I want Just F***ing Food

Written by Chris Kanthan. Posted in Business, Healthcare

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on April 06, 2013 with 101 Comments

FakeFood_CNN-MMXLII

By Chris Kanthan

April 6, 2013

I was at a moderately priced Sushi restaurant a few weeks ago. While I was going through the menu, I saw that they had crab. When the waitress came by, I asked her if it was real crab.

She smiled coyly, and informed me, “It is imitation crab.”

“How come it doesn’t say ‘imitation’ on the menu?” I was puzzled.

“If it was real, we would say ‘Not imitation.’”

“Logical enough. So this is fake crab. Can I pay with fake money?”

She turned cold. “Counterfeit money is illegal, sir.”

I got it. Two lessons learned: One, fake food is legal, but fake money is not. Second, fake food is the default — if it’s real, they will tell us.

The next day, as if by Laws of Attraction, I read an article that said 84 percent of white tuna in sushi restaurants is actually escolar, the snake mackerel fish that causes – sorry for being graphic – oily anal leakage, and was banned by the FDA until 1992. It is still banned in Japan, Italy, and requires warning labels regarding the leaky discharge in Canada, Sweden and Denmark.

And it’s not just fish. Fakeness has become epidemic.

More than 75 percent of honey in the supermarket is not even honey. Just corn syrup, mixed with some chemicals that smell and taste like honey.

I started buying organic honey a while ago, and I could tell it tasted wonderful and different. But guess what? Soon I learned that the term “organic” can be applied to something that is only 75 percent organic. So what I should be looking for is “100% Organic.” Preferably, “USDA certified”. And just when I thought I had found the perfect honey, my friend brought me back to reality saying, “What you also need to look for is the phrase “raw and unfiltered”. And “pure” might be another good word as well.”

If you just get olive oil, you are in for a big surprise. What you need is Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil. (I wonder if the Bible describes Mary as “Extra Virgin”?)

So there are all kinds of adjectives we need to memorize and remember, if we want to get good, real food.

Salmon? Did you make sure it is ‘Wild’, or at least ‘Responsibly Farm Raised with no Antibiotics, or Hormones’? If you get chicken or beef, make sure it is organic. ‘Natural’ doesn’t mean anything these days. And verify the ratings of how the animals were raised. Sometimes it is good to have lower numbers, and sometimes you need to look for higher numbers.

Eggs? Regular eggs are from tormented, sick chickens. And I used to think ‘cage free’ was awesome. Nope. It doesn’t really mean much, in spite of the heart-warming pictures of happy chickens they have on the cartons. So, organic eggs are much better. But, really, you have to get ‘100% USDA certified organic pastured eggs.’

If you are at a fancy restaurant, they will have beef from ‘grass-fed cows.’ Wow, what a concept. Cows have been eating grass since the days of dinosaurs, but now it’s a high-priced novelty! (To be fair, I didn’t do any research on the evolutionary origin of cows).

You like chocolate? Get organic. And also, look for the “Fair Trade” logo. Otherwise, it could be from Africa where big corporations like Nestle make nine year old girls work in cocoa fields for fourteen hours a day.

Of course, always look for anything that says there is no genetically modified stuff. ‘No GMO’, ‘Non-GMO’ etcetera are good things to see on labels.

This is crazy! Everything is upside down. Real things should not need adjectives. Altered and fake things should need adjectives.

We should not need an Excel sheet to remember every damn set of adjectives for every single thing we eat or buy.

It’s time to shift the burden to the industry that profits from fake food. Let them have an asterisk next to everything that is not real, and in a box below, let them explain how the real thing has been altered. Let them say ‘filtered, heated, processed, 90% GMO corn syrup honey.’ Chocolate should be marked ‘involves pesticide, child labor, and unfair trade.’ And, of course, imitation crab will no longer be called crab.

Everything real should just be known by its real name. Absence of adjectives should be a good thing.

On the other hand, if the marketing gurus at the food industry really need to have an adjective, here is one: JFF—Just F***ing Food TM. And call me first, please. I have it trademarked.

