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October is Diabetes Prevention Month

So here’s the truth.  Not the truth that anyone is comfortable with, for in the end it leaves us feeling a little helpless, but comfort was never promised.  When I first launched my business, I went to doctors’ offices and provided them free lunches for them and their staffs, asking only that they recommend my product to some specific patients.  You see, I’d begun Eat Well Foods, meals that are cooked with great care and to great benefit for people with Type 2 diabetes, deriving our modified recipes from information given us by those folks who “cured” themselves of this disease with nothing but proper nutrition.  And the truth is, a great percentage of diabetes can be eliminated with diet changes only:

  1. Lose excess weight by eating portion-controlled meals and exercising
  2. Eat nutritionally balanced meals with proper protein/carbohydrate/fat ratios
  3.  There is no number 3!  That’s it, two steps only!

So, I asked these doctors to give out one of my business cards to patients they found to be in the early stages of diabetes, to give them an alternative that doesn’t involve introduction of new medication into their systems.  Animatedly, they agreed as they and their staffs masticated and swallowed their free lunches.  They asked questions; I answered with some level of knowledge, gleaned from research I had done.  And then the moment of truth: after more than two dozen lunches to more than forty doctors and a wait time of over six months during which time I got exactly ZERO referrals, I thought it time to get some answers.

As such, I invited one of the cardiologists to my home for supper one Friday night.  I asked if she’d enjoyed the two lunches I’d done for her group and she replied with an enthusiastic, “yes.”

“Why then, have you never given me a single referral?”

“Oh… that’s easy; I haven’t and I won’t.”

“I… I don’t understand.  Why not?”

“Because, Mark, people don’t come to me for advice on diet and nutrition; they come to me for medicine.  If a patient comes to me with blood sugars that indicate pre-diabetes, I’m going to prescribe Metformin and not your food.”


“But nothing.  Look, if I give someone your card instead of the medication, and they suffer some unrelated incident – say a heart attack – and their family sees that this person had seen me recently and that I’d prescribed your service and not medication, the lawsuit would be so big it would fill up your lovely dining room.”

insulin pen

“Can’t you give them both, then: the prescription and the business card?”

“No.  I tell them… tell them to exhaustion, in fact, that if they lose weight and start eating right, they can get rid of their diabetes, but the truth is they want to continue eating the crap that they’re eating and take some medicine.  Giving them your business card would be tantamount to a joke because the sad truth is that they’d rather inject themselves with insulin daily and continue enjoying their unhealthy lifestyles rather than change their diet; very few ever do.”

I was stunned into silence, shortly thereafter followed by a sense of utter resignation.  Only after the passage of time was I able to turn the sense of resignation into true outrage.  So people go to doctors thinking that they’re seeing someone who cares for their health, but in point of fact, doctors have a completely different agenda!  They’re not providing their patients with the BEST alternative for curing their illness, just the current medicinal practice: write the prescription and see them again in six months!  And to think, I gave away food to her, her associates, and her staff for naught.

So here’s the truth:  The American Diabetes Association and the medical community have no interest in promoting diabetes PREVENTION; there’s no money in that.  Sadly, theirs is a different agenda.

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Ways to Make Healthy Food More Exciting

Yeah! Healthy doesn’t have to be boring! We’ve been saying it for years…

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10 Scientific ways to be happy

See… nothing to it. If we eliminate working 8 hours a day (and we all know what a joke that is!), we have time to do all those things that make us scientifically happier! Let’s hear it for retirement! Hip, hip, hoorah!!!!

Living Life despite Chronic Pain

I am not sure why some of these are pointing to where they are pointing on the body, but the words are sound advice.  Two things that I want to add is breathe deeply, imaging warm air reaching down to your pelvis, at least 10 times in the morning and at night and just let life go.

scientific ways to be happy

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Sous Vide Or Not Sous Vide: Is That Even A Question?

As a South Floridian, subject to such hot and humid air that I have started growing gills on the side of my neck so I can breathe out of doors during the summer, I have been advocating for the canonization of Willis Carrier, the individual responsible for inventing modern-day air conditioning.  I don’t know if he was even Catholic, but I have blessed his name so many times throughout my life, that he ought to be canonized anyway for his great service to humanity.  Saint Willis, has a nice ring to it, no?


