Cheer-us-up Recipe at the end!
New USDA Icon - Thanks MooCHELLE!
The first asshole and the USDA have just unveiled the new icon that is replacing the food pyramid - of course this time we didn't even know it was coming. Last time it took some time and effort to develop the pyramid. And some consultation with commodities markets like the corn growing/selling industry, the grain growing/selling industry, etc. THEY WERE DEAD WRONG THEN AND THEY'RE EVEN WRONGER NOW!
The FACT of the matter is that the USDA screwed us over by conducting a massive human experiment of monumental proportions and the results have been disastrous ALREADY. Now they're making it worse. See, back in the 50s or so, Ancel Keyes conducted research on 22 countries, comparing their rates of heart disease compared to their average consumption of fat and cholesterol. He ended with a graph that mapped the results of 6 (SIX) countries, in which the line climbed like a rocket, showing that the more fat and cholesterol a country consumed, the worse their rates of heart disease/heart attacks/mortality. This resulted in his lipid hypothesis, which told the government that 1. Eating fat and cholesterol resulted in high serum cholesterol and 2. High serum cholesterol caused heart disease/heart attacks. Of course, something was wrong, and the other researchers saw it immediately. See, he deliberately ignored/threw out the other 16 countries, some of which had far higher cholesterol consumption but much LOWER rates of heart disease, and others that had much LOWER cholesterol consumption but HIGHER rates of heart disease. In fact, viewed all together, his results were ALL OVER THE MAP. But that didn't make for a splashy graphic that gets you noticed. So, as I said, he simply ignored the results that didn't fit his idea and made his phony graph. Yes, he falsified his results.
Well George McGovern was horrified, and gathered all the scientists and doctors together to brainstorm on what must be done. The doctors pointed to a shitload of studies that proved that there was in fact NO known correlation between cholesterol consumption and high cholesterol, much less cholesterol and heart disease. McGovern finally told them all to shut up because as a senator he didn't have TIME to waste waiting for results of studies; he had to take action and quick. Yes, I know, makes sense, right? Researchers who disagreed started to have their funding yanked. No funding = no livelihood = no job, no house, no life.
The head of the USDA got in on the action and made up the pamphlets explaining that they had determined that people should eat no more than the equivalent of about one egg per day in terms of cholesterol. Suddenly, we were told that it wasn't, as we had always known (as any grandma would have told you) grains and potatoes and sugar that made you fat; it was fat! And not only did it make you fat, it would KILL YOU! Well the researchers tried to resist the USDA and explain to her that there was actually no known proof of any such thing, and that perhaps they ought to find out if there WAS any evidence before coming out with pamphlets to be distributed to the whole country and to serve as the basis of education for children. She did what any conscientious politician would do, yanked the researchers' funding and positions, shopped for a scientist who agreed with the Lipid Hypothesis, and cited him instead. Suddenly, ALL the researchers who were trying to point out that there was no proof of this hypothesis at all were getting their grants yanked and losing their funding - it was adapt or die. Some adapted, some faded away. For the first time in history humans were being told authoritatively that they must eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet and consume more grains. Grain producers naturally got in on the act and started coming out with their own confirmations of this bogus theory; gradually they started to mass produce oils (corn oil, vegetable oil, etc.) that had NEVER before been in our diets, being high-tech products that involve chemically altering the grains in question.
Over the years the Center For Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a hardcore vegetarian group, started creating one scare after another, and they weren't shy about it. Anything containing natural or meat-based fats were labeled the enemy, and anything vegetarian was touted as the only possible answer. The news unquestioningly reported their "studies" one after the other, McDonald's eventually switched from the natural beef tallow (which contains a very benign form of cholesterol) to vegetable oils that degrade in our bodies very rapidly and produce dangerous forms of cholesterol. (We were generally told in the end that there was LDL - the bad guys - and HDL, the good guys. In fact it turns out there are two forms of LDL; one of which is benign and beneficial, and one of which is dangerous. Vegetable oils and high starch foods lead to the production of the malignant form of LDL whereas animal fats help us produce the beneficial form. Starches also lead to the immediate production of insulin because our body converts them into sugars very quickly - even if you consume no sugar, if you eat a lot of Grape Nuts and whole wheat bread, you're eating pure sugar...and quickly. The glycemic index tells you how dangerous your insulin production will be after eating them. This leads to INFLAMMATION, which calls out the beneficial LDLs to HEAL the inflammation...but instead of being promptly removed, the now monstrous bad LDLs actually ATTACK the beneficial ones, and you end up with artery disease, heart disease, plaque, and FAT - lots and lots of very greedy fat cells who won't give up the fat that every cell in your body needs...especially your BRAIN.)
