Some days I like to think of myself as a sort of Penn & Teller type, someone who exposes the stupidity and hypocrisy of people’s beliefs, except for the fact that I’m not a heavy-set moron with a ponytail shilling for the Libertarian Party who can’t tell a fact from his own ass. But webbing brought me to a “Gross Ingredients In Your Food” article and it got to me.
I think everyone deep down knows there’s some freaky shit in the everyday foods we eat. And there certainly is (sawdust, for instance.) Even if we’re not the hyperactive nutcases in the outermost tiers of the New Age movement who think every plant grown in Asia cures cancer and black pepper destroys your cells (actual statement from one of them.) But I have a real problem with “X is in Y, so X is Y” shit that people talk about. And that’s basically what this article was.
Here’s a list of things to freak you out of my own:
1. Onions contain the same compound used in drain cleaners.
2. The salad you order at a restaurant probably has over a million bacteria on it.
3. Cinnamon can cause liver failure.
4. Foods made with wheat/rye can lead to psychosis and death.
5. Swiss cheese can be as deadly for the allergic as bee stings are to some.
6. Cooking food on a stove imparts radiation into it.
Just a few things off the top of my head. Want to cut out salad, bread, Swiss cheese now just because of these “shocking truths?” And they are all very, very true, trust me. Well, if you are worried then fucking stop doing that.
Onions contain the same acid used in a lot of dangerous cleaning products, but in such minute amounts that it doesn’t matter at all (they’re actually very healthy vegetables.) Same with cinnamon, it’s toxic maybe if you ate a whole entire bag of cinnamon sticks, but why would you do that? Salads have millions of bacteria on them, but your own body has trillions; mathematically and biologically-speaking, bacteria is just in everything, so deal. The grain thing, ergot poisoning, almost never happens. Swiss cheese death, rare allergy, almost never happens. Cooking, specifically microwaving imparts radiation into your food–I’ve heard this said as a warning in all honesty. Truth is, yes it does, If you are reading this then that means light waves are entering your eye sockets and you are being radiated. Because that’s what radiation is: light, heat, microwaves, radio signals… if you want to avoid radiation there’s one option for you: failure. Because it’s in every known part of the universe and it doesn’t always kill you.
Conspiracy theories, New Age medicine, contemporary religion (but not mine!), everything in politics… there is so much crap peddled to us, and sometimes it’s “honest” but honest in such a manipulative and sleazy way that it can fuck you out of reality if you let it. There is a big difference between saying something true and being truthful. Being truthful means conveying a statement in a way that the hearer is expected to understand; saying what is true can mean passing information along to a listener that is right, but that which distorts or mars their understanding of it.
America, my beautiful America, is getting way too obsessed with this “what hidden thing in that every day thing will kill you next?” question and it needs to stop now, somehow, maybe I can help. Want to not die? Quit smoking, be a cautious driver, eat less fats and exercise. There is no secret other. There is no hidden toxin. And speaking of toxins, don’t ever listen to New Age people for health advice ever. Master Cleanse is nothing but short-term starvation. Trust doctors! They don’t spend eight years in post-graduate education to just lie to you. Herbal medicine companies aren’t subverting the greedy pharmaceutical industry, they’re just trying to sell shit to make money.