As a chef, I have a second recommendation for canonization, and that honor goes to Dr. Bruno Goussault, inventor of the sous vide cooking method.  Granted that Saint Bruno doesn’t flow quite so trippingly from the tongue as Saint Willis, but so what?  It isn’t for the mellifluous nature of the name that sainthood is granted, but rather for the contribution to humanity.  What Dr. Goussault has provided the culinary world is a cooking method whose result is nothing short of spectacular.  Imagine being able to cook any meal you desire to a PERFECT level of doneness, and have it retain all the flavor and juiciness that nature intended.  This isn’t only what sous vide promises; it’s what sous vide delivers!

Skinless, boneless chicken breasts that reach 165o internal temperature without drying out, and fish filets that attain the perfect balance of flakiness and firmness can only be achieved in sous vide cooking.  The basic idea is to take raw meats, seasonings, and sauces and place them in vacuum-sealed bags.  These airtight bags are then immersed in a temperature-regulated water bath set to correspond with the particular food being cooked.  Sous vide cooking is a slow process as the innermost parts of the meat need to attain the same temperature as the rest, but the food cannot overcook because it cannot get hotter than the water at any time.  What’s more, since it’s in a sealed bag, the juices do not evaporate.  The result has got to be tasted to be believed.

By the way, and in case you believe you should start a petition to the Pope right now to grant Dr. Goussault sainthood, you can relax.  Canonization is granted posthumously and we are still privileged to have him with us.  So much the better…


Overeating Our Way to Starvation

Fact:  The quantity of food that qualifies as a meal these days is considerably larger than what it used to be even a mere 20 years ago.  Food consumption is on the rise, and yet for all that, the population is starving itself, accounting for the tremendous rise in obesity.  It all sounds self-contradictory, a circular logic that doesn’t stand up under scrutiny, but it isn’t because what Americans at large are consuming are calorie-rich, nutrient-poor foods, making the body ask for more substance as it seeks to satisfy its need for specifburger and friesic quantities of vitamins and minerals.  So eating once more, they create a sense of gratification in the form of “fullness” because the foodstuffs being ingested hold the promise of providing the missing nutrients.  When, after the metabolization of the material and the normalization of glucose levels in the bloodstream begins again, the body quickly signals the brain that even more material is needed because the vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E,& K, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and folate, along with the essential minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, manganese, zinc, and copper, are still insufficient to maintain proper condition of the body’s functions.  Organs secrete chemicals into the bloodstream that signal “hunger” to the brain, even though a large proportion of the most recent meal may still be in the process of being converted into and stored as body fat.  This is a largely overlooked element of the obesity cycle, even though it plays a tremendously large part in its creation.

Healthy eating is not about sacrificing great tasting cuisine; it’s about making the right food choices to ensure a balanced diet that feeds the body what it actually needs!  One element has nothing whatever to do with the other.  Balanced meals diminish food cravings and the frequency of their consumption, as they allow the body to achieve satiety with the proper blend of nutrients provided.  In time, this diminished appetite will result in weight loss, however slowly, and that is a critical factor in assuring good health  It also doesn’t mean that every single meal has to provide just the right amount of nutrition; it only means that overall, the body is getting what it needs.  Isn’t this, after all, the very purpose of eating?  What’s the point of consuming flesh and grains and vegetables if not  life-sustaining nutrition.  Surely, as a specie, man does not eat in order to debilitate himself or to bring about illness in the future.  Au contraire; it’s about maintaining a high quality of life.  Yet this fundamental concept escapes so many otherwise intelligent people who offhandedly reject the notion of applying sensibility to their diet, preferring the high-sodium, high-sugar, chemically processed foods that serve only the food companies as people consume more and more, and the drug companies as a larger percentage of the population falls ill because of improper diet.  We’re starving our bodies of what they need, even as we grow fatter and fatter.  It’s shameful.


Eat Well Foods: Making EVERYBODY Happy

Despite the humorous tone of the video, adding good nutrition as part of a healthy lifestyle is serious business. At Eat Well Foods we take healthy eating seriously.

We invite you to view and enjoy!

