A mug of high fat might not kill you

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Look, I just don’t know if I can stomach the path this nation is taking one more day. What kind of world do we live in when a down-on-his-luck panhandler has to say, “Pardon me, brother. Can you spare $3.25 for a double-chocolate espresso iced latte?”
Java Jones. Remember the good old days when Bogie or some equally hard-boiled he-man would wander into a diner and ask for a cup o’ joe, black?
Now, the director would be forced to clunk up the action with at least one long-shot of our hero ordering a grande tall latte, extra cream, and a double-shot of espresso with extra sprinkles, please.
For the record, there is nothing even remotely virile about that.
Coffee, once the fuel of cops on stakeouts and workaholic, Type-A personalities, is now the beverage of choice in junior high. On any given weekday afternoon, Starbucks is packed with school kids.
Banana Frappuccinos are sweeter than milkshakes. Everything comes topped with mounds of whipped cream and sprinkles.
Frankly, coffee as we know and love it – as essential to life as oxygen – is in grave danger of becoming nothing more than a couple hundred spoonfuls of sugar to wash the minute traces of caffeine down.
Mistaken. Of course, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s relaxation on the whole “obesity is bad” thing plays right up that alley.
“CDC overstated risks of being overweight: Study finds statistics exaggerate dangers of extra pounds,” is the headline of a 2005 Associated Press article. Well, then, bring on the whipped cream and nuts!
How bad was the CDC’s mistake? It turns out that instead of ranking No. 2 among the nation’s leading preventable causes of death, obesity is a paltry seven.
Seven? I gave up double-stuffed burritos for a seven?
Using the new estimate, “excess weight would drop behind alcohol, germs, toxins and pollutants, car crashes and guns.”
So now, to drown my sorrows or fill a moment of boredom, I could drink excessively, lick a doorknob and then drive really, really recklessly while cleaning a pistol. Or, I could just eat an Oreo?
Missed out. I guess I should have been happy when the news broke – you know, cracked open a carton of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food and really whooped it up, but I just couldn’t celebrate with full-fat fervor. Frankly, I felt betrayed.
I’m mourning the hot fudge sundaes that might have been. The double orders of nachos I didn’t eat. The blue cheese dressing I passed in favor of – I shudder now to think of it – “lite vinaigrette.”
Misinformation and scientific malfeasance has cost me the best high-fat years of my life! What else aren’t they telling us? I feel like my whole life has been a sham!
Maybe sunscreen doesn’t really prevent skin cancer? Perhaps an apple a day just causes you to have a lot of unsightly apple skin between your teeth? For the record, I’ve always suspected that exercise is very, very bad for you.
Different guidelines. That’s it. For once, I’m not only going to jump ON the bandwagon – I’m driving it! I’m going to get firmly ahead of the curve.
Strong, black coffee is the new health food! Just be sure to wash down a couple high-fat doughnuts or a muffin as big as your head along with it.
After all, the CDC says you can.
(Kymberly Foster Seabolt has coffee coursing through her veins. She welcomes comments c/o P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; kfs@epohi.com; or http://userweb.epohi.com/~kseabolt.)

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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