Drug companies got in on the act and started producing STATINS. Statins all say right on the product information that they have NOT BEEN PROVEN TO REDUCE THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE - they merely reduce serum cholesterol. And Statins are considered so important that they do NOT have to prove to the FDA that they are effective; they merely have to prove that they DO reduce serum cholesterol. So even though they have no known beneficial effect and MANY known extremely ill effects (osteoporosis, liver damage, depression, etc.) they are now touted as a cure-all for a population with ever-increasing levels of bad cholesterol. Which is a result of the diet changes we have all been largely forced to submit to. (Example - it's really easy to find tons of corn oil, and the food pyramid says EAT it, and McDonald's can't even fry their fries in the beef fat anymore and neither can movie popcorn use real butter or coconut oil - but just try to find LARD. In our stores you can find a tiny display, hidden away on a remote shelf, containing maybe 3 or 4 pounds. Fortunately butter and bacon are still available, if you can get past the soy-bacon, the margarine, the fake butter, and the turkey bacon.) The drug company studies are almost all done by USDA-grant-receiving organizations and researchers. The diet drug and diet industry research is also conducted via USDA grants. Nice little racket. Or big one.
So cut to the present - we suddenly have a population that is having MORE heart problems, that is having extremely increased levels of diabetes (that glycemic index/insulin thing again) and is getting fatter. Oh, not the way you see people getting fat on every news article - the endless parade of "headless fatties" that all weigh nigh on 350 and look like blobs, but in general just more fat and more people who are really fat. Oh we're living longer, and there are paradoxes, like how fat people are much more likely to survive heart attacks, but no one hears about that. But wait a minute, with all this health-consciousness and all this endless PUSHING to eat these "healthy" vegetable oils or cut fat out entirely, eat lean meats and more grains, WHY is the population fatter and having more heart disease and diabetes? Is no one listening? Yes, they're listening. And much of it they have no choice about. It's in fact the DIET ITSELF that is bad, not the people or their bodies. (Interestingly, since one of the effects of a low-fat diet is severe depression, because of what it does to your brain, during that period some 20 years ago when EVERYTHING was extremely low-fat diet books and recommendations...alongside those book displays were endless books on depression and drugs for depression, and avoiding suicide. Pritikin himself got leukemia and killed himself. So we make ourselves depressed and pop pills to combat it. We starve our children's brains and feed them Ritalin. Good fucking idea.)
SO this finally brings me to the new "food guide" and the article I linked above. Remember, this replaces the old "pyramid" guide, because WE WERE TOO STUPID TO UNDERSTAND IT. This one is nice and dumbed-down, and even less healthy, if that's possible. (It is.) Even more scary, the intention is to use this one to CREATE PUBLIC POLICY - what the hell are they planning to DO? Ban stores from carrying bacon or marbled rib-eye??? Ban whole milk? They're CERTAINLY banning schools from serving anything not on the list (which means no fat and no sweets) and even worse, many schools, in complying with this, are BANNING CHILDREN FROM BRINGING LUNCH FROM HOME ANYMORE. So the kids are FORCED into buying (or getting subsidized) low-fat, many times vegetarian, bullshit lunches. Next it'll be the breakfasts many schools serve - no more eating breakfast at home! Gotta buy low-fat shit. No eggs, no bacon - Special K and skim milk with no sugar. Yeah I know you doubt me. But this is the biggest government nanny we've EVER had in modern times. She's determined to FORCE it.
Moochelle said, "When mom or dad comes home from a long day of work, we’re already asked to be a chef, we're already asked to be a referee, a cleaning crew, you name it, we're on it, so the last thing we need to do is be the nutritionist in our family as well. Parents don't have the time to measure out exactly three ounces of chicken. Or how to look up how much rice or broccoli is in a serving. That has confounded me as a parent for a very long time. I still don’t know how much protein comes in x ounces. We're all bombarded with so many dietary messages that it's hard to find time to sort through this information. We do have time to take a look at our kids' plates. We do it all the time. We're the ones fixing the plates. As long as they’re eating proper portions, as long as half of their meal is fruits and vegetables alongside their lean proteins and whole grains and low-fat dairy, then we’re good. It’s as simple as that."
See, you're TOO STUPID TO FEED YOUR CHILDREN. Only a nutritionist can do THAT! (Nevermind that mothers have always been the nutritionists of the family.) And to hell with cornish hens (everybody gets their own!) - it's THREE OUNCES of fucking chicken. As though THAT'S enough for a growing child!?!? Since WHEN? That's not enough for a two year old! (Even by USDA standards.) And of course SHE'S been confounded, right? I've seen the pictures of her and her family chowing down on fried chicken and french fries like hogs from a trough. Barry eating huge fluffy waffles doused in syrup with bacon on the side and home fries. See, it's good for you, but not for her. And NOW, in addition to these ludicrous amounts and proportions, she's determined the meat must be lean and the dairy must be LOW-FAT, never mind your stupid kids' BRAIN DEVELOPMENT - Ritalin will help them concentrate. They're gonna grow up stupid like you anyway. You can just forget about butter or cheese on your vegetables too. Just what I want, a big pile of dry rice and steamed broccoli with no butter or cheese, with a couple bites of dry chicken (with no skin) and a freaking apple. And low-fat milk. I'll take butter on my broccoli, a human-sized portion of meat, and you can just put my damned apple in a pie crust where it belongs. And whole milk with Hershey syrup. Screw you, harpie; you're gonna starve the kids all day and think I'm gonna KEEP starving them?
