Friday, August 27, 2010

What's your fuel?

Right: homemade organic
cheddar-jalapeƱo challah
In my house, we're kind of obsessed with food. Part of that is because we're naturally health nuts, part of it is because of dietary restrictions and food allergies. A third, more important part, is that we're both nuts about eating, and if it doesn't taste good, why bother?
I discovered earlier this year, for instance, that the reason I never liked bell peppers before was that I was eating conventionally grown peppers that taste like dirt. Organic bell peppers are sweet and crunchy, and delicious in just about everything.
Today on The Karel Show, the passionate host, Karel, spent an hour talking about how the CorporatizationTM of our food chain is poisoning us, making us fat, and increasing the prevalence of metabolic diseases to the extent that there is now a classification of illness called "metabolic diseases". To quote another favorite liberal talker:
As crazy as it sounds, it's 100% true. Most of the available sustenance is half-artificial. Most of even our freshest fruits and vegetables are genetically modified, or at the very least grown in such a way that they are nutrient deficient and taste non-existent. Don't believe me? Do an experiment with me: purchase two of your favorite fruits or veggies, like a honeycrisp apple; one with a produce code that starts with a 3 or 4 (conventional), and one with a produce code that starts with a 9 (organic). If you're really feeling adventurous, grab one starting with an 8 (that's your GMO, bleh!). Take your fruit home and try each of them. What you're going to find is that the conventionally grown apple is soft and meally and has that waxy flavor that is only supposed to come from apples at the food bank. Meanwhile, the organic apple will be crisp and sweet and will taste like, huh, an apple.
Truthfully, most people actually don't know the difference between organic and non-organic foods -- and a part of that is because they avoid vegetables because they don't taste good. Or they were raised with canned veggies, and those are good enough. Except that their not. Things that come in cans, pretty universally don't have any nutrients.
The thing is, if you don't have time to pay attention to what you're eating, you need to reassess your priorities. The less time you devote to feeding your body what it needs -- not just something to put into your stomach, but nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and NOT preservatives, additives, or things that metabolize into formaldehyde in your liver -- the less time you're going to have to be alive.
The chemicals that Big Food is pumping us full of is causing more harm than the chemicals we get from Big Tobacco! Think about it. Do you know what monoglycerides are? I can't even figure out if "monoglycerides" is the plural or singular expression of that word! Is there a reason something with common ingredients to nitroglycerin is in food*? Is there a reason an ingredient has ingredients?!
We all know that these things are cheaper than actual food. And for some reason we've been socialized to think that the amount of food is more important than the quality of that food. And truthfully, an entirely organic diet is just as satisfying and not that much more expensive than a conventional diet. (And trust me, organic chocolate is so much better!) For some reason, the idea that money trumps value has been transferred from the people who make the garbage and sell it to us, through the "food", and into our subconscious minds.
Well, we're paying for it now. The money that we saved eating eggs made in factory farms, shrimp grown in pools with chicken coops suspended above them, and high fructose corn syrup, will eventually be spent on our healthcare bills. And then some. Having diabetes costs way more than you ever would have spent on bread made with sprouted whole grain instead of flour. It takes a lot more effort to deal with the impact these poisons have on our health than to avoid them in the first place. Just ask my friend Kelley.
Americans aren't fat because we eat too much and exercise too little. We're fat because our bodies are filled with garbage. And it's incredibly difficult to get that stuff out once its in. Start by drinking more water.
*If you can call it food.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Oh for-- really?

