Saturday, January 14, 2012

Timely Advice

My wife bought me a bag of almonds, labelled -- with refreshing simplicity -- “Almonds”.  They are in fact -- if taste be any guide -- salted almonds, roasted almonds, and indeed dry-roasted -- something of which packaging is normally wont to boast.  Yet here, not a word. 
But as I was conveying one of these tasty saline mandorlas to my lips, I noticed a WARNING. 
My fingers froze in mid-conveyance.
And there, starkly, the legend read:

Allergy advice:

Contains almonds” !!

The toothsome munchnut dropped from my trembling hand.
How close had it come !
Nervously setting aside the nuts, I ate the plastic bag instead.  (There was nothing on the packaging saying not to.)

Stung by the close call, I alerted my vast army of research-minions by wrist-radio; they sprang into action.  Here are the disturbing results of their investigations:

=>  Twinkies:  Contains Twinkies !
=>  Poland Spring:  Contains water !
=>  Hamburgers:  Contains hamburger !   (Beef -- mebbe, mebbe not.  Mentionable part of whatever animal:  almost certainly not.  But definitely “hamburger”, a term which covers a lot of terrain.)

On the other hand, in some cases we may breathe easy.  As:

=> Marshmallows:  These are named for the plant known as the “marsh mallow”, Althaea officinalis, a species indigenous to Africa, with many admirable medicinal qualities, and the source of a confection familiar since Egyptian times under the straightforwardly descriptive name of “marshmallow”.    These your grandsires enjoyed in wholesome innocence, before rolling around in their feather-beds and conceiving your mom and dad.  However, to harvest these reclusive vegetables  requires some actual effort, which is no longer in fashion.  So the ingredient which gave the whole point to the thing  has been completely abandoned.  These days, the fraudulently named “marshmallow” is, like everything else in what is left of our culture, synthesized out of “high-fructose corn syrup”, which is basically just another form of ethanol, which is basically just another form of government subsidies.  These you may consume with abandon, with diabetes as the inevitable result, but without fear of allergy to the mallow or anything else -- except, of course, to high-fructose corn syrup; and if you’re allergic to that, then you’re already dead, because they put it in the drinking-water, and pipe it into elevators.

[Note:  To keep Dr Justice in Twinkies, so that he can keep writing funny stuff like that, do check out this site, and, well, buya buncha stuff, whyncha.]

So, in this dizzying world of Frankenfoods, what's a feller to do ?
Why, so glad you asked!  Answers right here:

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