Monday, August 22, 2016

Is this stuff real, or just some giant scam?


 Lactose, gluten, or offal?

I'm not a science denier, not at all.  I truly believe in gravity and climate change and sun spots and much more, too.   But in recent years I've heard words being tossed around that are just foreign to my vocabulary which makes me wonder if we're being sold a bunch of bull.


For example: "Lactose".  I was reading the ingredients list on the side of a box of Triscuit crackers and it said one of its ingredients was lactose.  I'm 66 years old and I'd never even heard of lactose until a few years ago. I know we didn't have it when I was a kid.  Is it something that was made up in a lab by some mad scientist, or a PR guy from ConAgra?

So at the Triscuit factory they added "lactose" to the big giant mixing bowl to make the goo that's eventually mashed and baked to make crackers?  If I went to a store to buy some lactose, what aisle would it be on?  Do you buy it by the pound or the gallon or what?

I'm told some people can handle lactose, and some can't.  So if it's such a crap shoot, why did the Triscuit cracker company put it in in the first place?  Couldn't that be a liability issue?  Is it a flavoring?  What does lactose taste like?  Chicken? (Since chicken seems to be everyone's default "go to" flavor, I'm guessing "yes".)

Is lactose to milk what gluten is to bread?  Which begs:  WTF is gluten?  I've eaten a lot of food in my lifetime, but it wasn't until just a few years ago restaurant waiters began asking me if I wanted to order from their "gluten free" menu.  "No, I want the same stuff you've been serving me since 1981" I tell them.  Is nothing easy any more?

Another example:  "Offal".  I was reading an article explaining how good cholesterol (HDL) is good (hence the name "good" cholesterol) UNLESS you have too much of it, then it's bad.  Too much HDL can lead to early death, it said.  Wha...what?  Then it went on to say, basically, veggies good, meat bad.   "Even lean meats like chicken and offal contain cholesterol" it said.

OK, I give.  I guess I've lived a sheltered life.  I've heard of beef, pork, fish, and fowl, but WTF is "offal"?  I looked it up and it said it was "the parts of a butchered animal that are generally considered inedible by humans".  Umm...exactly which parts?  No...never mind.  I don't want to know, really.  I don't care about its cholesterol content, if it's inedible, why are they trying to feed it to us?    

Is offal that stuff that you wish you'd never seen after you see it that scientists make chicken "nuggets" out of?  (I'm pretty sure "nuggets" are not actual parts of a real chicken.) Is offal the Latin root word for "awful"?

No, I don't deny science, but I'll admit I'm sometimes a little baffled by it.  ;)




11 comments:

  1. In the north east we call ground offal with added fat and molded into a brick; "scrapple," it is actually quite good, just ignore what it is made of.

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  2. How sad. Was that something left over from WWII rationing? We have lots of beef here. Would you like me to send you a beef CARE package? ;)

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  3. Here in Portland we have lots of ethnic communities that are fond of cooking with offal. I see them in he grocery store with packages of strange items.

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    1. In college I had a Korean roommate who ate things I was not used to, but at least I could identify them. As I said, I just think it's my sheltered upbringing.

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  4. Processed foods are basically science experiments. I don't want to think what's in them.

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  5. Good thing there's none of that stuff in the tried and true double bacon cheese burger with a side of onion rings, eh?

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    1. BINGO! Just good old Made In America grease. Mmmmm. :)

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  6. Hey, I grew up eating lungs, kidneys, and hearts of cows, pigs, and chicken. Not sure how that would be any different from the parts that make steaks. Parts is parts.

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    1. So you're saying "butt" is as good as rump roast? Umm...never mind. ;)

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  7. I suggest you stick to shopping at your local Safeway, Albertsons, etc, whatever you have. Go to the processed food section, usually in the refrigerated section and get those 'no cooking required', just heat. You'll be fine. Don't worry about those additives, no worries there, eh? Haven't hurt us so far, right?
    And avoid travel, particularly to Asia, the middle east, Africa, parts of Europe, oh, and most of South America. Also Alabama, were chitlins are a fav....
    Cheer,
    Mike

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    1. Are you saying my sausage is somehow not good for me, even if it's washed down with a beer, which is 5% alcohol? And regarding travel...I've watched Anthony Bourdain. Have you seen how thin he is? ;)

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