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Episode: 131

We Are (Foodiness™) Stardust


So, a few days after my return from the International Sweets and Snacks Show, in Chicago, an email pops up in my inbox with the header: “Get ready for real food ingredients!” Wow, I thought, lay it on me, I’m ready for real food ingredients, especially after the sugar shitstorm I’d just immersed myself in!!

This email was from one of the many food companies and ingredient suppliers and industry email lists that I’ve wound up on over the years, because when you register for a trade show, you suddenly start getting emails from all kinds of industry suppliers and companies. This email was from a company that makes chicken products. Not like nuggets and patties, or chicken jerky or even IQF parts, no. They make stuff like powdered chicken stock base, and freeze-dried chicken fat for enriching your institutional hospital-type cooking and hotel and airline food.

The “real food” ingredient they were promoting? Chicken Protein Powder. Get ready indeed! Dehydrated, powdered, chicken meat dust. For use as an additive to processed food products, to increase the protein level in them, because everybody has apparently gone insane about getting enough protein, even though most Americans get more than double the protein they need on a average day. But the food industry has latched on to our belief that we need hundreds of grams of protein, and has added it to all sorts of enhanced Foodiness products like cereals and drinks, and even bottled water.

Is chicken powder a real food ingredient? Chicken is real food, if you dry it into chicken jerky I guess it’s still real food, but is chicken powder dust real food? I don’t know. Something is not right, there’s a distasteful quality about it. It’s creepy. Too far removed from the actual animal. Too much of a disregarding of the fact that the chicken was a living breathing, featherered bird, before it was dehydrated and powdered and put into a vaccum sealed pouch. Too much like soylent green.

It’s chicken!! It’s chicken!! Chicken protein powder is chicken! Or am just (as usual) I overreacting to this? Do I need to just let go, and let dust?

Episode: 130

It’s happy hour in the fallout shelter! Well, as happy as a trio of curmudgeons can get…


It’s so nice down here today, in the ‪Foodiness™ fallout shelter. We’re having quite the stretch of chilly, wet weather in Brooklyn this week, which I’m perversely kind of enjoying, considering what’s to come (NYC hell season), but down here today, it’s cozy and dry.

However, in anticipation of another brutishly soul-sucking NYC summer, I had Handyman-Husband-Adam install a beer draft line system in the shelter, so we could drink frosty mugs full of crisp, bitter IPA’s all summer long, and avoid the glare of the midday sun and the noise and crowds of the Brooklyn pub scene. We’re getting too old for that, you see.

So to celebrate the installation of the tap lines, I’ve invited a couple of doppelganger misanthropes with whom I’ve become virtually-friendly with lately, the Beer Curmudgeons, Sayre Piotrkowski and Collin McDonnell! I was a guest on their podcast a while back (Episode 6, fyi) and today they return the favor. Sayre is an old friend of the Foodiness Fallout Shelter’s resident nutrition goddess, Kristin Wartman! She made the hookup for us, and now we’re like one, big, curmudgeonly-grumpypants family. Good thing we have beer.

Episode: 129

And thus, I venture forth and begin…my snack quest.


During last week’s nut-filled episode, I made a BIG announcement. Do you remember that, in the beginning of the show? What was it? Anyone? Bueller?

Well, I announced that I’m embarking on a new quest, a new mission, so to speak. I’m going on a worldwide (well, nationwide really) search for something. Like Don Draper at the end of this week’s Mad Men. Driving across Wisconsin, picking up hitchhiking hippies. He’s on a quest too, he’s had it with advertising…he’s hitting the road to find himself. He even mentioned Kerouac to his hallucinated vision of Bert Cooper. That’s not what I’m doing, I don’t need to find me, I’m right here. I have a pretty, pretty, pretty (thanks, Larry David) good sense of myself.

No. What I’m setting off to find, isn’t me. It’s the thing that I hope will solve most of my problems, at least my nutritional ones. Actually I don’t really have nutritional problems, I eat extremely well; lots of leafy greens, lentils, oily fish, yogurt, lamb, apples, eggplant….what am I, Greek? Sounds like it. No, no nutritional issues for me, what I do have are snacking problems. Not that I snack too much, I do sometimes, I’m American, its my birthright, but more that I can’t find the right snack. The snack that will solve all my hunger issues, my blood sugar issues, my pre or post workout issues, to see if that snack product actually exists. I’m looking for…my perfect snack.

So I’m setting out on a journey of snacking, to see if there’s anything out there that passes my test. Anything I can keep in my backpack and take out after or before working out, or while hiking, or if I get stuck between meals and get hungry and don’t want to buy an $8 salad or whatever and use a fork. To find a snack that’s convenient, shelf-stable (meaning no refrigeration needed), isn’t sweet and therefore not full of sugar, has protein (not from effing soy) and is made of real food. It also should be reasonably priced.

A long shot? I think so. Wishful thinking, oh yes, for sure. But I’m going into this with an open mind, or at least as open of a mind as someone like me can muster up. I’m ready, I’ve got my plan set.

I’ve got my protective gear, I’ve got my phone charger and I’ve got a bag of almonds, just in case. I’m going virtually spelunking in the unexplored, subterranean caves of the foodiness™ world. Places no enlightened, real food eater has ever seen. Where the normally brightly-orange goldfish crackers are blind and albino because they’ve never seen the light of day, where nothing grows green and everything lasts forever.

I’m going deep, deep down the Foodiness™ rabbit hole to see that if maybe, just maybe in the past three years that I’ve done this show, maybe I missed something? Or maybe things have really changed? Have Foodiness™ Inc. and even Food Inc. finally caught on? Have they been listening to people like me, and our raging against their corn-slurry feed machines? Have they finally come up with something I can accept, nee even embrace? Something I can proudly hold up, triumphantly, right before I eat it and pronounce, deem, crown, the PERFECT snack?

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