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We are living in the WRONG century insofar as food is concerned. That’s obvious, and needs no explanation, but I’ll give you one just in case.

We are smart enough to manufacture the stuff that tastes and looks edible, but are just beginning to have the tools to determine whether we are in fact genetically destroying the human race as a result.

You know what I mean. I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and thus was in on the ground floor of manufactured edibles. Bisquick, tubed biscuits, mashed taters in a box, and some horrifying thing called “Helper” preceded by things life “beef” and “tuna.”

We were stabilized in all this by things called “preservatives” which basically meant that the shelf life of said faux food could be centuries. We are dripping in a thing called “high fructose corn syrup” cuz somehow it works better than plain old cane sugar.

Now, most of the crap we grew up eating was declared “safe” by an FDA which we thought was actually looking out for us, but we now know is just a shill for the food manufacturing industry, so all these decades later, some of us feel rightly SCREWED.

Americans spend a ton of dough on over the counter digestive aids. Look at Walmart’s my lovelies and see a whole section devoted to stuff designed to make it all go down and through and out without too much pain. We belch and gag and well, do other unmentionable things in an effort to extract some nutritional value out of soy-lent green masked as ding dongs.

Somewhere in the 70’s or so, people started to do actual studies which got everyone worrying. So we ingested tons of bran muffins, cut down on coffee, stopped drinking soda with real sugar, and a myriad of other rules of the road designed to improve our health, or at least stop the damage we had already done.

We are just beginning to have the capability to determine the long term genetic effects of all those chemicals. Who knows, it may already be too late. We may have introduced the genetic oops into the mix (sorry all you silly creationists, but evolution continues ya know even if you pretend it doesn’t) already for all we know.

Every few months we are admonished to stop eating so much of this, and add more that into our diet. If in fact we tried to follow all this goodly advice, I dare say we would spend the better part of every day just working out the schedule.

And, then there is that thing called exercise! It went from 15 minutes three times a week, to 4 times a week, then 2o minutes, then 5 days a week, then 6, and now its 30 minutes 7 days a week. It’s walking, and then it’s strength training too, and then, well it makes a body take to their bed in self defense and exhaustion, I tell ya.

And then, exercise the brain. Fend off Alzheimer’s–do math, puzzles, read, or don’t, since there is plenty of literature that say it won’t make a difference. Or eat broccoli, since it seems to be good for much that ails us.

I cannot imagine the young mother these days faced with trying to give her kids a decent chance at a long and healthy life. Where to begin? I have no clue, and frankly, I’ve given up.

What I do mostly and I say mostly most seriously, because my addictions to crap are well, addictions after all, and I’m a firm believer that we can only address about 2/3 of all addictions without going mad, so choose which 1/3 you intend to relish until you die an unnatural and earlier death than you should.

So I mostly stay away from processed food. I long ago tossed the Bisquick and tubes of dough. I don’t by frozen meals or canned gravies and all that jazz. I mostly stay away from a lot of processed meat and pretend side dishes with suspiciously weird looking “flavor” packets. Amazingly, most of this stuff can be cooked from scratch in a few minutes of time, and taste wildly better than their counterparts of ground up cardboard flavored with grape-like taste nuggets.

I have no idea whether I’m healthier or not. But it’s a measure of control, and it’s hugely cheaper as well, which is a bonus. We grow a big garden and I actually like making salsa and tomato sauce for my spaghetti from real tomatoes and garlic and onions and all that. Sure, it won’t last until Christmas like the jars I can get in the local assembly line “food” dispenser, called Piggly Wiggly or Walmart or HyVee or any number of silly names.

Course we eat meat, and I KNOW that is probably cancer on a plate, as well as plenty of other genetic mutating sludge, but there is, as I say, only so much one can do about addictions. And fish is no bargain either, since more and more it comes from polluted waters and is probably not fit for consumption.

We are out there alone my friends, in the big world of food. No one to protect or guide us much. In a couple more centuries, we should probably have this all down pat. No doubt we will be able to discern  the properties of every food with our new third eye. But oh, just think of the added expense of all that mascara!

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