Monday, October 26, 2015

Hard to Swallow

MEAT - Our Deadly Enemy
I remember when, according to scientists who study these things, foods like eggs or chocolate were very bad for you. Then, after years of guilt-ridden cholesterol consumption, suddenly these popular food items were blessed by new scientific findings and deemed perfectly consumable in reasonable quantities.

This lazy susan of dangerous food roulette has been spinning for at least fifty years. A certain food or drink is proclaimed evil and destructive by sage researchers--until it's not. The latest dire warning from the scientific know-it-alls is that meat--meat!--is bad for you. No, not merely bad--it's deadly! "Carcinogenic"! As bad as "smoking or asbestos"!

Holy rolling meatballs. We're all screwed. Or are we?

I grew up the eldest of four children. We all ate meat every blessed day. Horrible meat! Terribly perilous meat! Meats like cold cuts--bologna, liverwurst, or ham sandwiches in our lunch boxes. We ate hot dogs (the store brand) and hamburgers (pan-fried). My mother cooked bacon and eggs every Sunday morning. She saved the bacon grease and used it to cook other foods, like fried potato cakes, which she served when we had beef liver for dinner. Our regular delicious dinner menus included beef pot roast, flank steak, lamb neck stew, and roast pork. I suppose my brothers and sister and I should all be dead by now, instead of walking around perfectly healthy in our 50s and 60s.

My mother did all the cooking, and she ate the same things she fed us. I remember she wasn't a big snacker, but when she did indulge--usually over a cocktail--she liked to eat potato chips or processed cheese from aerosol cans on salty crackers. I also remember that she never paid attention to food warnings, as evidenced by our weekly bacon-and-egg brunch. Today Mom's ninety-five years old, in good health--and still eating meat. So all I can say to the latest scientific killjoys is, shut up and pass the salisbury steak. And don't forget the pan-drippings gravy.