Yesterday, while browsing the sizable cheese selection at Trader Joe’s, scanning for any organic choices available to me, the product you see in the photo here caught my eye. (click on the photo to enlarge)
Now, I’m a HUGE proponent of buying organic products, but the questions this one inspires are many, important, and even funny. Here are just a few:
- What the HELL is “Pasteurized Process Cheese Product” and how can anyone buy, much less, ingest it?!
- Does it really matter that it’s organic?!
- How different is this from organic cigarettes?
- How appropriate, and for us Americans, how embarrassing is it that a product like this is named “American Slices”?
- Since the product is white, are American Slices racist?
- Are these actual slices from actual Americans, and if so, shouldn’t these be called Soylent Slices?
Forgive me readers, for I have…
It’s been 10 days since my last post.
And while there really weren’t any rumors of my death, at least none that I know of, for part of my absence it very nearly felt like I was dying.
It started out so innocent: a brief report that I was taking a mini vacation, then I was off to Los Angeles for a 5-day visit with old friends. And yet, on the day I was to return to Fish & Bicycles, I suddenly became very ill, I missed the entire week at my job, and I’m only just now feeling able to write something.
I’ll spare the gory details of whatever flavor of flu it was that got me, but suffice to say it kicked.my.ass.
On the bright side, the trip to L.A. was everything I’d hoped for. Reconnecting with my longest-standing, dearest friends felt like wrapping myself in a cozy old wool sweater I’ve had since high school.
I’ll be back tomorrow with something more typical for me, inspired by my grocery run to Trader Joe’s today.
Hint: It has something to do with food. (/wink)
(Since I’m bedridden by some bug or another, and consequently not feeling inspired to write anything new, I thought I’d re-post something from about four years ago on the topic of being sick. I did edit a bit, because I didn’t like the ending. Hopefully, I’ll be back with something new tomorrow.)
Seriously! Being sick really sucks.
When I was a kid, a sick day at least had a silver lining, it meant missing school. But now, every hour I miss at work is an hour I’m getting behind in my work.
I wrote back in August about how vacation is a double-edged sword, a badly needed break from the daily grind for sure, but that there’s often so much prep work to prepare for a vacation and so much catch-up work when you return, that the time off might not register as having been as relaxing and renewing as one would like.
Well, sick days are worse. There was no warning, no chance to prep, I’ll have tons of catch-up when I’m back at the office, AND I’m lying here in bed in physical distress.
I, of course, am very thankful that I have plenty of accrued sick leave and good health insurance. And so now, in addition to being sick, I feel guilty for complaining about being ill, while millions of people on this planet don’t have the luxury of calling in sick and getting paid for it; while millions of people don’t have any health insurance or access to adequate healthcare.
Being sick sucks, indeed, but for me and my fellow First Worlders, hopefully it engenders compassion for those less fortunate than us.
Just a quick update to my post from this morning about how most tuna sold in the U.S. is not actually tuna, and that 84% of fish samples labeled “white tuna” were actually escolar, a fish that can cause prolonged, uncontrollable, oily anal leakage.
In that post I joked that, rather than giving up on tuna altogether, one could choose to carry around a DNA analyzer, knowing full well that no such consumer device actually exists, much less one that’s portable enough.
And yet, a mere hour later, I read that a device, aimed at grouper fish fraud, which is apparently a thing, will soon be available for the low, low introductory price of $2,000, and that devices for identifying other fish are on the way.
Via the Los Angeles Times:
Scientists develop sensor to sniff out fish fraud
…scientists at the University of South Florida College of Marine Science have come up with a handy little portable gadget that can identify exactly what kind of fish you’re eating — even if it’s cooked and smothered in sauce.
Boy, tuna really can’t get a break!
First we learned, years ago, that because dolphins and tuna often swim together, and tuna are harvested with humongous nets, dolphin are often caught in these nets. The U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that over 6 million dolphin have been killed since the late 1950s, in the eastern tropical Pacific, from the use of purse-seine nets.
Then, we were told that there are dangerous levels of mercury in tuna.
Well, last week, in a post about our locally-owned natural and organic grocers here in Bellingham, I mentioned Terra and how much they contribute to the community.
One way they do this is by posting links on Facebook to informative articles related to food and health, today they shared an alarming article from The Atlantic on yet another blemish on tuna’s already tainted reputation, the article is nearly two years old, and it’s hard to believe I’d not heard about this.
59% of the ‘Tuna’ Americans Eat Is Not Tuna
Nonprofit ocean protection group Oceana took 1,215 samples of fish from across the United States and genetically tested them in order to bring us the following astonishing facts:
- 59% of the fish labeled “tuna” sold at restaurants and grocery stores in the US is not tuna.
- Sushi restaurants were far more likely to mislabel their fish than grocery stores or other restaurants.
- In Chicago, Austin, New York, and Washington DC, every single sushi restaurant sampled sold mislabeled tuna.
AND…believe it or not, that’s not even the most alarming bit!
- 84% of fish samples labeled “white tuna” were actually escolar, a fish that can cause prolonged, uncontrollable, oily anal leakage.
Listen folks, at some point you gotta draw the line. This definitely feels like a 3-strikes-and-you’re-out situation to me.
Unless you happen to own a portable DNA analyzer, just say no to tuna!
Um…hello…is this thing on?
Check! Check! 1,2,3 check!
Ok, so, how does one break a nearly year-and-a-half blogging silence?
Well, I left off with a June 2013 post, announcing that I was going on hiatus, partly because I’d been lacking inspiration, and partly because I needed to focus my attention on other things going on in my life (translation of the latter: I needed to get my shit together 😲).
In the interim, I’ve missed blogging a little bit, from time to time, but not enough to start up again, and yet just enough to renew the Fish & Bicycles domain name registration, twice.
So, what’s changed?
- I’ve mostly got my shit together.
- I’m doing yoga regularly.
- I’ve lost 20lbs via a low-carb diet.
- I’m spending more time with my now, gulp, 17-year old son.
- I’m mostly achieving balance between work and play and family time.
- I suddenly miss blogging enough to want to jump back into it.
And, what hasn’t changed?
So, let’s see how this goes. I’ll probably be rusty at first, right out of the gate, I’ll likely not be as prolific as I was before I left off, but maybe…
I’ll find my groove again.
VERY inspiring story of oldest man to summit Mt. Everest, 80-years old, broken hip two years ago, heart surgery this past January…
…the excuses for becoming a decrepit old fart are running out.