Michelle Obama said it's fine to eat what you want on Thanksgiving.
"Don't worry about how much you eat. Just enjoy it," she said. "This is the time. Have pie."
Let me make two additional points. First, that "not needing your permission or your approval" thing? That goes for the other 364 days of the year. This is, I believe, the eleventh article in the Bill of Rights. "No citizen shall be deprived of the right to pie on Thanksgiving. Or, really, ever." (From "Stuff James Madison Wrote," vol. 2)
Second, as you and your family currently live in public housing thanks to the good graces of the American people, wouldn't our approval of your diet while you live in "our" house be more appropriate?
By the way, I hope you all had a very happy Thanksgiving. I hope you left the table with your belt let out one or two notches, and I sincerely hope you had pie.
11/26/10 0805: Though I didn't have six types of pie.
As a parent who occasionally uses McDonald's for a meal with my kids, and as they often do order the Happy Meal on those occasions, I'd like to notify those out in San Francisco that a) we don't get the Happy Meal for the toy, we get it because it's a simple way to order a kid-sized meal and b) stay out of our lives, will you? If I thought McDonald's was an awful choice for a kid's meal they could clamor for the toy all they wanted, and we wouldn't go there. But I don't feel that way. There are parents who think tasty, quickly provided meals that aren't made from tofu and carrots are the most evil thing on the planet, and they don't take their kids to the Golden Arches. Great. Your kids, your choice.
The NY Times has a story today about conflict in the nanny state over cheese. And, of course, all over the push are the evil fingerprints of Big Dairy.
Urged on by government warnings about saturated fat, Americans have been moving toward low-fat milk for decades, leaving a surplus of whole milk and milk fat. Yet the government, through Dairy Management, is engaged in an effort to find ways to get dairy back into Americans’ diets, primarily through cheese.
Americans now eat an average of 33 pounds of cheese a year, nearly triple the 1970 rate. Cheese has become the largest source of saturated fat; an ounce of many cheeses contains as much saturated fat as a glass of whole milk.
When Michelle Obama implored restaurateurs in September to help fight obesity, she cited the proliferation of cheeseburgers and macaroni and cheese. “I want to challenge every restaurant to offer healthy menu options,” she told the National Restaurant Association’s annual meeting.
But in a series of confidential agreements approved by agriculture secretaries in both the Bush and Obama administrations, Dairy Management has worked with restaurants to expand their menus with cheese-laden products.
It's not necessary that "every restaurant" be encouraged or particularly required to offer "healthy menu options." Let's not even get into the obvious point that even if there are those healthier choices on the menu you can't make people order them. Let's look at the market economics. If you want healthy menu options and a restaurant doesn't have them, you'll go elsewhere. If a restaurant's business is declining because more and more people make that choice they'll start serving healthier options. The market can and will correct this if it's what the people want.
On the other hand, the government's war on fat, salt, and other allegedly unhealthy choices is misguided. More than content, the issue is calories. Overweight people need to eat less and exercise more. Period. Having calorie and fat content on the menus probably should not be mandatory, but it will be helpful if the government targets the obesity issue by focusing on educating people on a) caloric intake and calories burned and how it relates to weight gain and loss, and b) increasing activity and getting kids active. Here it's a greater uphill battle, with the proliferation of couch-bound video games, hand-held games, online chatting, and other sedentary activities, not to mention cutbacks and limits on school gym programs.
Sure, fat provides 9 calories per gram, and cutting back on fat cuts large amounts of calories from a diet, but the target shouldn't be the fat as much as the calories consumed vs. calories burned. Get that in balance and you'll have a lot less obesity to worry about. The hard thing is doing it without being a nanny.
Personally I prefer the jellied version of Ocean Spray's masterpiece; others prefer the "chunky" style (it's a texture thing with me). Here are the instructions for producing the perfect "jelly log." The key move is not the flat knife around the perimeter of the burgundy gelatin, but the "shake" at a slight angle, not straight down. This creates shear along the base of the can, freeing it from the overlying delicacy.
(photo shamelessly borrowed not for commercial purpose from said Ocean Spray website)
Here are a couple of my favorite cranberry spokesmen:
Via Newsbusters, Mika Brzezinski looks approvingly at a NY Daily News op-ed from Princeton professor Peter Singer supporting taxes not on people who stand in water, but on things people do that she and Dr. Singer don't like - drinking soda and eating meat. Here's a snippet - you'll have to read the rest over at NB.
BRZEZINSKI: Some people actually cares about their health, so I'm going to read that for those people. [reading] "A tax on sodas containing sugar has also been under consideration by Governor Paterson, among others."
SCARBOROUGH: Now when we say 'sugar,' do you mean coke, cocaine, or is that code for sugar with Paterson, or is it actual sugar?
[ignoring Joe, continuing to read] "In view of our obesity epidemic and
the extra burden it places on our health care system - not to mention
the problems it causes on a crowded New York subway when your neighbor
can't fit into a single seat - it is a reasonable proposal." He goes on now to talk about red meat. And you all need to think about this.
First, it would be helpful to know that Dr. Singer is the father of the animal rights movement, through his book Animal Liberation. So he'll obviously take a dim view of consuming meat, red or otherwise. And Ms. Brzezinski wants to talk about the size of the backside of the person on the subway. So for her benefit I'm going to write this slowly.
"I would not consider Frosted Flakes the food of an Olympian," said nutritionist Rebecca Solomon of Mount Sinai Medical Center.
