Occam’s Razor on Functional Foods:
I was reading an article in the Economist recently about functional foods. (I should note here that I barely understand anything in this magazine, which uses REALLY big words and talks a lot about places that as an American I can’t be expected to know about…like “Indonesia,” which I had been pretty certain was probably an Indianapolis dim sum place. I read the Economist on DCs metro, in a very pronounced manner, shaking it and crinkling it often, in the hopes that it will fool people into thinking I’m smart. In Washington, 93 percent of success is about appearances. [The other seven is – of course – about lying].) I looked up “functional foods” on Wikipedia – my generation’s Webster’s – and learned that they are foods that can naturally, or through processing, claim to provide health benefits beyond their basic nutritional contribution to your body.
Is this something we should be happy about? Is this another advancement of science that makes our life better, like penicillin, or the Snuggie? Or is it just another sop to our sedentary, slothful lifestyles…a way to allow us (or perhaps force us) to surreptisiously eat something healthy, while doing what we do best: namely, cram our faces with bad food.
For awhile you’ve probably noticed that some eggs now come with cholesterol-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, and Splenda now comes with added fiber (or “fibre” if you read this in the Economist).You might also be surprised to know that Domino has added insulin to its sugar, and you can buy Crisco swirled with Lipitor. This is just the beginning!
If you shop in Washington-DC area Giant grocery stores, now you can get tomatoes containing something called “locally.” I know this because I saw these things called “locally tomatoes,” pictured. (Hey, Giant is owned by Ahold, a Dutch company, so I’ll forgive them their limited English proficiency…but I won’t forgive them that the tulips at Giant cost a fortune
And in another recent Economist there was a story about an up-to-now only joked-about food offering, found at your county fair…fried butter. (How far has the Economist fallen, you wonder, with all this food reporting…a story on fried butter is certainly an example of yellow journalism, if you ask me. (Har har har.) You’d never eat this, you say?  Well, don’t worry…with some luck, that stent in the fried butter will work its way into place!

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