Friday, October 29, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Corn Syrup Addendum...

In my last blog, I forgot to tackle the issues of what people are calling the most evil thing since Hitler... High Fructose Corn Syrup.

Remember growing up and baking a cake, you would use Karo syrup or some other sticky sweet liquid? Now people want to destroy that childhood memory and take away our corn syrup!

Problem is, corn syrup is full of sugar - let me rephrase, IS ALL SUGAR. And we all know sugar is evil.

But lets think about why we use it. Corn syrup is cheap. It's plentiful, especially in the corn-rich USA. It's versatile. It tastes good.

But yes, it is bad for you. Like all sugar.

Shouldn't we just be calling a moratorium on all sugar then? Nope. Just corn syrup. Because it's in EVERYTHING now and it scares us.

But like with pesticides vs organics, there are tradeoffs:

Corn Syrup is cheaper than cane sugar. Which makes food made with corn syrup cheaper than food with cane sugar. So can you blame a business for using it? And since we associate cheap food with bad-for-you food, corn syrup gets a bad rep.

But more importantly, we use corn syrup because it is a good substitute for additives that are worse for you. Corn syrup acts as an agglutinator in both baked and processed foods. It's sticky, so why not. You know what this replaces in these dishes? LARD!!! Yes, it replaces shortenings and fat that used to be added to keep food together.

Nowadays people want to watch their calories and eat low-fat. So its a switch from lard to corn syrup. So you can say this all boils down to... wait for it... consumer demand!

People need to realize that you can not have things at 100%. It just doesn't work in society. Remove the fat, you add sugar. Remove the sugar, you lose texture and more importantly, taste. Instead of complaining and blaming corn syrup, watch what you eat and don't go overboard on junky food.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

My Chemical Romance aka The McDonalds Experiment

Today the results of a scientific experiment were revealed. According to the experiment’s “artist”, a burger from McDonalds lasted six months on a shelf with no signs of decay

Well, I call shenanigans on that…

Trust me, as someone who has thrown out plenty of fast-food leftovers, I know it can’t last that long. A McBurger left in the fridge for two weeks WILL go rancid. Never fun having to clean that up…

So now, regardless of whether this is true or false, people are all up in arms about how bad preservatives are for you… which is funny because…

Years ago, if you said you could make a hamburger last for six months, you woulda won the Nobel Prize or something for solving issues relating to hunger and food shortages. Now, people are freaked out by these preservatives.

This is the weird trend in food these days. People panic about making sure their food is all-natural and organic… and are often willing to pay a high premium for it. You know what though? It’s basically the same exact thing. There are tradeoffs, people!

Yes, non-organic food is treated with chemicals for optimal growth. Usually, these are no worse for you than the detergent residue left over when you use your dishwasher. They keep plants clean and bug free. You know what you get when you don’t use these pesticides? You get BUG SHIT on your fruits and veggies. Sometimes even inside your fruits and veggies. Yes, bugs burrow inside and poop all over your food. Not to mention bacteria and mold that could kill you. Now which option sounds worse…

Now as long as these substances aren’t toxic (All chemicals and supplements should be thoroughly tested to make sure they are completely harmless to humans, including testing for long-term effects) then why are we complaining? They say preservatives are the reason we as a species are living longer. Now sometimes that’s a joke about the preservatives we eat preserving US, but think about it:

If food rots quickly, people may unknowingly eat spoiled food. Which can get them sick... or worse. If you’ve ever had food poisoning, you know what I mean.

Also, these chemicals help bring about an abundance of some of the most nutritious foods out there. Less food lost through bugs and blight mean more the farmers can sell. Which makes it cheaper for everybody. In a world where they say that nutritious food is more expensive than crap food, a lower price will incentivize people to eat healthier.

Not to mention what these processes can do in agrarian societies and areas dealing with hunger. Bigger portions may be the difference in whether your entire family eats that night.

I remember an old Simpsons episode where Lisa dreams of the scientific praise she will get for creating a giant tomato that could feed an entire impoverished family by using growth hormones. That was like 15 years ago. These days, people like Lisa are the ones who complain about how bad hormones are for us.

So don’t fret over the whole organic debate. And for the love of god, don’t leave a McBurger out for six months…


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Darwinsville aka What to do about the Homeless

So it has been reported in Nashville that the biggest problem we face is the homeless epidemic. And with good cause. Walk through midtown or downtown at nearly any time of the day and you can’t go more than one building without somebody bugging you for change. The nice ones only ask… some scream at you… Hell, the other day some bum came up to me holding a beer and had the balls to ask for money. Not the right time…

This brings up the question about what we should do about this problem. Compared to many other cities, Nashville isn’t even that bad. Most of our homeless are deputized into selling newspapers on the street corner… they still bug you for the money and yell at you when you don’t give them anything but at least its somewhat of a job. But go to a place like Memphis and you’ll wish you were back in your own city. Just kidding, there’s no reason to ever go to Memphis… it’s like a 1930s shantytown meets a 1980s crack den…

Obviously this is a sensitive issue, since these people are still human. Droves of dirty people huddled in alleys next to cluttered shopping carts make our cities look disgusting, and statistically are elements in high crime rates. Rather than throwing them in prisons or worse, we need to do something constructive.

So here is the Netheredge plan… the out of the box idea…

Every city has some sort of budget to deal with homeless issue. Instead of putting these people in lockup, or some bureaucratic nightmare of a breadline, each city chips in and buys every bum a one-way Greyhound bus ticket to bumfuck Wyoming… There’s plenty of space there, so a city of bums will be established.

I call it Darwinsville because it employs the principle of Survival of the Fittest… those who want to work for it prosper while those who don’t, perish… It’s how society naturally works, except in this country we have so many rules and handouts that we can’t let nature run its course.

With the funds that used to go to these social programs, we buy tools, wood, drywall, nails, etc… all the elements to build houses. Each bum is given all the materials they need to build a house… Seriously, with labor costs factored out, a house could be built for a few hundred dollars. Might require an outhouse instead of a bathroom, but hey, better than an alley or inside an unlocked car.

And there will be professionals on hand to assist (emphasize ASSIST) those with no construction experience or those physically unable to do so. I’d even say bring Ty Pennington in with his crew and make this an entire season of Extreme Makeover Home Edition… I think the charity and non-profit sectors would jump at the chance to work at this…

Everyone has the chance to build a house with the materials and help they are given. If they do so, they get to keep the house free of charge. If they earn their keep, they deserve it. If not, well, at this point its ok to say they can starve or freeze to death. We gave them the chance to help themselves and they refused, so let Darwinism run its course.

Once there’s a population in these areas, it’s a near guarantee corporations will move in to cater to the needs of the population. I’d expect Walmart to move in immediately, which will provide hundreds of unskilled jobs for this new city (not to mention affordable household products), and soon many businesses will follow. An area like this could even be a beacon for manufacturing. If these bums wish to work, they make money to eat and buy things and improve their lives… if not, well, they starve. No social programs in this new town.

So this idea will clean up our existing cities and allow those bums who wish to contribute to society a fair chance. I can’t think of a more humane way to do this… house the homeless while letting them earn their keep and avoid giving handouts to those looking for a free ride.

Obviously this will never happen, but think about it for a minute…