by Sean Donnellan
Cooking is one of the most important skills for maintaining your health. In this world of preservatives and prepackaging, the opportunity to have total control over the ingredients you ingest is a great asset. We live in a time when there is actually a demand for Twinkies Light! What I wonder about is the sad physical state one must be in to switch from a regular Twinkies to low-cal Twinkies and think that you are doing yourself some good. It's not as if the person is switching over to organic produce it's still a Twinkie! The same goes for those who are addicted to low-fat frozen yogurt. It's only low in fat until you hit the toppings section and the guy asks, "Do you want any toppings on that?" The response is, like, "Yeah, why don't you give me some of the Nestle's Crunch bar, some of the gummy bears, some of the coconut, some of the peanut. . .Aww. . .what the heck-throw a roast beef on there and, while you're at it, be a dear and put some whipped cream on top!"
As a whole we eat horribly in this country. We even load up our Olympic athletes with McDonald's, Snickers bars, and Coca-Cola and wonder why we still can't luge. You don't need me to point this out, because television does it for us. Thirty percent of the ads on TV today are for antacids, stomach tablets, and digestive aids.
The commercials are ridiculous. The wife is always cooking dinner and the husband walks in like the moron that all husbands are in commercials, and so goes the conversation:Wife: "Honey, I'm making your favorite rats asses and Tabasco!"
Husband: "Ummm . . . sounds great, but you know what rats asses and Tabasco does to my stomach. I won't be able to breathe all night and I'l1 be on the can until Wednesday."
Wife: "No, you won't, because the first course is this little pill called Forget What Your Body Is Trying to Tell You! Take just one little Forget What Your Body Is Trying to Tell You! and you can eat rats asses and Tabasco for the next twelve hours."
Husband: "Well I just might.... Golly, honey, you must really love me."
It's very clear why we have these products. Americans spend $1 billion a year on over-the-counter antacids. So, that proves that the people of this great land have a lot of trouble figuring out what they should and shouldn't eat. If you eat something that lights you up like Las Vegas and keeps you open all night, don't eat it! Don't take some drug that alters your system from doing its job of keeping you alive! Frustration sets in after a while when I hear people say things like, "I can't figure out why the spicy sausage doesn't sit well in my tummy." It's rather simple: intestines don't break down other intestines very well-it's called professional courtesy.
I'm not here to tell you what you should and shouldn't eat. Truly, eat what you like and eat what you love-just be smart and know what you're eating.
Something Tastes Funny
by Sean Donnellan
Recipes by Naidre Miller
Photos by Max S. Gerber
Warner Books, $9.99
189 pages; June 1, 1997
Recipes and photos reprinted by permission.
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