I have to admit that follow ForbesWoman on the Facebook. After their post this morning, however, I'm not entirely sure why. I'll save you the FB typos and just say that the post went to this article on "Smart girls marry money". Sure, girls. Right.
Now, I personally don't believe in marriage (that's why I'm not married), and I honestly could give a crap about what other people do with their personal lives. My issue here is the sheer intellectual laziness and incongruence that is this entire 500 word article.
"It's time to start treating your life like reality," says the headline. "We live in a world that runs on dollars and good sense." And then goes on to advocate that women wake up to the fact that they're going to miserable 4evr unless they marry a man with a fat wallet. It's called the "Gold Digging Imperative". Marry a rich guy so that you can take vacations and get hot-stone massages instead of being a "lady lawyer, doctor, or MBA still slaving away after 40" like a man. EW!
The biggest problem with this article (and the viewpoint it promotes) is this:
"The average guy believes most gals are only looking for money, but the truth is too few of us are interested in their income at all. The modern gal is earning her own cash and is looking for emotional security.

Too bad it doesn't exist.

What's worse, national statistics show women suffer far more economically than men when marriages fail. With this in mind, we have some advice: Instead of looking for love, let's look out for our own security, the kind you can count in dollars and cents."
In essence, instead of preventing economic disparity after a failed marriage, marry someone who has way more money than you so that when he dumps your ass you get a huge alimony check. If you live in an alimony state, that is. Not to mention the fact that if a woman takes care of her own assets, marries, and then divorces, but still has those assets the economic disparity isn't going to to be as great. The other thing that it's important to remember here is that the perpetuation of the idea that men should be in control of the finances is what usually gets women into trouble at the end of their marriages. Sure, she pays the bills, buys the groceries, whatever; but he's in control of the debt. The house. The three water-logged boats sitting useless in the backyard.
Women fare worse in divorce because our society is set up to shit on them economically. We're taught, and teach each other, that we shouldn't worry about money, just find a man. We're discouraged from going into "masculine" fields of work, like engineering, law, medicine, when those fields pay more. And as a woman business owner, I have lost count of the number of people who have paid me less respect for my business prowess because I have a uterus. (Of course, my business is makeup, so I get a little more credit than the woman who owns a construction company. At least I'm in a field that I know something about.)
There are other issues with this segment too. For instance, assuming that the "average guy" thinks that women are only after money in relationships. That really should say "the average misogynist", which by my own research is about 15% of the male population (and an opposing 15% of the female population, including the authors of this book and the publishers of Forbes). The truth is, most guys I know are more interested in having a spouse to whom they feel themselves equal in all arenas, including finances. In relationships where there is a good deal of economic disparity, neither partner is happy.
The message is clear, ladies: marry a man who has lots of money so that you don't have to work. (And we wonder why certain conservative groups paint all poor people as being lazy...) And gentlemen: no matter how awesome she is, you're going to have to pay for it somehow or another. Let's just demean everybody, shall we?
However, in reality the bottom line is this: smart women make their own money, and most people marry within their own socioeconomic class. It's not a secret. Cinderella, the fairy tale upon which the "Gold Digger Imperative" is based, doesn't follow what happens to the girl after she marries Prince Charming. Do you really think they lived happily ever after?
For g-d's sake! Even the women who do become successful solely through the glory of their squacks have to work for it! Real life is going out and making it for yourself, not just depending on someone else (a man or otherwise) for your own fulfillment, happiness, and hot stone massages. It's the American dream!
Why does ForbesWoman hate America?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A few things we learned while flipping through the bios for WA state senate candidates

1. Don't write about earth really being a spaceship.

2. Proof-reading should be done by someone who speaks English.

3. Hot air balloons don't have brakes.

4. There's no "u" in John Galt. That's the whole point of the question "Who is John Galt?".

5. Your bio should not feature a scene from a movie starring James Gandolfini. No less than a movie starring John Travolta should be quoted in any bid for national office. Have some goddamn respect.

6. The children of potato farmers can go on to win 3 Super Bowls in no other country than the United States. Amirka. Fuck yeah.

7. If you're a physicist, you should stick to physics. Any idiot can run for congress. Seriously, this is beneath you "Skip".

8. Once again, the person who proof-reads your bio needs to SPEAK ENGLISH.

9. Don't write your bio in iambic pentameter. Its next performance will be by George Takei on the Stephanie Miller show.

That is all. Please take these lessons with you in in the coming years, as they might come in handy should you ever choose to run for office.