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Eat Healthy and Enjoy a Fabulous Vacation — Guest Article by Cole Millen

Vacation time is something that most families look forward to year round.  Whether you are going on a romantic getaway to a resort, or whether you are planning a fun family vacation with the kids and grandparents, there are multiple ways you can stick to your healthy nutritious habits during your getaway.  Adhering to a few easy tips will give you the guidelines needed in order to eat healthy and stay fit while you enjoy your time away from home.

Great Breakfast Options While You Travel

Breakfast is oapple wordsne of the most valuable meals of the day because eating early can help you to resist hunger cravings in the middle of the morning.  People often mess up their entire daily eating habits by skipping out on breakfast.  If you are staying at a hotel during your vacation, be sure to take advantage of the continental breakfast.  While many complimentary breakfast bars offer croissants and donuts, you should avoid these and expect to find whole grain cereals, juice, fruit and sometimes yogurt cups.  If you want to indulge in a croissant, share it with a family member and add a piece of fruit to it so you keep your portions moderate.

If you are driving long distances, you will likely be tempted to stop at highway diners where fat-filled breakfasts such as biscuits and gravy and loaded omelets are served.  These meals can quickly pack on hundreds of calories without giving you much nutritional value.  As a result, you may feel lethargic the remainder of the day after consuming such a heavy breakfast.  Instead of eating at diners and breakfast buffets while you are traveling, opt to pack granola and fruit and boxes of juice to keep you sustained and filled during long road trips.  Not only will you save money, you will reap the benefits of a healthy breakfast the rest of the day!

Picking the Right Hotel

Finding a hotel that can allow you to maintain your healthy lifestyle on vacation is key. Considering the fact that you are virtually living at the place you pick for the allotted time of your vacation, it is important to ensure they have the right amenities and such to cater so your needs. In personal experience, I’ve found that reading reviews is the best way to find the most accurate and honest opinion regarding these topics. I recently took a trip to Sin City and found a great site with list of Las Vegas hotels reviews regarding amenities, restaurants, and even things to do. This allowed me to find not only a hotel with a fitness center and a gluten free restaurant, but also to plan out all of the restaurants for my entire trip! Needless to say, I managed to have an amazing time and came back feeling great!

Choose Brightly-Colored Foods at Restaurants

Eating out is often a person’s favorite part of vacation. There is something relaxing and incredibly enjoyable about sitting in a posh restaurant, enjoying good food, good ambiance and great company.  However, if you’re not careful, it is easy to indulge in foods loaded with empty calories.  Choosing brightly-colored foods is a great rule of thumb to stick to when you dine out as they tend to be healthy options.  These foods include salmon, radishes, berries, green lettuce, red bell peppers, red onions, and other similar foods that provide delicious tastes and quality nourishment.  For desserts, consider ordering fresh berries and coffee instead of an after dinner drink and brownie or slice of cake.

The Small Things Matter

Keeping an apple and a bottle of water on hand while you are out touring shops and landscapes is a good way to reduce binging on food.  The small things matter when it comes to eating a candy bar or a bag of chips here and there.  Because these empty calories add up quickly, be prepared by packing fresh fruit and water!

(In the interest of spreading the word, Eat Well gladly promotes other like-minded writers)

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When I first started this business, my model was designed around going to doctors’ offices to provide them samples of our meals and load them up with information about how are meals are diabetic-friendly, heart-healthy, and the like.  It seemed a natural fit since many patients who discover they’re pre-diabetic or exhibiting a trend toward hypertension and are told by the doctor to change eating habits don’t know exactly what to do in order to meet their new requirements.  With the doctor handing them one of our business cards, the patient places one phone call to us and voilá: problem solved.  Even if just at the onset of this dietary change, as they accustom themselves to low sodium and whole grain carbohydrates, Eat Well Foods was an obvious remedy.

So I contacted scores of doctors’ offices and prepared dozens upon dozens of in-services for doctors and their staff, giving away hundreds – if not thousands – of lunches for the opportunity to get the word out that we exist.  The response from the staff and medical personnel was nothing short of electrifying.   Great concept, wonderful execution, yep… absolutely, we’re going to tell ALL our patients about you!  Well, one year later, and after exactly ZERO referrals from doctors for all my efforts, I stopped, stumped.  Now stumped is not a word that sits well with me, particularly where it concerns my livelihood.  So, I invited one of the cardiologists over to my house for dinner, and queried why she wasn’t referring my service, why not one of her twelve associates with whom she shared her practice was referring me either.  She answered with great calm, “Because people don’t come to me for dietary solutions, they come to me for medical solutions.  Were I to recommend your food, I would be assuming a shared liability were something to happen to one of my patients owing to your meals, and my malpractice insurance is already astronomically high, thank you very much.”

