The Palmer Report
No. 69, untitled
Broadcast April 11, 1974
"You are what you eat" is a slogan oft seen, and often quoted. The exact meaning eludes me, though I suppose it's the rallying cry of those who would have us only eat thing which are good for us. However, there are as many people with opinions about what food is good, and what is bad, as there are insects on an organically grown head of lettuce. Today, I'd like to present the case for a certain type of food that has recently been taking a great deal of unfair criticism. I refer to slob food.
If I am what I eat, then my left foot is almost entirely composed of Hostess cream-filled cupcakes. It functions perfectly. One of my fingers is 100% Tootsie Pops. It's never faltered when I needed it. My ears are French fries; my elbow--peppermint ice cream; my left thigh--Hygrade's Ballpark Franks; and my thumbs are 25 years of Puyallup State Fair cotton candy. All function exactly as they should, along with the rest of me. I'm no Steve Reeves, but I do get from place to place without difficulty. Ahh, say the food freaks, you're one of the lucky ones. Perhaps so, but then America is full of lucky ones, like me, who have unashamedly consumed slob foods since we first discovered how terrible our rattles tasted, yet remain whole, complete, and yes, happy.
The definition of a slob food is that semi-edible substance which either never claimed to have any healthful properties, or whose claims were totally disbelieved by the consumer. No one, for instance, really bought Wonder bread because they wanted to build their body twelve ways. They bought wonder bread because it tasted good and had red and blue balloons on the wrapper. The Wonder bread family eventually dropped this ridiculous 12-ways slogan, and I would be willing to bet sales were not adversely affected by a single percentage point.
In fact, it wouldn't surprise me to hear that Wonder bread sales went up when they stopped trying to build bodies. We slob food eaters have a strong reaction to the intrusion of the healthful food establishment. We're the real food radicals, not those scruffy, barefooted, tie-dyed, Adele-Davis-worshipping wierdos whose life ambition is to turn their bodies into something Euell Gibbons would like to eat. Imagine how disastrous the sales effect should Mars announce the first 100% organic Three Musketeers bar. Would you want a Twinkie filled not with sugary, frothy white cream but stone-ground alfalfa husks instead? Of course not.
Let us no forget that the men running America today were raised on Coca-cola ice cream sodas, Hershey bars and Crackerjack, that, in fact, America's culinary contribution to the world has been limited entirely to the slob food. As long as our flag is not organic, and our mothers are not organic, let's not let our apple pie become organic.
Tomorrow, part three of the Palmer Report look at food: the need for a National WASP food, or kosher is gaucher.
This is Greg Palmer.