So, anyone want to take bets on how long it would take me to injure myself or someone else with these things?  I thought about it for a few seconds, but I have clear visions of catastrophes.  Best not to try.  I might try to convince J to give it a try, though.  Looks interesting.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the healthy eating pros and cons and about my experience with it, in general.  I think my knee-jerk reaction is to assume that healthier food is more expensive and/or unaffordable for some, but I’m starting to realize that it’s unfair for me to generalize in that way.  Some healthier foods are more expensive, for sure, but price is not the root of the healthy vs. junk eating problem.  It’s definitely a factor, but I think culture (here in the South, anyway) plays almost as large a role.

Growing up, I ate many meals with my grandparents, all of which were cooked by my grandmother.  She cooked (and still cooks) turnip and collard greens, spinach, corn, squash, cabbage, potatoes (white and sweet), tomatoes, blackeyed peas, fish, chicken, etc.  Nothing from a box.  Nothing overly processed.  She has mulitple vegetables at every meal and serves balanced meals, in general.  Some of her meals consist of nothing but vegetables.

Lurking, though, is butter.  Lots of butter.  And bacon grease.  And lard.  Everything from tomatoes to chicken is fried.

The difference in my life then and my life now:  squash is now steamed instead of breaded and fried; chicken is baked or grilled and is plain instead of breaded and fried; cookies, cake and pastries of all sorts aren’t readily available; potatoes aren’t fried or mashed with cream and butter; I don’t keep a jar of bacon grease; I don’t scramble my eggs in bacon grease.  The list is exhaustive.  The fact is, I don’t fry anything.  I don’t add fat and calories to anything.  Don’t get me wrong – I freakin’ love pancakes cooked in bacon grease.  I love fried squash.  I think we’ve already established that chocolate cake will never be my enemy.  I just can’t eat the way I grew up eating, though, and expect to be healthy … and it has nothing to do with price.  I didn’t adopt unhealthy eating habits based on cheap, processed, unhealthy food.  I grew up eating “healthy food” that was … enhanced.  In this case, culture is the culprit and I don’t think It would be too much of a stretch for me to say that it’s a major factor in the Southern states being ranked so poorly on the list.

Don’t even get me started on the smoking.

(I am so seriously craving some of that food now and I’m not even ashamed of it.  Some days I would kill for biscuits and gravy with sausage and bacon and scrambled eggs on the side … all cooked in/with the bacon grease, of course.  Makes me feel horrible to eat it, but dang.  So good.  I should’ve never gone down this path.  Moderation is not a friend of the Southern cook.)