 Not so easily dismissed, I pressed on.  “But then why do you tell them that they need to change their diet in the first place?”

“Because they do.” “Yes, but then you’re not willing to tell them what to do, to offer them a simple solution.” “That’s right; I’m not.  If they want dietary advice, they should consult a dietitian or nutritionist.  I do tell them that much.”

 “So I should be talking to dietitians and not to cardiologists, huh?”

“You catch on quick…”

I was floored by her answer; it was unbelievable!  No… really, her answer was unbelievable because in truth, her answer was a lie.  Oh sure, she would be assuming a liability by recommending Eat Well Foods, but no more so than when she and her associates allowed Eat Well to serve every single person in their shared office lunch on three different occasions.  Imagine the ramifications of some pathogen finding its way into the food and sickening or even killing a percentage of the personnel working in her office.  (It sends shudders of fear up my spine to even contemplate such an event.)  Is her concern for herself and her staff less important than her concern for her patients?    I think not.

While it is true that people do indeed go to doctors for medical solutions to their problems, it’s also true that doctors thrive on giving people medications that treat or abate the manifestations of the illness, but nothing that cures it.  A Type 2 pre-diabetic patient is diabetes syringetypically an overweight middle-aged person who can eradicate the onset of diabetes with nothing but a change in diet: portion control, fiber-rich carbohydrates, larger vegetable servings, elimination of fried foods, low sodium.  Those five elements will result in weight loss which will dramatically reduce cellular insulin resistance, which will allow the glucose to be absorbed by the cells, which is perfectly normal metabolic function, no diabetes to be seen for miles on any horizon.  Throw in a daily dose of light to moderate exercise, and diabetes will remain something to be spoken about but never experienced.

Of course, this is not to say that diabetics who are currently being treated for their disease should just adapt this healthy lifestyle and throw away all their medicines in one fell swoop.  Au contraire, the incorporation of this lifestyle should be done with careful monitoring and adjustments to insulin intake as daily glucose levels indicate.  Lessening of insulin intake for Type-2 diabetes is generally associated with weight loss and healthy, sustainable weight loss occurs at a rate of 1 – 2 pounds per week, so the reduction of insulin dosages will be very gradual.

Every doctor in the world knows that diet is an effective means of reining in the prevalence of diabetes, but they’re not interested in curtailing it.  Stunning news!  Doctors Don’t Really Give A Damn About Your Health; their main concern is their own.  Okay, on some level they do, obviously; they didn’t become engineers or lawyers, two professions that require much less study than medicine.  But then the reality set in as they began their practice, and they realized that they didn’t go to medical school to tell you how to cure your diabetes; they went there so they could write prescriptions for Metformin, insulin, and the like.  Recent estimates provided by the American Diabetes Association place the cost of treating diabetes at two hundred and forty-five BILLION dollars per year ($245,000,000,000.00)!  And that’s just for medicine, syringes, test strips, and monitors.  Were we to curb the incidence of Type-2 diabetes with something as simple as diet, begin reversing the trend of this chronic self-induced disease, over twenty-five percent of hospitals in the United States would close due to lack of business.  Diabetes is a leading cause of macular degeneration and blindness, heart disease, limb amputation, and renal disease.  Hospital beds are filled with patients suffering from diseases wrought by diabetes, and those associated costs aren’t figured into the $245,000,000,00.00.  In fact, it’s nearly impossible to ascertain those costs, but they fall comfortably into the trillions of dollars!

We’re facing an epidemic spawned by the processed food industry and championed by the unfaltering support of the pharmaceutical companies and their cohorts, the doctors.  Misinformation abounds about the dreadful diet to which one needs to adhere in order to rid him- or herself of diabetes, when in truth no such horror exists.  It’s a matter of exchanging the Big Macs and French fries for consciously prepared Beef Bourguignon with baked sweet potatoes; the latter winning a taste comparison hands-down every time!

