Friday, November 16, 2012

Good-bye, my old friend... Weighing in on Twinkies and stuff...

To Twinkie, or not...that isn't an option anymore.

I will not miss the sweet-cream-stuffed-yellow-cake-logs of long ago.  I'm pretty sure my adolescent love of, and ability to devour said Twinkies as well as Ring Dings, Devil Dogs, McDonald's Apple Pie, Sasparilla, Good 'n Plenty, Bubble Gum (with the baseball cards attached) and a number of lesser known treasures from the 60's and 70's has put me into this diabetic lifestyle that I endure everyday.  Although not insulin dependent I do work on lessening my white sugar intake, high-fructose corn syrup, white flour, pasta, bread & complex carbohydrates and rice dishes.  I glean the nutritive splash of fresh apples, greek yoghurt, berries, peanuts and nut varieties, veggies galore and my staple proteins of chicken and fish.  Admittedly, I have snuck the impromptu candy bar, cookie and shot of orange juice - and always suffer for it.

My sweet tooth was well established by the time I entered grade school.  If it was available, I made sure I got my just desserts (pun intended).  My Mom was a prolific baker, so it seemed.  There is no blame being put here for I was never put into candy and cake 'gravage', a la duck and geese being engourged for foie gras, but thank you anyways, Mom, for wonderful memories and midnight mouthfuls of Danish Puff, Coffee Braid, Chocolate Devil Dogs (so much better than store bought), Pineapple-Upside-Down Cake, Brownies, Hermits, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Tea Cakes, and more.  Closing my eyes and mouth I can taste them all now, in between my hacking on the keyboard and the saliva welling up in my jowls!

The culmination of a meal in America ends with a sweet, the anthesis of fruit and cheese across the pond.  Sometimes the meal itself pre-empts the dessert by already being sweet... That may be finally changing, however.  Maybe at least one reason that Hostess is in it's second bankruptcy in this calendar year is our changing dietary awareness.  I'm not here to bash the Twinkie business but we Americans have problems with our diet.  Salty or sweet, our chosen tastes are both deadly in large and sustained amounts and so far from what food can be that we may already have gone over the caloric cliff and are left dangling above a nutritional abyss.  

Portion sizes being what they are and general lack of nutritional knowledge from our cities to the countryside is proof positive that there is much work to de done in the American school system and in the American psyche.  We are so big and prosperous that we are an anomaly...we probably get less nutrition from our food than most smaller and less-technical societies and cultures.  That's not scientifically based but I don't think I'm too far off.

So, here's the rub.  Chefs...cooks...foodies...let's start at home.  Prepare and dine on smaller meals more often.  Eat fresh and eat local if what they are doing on the farms is good.  Eat organic if what is delivered and purchased is sound and healthy.  Cook at home when you can and eat with your loved ones.  Ok, maybe still in front of the TV but at least eat together.  Don't eat from boxes, eat closer to the earth and don't ingest anything you can't pronounce in English.  And, most importantly, teach your kids to cook in that way, too.

Cook it forward.  Peace.


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