Monday, March 24, 2008

The children must eat a bit of dirt

The children must eat a bit of dirt

All of us ages 40 and older should have died as young children; it's amazing how we survived this dangerous, germy world.

Food recall? What the heck was a recall?

With sucking on lead paint, poking our heads through the crib slats and maybe swallowing a cat's-eye marble ...

And I bet we ate a tainted piece of meat once in a while, too. If it gave us a bellyache, and we had to call the doctor, he didn't give us a $75 prescription. He told our mom to cook those porkchops longer next time.

Itsy-bitsy tan bug shells in the flour? That was an automatic until somebody figured out a bay leaf in the sack solved the problem.

My first hamburger wasn't 80 percent lean and my milk was whole.

And we didn't know all the scientific facts we know today. Most of those facts hadn't been invented yet. Good thing we're not all dead.

Had we in the neighborhood known how to eat healthy and play safely, we sure wouldn't have roasted and eaten the bullheads we caught in the same pond where muskrats swam and dead carp bobbed. We impaled them on a stick and cooked them until they turned white. Mom didn't know. They were good.

Yes, we would have also eaten the crow my brother found on the ground in what we called "The Swamp." But the feathers flamed up, darn near ruining the bullheads.

We explored without parental supervision. And we learned you can put your little sister in a cardboard box, shove her down the stairs and not hurt her much at all.

In our city, the school district never had 42,000 pounds of beef recalled because one or two in the herd weren't standing up -- could have been sick -- when they got slaughtered.

When something smelled bad in the vegetable section, the grocer hurried over, found the rotten potato and threw it out. We didn't quarantine the state of Idaho because a potato smelled in Texas.

Now I'm glad, as are most, that we have regulatory agencies in our country. I'm making it clear that I don't want anyone strangled between the crib slats -- get a safe crib. And it's a good idea not to let toddlers play in the buttons and pins tin.

Beef that's 80/20 doesn't taste bad and food labels are a good thing. I never would have guessed that canned chicken broth can be 99 percent fat free.

But c'mon, already. Butter is bad. Eat margarine. No, actually butter is better than margarine, says at least one former surgeon general. So what's what?

If I drink a glass of wine, because it's good for the heart, will the antitoxins in the next morning's coffee kill off the bad part of the alcohol?

I'm an inquiring mind, and I want to know if I can get away with not eating fish if I take two fish-oil capsules a day.

So don't say I'm not interested in health matters, and safety issues.

Car seats? You bet. Bobsledding sister down the stairs in a box? Not a good idea.

Going to "The Swamp" without parental supervision, and risking drowning in a pool of pond scum ...

I'm saying, c'mon, already.

I'm saying if kids should be able to be kids, then we have to stop turning them into little temples of no calories, no fat, no sodium, no carbs, no sugar ...

As my dad said, and you can figure it out, "Children can't grow up until they eat a certain amount of dirt."

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Ha ha... la sam jiak, la sam dua (dirty eat, dirty grow).

Yeah, I agree that nowadays parents are way too much concern on food hygiene which it's against the nature of growing up.

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