Food, Glorious Food



Food, Glorious Food

  Carrie Nation where are you? Dead, of course, but doesn't her spirit live on somewhere? She's the lady - really can't refer to her as that - she's the woman who put words into action in the early 1900s fight against alcohol. For starters, she took rocks and threw them at the bottles in taverns and saloons. Then, reportedly at the suggestion of her husband, she started using a hatchet. Much more effective. She got arrested a lot and wasn't really very popular, but prohibition was voted in anyway. Guess it worked.

  Well, we have another cause for her today. No, not alcohol and drugs. Food. It's killing us. That is, certain kinds of food are killing us, but not quickly enough to be cost effective. No, we're fat and dying too slowly and the country, particularly the U.S. and state and city treasuries, are paying for it. It's a national security issue and our First Lady said so. More significantly,  New York City Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, leader of 10 million people, instituted laws to combat fatness and save our bodies and our dollars. Henceforth, no one may sell (or buy) 16 oz. containers of soda pop, or, more generally put, large sugary drinks, in that City.

  That's where a new Carrie Nation could come in. New York City now has laws. So should the rest of the country. To get the necessary national attention, a new Carrie Nation could take her hatchet into every fast food restaurant, grocery store, deli, car or truck stop, or recreational center and whack 'em up. Everywhere she sees such container displays or evil drink dispensers…whack! Think of the publicity. Hopefully, this new Carrie will be a pretty, reformed soft drink guzzler (the real Carrie Nation wasn't much of a looker). As a woman, she'll carry more weight (pun intended) and get away with more vandalism than a pot bellied, partially shaven, hairy, pig of a man.

  Of course, no self-respecting citizen concerned about the health of our nation should stop at sugary soft drinks. Those are only the surface foods that destroy our bodies. Almost every snack - pop corn, potato chips, corn chips and so forth - are packed with either sugar, salt, processed foods, not to mention chemicals of all sorts. Off with their packages. Since you can no longer in New York City donate food to a homeless shelter (true story) for fear of impregnating them with salt, fat or not enough fiber, there is no reason not to take that message further afield.

  As someone who observes a limited diet for health reasons, I can provide this list of "do not serve, offer, or eat the following non-desireable foods": red meat (any size), cheeses, particularly including pizza, cheeses of almost any kind, processed bread products, all sugary drinks. It is fruits and veggies, veggies and fruits. Fish is good except for the mercury and poultry is acceptable in limited amounts. And, what's good for me, must be good for you. Think of what our new Carrie could do with that list.

  I can picture a fine dining setting such as Bern's in Tampa. Elegant place settings. Plates of great slabs of moist, fat riddled beef, baked potatoes with bacon crumbles and sour cream, veggies au gratin, fine, dense, processed bread, rich, sugary desserts. Copious amounts of alcohol. Enter Carrie swinging her hatchet, saving bodies and souls, saving the nation. No longer the "Food, Glorious Food" of the play "Oliver". Now it would be a glorious mess. Ah, so satisfying.

  Hopefully, in a less violent future, there will be new glorious food laws enforced by calm, but reassuringly hard and firm food police no longer needing hatchets. Ah, a double whammy: healthy food control and job opportunity. Limits on food portions from the grocery stores to the restaurants and delis. Limits on second helpings. Limits on single items. Think beyond, too. Mandatory community exercise - mental and physical.

  And, then, we die.