It’s always challenging to change habits, even deleterious ones.  Fear of change is the strongest emotion to overcome, one that stops people from initiating a transformation.  Yet the best kept secret of more wholesome dietary choices and losing that unwanted weight is how much better one feels, how much happier one is now that his/her life doesn’t seem to be spinning out of control. How uplifting for a man to see that he’s finally losing that belly fat, for a woman that excess fat of the buttocks and thighs, not to mention the satisfaction one receives when hearing, “Wow, you really look so good!  You’ve lost some weight, haven’t you?”  If further inspiration is needed, keep in mind that no matter how difficult you imagine the change to healthy to be, it’s not nearly so difficult as facing a future where every step one takes is excruciatingly painful due to neuropathy of the feet brought on by diabetes.

The debate has been fast and furious concerning national health care and its effect on the quality of medical care available now and into the future.  The argument though would be much quieter if healthy diet were mandated to the citizenry because it would cost significant trillions of dollars less per year with the elimination diabetes and its corollaries.  The debate would likely turn into one about the right of government to wield such power as to infringe upon our right to choose what we eat and when we eat it.  Still, it paints an interesting picture of the future if unhealthy food were taxed on a level similar to tobacco because of its harmful effect on the physiology of the nation, as the populace in general pays less for health care, while the offenders bear the brunt of their decisions.  Soon, only the really wealthy would be able to afford fast food.  How quaint.

Still, the unmitigated truth is that if people care so little about the state of their health that they’re willing to eat at their nearest fast-food restaurant, knowing full well how harmful consumption of this food is, willing to inject themselves with insulin multiple times a day just so they can continue to eat deep fried foods and consume upwards of 3,000 calories per day, willfully destroy the perfection that is their bodies by ingesting toxins disguised as food, then really, why should the doctors care?  Blaming the doctors for the obesity epidemic is like blaming the teachers for the unruliness of the children who are not taught proper behaviour at home.


The Inner Smile

Who would have guessed that the most enduring lessons learned while operating a commercial kitchen that offers home delivery of healthy meals would have nothing to do with either culinary practices or logistics, but rather with human psychology?  Nevertheless, that is precisely what occurs.  Based upon thousands of responses, it is clear that people would rather say they want to adopt a healthier lifestyle while they continue their current unwholesome habits rather than actually effect the change.  Even though everyone knows that healthy eating and regular exercise has a much greater and longer lasting “feel good” factor than that cheeseburger sitting in front of them at the moment, the aroma of the burger stimulating their salivary glands, they succumb anyway to the immediate enticement.  After all, they rationalize, this new lifestyle can start tomorrow, the day after, or even next week, and they subliminally foster and then reinforce the idea in their heads that this change is something for the worse rather than for the better.

Clearly, if any one of those individuals feel goodrealized that they’d suddenly won the lottery, they wouldn’t forestall the retrieval of their money for another couple of days or weeks, thinking, nah, I’ll start the lifestyle of wealth next week.  So, the very fact that they’re willing to put off the healthy lifestyle change provides a clear indicator that they innately see this change as something to be resisted, preferring to maintain the habits they’ve forged, no matter how damaging, to improving their choices.  Talk to them though, and they’ll deny such predisposition, even though their actions belie their words.  It matters not how often they hear that the greatest treasure they can bestow upon themselves is good health, that the greatest of all attainable wealth is wellbeing, far surpassing the benefit that money can provide, they remain set in their ways and say they’re unhappy with how poorly they look and feel.

This behavioral pattern certainly isn’t restricted to healthy diet.  It is exhibited by the large number of tobacco users who clearly know the dangers associated with their addiction and continue to smoke and chew it, and drug and alcohol abusers who understand the risk of addiction and withdrawal as well as the damaging effects those chemicals have on the body, not to mention the heightened mortality rate associated with being under the influence while driving or working.  Immediate gratification has been one of the longest running fights between society and the individual, so much so that it is used as one of the key elements in differentiating man from other animals.  Cliché like patience is a virtue and good things come to those who wait are part of everyone’s repertoire.

