Archive for April, 2015

Episode: 128

Nobody down here but me and my nuts…


You know sometimes it can get a little lonely, down here in the Foodiness™ Fallout Shelter…fighting the good fight for REAL from way down here, it can be a little isolating. With the twins, Lexi and Hampton (remember them? I barely do…) off at reeducation camp after they tried to hide those gummy vitamins in their underwear drawer over Christmas break, and the Fallout Shelter team off Mormon-style Anti-Foodiness missions around the globe, I’m all by myself down here. It can make a person a little nutty…

So, I’ve decided it’s time to start having some guests pop in for a chat ’round the fire. We don’t really have a fire, but you can smell the pizza oven from Roberta’s, so it’s close enough.

To stave off the nuttiness that the loneliness of fighting Foodiness™ can create, who better to visit with than the misses Tannenbaum and Tutunjan, aka Cara and Andrea, the co-authors of “In A Nutshell; Cooking and Baking with Nuts and Seeds”? Not only did they write THE book on the subject, but I’ve known them forever. And if there were ever an LGR approved, Foodiness-fightin’ food(s), it’s NUTS AND SEEDS!

Oh and also we’ll discuss the FDA’s ridiculous removal of the word HEALTHY from the label of Kind Bars…for one of the dumbest, most outdated reasons ever.

Episode: 127

It’s the Over-Under Foodiness™ in America Show


I heard these sports radio guys recently discussing something called “The Over-Under”. Actually, it was more like the “Ovuh-Unduh”, this being NYC sports radio and all. I’m not a sports fan, so my husband explained to me that the ovuh-unduh is something about a team’s record for the season, and wins, and betting…and blah blah blah, it was like the teacher in a Charlie Brown special to me. I don’t really care what it means, so it didn’t stick. I’ve heard the explanation at least 3 or 4 times again, since, I even asked him about it yesterday as I was writing this episode. But it didn’t stick because I don’t care about what it really means, I just like the way it sounds, the ovuh-unduh, and to me, the ovuh-unduh is not a term about sports, it’s a term that sums up American culture. Specifically, our culture and its relationship to food and Foodiness and everything else! We are ovuh-unduh America. We INVENTED the ovuh-unduh.

After the industrial revolution and the mechanization and centralization of farming and the invention of post-war chemical fertilizing and the subsequent government subsidizing of commodity grains and then the subsequent shift in out diets to a corn and soybean orgy of grain and grain fed products, we are all now LIVING the ovuh-unduh. Feast or famine? Well, we’ve got both. Only here in America is it possible to be both fat and malnourished at the same time! You can gorge on shitty, processed, nutrition-less food, weigh 300 pounds, and still suffer the diseases of malnutrition. That’s the REAL ovuh-unduh. You can go to a restaurant and order a meal that has more calories in just the entrée than most people’s great-grandma ate in an entire day, that’s the ovuh-unduh too. And at that same restaurant you can have a slab of cheesecake that doubles that number of calories again, but wash it down with 48 ounces of a beverage that has zero calories, that you’re PAYING for, that you are paying a company money for, and that may just kill you, and that’s the ovuh-unduh, too!

Or, the fact that we produce more food on this planet that we can every consume, more than double the daily caloric needs of every human and animal in this country, and yet we throw away almost 40% of it, whether through rejecting it in the fields for not being perfect, or producing it so cheaply that there are no buyers so its dumped before leaving the factory, or in transit when systems fail, or in supermarkets when they trash thousands of pounds of food simply because of an arbitrary date stamped on it that has no legal bearing or meaning, or in your fridge as it slowly goes bad because you’re too spoiled to feel compelled to use up what you buy…that’s the big ovuh-unduh too. America. Land of the free, home of the big Over-Under.

We produce so much food, so quickly and efficiently, that we then have to reject much of it because our system of using it, distributing it is designed to scare us into thinking that 5 minutes out of refrigeration, or 12 hours past an expiration date, and we’re dead.

I’ve discussed food waste here before, multiple times, but last night I was lucky enough to be invited to a screening of a new documentary called “Just Eat It, a food waste story”.

It’ll be airing on msnbc on April 22 at 10pm EST and I implore everyone to tell everyone they know to watch it. I thought I had a handle on the amounts of food waste, but even I was shocked! The couple who made the film lived on scavenged food for 6 months, and between them collected $20,000 worth of food. That’s only what two people taking perfectly good stuff out of dumpsters behind stores collected. 20k.’s worth! That doesn’t even take into consideration all the waste that happens before the food is even harvested or produced. It was really horrifying. I feel like I do a pretty good job of not wasting food, and you know I love the discount produce shelf, but even I can only eat so many overripe pears. It’s time to dump the ovuh-unduh and start thinking like your great-grandma!

Episode: 126

Little House of Foodiness Hyperspin on the Prairie


Know who we haven’t discussed in a while? Come on, take a guess. Who do I live to talk about the most, other than myself? Yeah, Laura!! As in, Laura Ingalls Wilder, my favorite imaginary best friend in the whole world. I mean, I know she was a real person, but she also became my imaginary friend in my 1970’s childhood.

Laura…she’s such an important part of the LGR story. So many times, when faced with a new Foodiness™ nightmare or unfathomable modern age industrialized food horror, I think, “what would Laura make of this?” Would she even recognize what we call food today, as food? Some stuff, sure. Meat, vegetables, butter. It probably wouldn’t taste very good to her, since in her day, food had much more flavor before we industrially pounded it out in favor of uniformity, controlled ripeness or factory farming.

Throughout the course of the eight or so LHOTP books, we, the readers are taken along with the Ingalls family on their peripatetic journey as they make their way west, from Wisconsin’s big woods, to Kansas’s Indian Territory, to Minnesota, and Nebraska, and finally, DeSmet South Dakota. They endure all the standard hardships of late 19th century life; blizzards, scorching heat and drought, record-setting cold, long winters, plagues of locusts, near-lethal fevers, attacks by Indians, the standard stuff. We suffer and rejoice along with them, freeze and sweat, break sod and strain the milk. Work our skinny pre-20th century asses off, just trying to survive. Literally.

What we don’t do, is sit around moping and philosophically pondering our greater purpose with them, because at least as Laura tells it, there wasn’t ever time for any of that stuff. There were always cows to milk and straw to twist into fuel sticks for the fire and laundry water to boil and beans to soak and biscuit dough to make and dirt floors to sweep and fields to plow, but never really much time to think “maybe I shouldn’t have spent 4 years at art school and then changed my career at 25 and now find myself almost 50 and not sure what I want to do with my life but maybe I’ll just watch one more episode of Bob’s Burger’s and eat another bowl of Greek yogurt and not really think about it today and dust off my book proposal tomorrow instead”. Nope, not much of that happened in the little house. You think you’re falling asleep earlier and earlier each year? Try watching Veep by candlelight, you’ll never make it through season one.

Page 1 of 11