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Friday, October 31, 2014

Return of Crackoween

'Ello, lovelies!  Happy Crackoween!  What's that, you say?  You aren't familiar with Crackoween?  Well, some people call it Halloween, but clearly they must be mistaken.    Obvs.

Well, if you're not exactly sure, let me tell you.  Over here in the good ol' U. S. of A., we pay like a majillion dollars for a flame-retardant (poison, endocrine disruptor) costume (or $17.99) for a little, and send them out begging for crack candy from house to house wherein they knock on the door and yell out, "Trick or treat!"  Halloween decorations start showing up at Costco in August so people can stick skeletons and tombstones in their front yard for all of October, because hey, if we can't make a holiday into completely over-the-top wild spaz consumerism, we've landed in the wrong country.

Then the last week of October comes and the giant bags of candy go on sale at the grocery stores.  The bags have to be giant because there are so many chemicals ingredients in there, they need that much space to write it down.  This is when it is your duty to spend an irreprehensible amount of money on such things in order to poison bring joy to all of the children in your neighborhood.

Okay, okay, okay.  I'm not exactly the Scrooge of Halloween, but I am trying to make a point.

The point is that there is so dang much candy for those little bodies that I think you could induce a sugar coma in no time.  

Now when I think back to my growing up days, my parents were much more normal lenient in the area of candy consumption.  I remember pouring out my treasure all over the living room floor in order to organize it into categories (chocolate, suckers, sugar candy, worthless pennies, McDonald's bucks, etc.) and then it was a thing back then that parents were encouraged to sort through candy to check for things like razor blades, or candy laced with LSD.  We had no TSA scanners back then, so I think it passed or failed based on making a general scan over the pile and then warning us not to bite down on potential razor blades if we happened to find one.

Once we got that green light, it was frenzy time.  It was like Christmas morning, but Halloween night.  Shreds of wrappers littered the floor, tongues turned blue, then purple, then red, then yellow.  I would trade Tootsie Rolls with my brother for anything else (since who eats those unless they are totally desperate?!).  I would hand my mother the McDonald's bucks and think to myself how weird that was that people passed these out.    

Maybe the candy didn't contain TBHQ (butane derivative - good thing you have  those flame retardant costume, eh?), high fructose corn syrup, artifical flavors, colors, soy lecithin, partially hydrogenated oils, and other chemicals.  Maybe it did.  But what I know now is that much of the candy in fact does contain such ditties.  Some of these are carcinogens, some mess up your endocrine system, others carry heavy metals because of their processing (like mercury) which causes neurodegeneration, and some are petroleum derivatives (yummaaaay).  

And I haven't yet mentioned even the amount of sugar our candies contain.  So what?  Let the kids have a little sugar now and then!  Yeah, except for two things.  Sugar follows the same path in your body as cocaine, lighting up those exact paths in your brain.  Sugar is a narcotic.  Yes, it's legal, yes, most people think nothing of it (except maybe when they have to go to the dentist).  But it is a narcotic.  The more  you have, the more you need.  When people comment about being addicted to sugar, they may be speaking more literally than they could imagine.

The other issue with sugar is that your body can only process a certain amount of sugar at a time.  Beyond that (depending on age/weight/etc.), you get, in essence, an immune system shutdown.  Everything has to stop its productivity to run over and get this fructose, glucose, sucrose, lactose, etc., out.  It is like factory shutdown.  Hopefully at that time you don't get innundated with an enemy front and get sick three days later.

So what to do?  No parent wants to be Oscar the Halloween Ruining Grouch, for sure.  But we are also responsible to protect our children when they are unaware of dangers.  This is a personal decision, and each parent ought to think through what this looks like in their own home.  I'm just here to pass on the info.

As far as my home goes, I will go ahead of time with them to pick out a few treats from the health food store (72%+ dark chocolate, some organic suckers, Glee gum, etc.) so they have something to look forward to.  After we go trick-or-treating, we get home and weigh the candy and they trade it in for money to buy something they like that lasts longer than a Tootsie Pop.  (I dump all of the crack candy into the garbage. Garbage day is Monday, if you want to garbage pick for mine.)

Happy Crackoween, ya'll.

Peace, love, and that treat might be a trick,
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

He said what?

Do you ever get door-to-door salesmen in your area?  Well, my dearies, have I got a story for you.  Yesterday we had such a person come to our abode selling steaks.  

If you know me, you know that I just had to ask him if the steaks were from grass-fed cows.  He said he didn't know, but he did know that he could give me a deal.  Now you know I appreciate a deal, but not at the cost of health.  I told him that usually grass-fed beef was usually marked as such because it is something sought after.  

I then explained that usually cows that weren't grass fed were fed stuff like corn, and of course, cows aren't supposed to eat corn, they're supposed to eat grass.  

Do you have any idea what he said next?  Do you?  My sweet people, this man said, "Corn is grass."  

