My Voice Too Rough From Cigarettes

Haven’t figured out why yet, but I joined Twitter. This immediately gave me a headache and made me love Steve Martin more, since he doesn’t write in Twitter’s secret code language. Do not pretend that Twitter is not peepulated with cool-kid code. It certainly is and that is a bore. Strange upside: Mr. Bittman might introduce us to someone interesting.

Prior to pursuing his nutrition studies, Andy [Bellatti] completed a bachelor’s degree in journalism and gender & sexuality studies at New York University.

His passion for nutrition was partially sparked by the sheer confusion he used to experience when trying to determine what constituted healthy eating in a society where nutrition messages are often clouded by marketing, sales profits, and hype.

Hey! I’m confused all the time! He sounds promising. What’s he on about?

…I’m shining the spotlight inward, taking a look at pervasive, accepted, and often times unquestioned concepts, ideas, and issues within the field of nutrition that carry a significant risk of self-harm. They are dangerous because they don’t allow for growth, critical analysis, or substantive dialogue; instead, they minimize the nutrition field’s importance and have helped create the current free-for-all we are in, where the term “nutrition expert” is as loosely thrown around as “reality TV star”.

Ooooooh. Mr. Bellatti, you have my undivided attention. Tell me more.

  • 1) “There is no such thing as junk food”/”there are no bad foods”
  • 2) “Moderation!”
  • 3) “Healthy Eater = Red Flag”
  • 4) “You Have To Be Realistic”
  • 5) The American Dietetic Association Isn’t A Health Organization
  • It is hard to imagine how Mr. Bellatti wrote that entire post without sticking an ADA monogrammed pen through the ribcage and enlarged heart of a junk food-defending dietitian. You should read the whole thing and the comments, too, for extra goobertastic entertainment. For the life of me, I can’t figure out what the point of getting a degree in food science is if you’re scared to even ever-so-gently TELL PEOPLE ABOUT GODDAMN FOOD SCIENCE. Fast food is not food. That’s not a secret you should prepare to take with you to the grave, nutritionists!

    Sing out!

    Some people argue that if we do not preach moderation, we are setting the stage for unreachable perfectionism and eating disorders, a position that I find grossly melodramatic. Recommending that people shy away from fast food whenever possible is not about perfection; it’s healthful advice.

    Who are these professionals who say stopping at McDonald’s is a fine idea? Who are they? What exactly is wrong with them? I’d really like to know.


    How Deep Do You Hold

    Pete took this picture after the sun fell over the trees. We finally have zucchini coming in, which is good because zucchini plants are crazy drama queens.

    Here is a simple thing: this morning, Pete and I went out on an early bike ride. The air was crisp and clear, the sun bright, the power walkers looked jaunty. I rode the majority of the course with my hands over my head, pretending to win a stage of the Tour de France – one of the tough stages in the Alps, where the winner really sticks it to the entire peloton and not one of the flat stages where twelve large men cross the line so close together only the cameras can tell who won. Oh who cares? It’s a stage at the Tour and my sponsors will go crazy! I win!

    …And then I was yelling at the driver going the wrong way on the one way park road in a decidedly Jersey fashion.

    Out By This Poolroom Life

    There are only so many minutes we can wring out of each day. The minutes I’d usually use tonight to pound out a post with both sticky paws might be packed with adventure and romance – or more likely with working at the food pantry and making yogurt at home. Either way: sticky. So you can bet I’ll be thinking of you, Poor Impulsives! How could I not? And speaking of me, I’ve been reading food preservation blogs. Did you know there are dozens of them? There are! And they are doing some really creative things like raising goats and pickling improbable pickles and farming fruits and praising raisins. And each of those blogs has a blogroll full of other preservation bloggers, many of whom are doing work just as interesting, by which I mean I want those bloggers to ship jars to my house for circumspect sampling. Is that too much to ask?

    These bloggers are plainly not thinking of my needs. Hopefully soon, they will see the error of their ways. And speaking of me, I received a cookbook in the mail some months ago that sat on a table for weeks while I worked up the nerve to read it. Dad’s online foodie friends published their own cookbook with a section dedicated to Dad’s passionate pontificating. To my surprise, the writing sounds like him, the recipes make sense, the techniques he described were familiar enough that I could tell the editors had snipped a few words here and there but left his work largely undisturbed. His voice was clear and decisive, his opinions as firm as they’d ever been. One of our last conversations:

    Tata: …I’ve been using bamboo cutting boards –
    Dad: No!
    Tata: (thinking of the three very expensive cutting boards aging gracefully on my kitchen counter) No?
    Dad: (done talking about this or almost anything else)
    Tata: Okay.

    But he was like that. He read everything, formed an opinion and something drastic would have to develop or come his way to change his mind. I often wonder what he meant when he rejected the bamboo cutting boards. Yesterday, the Punk Domestics published When Is Content Original? I’ve been mulling over this, too:

    Recipes – which is to say lists and quantities of ingredients – cannot be copyrighted, but “substantial literary expression in the form of an explanation or directions” and images are subject to copyright protection. When using some or all of another’s recipe, including an image, there are some broadly accepted etiquettes about the use, attribution and adaptation of recipes.

