Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Help Save The World, Eat An Ugly Fruit.

During my dazed drive to work from the gym, I was partially listening to a story on NPR regarding farms in Florida dealing with an unexpected winter frost.  The story was a generic report about farmer issues with maintaining the health of the crops – which is a similar issue that Napa farmers seem to deal with every other year.  I was entirely tuning out the radio until the narrator’s semantic selection caught my attention.  For some reason, he chose the word “cosmetic” in reference to maintaining the quality of the fruit.  And, for some other reason, I couldn’t help but digress upon whether or not the narrator really made a mistake. 

One of the few things that most consumers seem to overlook is the basic idea of fruit/vegetable cosmetics.  Much like how we judge other people, we normally seem to associate exterior appearance with interior quality.  And, fittingly, much like how we discover other people, we realize quickly that a pretty fruit can actually turn out to be an evil bitch - ahem, which is to say it can taste bad. 

Basically, if you are clueless in learning how to determine whether a certain fruit is ripe, fresh or sweet – then, you are obviously more inclined to pick pretty fruit.  And because, farmers and distributors know we are senselessly prejudiced and dense human beings (for the most part), they decide that they must make fruit to look pretty to appeal to our desires.  But to make fruit look pretty, they must perform cosmetic manipulation – chemical tummy tucks and boob jobs for produce if you must.  As a result of this cosmetic manipulation, your food is now more harmful to you, costs more to you, tastes worse, and might become a dirty whore that cheats on you when she says she’s going to have a girl’s night out but really is meeting up with an orange muscled dude who wears like a size 15 shoe but has a tiny package because he got screwed for juicing.  You know, shitty.

Nothing I just wrote should be a surprise to you.  The important lesson is to really learn how to pick produce (ask someone!) and don’t rely on the shiny wax coated stuff at the supermarket.  Just think, when you pick the ugly fruit from a market stand, you are doing yourself and the world a great justice.  You know, it’s fun, like taking the ugly girl home for a party.  (That quote is from a show or a movie, by the way, I am in total support of inner beauty.)    

Monday, January 11, 2010

NY City Mulling Over Banning Flavor

This article appeared on the NY Times today:

Citing Hazard, New York Says Hold the Salt

First New York City required restaurants to cut out trans fat. Then it made restaurant chains post calorie counts on their menus. Now it wants to protect people from another health scourge: salt.

On Monday, the Bloomberg administration plans to unveil a broad new health initiative aimed at encouraging food manufacturers and restaurant chains across the country to curtail the amount of salt in their products.

Read rest of it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/11/business/11salt.html?ref=dining

I have to tell you that I wasn’t necessarily the biggest fan of laws that regulate eating in any way, but a trans fat ban did help curb a health risk normally associated with processed, commercial and industrialized food.  However, this new “salt” legislation aims to probably end up as one of the dumbest ideas to come from the NY government. 

First of all, I am not a supporter of any movement that comes within a hair of suppressing basic civil freedoms.  I believe in basic accountability – which roughly translates to “if you decide to get lazy and fat by eating garbage, you should own up to the fact that YOU destroyed your health.” 

On top of all this, I fail to believe that any type of salt restriction can be enforced for restaurant or business owners.  I know it says it may be limited to chains and packaged foods, but imagine if they expanded it.  Such legislation would probably end up destroying half of the Asian menus in the city.  I’d literally carry fleur de sel in my pocket to every restaurant if that were to ever happen.  Would they consider a ban on pizza?  I bet more people die from pizza than salt in NY.