August 18, 2008

I thoroughly hate the current craze for presenting food as medicine.

And I am going to start collecting crap like:
Soothe Yourself with This Pizza Topper

For a little bit of cell-soothing nutrition, add an extra sprinkle of these zingy flakes to your slice: oregano.

That’s right -- oregano doesn’t just add pizzazz to your pizza sauce. It may have the power to prevent tissue-damaging inflammation, too.
What the hell is "cell-soothing"?

Let me pick up 2 earlier posts to begin the food-as-medicine collection.

Speaking of cancer, I was just at Whole Foods, about to buy a package of granola bars, turned the box over to read the ingredients, and the first thing I saw was a paragraph about "bowel cancer." The hell! Don't put the word "bowel" on the box. "Cancer" is bad enough, but "bowel"? What are they thinking? This food as medicine trend is disgusting. I put the box back on the shelf.
Hated the Full Throttle, which they were passing out free at the Severe Tire Damage Not An Entrance to the parking lot at Venice Beach. The dialogue went something like this:

That stuff tastes evil!

I wouldn't say evil.

Evil! Why do they have to make it taste terrible? To make you think it's medicinal!

Maybe it tastes like that because of all the energy stuff they put in it.

They just want you to think that stuff does something, so they give it an evil taste so you'll think they put something significant in it. They made it taste bad on purpose.


Mortimer Brezny said...

Ann should give up red wine and drink pomegranate juice instead. Much healthier and far worse tasting.

AllenS said...

I went to the hardware store this morning and bougth some cat food. The name of the cat food: Dinnertime Cat. That's just so wrong.

titushwhat said...

Interesting you bring this up.

While spraying my Lysol disinfectant I read the viruses it kills in 10 minutes:

Influenza A and B
Rhinovirus type 39
Rotavirus WA
Hepatitis A
Herpes Simplex 1 and 2
Aspergillus niger
Athletes Foot

MadisonMan said...

titus, it's my understanding that nearly all viruses die within 5 minutes of exposure to air.

Cells can be soothed? Sure! Don't you know that a fertilized egg -- just one cell -- is a living human being? So of course it can have feelings and be soothed. Thus this food-as-medicine crap can be blamed on the anti-abortion lobby.

Repeat after me: There are no bad foods. There are bad diets. There are no good foods. There are good diets.

titushwhat said...

Well why did Lysol say it killed all that crap.

I want my money back.

former law student said...

The notion of say, anti-oxidants in foods like blueberries has been around for a long time now -- it ain't goin' away. Even back in the seventies, the hospital my dad was in served him red wine with dinner for its health-promoting effects.

Closer to Ann's home: N. Michigan Avenue shoppers were treated to free Full Throttle when we were there a month ago. I saved the three giant cans I got to give to my college student nephew -- I figured they would come in handy for all-nighters.

Palladian said...

To determine if something kills viruses, is it necessary to first determine if viruses are alive?

I like to think of disinfectants "breaking" viruses.

Lysol is a very effective antiseptic.

As to the revolting food as medicine phenomenon, I go by the rule that if it tastes good, it's probably good for you, physically as well as mentally.

Eat butter. Drink wine. Eat meat. Moderate yourself if you can. Enjoy some coffee. You'll be fine.

UWS guy said...


yogurt that helps you poop!


Ron said...

I did what they told me. I drank the cream. I ate the butter. And what happens? A coronary!
-- Roger Sterling, Mad Men

Middle Class Guy said...

What the hell is tissue damaging inflamation?

MadisonMan said...
Repeat after me: There are no bad foods. There are bad diets. There are no good foods. There are good diets.

Been saying that for years. It is not necessarily what you eat, but how much of it and the frequency.

AJ Lynch said...

Food as medicine - sometimes my cholosterol gets too low so I make sure to get some greasy fast food and supersize it.

Smilin' Jack said...

It's not just in advertising. The NYT Health section is full of crap like this:

Beets: Think of beets as red spinach, Dr. Bowden said, because they are a rich source of folate as well as natural red pigments that may be cancer fighters.

Cabbage: Loaded with nutrients like sulforaphane, a chemical said to boost cancer-fighting enzymes.
--"The 11 Best Foods You Aren’t Eating" NYT June 30.

I eat chocolate donuts, because someone may have said they might fight cancer.

former law student said...

What the hell is tissue damaging inflamation?

The thing that people pop a baby aspirin every other day to prevent happening in their heart muscle.

Middle Class Guy said...

There is no such thing as bad food. There is such a thing as badly prepared food.

As to the rest, it is nothing more than marketing gimics what give in to the politicization of food, cooking, and eating.

Now, instead of just sitting down and enjoying a meal, we are to consider all of the political ramifications of what we eat.

These people take all the pleasure out of life.

Ann Althouse said...

"Dinnertime Cat."


ricpic said...