    First and foremost, cite your sources. If you are using a recipe from another source, it’s polite to get permission first, and top of form to give credit and link back. If you are adapting it or deriving a new recipe with inspiration from it, permission is not necessary, but the citation and link back are certainly good form.

    I do not own the rights to the cookbook or to Dad’s writing and I’m the last person who’d fuck with someone else’s rights. For one thing, no one needs the cognitive dissonance inherent in being haunted by an angry dead atheist. For another, I have had about half a dozen conversations with people genuinely upset about chicken stock and there’s no need for that, either. Dad had a simple solution to – well, look: some folks want to cook with stock, but it’s expensive or it takes time to make or they don’t know how, and they feel judged about it. Making your own stock is not a moral obligation, but it is a good use of your resources, gets your money’s worth out of your groceries and improves the flavor of your cooking. Why are people anxious? I don’t know, but do you know anybody who isn’t?

    In the cookbook, Dad says all you need is a large slow cooker. Put everything you’d put in a stock pot into a large slow cooker, set that bad boy on low. After an hour or two, check that the surface of the liquid ripples but doesn’t boil. Let’s say you do that after dinner. In the morning, you might need to add water. When you get home from work, strain out the bones and toss the liquid back into the slow cooker. Taste it. You might want to add some wine and a few pinches of salt. Let the liquid heat gently for another hour or two. Twenty-four hours in a slow cooker should do it. Let it cool, then store it in your fridge.

    There you have it, without my stealing even a single phrase. Of course, I was thinking of your needs all along. Don’t we all feel a little less sticky?

    You Shake Their Hands Off

    Unless you live under a rock or in America, you’ve heard about this.

    The Candidate Vow:
    Therefore, in any elected or appointed capacity by which I may have the honor of serving our fellow citizens in these United States, I the undersigned do hereby solemnly vow* to honor and to cherish, to defend and to uphold, the Institution of Marriage as only between one man and one woman. I vow* to do so through my:

    * Personal fidelity to my spouse.

    * Respect for the marital bonds of others.

    * Official fidelity to the U.S. Constitution, supporting the elevation of none but faithful constitutionalists as judges or justices.

    * Vigorous opposition to any redefinition of the Institution of Marriage – faithful monogamy between one man and one woman – through statutory-, bureaucratic-, or court-imposed recognition of intimate unions which are bigamous, polygamous, polyandrous, same-sex, etc.

    * Recognition of the overwhelming statistical evidence that married people enjoy better health, better sex, longer lives, greater financial stability, and that children raised by a mother and a father together experience better learning, less addiction, less legal trouble, and less extramarital pregnancy.

    * Support for prompt reform of uneconomic, anti-marriage aspects of welfare policy, tax policy, and marital/divorce law, and extended “second chance” or “cooling-off” periods for those seeking a “quickie divorce.”

    * Earnest, bona fide legal advocacy for the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at the federal and state levels.

    * Steadfast embrace of a federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman in all of the United States.

    * Humane protection of women and the innocent fruit of conjugal intimacy – our next generation of American children – from human trafficking, sexual slavery, seduction into promiscuity, and all forms of pornography and prostitution, infanticide, abortion and other types of coercion or stolen innocence.

    * Support for the enactment of safeguards for all married and unmarried U.S. Military and National Guard personnel, especially our combat troops, from inappropriate same-gender or opposite-gender sexual harassment, adultery or intrusively intimate commingling among attracteds (restrooms, showers, barracks, tents, etc.); plus prompt termination of military policymakers who would expose American wives and daughters to rape or sexual harassment, torture, enslavement or sexual leveraging by the enemy in forward combat roles.

    * Rejection of Sharia Islam and all other anti-woman, anti-human rights forms of totalitarian control.

    * Recognition that robust childbearing and reproduction is beneficial to U.S. demographic, economic, strategic and actuarial health and security.

    * Commitment to downsizing government and the enormous burden upon American families of the USA?s $14.3 trillion public debt, its $77 trillion in unfunded liabilities, its $1.5 trillion federal deficit, and its $3.5 trillion federal budget.

    * Fierce defense of the First Amendment?s rights of Religious Liberty and Freedom of Speech22, especially against the intolerance of any who would undermine law-abiding American citizens and institutions of faith and conscience for their adherence to, and defense of, faithful heterosexual monogamy.

    That’s not very exciting. Any moron with a full set of Crayolas can write a pledge, but it takes a special kind of moron to write this and demand candidates for the Presidency of the United States sign it.

    Slavery had a disastrous impact on African-American families, yet sadly a child born into slavery in 1860 was more likely to be raised by his mother and father in a two-parent household than was an African-American baby born after the election of the USA’s first African-American President.

    Ed, brilliant propietor of Gin and Tacos, says it best:


    I’m still trying to find words for how completely I don’t. That’s what the psychopathic monsters writing pledges count on: that candidates will say anything to get elected and that people like me will be rendered speechless. So many people were rendered totally speechy and backlashy that the sponsoring organization (I’m not linking to those depraved motherfuckers) removed that paragraph about the relative merits of slavery on the African-American family. Michelle Bachmann signed that blood oath, then said she hadn’t read it. That’s…I don’t know.

    I’m still speechless, but the words career-ending abomination spring effortlessly to mind.