Um, what?  I couldn't let this be shugged off.  (Perhaps I should have?)  I replied, "Actually...corn is a grain (seed).  Grass is...uh...grass is that stuff right there (pointing to the lawn)."  

"No, corn is grass." He retorts, still quite certain of himself.  

"Okay, so...", I begin, trying to think of a nice way to go on this, "You know how corn has like stalks, you know, out in the country, and it grows really tall and on a cob...that's actually different from grass..." and I trail off, raising my eyebrows hopefully.  


He looks at my college flag that I proudly sport out in front of my house (which is known for being an agricultural university) and says, "Hey, wait a minute.  Did you go to that college right there?  You must know a lot about this kind of stuff!  Wow!  Okay, then.  I guess you're right!"  

Okay, well, whatever it takes to convince you.  (Especially since I took exactly zero ag classes.)  "Yes.  Hey, you just come right back here if you get in a load of grass-fed steaks, okay?"  

Yes, I understand that the stalk may be considered a grass, but the cows aren't eating the stalks.  They're eating the seed - the little yellow bits.  That is not the same as pasture.  That's also why McDonald's pretends in the background of their commercials that their hometown farmers that they use are out wearing overalls while the cows mull around munching on lush green pastures.  It's because that's the way it's supposed to be.  

If they were advertising commercial agricultural feedlots where cows are standing in puddles of yuck, penned in, eating corn out of a bucket (or trough, etc.), with their faces in the hindquarters of the cow next to them since they've been packed in so tightly...well, it just doesn't give off the same kind of quaint flavor (or selling umph).

Perhaps it doesn't bother you very much about what the cows are eating, and I am not in crazy town suggesting that cows ought to be nestling up to fluffy pillows while their massage therapist works on their top round, but I do think we ought to realize that we are what we eat.  If we promote low-quality filthy cow quarters by putting our money into that basket, we are getting the results of that - animals who must have antibiotics (since they are sludging around in poo), animals who have gut issues (since we're feeding them a sugary grain instead of a lean grass), and likely a lesser quality of life than those allowed to act like the cows they were made to be out on pasture.

That meat makes it into your body and comprises what you become.  It is not for the sake of making cows sacred that they ought to be out on pasture eating grass, it is because it is just plain the right thing to do.  It is for the sake of profit that things are done another way - it is easier, it is cheaper, it brings in big money.  But is it giving you the best of health?  If the cows are eating genetically modified corn (and they are, unless the beef is marked "organic"), they are becoming altered - and that is passing on to you.  And we know how that translates within society - just look at all of the robust health everywhere.


Eyes open, peeps.  Let's do it right.

Peace, love, and pass the ketchup,
Ms. Daisy

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Warning: Jillian Michaels-like rant ahead

You know that thing that people do when they get all wigged out?  That kind of...I don't do you describe it accurately?  That vibe.

(Wow, that was so like totally 0% precise.)

So I started up the Just One Thing Challenge and asked people to try to stop using their microwaves.  I suppose in hindsight, maybe I should have asked people to do something like "try to eat a piece of fruit some time this week if you get the off chance" because for some reason, I am getting this vibe that asking people not to use a microwave is something along the lines of, "I would really think it beneficial to you if you could please not breathe this week."

But I have to tell all-a-y'all, I am just not wired that way.  I am not wired to gently nudge you toward taking a tiny bite of fruit sometime throughout this week.  THAT IS STRAIGHT UP LAME.

I am not here to coddle babies along toward pathetic-ism.  I want you to change.  Do you need to change?  Then do it.

Let me say, I am not throwing anyone under the bus if you don't have any means to do something.  I'm not asking for you to paint your walls with the gold paint they use over at the Notre Dame football field for their helmets.  I am asking you to try something that if it were like 30 years ago, it would not have even been a challenge.  If it were 50 years ago, it would have not even existed.  Do you see how this may seem odd in the whole spectrum of things?

Well, I guess it's kind of like living a day without your smartphone.  Also impossible.  That would be like having to wake up early and exercise before work (what-EVS sonotgonnahappen!).  That would be like choosing to make your own bread instead of having the glorious factory do it for us (like I have time for THAT!).  Yeah.  Good thing our smartphones and our devices we have brought into our lives to simplify them have given us plenty of time to live a quality life.

You choose the things you want to do every single day.  If you want to choose to microwave your head, slobber up some pesticides, ingest Teflon, suck down McDonalds, consume loads of sugar crack, IV yourself to Diet Coke/Pepsi/Mountain Dew (etc.), and punch your liver in the face with a blowtorch with your eight zillion prescription meds, please go right ahead.  But please do NOT complain that you are obese, have no energy, and/or are not happy.  You would be what we might call totally and certifiably insane.  In the membrane.  Insane in the brain.

Do hard things.  This is your life.  There is so much zing to be had out there.  Don't pass it up for the easy road.  

I know it is weird, but if we want things to be different than they are now, we need to do something different than we're doing now.

Be strong.  Tell the wimpy voice to shut up.  

Peace, love and man up,
Ms. Daisy