Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Junk Food Tax - The Cost of Sin Goes Higher and Higher

Are You Going to be Paying Higher Taxes for a Bottle or Can of Soda?

The smokers were saying that the government would be gunning for the rest of us soon, and they were right. After adding huge taxes to cigarettes and slowly raising the price of alcohol, they are now looking to tax soft drinks (as well as energy drinks like Gatorade).

The way more taxes are justified is (as with cigarettes and alcohol), the government is selling this plan as a way of helping us all get healthier and for funding health costs for all. They're pulling out statistics showing that overweight people have more health issues. But, they aren't noting that obese people also have shorter lifespans. So, the costs are short term and likely balance out in the end.

Also, I would note that if "the plan" works as stated in getting people to quit buying sodas and other junk foods (and who will define what's junk?), then where is the government going to get money to support health care? Seriously, they benefit only because people are using products that can be demonized. So, when they price out with the bulk of the population, then they will have to go hunting for something else to tax.

It's also worth considering that the poor bear the heaviest burden on this tax. While you may say, "She/he ought to buy healthier food then," junk food is denser in terms of calories and provides more energy for fewer dollars. That's unfortunate but true.

Moral: Once big brother starts to meddle, you better watch your Twinkies and Ranch flavored Ruffles.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

And Then a Giant Hot Dog Busted Our Garage and Deck

Can you imagine the 9-1-1 call?


Yes. This giant hot dog just ran into the side of a house.

Do you know you are be arrested for making crank calls to 9-1-1?

Uh. Yes. But, really, the hot dog did crash into the house.

Channel 3000 reports that the Oscar Meyer weiner-mobile did, in fact, crash into a home in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin (July 2009). Seems the young driver needed to turn around and got the forward and reserve mixed up. Boom! There goes the garage and porch.

Oscar Meyer will of course see about getting the house (which was empty at the time) fixed back up and knock the dents out of the weinermobile.

Moral: Even though hot dogs look the same on both ends, it is important to know if they're coming or going, especially when they are giant sized.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

College Guide on How Not to Reheat the Pizza

UNC Chapel Hill is a very select state university. They require high grades and SAT scores but must not test on basic life skills.

A fireman in Chapel Hill told me about an interesting college fire at nearby apartments.

A UNC sudent decided he wanted to heat up his leftover pizza. OK. I can relate to that. I like mine hot too. But, he put the whole box in the oven and cranked it up. Now, do you put paper in the oven? No. That is the correct answer to that test question. No paper is the oven. Paper is combustable.

The student discovered that paper does burn in the oven, so he did what I suppose seemed logical to him at the time. He ran outside to get something to put out the fire.

And, what do you think was handy?


OK. Mulch is wood. That is something else you do not put in the oven especially when the oven is on fire already with a paper pizza box. This is what you might call "adding fuel to the fire" if you need a cliche for your English class assignment. On the test of life, the answer is "no" to the question: Does mulch work well for putting out fires?

Fortunately, someone did have the common sense to call the fire department who put out the pizza box and mulch fire and gave the student directions for heating up leftover pizza.

Moral of the story:

Some people should maybe just eat the pizza cold.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fast Food Makes You Stupid Says Vanderbilt University

Geez! I just thought fast food made you fat. Now, Vandebilt University in Tennessee says that fast food makes you stupid too. Bummer.

The researchers did a study which involved tracking what these 10 and 11 year old kids ate and how they scored on tests. How exactly they did that, I am not sure. In any case, they kept up with over 5000 kids and their food selections and test scores.

Kids who ate fast food 3 times a week scored 7 points lower on reading than those who ate fast food less often. More fast food - lower scores. Similar results on math.

I'd love to see the original data on this study. The writer who covered the story mentioned that School Food Trust (government funded) had suggested banning kids from leaving school at lunch time. And, this, I suppose, would cut down on kids eating fast food or junk food.

Perhaps schools in Tennessee serve balanced school meals. Around here, the kids go get in the junk food line at school. The choices are either pizza or a fried chicken sandwich with a side of Tator Tots. Although I'm not a nutritionist, I'm not seeing how that's any better than a Big Mac and fries other than the school portions are skimpy, and I have to feed the boys again when they get home.

Moral: Maybe school tests make you crave fast food.

Bringing Back Hope . . . or the Death of a Goldfish

One of my son's buddies was running for high school student body president and had a very clever idea for his speech. He would bring back hope.

He brought out his fish bowl and explained that the fish was named Hope. Everyone oh'ed and ad'ed of course. Fish are so cute.

The idea here was that the potential president would swallow Hope the fish and then cough her back up. In other words, he would bring Hope back to the school.

This all went very well during the practice sessions. Hope went up and down and up and down. No problem.

Unfortunately, the politician-to-be did not try doing his short speech part while holding down Hope, so when it was time for Hope to return, Hope was not so cooperative.

