Good Nutrition Is An Uphill Climb

Each day, consumers are offered more and more ways to make better choices and eat healthier, which will hopefully lead to a longer life with less visits to the doctor. Organic versions of our favorite foods are increasingly popular and available, even foods that you didn’t even think could be organic are showing up on supermarket shelves.   While walking through the beautiful pristine isles of Target recently, I spotted an organic version of Capri Sun fruit drink.  Yes, the sugar and chemical mix of yesteryear is now organic.  But is it any better for you?  Healthy labels may sound great, but more choices actually means more research for the person trying to do the right thing.   As it’s often noted, food has a story and you should know the characters involved and the journey its made, before it ends up in your stomach.

Lets start with the ever popular “organic” label that’s increasingly making its way onto every edible product there is.  Many might automatically assume that seeing this indicator of strict standards means you’re doing something good… the prices certainly allude to this.  However, choosing organic simply means you’re getting something that was created, raised or processed in a certain way, it doesn’t mean you should be putting it your body.   Using our first example as a start, most would agree that sugar is the mother of all evil, especially when it comes to kids.   It’s no secret that childhood obesity is a huge problem in the United States.  If the thought of spoon feeding your kid 4 teaspoons of sugar makes you cringe, that’s exactly what your doing when you give your kid a single pouch of this “organic” Capri Sun juice (16 grams is roughly 4 teaspoons).   Not so great anymore is it?  Hey at least it inspired me to write this little blog post.

For dinner, you might decide that some organic chicken might be great for your family since the label clearly says “no hormones or antibiotics used.”  First of all, half that label is redundant since by law hormones aren’t allowed to begin with.   They might as well say “no razor blades” also.   Secondly, while an organic chicken may be antibiotic free, or even “cage free,” unless it’s actually “free range,” as in running around in the sunshine, you’re eating an animal that was probably grown indoors within a ventilated aluminum tube, somewhat like an airplane fuselage.   Consuming this creature means you’re also “downloading” any stress related bio-toxins produced as a result of living such a miserable existence.  We all know that stress is one of the leading contributors to cancer and other illnesses, and this is a great way to experience it chemically.  At least you didn’t have to actually get in a car accident or juggle a family and a career to produce it yourself.   Remember that organic doesn’t necessarily mean humane.  The same goes for beef and pork.

Of course there’s also the subliminal type of misleading information simply associated with a brand itself.  You might automatically assume that shopping at a particular grocery chain means you’re eating organic and healthy, because that’s the image they want popping into your head.  Assumptions are the mother of all fuck-ups and in the food industry they are counting on it.  Take for example a little survey I did on my own.  I asked my friends and family what’s the first thing they thought of when I mentioned the Publix Supermarket product line Greenwise.   Almost all of them replied “organic” immediately.   This is actually far from the case, as the supermarket chain states on their own website:

Publix website page which states the requirements for Greenwise branding. Note that colors from “natural” sources are acceptable and that a vegetarian diet in no way means “grass fed” since grains are also plant based. A product only needs to meet one requirement to receive the Greenwise label.

While these sound like pretty good requirements at first,  giving it more thought one might realize according to their own definition, foods colored from crushed bugs is perfectly acceptable… because it’s natural.  And yes, this is actually a thing, it’s called cochineal.   Natural doesn’t mean healthy or even safe, ask anyone that’s ever had lead or mercury poisoning, which are very natural elements found on our planet.  Also, notice that Greenwise products need to adhere to only one of those requirments, not all of them.   One, in particular, is rather disturbing to me because it uses the word “claim.”  In other words, anything they want to say but it may not be true in the least.

A great example of all this confusion can be found with the very pricey Greenwise Raw Shrimp, which besides containing sodium sulfite, a “natural” preservative, is not organic, is from Indonesia, and is “sustainably” raised.   What does that even mean overseas?   Consumer Reports did some kick ass research regarding shrimp safety and the issues surrounding imports, and it wasn’t pretty.  The lesson here is to not assume anything, regardless of the brand, and read the ingredients even when you think there’s only shrimp in that bag.   Save your money and buy the regular Publix brand shrimp instead, which doesn’t have sodium sulfite… uh, well, they use trisodium phosphate instead, an ingredient commonly found in laundry detergent, stain remover and degreasers.  It makes the shrimp look shiny and causes them to absorb more water, which is helpful when you’re selling them by weight.  And the best part is you can buy it at Home Depot.   Yeah these are the same people that sell Greenwise products.

Kind of feels weird that you have to pay almost double NOT to have this put on your shrimp by Publix Supermarkets.

These are just a quick few examples of how a consumer needs to do their homework and know what they’re putting into their facial orifice.    Don’t let your assumptions get the best of you and don’t trust others to do the research.  I repeat, don’t trust anyone.  I love doing research (can you tell?) but even I get overwhelmed at times.   You’re not going to get it right a hundred percent of the time, but you’ll at least have a fighting chance to mitigate the effects of all the other crap we’re exposed to.  Know how to spot bullshit by reading between the lines, especially with generalizations that mean little or nothing.   Become your own “food attorney” while reading lists of ingredients and keep in mind that when push comes to shove, everyone is trying to make a buck. Don’t let it be at the expense of your health or the ones you love.

 

 

The Piscean Prison

Being a Pisces can be a bitch.   Plain and simple.    As I get older it seems it just gets harder and harder to deal with the outside world and all of the horrors available to us through social media and news outlets.   Pisces are idealistic lovers, we quite literally love love.    We love everything about love and everything about being in love.    We love people we don’t even know and we can smother those we do with so much love that they run away.   And it doesn’t stop there.    Since we love to spread love so much we become paranoid when we may have not spread the love inadvertently.    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost sleep thinking I said or did something to someone that hurt their feelings or pissed them off.     The idea of intentionally hurting someone, or stepping outside of the “love” zone really turns our world upside down.