There's a place in Joisey, off Route 3 just west of the Meadowlands, where the special is the Famous Chicken and Rib Plate: 2 big pieces of fried chicken, 2 BBQ'd meaty ribs, 2 sides (mashed potatoes, beans, cole slaw, red cabbage, your choice), gravy to slop on whatever you want to slop it on, a roll and butter and a 20 ounce soda. Paradise. Absolutely no redeeming food health value. Just the opposite in fact. I have it everytime I'm in the area which thank goodness isn't that often. No breakfast that day. Go in famished, waddle out stuffed. Guilt free food is bliss!

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Take two egg salad sandwiches and call me in the morning.

Can you believe the gelatinous horror was already a year ago? Good times.

LoafingOaf said...

Althouse, you may shop at Whole Foods, but posts like this show you're not yet a fully advanced white person.

LoafingOaf said...

"Cell-soothing" sounds like the kind of thing skin product saleswomen say at the mall while they're demonstrating their products on you, flirting you up, and trying to con you into buying $150 creams.

Pogo said...

The people who have supplanted religion with the worship of Health are revisiting the Victorian era of health fads. Among the Victorians, aging shifted from an existential concern to a medical and administrative problem, one that denied the inevitability of disease, decay and dependency.

But the preoccupation with optimal health and demand for "normal" functioning contributed to the devaluation of elderly who did not achieve ‘successful aging’. These unsuccessful elderly, failing to control their bodies, were increasingly viewed as clients or patients, economically worthless and requiring professional management.

And to this we return today, when the chimera of limitless health is revealed as a fraud, the cells are not soothed, and everywhere it is spring no longer.

Methadras said...

California is the worst culprit of this idiotic food movement.

catherined31 said...

Yes, but Ann, if you eat Super Colon Blow, you are not only getting life saving protection from Bowel Cancer, you are getting the same benefits in 1 bowl as you are in HUNDREDS of the leading ceral.

bleeper said...

If you have doubts about viruses, then you must beware the zombie prions!

Super Mega Colon Blow! I better go get some, I think my new puppy, Big Puppy, just ate all I had on hand. Just sayin'...

rhhardin said...

Know a Melon week at Kroger.

AJ Lynch said...

Just got back from Wendy's. Burger and large fries.

My cholesterol is now A-OK.

dick said...


Love it. You are from just east of Columbus, aren't you? Love the freshness close to home. I guess then either the cantalope (good spelling) is not fresh or someone has no idea about geography.

blake said...

Wait, not all virii are anaerobic.

And salmonella is a bacteria.

You keep on Lysol-ing away, Titus.

blake said...

Being from the land of flakes, fruits and nuts, we get a lot of stuff about colons. Whether it's fiber or enemas.

Our life expectancy is only ranked 10th in the country, though.

We're just sure that's a bowel problem.

vbspurs said...

Being from the land of flakes, fruits and nuts,

Not only Californians are interested in bowels, Blake. Try having a German mother as I do...

(Could be worse. The French constantly talk of their liver)

blake said...

Curious how both the very laid back and the very uptight are worried about their intestines. I suppose that's logical; you want them to be neither too loose nor too tight.


(Could be worse. The French constantly talk of their liver)

Tis true that drink and loose sex will ruin it.

PatCA said...

The worst food exaggeration: every Thanksgiving, people talk about how they fell asleep after dinner because of the tryptophan in turkey.

Not because of the 10K calories and bucket of wine consumed. The tryptophan.

Donna B. said...

Excuse me, I do not serve wine on Thanksgiving from a bucket. It's either a box or a gallon jug. It's just too much to ask to deal with corks on a holiday.

Michael McNeil said...

I don't think folks consider food to be medicine so much as drugs — a la illegal drugs — just drugs that happen to be legal at the moment, while the dopers (at least those of that mentality, especially in places like California), enthusiastic at their great good fortune, exploit the situation to the hilt, much like before LSD was made illegal.

Michael McNeil said...

Re are viruses alive?

I was pretty convinced in my own mind that viruses were not alive (how could anything living exist as a purely chemical, even crystalizable form, as infectious virus particles do? or so I thought), until I read about this development.

Now I better understand, I think, viruses as a living phenomenon but one which passes through a non-living reproductive stage, much like humans pass through a single-celled (though the egg and sperm are alive) reproductive stage.

Michael McNeil said...

An analogy might be if humans colonize the galaxy by constructing robot starships carrying multiple instances of complete human genomes that — upon arrival at their destination, and finding or making a suitable environment together with artificial uterus — construct a human egg and sperm, allow them unite, then grow and educate the resulting human being(s).

Few would dispute, I think, that the resulting human community would be alive, after having passed through an unliving stage.

Anthony said...

People haven't really changed all that much since prehistoric times. We used to see disease as a spell cast by a shaman or a result of sinfulness, both of which might be cured or prevented by performing the appropriate rituals.

Nowadays, we blame free radicals, lack of the right kind and amount of flavinoids, the sin of eating too much trans fat, etc., all of which can be cured or prevented by performing the appropriate eating of correct foods.

We have mostly just substituted "The gods/God said. . ." with "A study suggested that. . . ."

PatCA said...

"It's either a box or a gallon jug."

rsb said...

I drink my Lysol by nail or when needed, sprayed straight and washed with snow.