Uh oh.

The only water on stage was in the fish bowl. Ugh. Fishy water. But, the candidate swallowed water and more water and gagged and tried and tried to return Hope to his school. But, he only managed to cover the stage with vomit but no Hope.

Teachers, not having the greatest senses of humor, expelled the poor guy for a week. And, he was disqualified as a candidate.

Moral: Don't bite off more than you can chew or swallow a fish if you plan to talk a while before coughing it back up.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Now We Know Why That Red Bull Gives Us a Buzz

Germany is none too happy about the results of tests on Red Bull Cola. Seems they found "traces of cocaine" in there.

The laced soda out of Austria actually has decocainised coca leaf (or basically cocaine). Levels are considered safe though per the FDA of Europe.

Still, the Germans are not impressed. They've banned Red Bull in six states. Now, aren't they the ones who enjoy some stout beer?

Ah well. I guess we all choose our poisons.

Red Bull of the U.S. does want to make sure that buyers know that the product tested was European Red Bull Cola.

"We believe that Asian authorities mistakenly applied concerns about Red Bull Simply Cola to Red Bull Energy Drink, a completely different product with an entirely different formula...de-cocainized coca leaf extracts are used as flavoring in food products around the world and are considered to be safe. Indeed, in 21 C.F.R. 182.20, the Food and Drug Administration regulations provide that it is acceptable and safe to use de-cocainized coca in food products in the United States," notes Red Bull Energy Drink.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fat Cockroaches, Pricey Ice, and a Cupcake Cop - Strange Food News

Are the McDonalds Cockroaches Fatter Than the Ones at Subway?

This must have been one of the roaches on a healthy diet.

Well, I can’t really tell you about cockroaches at specific fast food joints, but Patricia Moore at the University of Exeter in the UK tells us that a decade of research proves that roaches fed poor diets turn out to be fatties. Exeter is, by the way, The Times Higher University of the Year 2007/2008. Perhaps they actually meant that they stay high most of the time over there if this is the kind of cutting edge research they’re conducting.

Moral: Leave junk food out for your roaches and maybe they will get too fat to fit bck through your cracks the next night.

50 Cents – No, Not the Rap Singer – That’s the Charge Per Ice Cube in Your Cocktail

I hope you do not notice that big ice charge on your check. It's really not my idea sweetie.

Better take your liquor straight up at Morton’s Steakhouse in Midtown. Not only do they charge you around $15 for a cocktail, they’re tagging on $2.50 if you want that on the rocks. Better yet – you may just want to toss back a few before you eat there. They try to explain all that by saying they go heavier on the liquor with a “rock” pour. Good come back I guess, but I’m not buying it.

Moral: Ask for a discount if you do belly button shots. After all, you’re saving someone from washing a glass, and time is money too. Plus, you don’t need ice in your belly button.

Santa Claus is Fat and My Kids Can’t Have that Birthday Cupcake

Yes! Cupcakes are of the devil, and I am telling God and the police on you for being a junk food junkie pusher.

“Happy Birthday to You . . . . la la . . .” But, do not give my kid a cupcake or sprinkles to go on the ice cream. And, send that juice pop home in her Tupperware container provided to bring home the evidence of child abuse at her kids’ school. Never mind that the juice pop will melt (and aren’t juice pops pretty healthy anyway?) Send it home for inspection and proof.

MeMe Roth isn’t satisfied with dictating her own kids’ food intake, she thinks she has the right to push her agenda off on everyone else. She even ran off with the sprinkles and sauce for the ice cream at the YMCA in 2007, and the police had to be called.

Moral: God is great. God is good. Let us thank him for the ice cream and that MeMe Roth isn’t our mother. Amen.

Half Fast Cooks of the World Unite

My Granny was not a kitchen goddess. She was, as her favorite collectable plate stated, the Half Fast Cook.

I am not a fast cook.
I am not a slow cook.
I amd a half fast cook.

Kitchen plates were popular with Granny's generation, and my Grandma (Mom's side) had a plate that said, "Two things are always open. Grandma's arms and Grandma's kitchen." I ended up with that plate and love it, but Granny's plate is the one that always makes me laugh.

I guess I got genes from both sides when it comes to the kitchen. I love to cook when I'm in the mood. When I'm not in the mood, I don't feel a bit bad about picking up a pizza. I would feel better about having it delivered, but since I live out in the middle of nowhere, they don't even deliver out here. That's a sorry state of affairs huh?

My favorite type of cooking is outdoor cooking, and I have my own grill and barbecue site called Yes You Can Grill and also a new cooking space with old family favorites called Yes You Can Cook. What you'll get with both of those sites are common sense ideas, tips, recipes, and product reviews.

Half Fast Cook?

Well, this is where I play with my food and put my elbows on the table. You'll find all kinds of random fun stuff about cooking and food and maybe a half fast recipe from time to time.