Of course this all goes to shit when we’ve been hurt beyond the point of no return.    Pisces love to forgive and forget and get back to the business of loving, but there comes a time when we’ve been burned so much that there’s no going back and we shut down.    People are so used to seeing us in a good mood, that when we withdraw into ourselves it’s almost like the sun has stopped shining.    We share our pain in ways that spreads discomfort to others.   Our internal darkness is deep and intricate.    We explore it at times with almost with great curiosity, lurking in the shadows, feeling safe from the world, comforted by our own pain… because it’s familiar to us.   Many times it takes other Pisces, skilled in the process and geared up with safety harnesses and rope, to meet us down in the caverns of our soul to pull us out of despair.

Pisces love art and see it in the every day.    We often see it in things most people take for granted, and as such, are subjected to additional misery when it’s destroyed.   It’s hard to walk down a city street as Pisces, among so many people that are ignoring the unique creations that surround them, the sky, a single flower trying to survive, the beauty of a wrinkled face that suddenly smiles…. all great works of art.  We look at people as they walk by and wonder about their lives, we send them secret blessings and messages of love, we hope their day will improve.   We get lost in the all the romanticizing and are probably often killed by moving vehicles, our minds elsewhere as we bounce of the hood of a sports car driven by a Scorpio talking on their mobile phone.

It’s really important for Pisces to stay centered and grounded right now, because there’s a whole lot of “non-love” things going on in the world.    I try not to watch the news, stay away from it all, and it works at first.    I begin to heal, I begin to love again, I begin to bring down the walls.     I do all of this just in time for some asshole to post a video of some gruesome treatment towards a living animal on Facebook and my soul is wounded, crushed…assaulted.    And I run down the spiral staircase deep within myself for protection once again.

I guess that’s it.   It just sucks being a Pisces sometimes.    When we’re our happy selves, we love to be out there spreading happiness and love.    When we’re not, it’s just shit.  I hope I didn’t make you think I’m in one of those dark places right now, on the contrary, I’m actually very happy.    I woke up to seeing love being broadcast all over the planet with Harry and Meagan’s Royal Wedding.    That’s like the Olympics for a Pisces!   However this event made me very aware of the love that we’ve been missing as of late, and how very good it feels to see it again.   Blessings to all, please don’t fuck up my day.

 

 

 

North Pole Data Breach Affects Billions

November 22nd, 2017 – 1:56 PM North Pole

Turns out no one is immune to the sting of cyber crimes according to representatives from the North Pole who reported a massive data breach on Tuesday. Hackers have reportedly stolen personal information from over 1.5 billion children around the world in what elves described as “naughty” behavior. The attack, thought to have originated in China, sought to gain marketing information obtained from millions of letters to Santa, regarding children’s preferences on a variety of toys, most of which are made there. “It’s very disturbing” said Mrs. Claus, before offering reporters hot chocolate and cookies, “children have a right to privacy also.”

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The Need To Control

I was looking for parking the other day at the local grocery store and immediately located a middle aged man, with just a few groceries, loading his vehicle.    This was probably the most simple and mundane of tasks, not requiring much effort since the amount of plastic bags he had in his cart was probably fewer than twelve.   Yet he seemed to relish in the idea that I was anxiously waiting for him to finish and leave so I could park my car.    Clearly he was in control and he milked the opportunity… so much so that another person came, loaded their vehicle and left before this guy finished.    I ended up taking that spot instead, with some level of satisfaction that the guy with control issues never got to achieve a power-play orgasm.   Clearly he would have climaxed while backing out ever so slowly, suddenly stopping for traffic that wasn’t there.  Still, I was completely pissed off at this obvious and pathetic need to control.

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Siri Is A Psycho B—-!

The other evening, as I was getting ready for bed, I remembered I had a doctors appointment coming up so I asked Siri, my iPhone assistant, when it was.

“Your next doctor’s appointment is at 10 AM tomorrow.” she said in her Australian female voice that always sounds like she’s grinning.

“Oh shit” I thought to myself, that was close, I almost missed my appointment, thank goodness for Siri! I tucked myself into bed and drifted off to sleep feeling like my world was perfectly organized thanks to my faithful digital companion.

The next morning was one of those you tend to remember for the next couple of weeks. I was rushing to get out the door and the forces of nature were clearly working against me. Everything from my dogs being uncooperative during their walk, to crazy drivers, to a lady literally sitting in her car at the parking garage entrance, waiting for an attendant to push the button for her to get a ticket. Maybe she was a germaphobe but seriously what else could go wrong? It was already 10 AM and I had to find parking in this very strangely laid out garage. I ended up finding a spot almost instantly, but of course the young girl in the car had to check her Facebook before driving away, fully aware of me waiting patiently. I’m sure she was basking in the temporary sense of power the Universe bestowed upon her.

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My Mom Made Me Gay

My mom made me gay.   Okay, of course that’s not true.   She made me gay-er.  I most certainly would have been less dramatic, not such a hopeless romantic, more masculine and all sorts of cool things if it hadn’t been for her.    I don’t think I would have been straight, I have just never been attracted to women.    I’m one of those gay guys on the scale of sexuality that’s one hundred percent gay.     I like men probably more than women like men and I might be under emphasizing that point.    It’s just that my mom inadvertently did all these things that most other gay men would have considered her to be the ultimate fag hag.    But for me it was just annoying.  My mom didn’t do this intentionally, she was just being herself, but I was definitely raised by a gay man trapped in a straight woman’s body.

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