You know how children are SUPPOSED to eat? You're not SUPPOSED to put them on diets. They're supposed to eat until they aren't HUNGRY anymore. If your kid is leaving the table hungry and unsatisfied, YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG. And eating until you're comfortably satisfied is the perfect rule of thumb for adults as well (if you haven't screwed up their metabolism by putting them on diets as kids, it won't make them fat or sick). No, I'm not talking about until you have to undo your belt and your abdomen is distended - comfortable satiety. It's not a bad idea to encourage them to eat slow if you can; it does take time for the signals to go from stomach to brain. I eat slowly. Thus I always know when I've had enough. Sure sometimes I eat a tad more if it's really good, and other times I do something else and stop eating sooner. The point is to get nutrition to your cells, you freaking heifer.
The article concludes, "But the icon may still be a small step in the right direction. Arguably, the best thing that could happen in terms of publicizing the federal dietary advice towards less meats (the subtle message in "protein"), no sugary drinks, and more vegetables will be controversy. These are policies worth implementing more broadly. Now, let's hope any ensuing public debate translates into real policy changes."
Less actual meat - CSPI, the hardcore vegetarians, have come full circle. Now vegetarianism is being pushed on us by the first bitch as well.
And WHAT does he mean, "These are policies worth implementing more broadly." HOW THE HELL DO YOU IMPLEMENT POLICY ABOUT WHAT PEOPLE SERVE FOR DINNER IN THEIR HOMES? And WHAT "REAL" POLICY CHANGES ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??? Assholes. LEAVE US ALONE. Presumably Michael Moore will be exempt from the upcoming dietary laws. As will Al Gore.
All right - while you're still allowed to eat, let's get that recipe. Because writing this took energy, and I heated myself up a gorgeous enchilada in order to enjoy it. A CHICKEN enchilada heh. You can halve this if you're on your own - otherwise it'll last you longer than you want to eat it for and you'll end up giving half away.
Chicken Enchiladas for Happy Hungry People
1 1/2 - 2 lbs skinless chicken breast, sliced very thin.
butter to fry in
chipotle powder if you like and/or ancho
Mexican seasoning of your choice - strong is better - we used El Paso Fajita mix Packet
2 family sized cans Cream of Chicken soup or 3 regular size
pint sour cream
4 cans whole chili peppers, chopped (if you love peppers, add some home roasted fresh poblanos, skinned.)
8 or 9 large flour tortillas
1 box spanish rice (we used goyas; but if you have a favorite mexican rice or prefer beans, do that.)
1/2 lb pepper jack cheese or munster, grated
1/2 lb cheddar, grated (whatever cheeses you really like but something melty and stretchy)
Season the chicken with the powders and a little salt, melt the butter and fry it until it's cooked. If you use the fajita mix packet, add it, add a little water, and continue cooking for 4 - 6 minutes until it thickens up a bit. It smells really nice. Make sure the rice is cooking.
Mix up 1 1/2 of the large soup cans of cream of chicken with about 3/4 of the pint of sour cream and some chipotle or ancho powder. You can use a little cayenne if that floats your boat. Mix in the peppers and some of the juice - I could have used another can's worth of the juice, as it was very thick.
Heat your oven to about 375 degrees.
Lay out your tortillas and get yourself a large, deep baking pan. Eyeball your chicken to see how much each will get and adjust accordingly. Spread some of the leftover soup along the bottom of the pan so it won't stick. Lay out the chicken in a line along the middle of the tortilla; leave a little room at the ends. Put a generous spoonful of the soup mixture along the line of chicken. (You're going to need a good amount of soup mixture after this, so don't go nuts.) Spread another generous spoonful of the spanish or mexican rice (or beans) along the top of this.
Fold up one end a little, and wrap the whole thing as tightly as you can. Lay each one seam-down in the pan as you go, pushing them together.
Now's probably the time for your poblanos if you have them. I'd just spread them at will over the top of each or maybe inside when you're making them, slice in half or quarters as you think best.
Take the rest of your soup mix and spread it generously over the ENTIRE top of the filled tortillas, end to end, so you can't see any naked tortilla. Now take your cheese and pile it on the same way, so it covers every bit of the enchiladas.
Stick the whole thing in the oven, and bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until it's all melted and bubbly, and the soup has sunk into the tortillas nicely. (It's the nice texture that gives it character.)
Hack at it with a sharp spatula and remove one as best you can - likely you'll only need one at a time. Great leftover/nuked or rewarmed in the oven too.
Now see if that doesn't put a smile on your face.