Interestingly, the very nature of this attitude, the concept of making a change is as false as the proclamation that this so-called change is going to happen starting tomorrow.  It is yet another layer of the cognitive dissonance process that creates an added imagined burden to the realization of the dream.  It’s not one big CHANGE, one overwhelmingly difficult hurdle that one must best; it’s just substituting brown rice for white rice and going for a walk after dinner.  It’s eating two tablespoons less of starchy carbohydrate with each meal, and avoiding fried foods altogether.  It’s adding a soup or a salad before the meal, waiting five minutes between courses, and then eating dinner, instead of having a dinner roll swathed in butter with the meal.  It’s cutting down on sodium consumption so your body can rid itself of excess water retention.  These are the BIG DEAL!  Combine those few steps and witness how much better you feel, how much happier you become, how unencumbered by the psychology of I’m doing what I don’t want to be doing you become and how empowered that makes you feel.  You’re in control again!

That’s the idea behind Eat Well Foods: everyday meals with a healthy attitude.

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GMOs, Porn, and Other Dinner Conversations

Once upon a time, people ate food.  Someone prepared it and people ate it.  That was the extent to which food was contemplated in the national consciousness.  Food wasn’t a topic of conversation; it was breakfast, lunch, or dinner, nothing more.  I know that many of you are too young to remember those days, but it’s really true.  Ask your parents or your grandparents if you don’t believe me.

food glorious foodNowadays, and in the span of the most recent twenty years, food has risen to national prominence where more time is spent talking, reading, and writing about it than actually eating it.   We are no longer consuming food; we’re being consumed by it!  While Facebook may be the most popular Internet site for keeping in touch with friends, and pornography sites may be the most visited (however briefly), food is far and away the most discussed item on the web.  Suddenly, a whole new language has become attached to food, blinking into existence and becoming common knowledge so quickly that Darwinism is fast becoming a laughing matter.  Evolution, my butt; just say superfood six times without faltering, and everyone in the world will simultaneously know exactly what it means!  Why is it that that words like anti-oxidants, free radicals, carotenoids, flavonoids, and resveratrol flow mellifluously from the tongues of the common man when they were once reserved for those scholars who studied nutrition exhaustively? And those aren’t even the tough ones!  Try this actual sentence on for size: Glucosinolates are thioethers.   Please don’t say it six times without faltering, or the conversations tomorrow around the water coolers in tens of millions of offices are going to sound incredibly weird!  Yet, for all that, there’ll be a clear understanding of the indispensible value of glucosinolates and other thioethers in the diet, and new recipes that provide gargantuan amounts of them will emerge with the rapidity of a comet blazing across the sky.   Before too long, anyone will be able to download the latest addition to the series, Thioethers for Dummies, and the obsession continues.

Were it to start and end with new verbiage and magical dissemination, that would be fine.  Unfortunately, it goes well beyond just that.  These days, the subject of food has deteriorated into a frenzy of shouting matches between the diverse factions of nutritionists, health experts, and grass-roots naturalists because the number of diet choices available to people actually outnumber the world’s population, and they’re all clamoring to be heard and followed, as though seeking the title of Undisputed Healthiest Meal Choice and that really gaudy belt that accompanies it.  The endless variations of low fat, low carb, low protein, paleo, MCT only, HCG, organic, wheat-free, radical-free, blood type, DNA type, alkaline/acid balance, low sodium, and countless others are dizzying, filling millions of computer screens with information about how their diet is better than anyone else’s and, with militant tonality, demand compliance to their assertions.  “You will eat it, and you will like it!”

If memory serves, conversation around the dinner table used to be about what a liar President Nixon was, how evil the Establishment was in trying to squelch Daniel Ellsberg’s findings, the Kennedy assassination conspiracy, and how well we were doing in Vietnam against Ho Chi Minh.  Nowadays, assuming the family unit is actually gathered around the dinner table at the same time (and what are the odds?), the conversation is about the latest app, the funniest YouTube video, and food: how bad GMOs are and how lobbyists protect those corporations responsible; the surreptitious insertion of high fructose corn syrup into just about everything; how many obese people personally known were today diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes; the bastardization of wheat.   Or maybe the Nixon, Ellsberg, Vietnam talks are all imagined memories when the real discussion also revolved around food back in the seventies.  I can’t be sure; I’ve eaten so many GMOs that I may be suffering from mild hallucinations brought about by the changes to my blood chemistry.

Yes… once upon a time, people ate food, talked about other things, and lived happily ever after.  These days… not so much.