"I would rather see him promoting Fiber One. I would rather see him promoting oatmeal. I would even rather see him promoting Cheerios."
Different parent company, ma'am. Get 'em to void what is certainly an exclusive deal with Kellogg and pony up the cash and I'm sure Mr. Phelps will oblige.
Seriously, though, why are you worried about cereal type, Ms. Solomon? It's calories consumed and calories burned that matter most. The "food of an Olympian" is whatever stokes the fire (within reason, obviously). Maybe seeing the low- body fat physique of Mr. Phelps (who consumes 12,000 calories daily) and gaining an understanding of the hours of daily training required to get that physique - and register those amazing accomplishments might more than overcome a few extra calories of sugar.
Use Phelps' activity level as a model. Be like Mike.
For the first time, scientists have proven that "beer goggles" are real
- other people really do look more attractive to us if we have been
Surprisingly, the beer goggles effect was not limited to just the
opposite sex among the ostensibly straight volunteers recruited for the
study - they also rated people from their own sex as more attractive.
Scientists in England gave 84 heterosexual college students chilled lime-flavored drinks that
were either non-alcoholic or given a dose of vodka equivalent in
alcohol to a large glass of wine or a pint-and-a-half of beer.
After 15 minutes, the volunteers were shown photos of 40 other
college students from both sexes. Both men and women who drank booze
found these faces more attractive, "a roughly 10 percent increase in
ratings of attractiveness," said researcher Marcus Munafo, an experimental psychologist at the University of Bristol in England.
Better listen to me. I'm pre-med.
Actually, if you think about it, you're better off not drinking if you're looking for the most attractive mate you can land. Drink too much and not only do you slur your words and sound foolish, offend those around you with your breath, and wake up the next morning wondering where your pants are, but you might mistake a Rosie O'Donnell for a Nicole Kidman. That would be tragic.
CHICAGO (Reuters) -
A Chicago tavern said on Thursday it
will begin selling chicken wings coated in one of the world's
hottest peppers -- a dish so hot that patrons first have to
sign a waiver agreeing not to sue for injuries.
Jake Melnick's Corner Tap said the wings made with Red
Savina pepper will be served with an alarm bell for patrons to
summon waiters with sour cream, milk sugar and white bread if
things get out of hand.
In the '80s I visited my brother in Syracuse, and we went out to a restaurant famous for the heat of its wings. (I don't recall the name of the place, unfortunately) We got a plate of the medium and a plate of the hot. The medium was fiery. The hot was like molten steel, but yet still enjoyable. I find it hard to believe after that experience that going any hotter could be at all pleasurable.
So go ahead. Scald your esophagus. Peel all of the mucosa off your pharynx. Roast your larynx and speak hoarsely for three days. And just wait until it passes through the system, out the other end. It's the gift that keeps on giving. I'll take a pass, and amuse myself vicariously with your distress.
[Spokeswoman Valerie] O'Neil said the company decided to charge more because costs, including fuel and energy, are going up.
"It's not one specific thing. It's part of our ongoing evaluation of business costs," O'Neil said.
Starbucks' pricing varies based on the market, but the 5-cent price
increase will be across the board, regardless of drink or part of the
country, O'Neil said.
Currently, a tall, or 12-ounce, cup of Starbucks coffee costs
between $1.40 and $1.65. Twelve-ounce lattes cost between $2.40 and
$3.10, depending on the market, and a tall mocha costs between $2.70
A venti double soy mocha latte with extra whipped cream will soon require submission of last year's W-2 form. It's already a lot more expensive than a gallon of gas.
Everyone knows hot dogs
aren't exactly healthy for you, but in a new study chemists find they
may contain DNA-mutating compounds that might boost one's risk for cancer.
Extracts from hot dogs bought from the supermarket, when mixed with
nitrites, resulted in what appeared to be these DNA-mutating compounds.
When added to Salmonella bacteria, hot dog extracts treated with nitrites doubled to quadrupled their normal DNA mutation levels. Triggering DNA mutations in the gut might boost the risk for colon cancer, the researchers explained.
"I won't say you shouldn't eat hot dogs," Mirvish said. Future research
will feed hot dog meat to mice to see if they develop colon cancer or
precancerous conditions, he explained.
Well, that's a relief. As long as they don't include brats, I'm okay with it. I wonder what brand Kobayashi eats?
His name has for four decades been part of a Boston landmark.
Anthony Athanas, 93, founder of Anthony's Pier 4 restaurant, died at his home in Swampscott yesterday after a three-year battle with Alzheimer's disease.
He was the pre-eminent restaurateur in the country," Legal Seafoods CEO Roger Berkowitz said. "He was a role model. Anthony's Pier 4 was the Holy Land of seafood restaurants."
If you do live in the area it's likely you've made the trek to dine at this historic eatery. I studied at Boston University, and I recall taking my sophomore year girlfriend to Anthony's as one of our first dinners out. You know, impress her with my 'style'. Wearing a geeky tie, too-long hair (this was the 70's, after all), and striving to be 'worldly' we entered Mr. Athanas' fine establishment and had a superb seafood dinner. One that cost me my entire month's spending allowance, but it was an experience worth the price.
After all, it's not just any fresh-faced sophomore who gets to shake hands with the owner of the restaurant and compliment both the food and the service. (My date was duly impressed, though probably not so much with me.) Mr. Athanas had style and grace, and if you went there to dine you had the distinct pleasure of experiencing it firsthand.