More Worries

As if we needed more things to worry about, now we have to worry about GMOs, or Genetically Modified Organisms. Many types of food now get modified genetically, and no one knows whether this is good or bad, but I assume new things are bad until proven otherwise. It’s like the reverse of our legal system, where someone accused of a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Incidentally, if that really is the case, why do we lock them up and let the news media ruin their lives before even going to trial? Well, in many cases, it’s for public safety. That’s why I’m not sold on GMO food.

If you want to avoid buying and eating these foods, you can, although it’s almost as difficult a task as someone faces who has to eat gluten-free food. It could be worth it, however. This started circa 1996, and some doctors suggest that this could be the cause of so many getting multiple illnesses.

Besides all that, food started tasting not as good as the old days even before 1996. I’ve extolled the virtues in the past of Shafer’s hotdogs, which graced the Wildwood boardwalk for decades. Yes, a lot was due to Art slicing and grilling each wiener, and grilling both the dog and the bun with weights on them. However, he sold the now defunct Burk’s frankfurters, a fancy name for hotdogs, and the little statue holding a Burk’s pennant while sitting atop the Hires root beer barrel was not a cow, but a pig. Yes, these wieners consisted of ground up porkers, and if a snout or maw made it into the mix, all the better. These babies smelled great, tasted even better, and who worried about the health or calories? Slap some mustard on there, fill the crack with chopped onions and green pickle relish, and imagine what Heaven might be like!

Now we have all-beef hotdogs, often nitrate-free and flavor-free. Yes, eat one if you must, but I’ll pass, because even the buns taste strange these days, what with most wheat being genetically modified. And I’ll stick with Raye’s mustard, thank you. Grey Poupon is for snobs with very little taste.

So then we get to the chicken thing. Chicken used to make your taste buds stand up, or at least sort of sit up straight. No more. Perdue and Tyson corner most of the market, and the little chicks get inoculated automatically, then grow up eating chicken feed, of all things! Chickens, when not raised by the thousands, used to roam around the yard eating everything in sight, including bugs. Perhaps that explains why they used to taste so much better and why the mass produced chicken tastes just slightly better than cardboard. No, I’ve never eaten cardboard, but I can imagine its flavor.

So, speaking of cardboard, have you eaten a pork chop lately? Blandness at its peak, requiring considerable enhancements to make it palatable. My mom used to fry pork chops and I’d chew the fat just to get as much as possible out of the meat. So maybe the garbage the hogs used to eat gave them more flavor, and the meat retained that flavor all the way up to 165 degrees, the safe cooking temperature of pork back then. Now a restaurant asks how you want it cooked. Pink, the say, is okay, because the pigs eat food free of trichina worms, I guess. They might still eat slop, but it’s sanitized slop, so you get sanitized flavor, only slightly better than no flavor at all. Or cardboard.

Now the cows might be right about eating mor chikin. Why eat beef from a grain-fed cow? Cows don’t naturally eat corn feed and wheat feed, nor do they inoculate themselves. They eat grass, which God designed them to do, which is why they suffer from no shortage of stomachs, from what I hear. Grass-fed beef tastes better than the rest, but it has to be fed totally on grass or it’s not much better than the grain-fed beef. While we’re on the subject, what’s the deal with spelling-challenged cows telling us to eat more chicken? If they’re smart enough to make signs, shouldn’t they be at least average spellers?

Yes, many cattle are fed genetically modified feed, which may explain why the old 15-cent McDonald’s hamburger tasted so much better than the most elaborate burger the company puts out today. That, and the sad truth that McDonald’s products all come from a central warehouse, whereas many of the components of a burger used to come from local suppliers per strict specifications. Now, Lopez foods supplies the beef, sausage, and Canadian bacon. This degree of blandness in the beef patties no longer excites my taste buds.

Millennials will never experience the flavors of the foods we grew up with, before conglomerates started taking over everything and looking for the bottom line. They’ll probably never eat a sub or lunch meat wrapped in heavy paper, or never take a sandwich to school or work wrapped in waxed paper. What’s that? In the movie, “Chicago,” the one guy sings of Mr. Cellophane. Do young people even know what cellophane is? Hint: It’s see-through material that doesn’t require hand tools to remove. Worst of all, they’ll never know what a TastyKake pie is supposed to taste like.

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