heard of someone suffering from a copper deficiency? "Yeah, the doctor says I need to get more zinc in my diet." And that's another reason I like the sugar cereals. Those Nutrition Information labels are a hoot.

I was eating a snack whose primary ingredient is puffed potato starch, and the package was talking about how it was lower in sodium and fat than other snacks. That's fine, but what really got me was when I got to the phrase: "It doesn't get any better than this!" Excuse me? I'm a pretty boring guy. I mean, I read food packages, for pity's sake. But it's already been better than this. Heck, when I was growing up I had punishments that were better than this. Now, don't get me wrong. As puffed potato starch snacks go, they aren't bad. I enjoyed them, and I've still got some left, and I'll finish them rather than throw them out, and I'll enjoy the process. And I might even buy them again, if they're on sale or something. I mean, I wouldn't run uphill to get some, but I certainly wouldn't cross the street to get away either. But I sincerely hope it gets better than this. For one thing, I'd hate to think my memories were nothing more than wishful thinking, some melancholy daydreams of a world that never was. And for another thing, I'd really hate to think everything is downhill from a puffed potato starch snack. Like I say, they aren't bad, and I'm sure the company's quite proud of its effort. But somebody at the puffed potato starch snack factory has to raise their standards a little.

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