Friday 30 Sep 2016

Food for Thought
Jennifer Flaten

As I am sitting down, with my slice of breakfast birthday cake, oh don’t make that face, you do it too, I see an article in the paper extolling the virtuous of the “clean eating” movement. Okay, two questions come to mind. First, what’s up with the name? It’s kind of a silly name if you ask me, “clean eating” as opposed to what, “dirty eating.”

After a moment of reflection, I realize that there is most likely such a thing as “dirty eating.” Furthermore, I’m probably better off imagining what that might entail rather than searching it on the web. It‘s early and I don’t have a very strong stomach

Second, I haven’t even read the whole article and already I am annoyed. Why would I participate in something that makes me sound like a damn raccoon? After scanning the article, I learn that “clean eating” people eat organic, healthy, locally produced food. Okay, so they aren’t raccoons, just smug.

I look at my cake. Yes, I baked it. As far as I figure that’s produced locally. No one imported my cake.

Hot dam: one out of the three “clean eating” criteria, that’s good enough for me. Sure, if this were Vegas you wouldn’t take those odd. For cake, I’ll take it. 

Maybe my cake doesn’t exactly fit the food pyramid, but it comes darn close. Ah, before you argue hear me out. My cake includes all the pyramid’s major food group components. It has eggs, grain, flour’s a grain, chocolate, yes, chocolate is a food group on the pyramid or at least my pyramid. What more could you want?

Hey! Wait, didn’t I read that the pyramid is kaput? That’s right it is no longer a pyramid. It is a plate.

Well, my cake is round, or was, so it fits the plate. I’ll even include a glass of icy cold milk. Ha! Take that food police.

Let’s have a moment of silence for the dear departed pyramid. Poor thing never stood a chance. People will eat what they want to eat, see cake for breakfast, regardless of what shape the advice, pyramid or plate.

All right now that is settled, let’s see what else the paper has to offer: chickens. Yes, the small poultry, most commonly found in nugget form, at least in this house,

Why are chickens in my morning newspaper? I wish I could say it was for some neat reason, such as a chicken solved the debt crisis. Yet, this is Wisconsin. Chickens make the newspaper because some local citizens want permission to own “urban” chickens.

I didn’t realize chickens came in “urban” or “suburban” versions, only ranch or farm. My mental picture of a chicken looks much like “Foghorn Leghorn,” the loud—mouthed Senator chicken on Saturday Morning cartoons. Yes, I watched a lot of television when I was a kid. Why do you ask?

I freely admit there are many varieties of chickens. I can barely tell a biddy from a banty. Nor can I say, with authority, if a chicken is a Rhode Island Red or an Araucana

Adding to the confusion is the fact some of the “urban” chickens would reside in the suburbs. Geez, it isn’t even 9 am. My head is already hurting.

What exactly makes the chicken urban? Is it like a metro-sexual? Does the chicken live in a condominium, carry a messenger bag and take public transportation to work?

Neighbour is turning against neighbour in the great chicken war. Budding chicken ranch barons claim chickens are quiet, tidy and tasty. Those who prefer their chicken wrapped in cellophane, not pecking at bugs in the backyard, claim they are noisy and dirty.

I figure it is going to be hard to get chickens in backyards; some neighbourhoods don’t even let you hang your laundry out on the line, saying it looks tacky. I can’t imagine they want chickens strutting around.

As far as I’m concerned as long as chickens still fit on the food plate I don’t care if they are “urban” or “suburban” chickens.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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