On this episode of “Let’s Get Real”…I’ve decided its time to make a big announcement, other than the announcement that LGR is now airing live at 1:00 pm, instead of the 6:30 time slot where this show and my previous show, “Why We Cook” have lived for the past 5 years almost to the day. That’s the minor announcement, but a very important one, because if you miss the live show each week, how will you ever hear it again? Maybe you can set up a tape recorder by the radio and have your mom push the record button at 12:59 when she’s finishing the housework, before “All my Children” comes on at 1pm? That’s what I would do, if I were you. Get her to do it then, before her first valium of the day kicks in. Maybe one day, we’ll have technology that’ll allow us to tape things off of TV and radio at set times, that’d be awesome. until then, make sure you punch the little tabs out of the cassette tape so your sister doesn’t tape America’s top 40 over your shows.

But that’s not it. that’s not the big announcement. Now don’t get all excited, I’m not pregnant or joining the Navy or anything. It’s more like an announcement of a realization. or an enlightenment, or something like that. I’ve come to the realization, that after all this talking and reading and learning and figuring stuff out; about food, and nutrition and health and everything, that it turns out that A. we still don’t really know what we’re supposed to eat, and B. Nobody really knows anything. Including me.

Now by we, I mean Americans. Because we are so young, as a culture and a country, and we’re made of immigrants, who brought a thousand different food cultures to this country and then had them watered down into laughable pale imitations of themselves, (hello Olive Garden?) and didn’t look back toward home for cues but instead left our nutritional and health needs dangling, vulnerable and susceptible to the great American invention of Big Food/Big Ag, ie: the clever guys who brought us not only billions of pounds of surplus grains and sugars and oils, but then invented a million ways to feed that stuff to us, whether directly, in products, or indirectly, in animal feed. you know the guys who invented commodity agriculture, the USDA food pyramid nightmare, fast food, junk food, and Foodiness™

Before them, and all that, In other, older cultures, like in Europe and Asia, you had thousands of years of food culture behind you. You ate your traditional diet which was based on what grew around you. Whether it was based on seal blubber and dried berries or coconut fat and chilies, it worked for you because it was real food, and a hundred generations had eaten it. Sure, foods moved around the globe due to trade and exploration and colonization, but they were still foods. The spanish may have brought pigs to the new world and brought chilies to Southeast Asia, but the ballast of their returning ships wasn’t made up of pallets of Snickerdoodle flavored Chex Mix. (it was actually made of people, like in Soylent Green but still alive, but that’s another show)