Foods With Benefits
Food has been sleeping around with your stomach and no condoms have ever been involved. It’s like a 60’s love fest in your belly. Groovy, baby.
It turns out that the human stomach isn’t that discriminating. It’s a go-with-the-flow kind of hipster dufus (probably wearing a fedora) who blindly trusts decisions made by the brain and mouth. Ha ha ha! Like they give a shit about downstream organs!
Tom’s Law #42
As one becomes less involved in the production and preparing of one’s own food, the odds of unwanted contaminants, unknown ingredients, lessened nutrition, deception and malice are exponentially increased.
Chew on that!
For example, the average fast food patron eats an average of 12 public hairs per year. And probably in a public place! Some things are meant to be handled in pubic.
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Self Serving Portions
Wow. My boss must be moonlighting as a copywriter for food processing companies. Enjoy the observational humor and wit. “Serving suggestion.” That cracks me up.
“This is only a suggestion, mind you, but we recommend it puts the product in its mouth. Masticate and swallow as necessary. Repeat these steps until product is all gone gone.”
I hope this wisdom will be preserved so thousands of years from now when future archeologists are studying us they’ll be amazed at what we came up with.
Don’t try eating that meat with a spoon. No, no, no. That won’t do at all.
In the Taker household, late at night, basking in the warm glow of the television set, cries of “Treat, treat!” can often be heard.
Household policy dictates that the person who didn’t make dinner (that would usually be me) is in charge of rounding up and serving the evening dessert. Additionally, the person who is receiving the treat gets to make the choice between the two servings. This ensures fair distribution of product. It is strictly prohibited to give yourself a giant bowl of ice cream and pawn off a tiny bowl on your mate. Bad form.
Sometimes, though, when one is feeling particularly cruel and devious, the notion of “servings per container” may come into play. That’s when things really get dicey.
Ingredient Throwbown with Abyss Flayed: Triscuit vs Wheat Thins
I’ve become interested in ingredients of late. It all goes back to my Christmas wish list (in progress). One of the items on my list is a book about the tobacco industry entitled Golden Holocaust. I’m sure it’ll bring kris kringles of fun to make my season bright.
I read an excerpt from the book that got me thinking about ingredients. And thanks to the internet, I’ve gained more knowledge than I ever dreamed possible. And more than I ever wanted.
But more about all that later when I bring you the grisly details right before supper time.
For now, a brief and simple new feature here on the blog called The Ingredient Throwdown with Abyss Flayed. I’m your host, Mr. Abyss, and as part of this process I’ll be flayed. Hence the title. I’ll also be flambéed, sautéed, and filleted. That part I’m doing just to be thorough.
In this feature I pick two food items that strike my fancy and put them up against each other in a head-to-head winner-take-all-challenge. Using my secret formula, I then list the ingredients in each food item in an unbiased manner and declare a winner based on which ingredients I think are better.
Sounds like fun? Let’s eat!
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McRib: Let us pray
Philosophical question of the day: Shouldn’t all food be McRibbed for her pleasure?
Quick, someone get me a McBib, because I’m about to mow down on some McRib. Six weeks only and then McRib goes away! This is not a drill. Alert level: Elevated. To the McRibmobile!
Um, wait a second. What is a McRib, anyway?
Let us start by viewing McRib the way McDonald’s wants us to. Here’s the official page promoting the McRib. (No shortage of hype on this site, eh?) McDonald’s also created a web site (now defunct) for “The Boneless Pig Farmers of America.” BPFAA. No shit. Who comes up with this stuff? Here’s a static screen shot of the defunct web site.
Next let us go about undressing a McRib. Such a delicious idea. For the photo spread of a completely naked McRib click here: Fast Food Facts.
OK, who’s still with me? 🙂
Here’s the ingredients in a McRib:
McRib Pork Patty:
Pork, water, salt, dextrose, BHA and BHT and propyl gallate and citric acid (preservatives).
Enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, yeast, high fructose corn syrup, contains 2% or less of the following: yellow corn meal, salt, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, canola oil, soybean oil, dextrose, sugar, calcium sulfate, cultured wheat flour, wheat gluten, ammonium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate, ammonium chloride, cellulose gum, diastatic malt, calcium carbonate, soy flour, deactivated dry yeast, dough conditioners (may contain one or more of the following: ascorbic acid, enzymes, sodium stearoyl lactylate, azodicarbonamide, calcium peroxide, guar gum, distilled monoglycerides, DATEM, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides, calcium stearoyl lactylate), calcium propionate and sodium propionate (preservatives), soy lecithin.
CONTAINS: WHEAT AND SOY.
Water, high fructose corn syrup, tomato paste, distilled vinegar, molasses, natural smoke flavor (plant source), food starch-modified, salt, spices, sugar, soybean oil, xanthan gum, onion and garlic powder, sodium benzoate (preservative), caramel color, beet powder, corn oil.
Cucumbers, water, distilled vinegar, salt, calcium chloride, alum, potassium sorbate (preservative), natural flavors (plant source), polysorbate 80, extractives of turmeric (color).
OK, who’s still with me? 🙂
The patty itself contains “pork.” Why do I feel there is so much more behind that one little word? And what the hell is the rest of that stuff?
