Tag Archives: food

Putin on the Fritz

25 Aug

You can always tell when a dictator is about to go off the deep end…and President Putin of Russia seems to be headed in that direction because in response to economic sanctions against Russia over the illegal annexation of Crimea, which in themselves have caused great economic hardships for the Russian people, he had decided to fight fire with petulance by banning most fresh produce from countries imposing those economic sanctions over the past year… which of course, has made things even worse for Russian privation…not to mention their salads and cheese boards.

But now, President Putin has decreed that anyone caught breaking that ban will have their own produce seized and destroyed! And until this week, only importing produce from sanctioned countries was prohibited, not selling it. But the agriculture ministry now says even warehouses will be raided and produce seized. As a result Russian authorities are now destroying, bulldozing or burying hundreds of tons of foodstuffs they say violate the ban including huge piles of pork, tomatoes, peaches and cheese.

With the Western sanctions against Russia already fueling inflation and pushing more Russian citizens into poverty it seems as though their fearless leader has decided that what better way to fight poverty than with a good dose of hunger. Let them eat cake…as long as it’s Russian cake…I suppose.

But aren’t we the ones who are supposed to be eating the cake, or rather feeling the wrath of his sanctions against our sanctions? Instead It’s been reported that more than 288,000 people are petitioning Mr. Putin on-line to cancel his decree, while still others are calling for the food to at least be sent to starving people in Africa or perhaps fed to orphans…or hungry people…like Russians!… rather than seeing perfectly good and edible food being wasted and destroyed.

I say, if you’re going to be an evil dictator, you should at least come up with a sinister plan that while being both ruthless and diabolical could also be both practical and fun for the people at home, whom you love and dictate over. Like for instance…Tell your people that in order to show those evil American and European sanctioners what you think of their lousy foodstuffs they should eat as much of it as they can and then crap it right back out in defiance and solidarity and as a statement about just what you think of their agricultural expertise…and then demand more food to be imported just so you can eat it all and crap it out again! Shit! That should show those western devils!

But President Putin’s plan to destroy the imported food and make his own people go hungry, as a show of defiance to the sanctions that are making his people poor too?… Well, that’s just plain nuts!… And as far as Russian dictators go…makes him look like he’s one beet short of a soup nobody wanted to eat in the first place. Nyet?

Live to Eat

22 Apr

A recent Harris Poll conducted on behalf of Sun Trust bank has revealed that many Americans can’t save money these days because…they eat it! Not literally of course…it’s just that they spend it all at restaurants in exchange for eating food.
The poll found that as many as 44% of American households that earn 75,000 dollars or more a year, describe their households as “living paycheck to paycheck”  because they dine out too much.

And A full 71% of Millennials with the same household income, say that entertainment and dining out expenses devour most of their extra income, making it almost impossible for them to save money for that possible future “rainy day” or other important living expenses that one might encounter in the future, such as weddings, vacations, children etc…

The bank commissioned the study to try to find out why folks and families aren’t saving more money. Similar studies on spending habits have uncovered that Americans now even spend more at restaurants than grocery stores. In January alone the country spent 50.4 billion dollars…eating and entertaining themselves at restaurants! Together, at home and in those restaurants, Americans spend over 100 billion dollars each month on food. That’s over 1 trillion dollars spent on food each year in the USA!

Yow! That’s a lot of eats! And wouldn’t you know it, that as of 2013 there were also 108 million American dieters, making 4-5 dieting attempts per year and spending close to 70 billion dollars on dieting and weight loss! That’s a whole lot of money spent on attempted weight loss after eating and gaining weight…when you figure that you could have just not eaten the food in the first place. Imagine the savings then?! I’m sure that Sun Trust Bank can…but we Americans would rather bight our tongues and eat them… rather than save money…or at least that’s sure how it seems.

But get this! According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, when it comes to consumer food purchases, Americans spend the least on food consumed at home compared with just about every other country in the world…and our spending on food — proportional to our income — has actually declined since 1960!  In fact, the average share of per capita income spent on food fell from 17.5 percent in 1960 to 9.9 percent in 2013.

So we, the richest citizens in the richest country in the world, could really be rich…if we’d just stop eating all of the profits…at bars and restaurants!

However, even in America, the less you make, the bigger your food spending will be relative to your income. For example: In 2013, people in the lowest income bracket spent an average of 3,655 dollars annually on food, which was 36 percent of their total income, while people in the highest income bracket, spent about 11,000 dollars annually on food, which was only about 8 percent of their earnings. So rich folks can spend 3 times as much on food as poor folks do but at 4 times the savings…so to speak. Go figure!

Which begs my final thought on the matter. Why do all of the wealthiest Americans get so bent out of shape about providing food stamps for the poorest and hungriest Americans, When it’s already 4 times more costly for the poor in America to eat, as a percentage of their income? Especially when eating seems to be our country’s national past time, with over-eating a close second?!…and besides, if we all really needed more money for ourselves, then, rather than taking food stamps out of hungry parent’s and children’s mouths…we could just as simply stop putting extra food…AKA our extra cash…in ours!

Let’s face it, rich Americans have more food to eat than anyone else in the world, and also love to show off about how fancy and extravagant they can be about eating it…But give a hungry guy a food stamp and watch him try to buy steak or lobster or even a cold soda so he can get in on the national orgy and enjoy a little fancy eating too, and we all want to burn him at the stake!

And if you just saw that as a barbecue metaphor…I rest my case.

The IKEANS

4 Jun

 

I went to Ikea for the first time the other day? My family loves it there and it was an interesting experience and so other-worldly…who are these Ikeans and why have they come to Earth and especially here to America?

