Waving a rubber mouse at a charging elephant. Leaping off a barn roof while flapping feather dusters. Soothing Simon Cowell with a little ditty. All are hazardous missions.
Or so I suspect. Two of those I’ve never attempted and the other experiment was cut short when Mom wouldn’t let me take her feather dusters outside.
None of those compare to the single most dangerous risk a person can take these days – eating.
It doesn’t matter on what you nibble. Chances are it will burst your belt, clog your arteries or sicken you with germs and viruses.
The latest perilous product is peanut butter. Federal officials said last week that about 300 people in 39 states have contracted salmonella since August in an outbreak linked to certain batches of peanut butter.
I did not take it so personally when spinach was afflicted by e. coli. I like spinach in salads and on subs, but it’s not a dietary necessity. The same went for the green onions and lettuce when each had their turns with outbreaks.
It would not change my lifestyle one bit if beets or asparagus had been next.
But peanut butter?
Of the two greatest substances known to man, the second is peanut butter. Chocolate, of course, is first. If it, too, is declared a dangerous element, there will be no more reason to get out of bed.
Could we even consider ourselves a civilization without buckeyes and peanut butter cups? I think not.
Without George Washington Carver’s wonderful goo, PBJs would be merely J’s, losing much in both alphabetic and culinary appeal.
Oh, for the return of those innocent years. Now, even though the jars at my house aren’t the ones in question, that last peanut butter and honey sandwich tasted a little funny.
Worse, when our food is not putting us in jeopardy of illness, then it is exposing to possible arrest.
It’s hard to keep up with what’s bad. First fat was bad. Then there was good fat. But before we could figure out which was which, carbs became bad and protein good. Then chopping off all carbs turns out to be bad, as is a protein overload.
The only thing researchers agree on at the moment is that trans fats are bad. So bad, in fact, that actual laws are being passed against them. So far, New York and Philadelphia banned trans fats in restaurants and bakeries, and Buffalo aims to be next.
If you outlaw trans fats, then only outlaws will have trans fats. Or something like that. This could be the dawn of a whole new era of prohibition, smuggling and speakeasies. Backwoods stills will manufacture homemade brews of hydrogenated vegetable oils, and it will be up to the descendants of Elliot Ness to seek out illicit broilers and smash loaded french fries to tater nubs.
There you have it. If you eat anything, you risk either sickness or jail. I’d give it up altogether except that it’s an old habit that’s hard to break at this stage of life.
So pass me a couple slices of that whole grain, whole wheat, low-fat, low-carb, fiber-rich, cholesterol-free bread and a jar of peanut butter. It’s scarier than jumping off a barn roof while flapping feather dusters, but I feel daring.