Holy shit, check out those buns! (Something I’m often heard to say.) That’s a lot of ingredients. Sounds delicious.
Even the frickin’ pickles have a surprising list of extra stuff. I guess normal pickles don’t have a long enough shelf life for the McDonald’s supply chain. How long are these pickles supposed to last? Through the next two nuclear wars? Wow.
Nutrition information for a McRib (partial list): 500 calories, 240 calories from fat, 26 grams total fat, 10 grams saturated fat, 70 mg cholesterol, 980 mg sodium, 44 grams carbohydrates. Source: McDonald’s.
According to Snopes.com, chicken nuggets have been made with “all white meat” rather than MSP (mechanically separated poultry) since 2003. For more about MSM (Mechanically Separated Poultry) visit Wikipedia.
What’s really in that “pork” in a McRib? And how is it made? I’m not sure. I couldn’t find anything conclusive on the web. No matter what’s in there, though, trust me. It wouldn’t surprise me much.
For a fun little diversion that doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with McRib, check out this video from Jamie Oliver, who is starting to grow on me just a little bit.
I guess the basic question is: Why do Americans care so little about what they stick in their face? Should we ponder what McDonald’s is serving or just chow it down without thought? Putting my trust in McDonald’s is not something I’m really prepared to do.
About trust, remember that the McDonald’s “Monopoly” promotion, which has been around since 1987, was gamed for five years by individuals within the company McDonald’s hired to administer the contest. Says Wikipedia:
In 2000, the US promotion was halted after fraud was uncovered. A subcontracting company called Simon Marketing (a then-subsidiary of Cyrk), which has been hired by McDonald’s to organize and promote the game, failed to recognize a flaw in its procedures, and the chief of security, Jerome P. Jacobson, was able to remove the “most expensive” game pieces, which he then passed to associates who would redeem them and share the proceeds. The associates “won” almost all of the top prizes between 1995 and 2000, including McDonald’s giveaways that did not have the Monopoly theme. The associates “netted” over $24 million. The scheme was uncovered when one of the participants informed on its ringleaders to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
And didn’t McDonald’s just run this promotion again this year? Do not pass go, do not collect $200. (I’m assuming this year’s game was legit and administered by a different company.) Things that make me go, “Hmmm. Fuck you.”
It’s dinner time. Time to pray. (For more reasons than one.)
Dear Lord, thanks for this food we are about to eat. Pass the potatoes and pass the meat. Amen!
Get your coupon freak on
A question I’ve often asked myself: If you have to spend money to “save” money have you really “saved” anything?
Something tells me Benjamin Franklin would say, “no.” Saving is saving and spending is spending and never the twain shall meet.
Last night we went to visit some friends we hadn’t seen for a while. We handed over our coats, settled in and made idle chit chat while their kids ran around screaming.
I’m not sure when it happened, but at one point our hostess disappeared and starting fiddling around in their pantry. She left the pantry door open and I peaked inside. My first thought was, “Wow. Look at the size of that thing.” My second thought, however, was, “Look at all that stuff!”
On those pantry shelves was an amazing accumulation of stuff. It looked very much like a well-stocked grocery store. There were multiples of every item. Five boxes of Cherrios, five boxes of Frosted Flakes, five boxes of Fruit Loops, and multiples on practically every other item as well, like Dow Scrubbing Bubbles, shampoo, deodorant, Rice-A-Roni, air freshners and much, much more.
“Holy cow,” I said. “You have your own little mini-mart in there!”
The wife of a fireman who works 48-hour shifts, our friend has had some interesting hobbies and habits as she spends a rather unusual amount of time home alone. She has always really been in to watching TV. She has all the channels and a DVR and has made it a way of life.
But now, she explained to us, she has a new hobby. It’s known as couponing. My web browser may not understand the word (and highlights it as misspelled) but punch it in a search engine and you’ll see that the internet certainly does.
“It’s a great way to save money,” she said, “especially if you aren’t picky about what you get.”
So it’s her new hobby. Her latest obsession. She says she can often go hours at it and gets things she doesn’t even need. (I even saw containers of anti-constipation stuff.) She also admitted that she’s spending money to get some of these deals – like “buy one get one free” or “save 50 cents on purchase,” etc.
Is it just me or does that sound a bit nuts? Spending money to get things you don’t really need and sometimes things you don’t even want. And I couldn’t help but notice that a lot of the things she gets are highly processed and/or full of chemicals. Ugh.
I’ve heard modern lore that if you apply yourself, do it intelligently and put in the time, couponing can lead to cart-loads of deals. I’ve heard of $125 trips that we completely free. I admit if it is usable stuff that I’d otherwise mostly want then that’s probably pretty cool. No doubt it would be a more productive use of my time than sitting on my ass.
So my friend has a hobby and like most hobbies, it isn’t too surprising if it ends up costing a bit of money. If she enjoys it as such then good for her.
When we left their house that night she loaded us down with four bags of stuff. I tried to refuse but she wouldn’t take no for an answer. We had breakfast cereal (although she kept the Fruit Loops for herself, dammit), scrubbing bubbles, body wash, deodorant, and chicken-flavored Rice-A-Roni. Since we’re vegetarian we gave the Rice-A-Roni to the gerbil who seemed quite excited to have a free meal and immediately made himself a box.