Are they some wee people from another planet in another solar system. Their store came with directions on the floor so I could not get lost as I roamed amongst their Hobbit-like furniture and Lilliputian wares…why an entire Ikean’s house furnishings could fit into one American sized great room!

Do they have Great Rooms in other countries I wonder? Do these aliens wonder what one does with a great room and what it is for? “Welcome to America. Here is my bathroom for bathing and my bedroom for bedding and my living room for living and my dining room for dining and my kitchen for…watching television… and here is my Great room where I spend my time in greatness of course!” and out there of course is my garage which is a house for my car!”

After following the Ikean path for what seemed like hours I came upon their dining hall where they served entire meals for $4.99! Imagine that? Meat and potatoes and strange berries for under $5! I was so amazed at these affordable and delicious dinners, I had three! Where do they find such meat and so cheaply?

And their coffee was free!

I would like to see the Ikeans shop at a great big American store! What might they say as they peruse our oversized and magnificent living structures?

“Look at that couch! It is bigger than my house! Where would such a television fit besides a drive in movie theater?? OMG! That automobile has rooms! We could put some nice shelving in the back seat!”

And what would Ikeans think of our food and eating habbits?

“Quick over here! They call their small coffees Grande! And place an entire ice cream sundae inside each cup…and all for only 8 dollars and 95 cents!…And there is an entire meatloaf with vegetables and cheese between the bun where my wee hamburger should be!”

Then I followed the path from their place of eating (more like midnight snacking if you ask me) to another level of shopping for accessories and decorations to fit inside their wee spaces…it was exhausting!

But then I wondered why are all of my fellow Americans so gleefully and happily shopping here among these strange and foreign Ikean retailers? Do they not realize that we are still giants among men and planets?! Or…

Is something happening to America? Is the unthinkable upon us? Has the unspeakable finally happened? Has the unraveling of our greatness begun? Is America downsizing?!

Good grief! Americans beware! Run for your extra -large lives! Save your over-sized selves!

The Ikeans are here!

O Fish How Art Thou Fishified!

20 Mar

http://themacaw.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/fish.jpg

I knew I was right about fish!

When I was a child I hated fish because to me it always tasted fishy which was not a flavor that I enjoyed. My dad however, loved fish and he would always have me try different types of fish to see if there was one that I perhaps liked better than the others. For my dad each fish had its own taste but for me?…All I could taste was fishy. Fish tasted like fish and even when my dad would try to tell me that this new fish that I should taste would taste like chicken all my taste buds could taste was fish. Yuck, send it back to the ocean and give me the chicken please.

Now that I’ve grown up…I still don’t like fish but I feel that I have finally been vindicated in my culinary discerning of flavor and taste because according to several recent studies and investigations More than one-fifth of 190 pieces of seafood  bought at retail stores and restaurants in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut were mislabeled as different species of fish, incompletely labeled, or misidentified by employees.

and guess what? Even though Americans spent $80.2 billion on seafood last year Nobody could taste the difference…so take that you Long John Silver lovers!

And according to Oceana’s seafood studies this is not just a regional problem but also a nationwide issue. Their findings showed that 58 of 81 retail outlets sold mislabeled fish. That’s over 70%!  And 100 percent of the 16 sushi bars tested sold mislabeled fish.

I knew there was something fishy about sushi!

But it gets worse…In small markets Tilefish, on the FDA’s do-not-eat list because of its high mercury content, was often substituted for snapper and halibut and 94 percent of all “white tuna” was not tuna at all. In fact Red Snapper was the most often mislabeled fish or the one that could not be identified at all. Talk about a fishamajig!

And if you like Atlantic Halibut then you really shouldn’t buy that at all. Why? Because Atlantic Halibut is all but extinct these days…but don’t despair because it tastes just like Pacific Halibut which is pretty much the same thing even though it’s not the same thing but apparently you won’t be able to taste the difference because…fish tastes like fish!

And do not plunk down any money for the Blue fin Tuna unless you are paying about $2,000 per fish or around 65 bucks per pound because the world has eaten just about all there is of that “chicken of the sea”. If you purchase Blue Fin at a great price you’re probably getting something else that tastes like…you know. But according to FDA officials, it’s acceptable for various species of tuna to be labeled as Ahi tuna as long as that “doesn’t confuse consumers.”

Hey! What’s this whale doing in my Whaler?

However, anyone wishing to avoid seafood high in mercury should take note: The mercury content of different tuna species that may be labeled as Ahi tuna can vary. According to the FDA some tunas have twice the mercury concentration as others and if you do some research on your own you’ll discover that you really shouldn’t be eating any tuna at all. Why?

BECAUSE IT HAS MERCURY IN IT! (as does most if not all fish but tuna is to mercury like water is to a sponge)

The FDA will tell you that there is a safe amount of mercury to eat but the tuna industry pays a   lot of money for marketing and advertising and lobbying the federal government to keep its product rolling off the shelves so you know how that goes when it comes to FDA standards.

They say one can a week is safe but if you are a young women who is pregnant or even thinking about having a child, I wouldn’t touch the stuff…I mean really mom…how much gravel and dirt will you tell your little children is safe to ingest later in life when they’re out on the playground?

But there is good news. Earthlings love fish so much, even though they can’t tell a Peruvian Sea Bass from a Patagonian Tilefish, that  according to more researchers, there will be no seaf­ood left to catch by 2048, except for jellyfish, which will thrive in the ocean’s future and collapsed ecosystem.

Luckily, they say th­at jellyfish have the same nutritional content as shrimp, which is pretty darn good because I hear that shrimp taste just like…chicken!

GRACEFIFTEENTEN

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