Archive for 2015

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.

Episode: 125

Breast Milk, the Original Sports Drink!


It’s our 125th Episode!!! Yay!! And we look so good for 125…

So, in honor of this momentous, significant occasion, let’s go back to basics for this 125th Anniversary edition of LGR, as far back as we can go, back to the first food we all ever ate. I don’t mean cord blood, or amniotic fluid, which you just kind of inhaled involuntarily for those first 9 months. No, the one right after that. The first food. I’m talking milk, babies! Fresh Boob Juice, your first Lacta-ccino, the original sports drink.

Breast or bottle, human flesh or silicone, we all started life with a squishy nipple between our tiny pink gums. Milk. It’s really like the one and only food that we can all agree on worldwide, since we all start life with it. Except for ‪‎Scientologists but I’ll get to those nut jobs later. Even if you were a bottle-fed formula baby, like me, since in the 1960’s all new moms were told that formula was better then breast, because…science. You still lived on liquids for at least the first 3 months, and hopefully a lot longer than that. And I think we can all agree that “mama milk”, as my niece called it as she nursed well into her third year of life, crushes soy-based formulas, no matter what.

Since the early days of LGR I’ve called baby formula the original Foodiness‬ product, I mean, think about it. It’s a convenient, powdered soy milk-based, protein-enhanced, chemical and hype-filled powdered power drink. Sound familiar? And it’s marketed directly to the most vulnerable, tired, moody and confused consumers; the guileless, clueless, innocent newborn baby. Those poor kids haven’t even focused their glassy blue eyes enough to read the fine print yet, and they’re bombarded with Foodiness propaganda right and left of the crib to get them to slurp down bottles of formula, with promises of added AHA and DHA, probiotics, calcium, protein, and caffeine. Not really, just making sure you’re paying attention. Those tiny tots can’t even push their little carts down the store aisle by themselves yet, and they’re already a target market. Getting endless email offers and Facebook popups on their tiny phones, extolling the virtues of formula. Those poor wee bairns, 3 weeks old and already a consumer. Should have tried harder to nurse, baby…all you’d have to do is lie there and suck. Should have thought about that when you turned your head away from your poor mommy’s swollen, leaky boobs. It’s formula time for you, now, babe. It’s the Foodiness gateway drug.

Too bad those teeny shoppers can’t just pop down to the pharmacy and get a bottle of actual human breast milk. Or wait, can they?

You’ll find out on today’s anniversary epsiode of “Let’s Get Real”

Episode: 124

Why Aren’t Baby Carrots Actually Shaped Like Babies?…


The other day I was coming down the hall of my apartment building, and my little neighbor Anna, was out there, spinning herself in a circle. (she’s 6, not crazy)I watched her for a second, as she then stopped spinning and stumbled woozily around like a tiny drunk and fell to the floor in a heap, and asked her if she was spinning to make herself so dizzy that she’d fall down, and she grinned her little gap-toothed smile and nodded her curly head.

I told her that I loved to do that too, when I was little, and she smiled again and said, “can I see your apartment?” which is what she and her sister always want to do, they love to look into other apartments on the floor. (I do too) But I said no, not this time, and went inside and left her to her spinning.

Little Anna had that unique un-selfconsciousness that small kids have, before bigger kids and teachers and parents and the world bash it out of you. She didn’t care what she looked like as she spun and tumbled into a lump on the carpet, she just knew it was a fun, crazy thing to do with her body. I totally remember that feeling. Before you were even AWARE of your body, in a sense, and you just lived in it, comfortably. Before you were forced to think about it, before the pediatrician told you that you were getting too fat, before your older sister made you feel self-conscious, before it all got ruined by external forces that created doubt and self-loathing in you. Before all that.

She just wanted to spin, to change the feeling of standing upright, of seeing straight, to alter her reality for a minute. I wonder if kids who love to do that, tend to grow up to abuse more substances? Do they get hooked on distorting their reality? Changing their experience of the world? Reshape it for a few minutes? Make the hallway walls seem round and blurry, not straight and square? Or do they go to work for big food companies and form chicken slurry paste into little dinosaurs and corn powder and sugar into pink princess cereal shapes? Are we all just overgrown toddlers, as I’ve said before, trying to recapture the delicious feeling of being dizzy and seeing the world in a blur? I can’t even get on a swing anymore without getting motion sickness, but I loved to make the world spin 40 years ago.

Maybe that’s why we love to play with the natural shape of things, mess around with nature, alter stuff. Because we can’t do it the same way we did as kids? I’ve been wondering about this lately. Why can’t we accept the shape of things? Our environments, our food, our bodies? All formed by nature, or by nature with our help, good or bad… In the case of Foodiness™, mostly bad. No, actually…all bad.

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