Chris Kanthan

Chris Kanthan

Chris Kanthan has degrees in Physics and Engineering with a minor in Economics. And, just for fun, a diploma in Paralegal. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, has traveled to more than 30 countries, and deeply cares about politics, finance and food. He has also written an e-book titled "Deconstructing Monsanto" that is available on iTunes, Amazon.com and Smashwords.com. He can be reached at chrisk2000@yahoo.com.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.mcgovern.376 Becca McGovern

    Amazing article! So true and so sad. “Fake is the default”- wow. Everything regarding mainstream food is so backwards. Thank you for your continued witty insight and being an overall health and wellness prophet. Preach on Chris!

    • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

      Thank you, Becca!

  • Sandy

    A-MAZ-ING! Perfect article. Also, this is why my friends hate me :)

    • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

      Thank you, Sandy. And keep at it. I have changed a few hearts and minds among friends and family. It takes time, but it’s worth the efforts!

      • Sandy

        I admin on a FB page called ‘The Conspiracy Archives’. We have 65K+ followers. I’m posting your article (w/ full credit, of course!) :)

        • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

          Thank you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/jillian.ortner Jillian Ortner

      Ha ha! This is why my In-laws think I’m totally nuts, and a food snob…

  • Artist Paula

    Great article!! Thank you, Chris!!

    • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

      Thank you, Paula

  • Liz

    So true! Fake until proven real.

    • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

      Thank you, Liz

  • jacquie

    Nailed it.

    • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

      Thank you, Jacquie

  • http://www.facebook.com/gdgrl711 Nicole Warner

    You’re the best Chris, this article is spot on, thank you!

    • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

      Thank you, Nicole. Much appreciated

  • Susan W

    Great article – and I so echo the sentiments! Today’s fauxfood seems like cheap substitutes at best, chemical warfare at worst. Whatever happened to accountability for false advertising? And GMO companies successfully argued against labeling by asserting that their product is virtually the same as the real thing while simultaneously obtaining patent rights by claiming their product is so unique it warrants protection! Food and health have become completely disconnected, branded corporate commodities in our society. Eating what you grow is the only way you’ll know!

    • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

      Thank you, Susan. You are right about false advertising. Can you imagine if we sell homemade cereals with Kellogg’s label on them? That would be fraud, punishable by fine and prison sentence!

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexis.trenda Alexis Trenda

    AMEN!

  • Karen

    Amen!

  • tami canal

    Hey, Chris. I admin at March Against Monsanto. I’ve shared your article on the page, as well as GMO Free USA & The Anti Media. We would love it if you would consider speaking at one of our rally/marches on May 25th. Let me know. You can contact me through the page or my email. -Tami

  • Desiree

    Its sickening.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sadie-Ferthe/100003387582060 Sadie Ferthe

    Brilliant! Especially the passionate personal frustration expressed.

    I just cannot trust any food anymore – after several shocks when
    discovering what I’d been ‘carefully’ buying and feeding my family, over
    a year ago I decided to read every label on the few packaged foods I
    still purchase.
    Feeling silly, read the salt box – contains sugar and ‘preservatives’
    [isn’t salt the oldest preservative in the history of humankind?].
    Buttermilk – corn starch, and a host of other thickening agents and
    chemicals to keep them suspended [for ‘mouth feel’ the dairy rep told
    me]. Ditto cottage cheese, yoghurt – the so-called ‘healthy
    choices’.
    And they keep evolving – same brand and package of many of these now
    contain high fructose corn syrup. This, I occasionally rant, is a fraud.
    Fake food. These additions [and deletions]
    from the essential original product change it to something else without
    concern for the altered nutritional composition [never mind
    taste].
    And ‘fresh’ produce and meat/chicken/fish et al are adulterated as
    well. That garlic [from China]? Not garlic. some sort of onion modified
    to [suggest the] taste of garlic. The ‘fresh’ chicken? ‘Flavour
    enhancers’ as ‘broth’ ie lots of water, adding valueless weight, high
    fructose corn syrup, sodiums, other thing, also adding weight in
    addition to cheap industrial crap. Same with so called ‘fresh’ meats
    and the rest. Smoked? nope. a bath of chemicals including dangerous
    nitrates and others are infused with thickeners to the meat to simulate
    smoked and aged – this allows for very fast aging I must say! Butchered,
    smoked and wrapped up in a ‘country quaint’ wrapper, simulating the
    family farm, loaded by the ton into the bigrigs and whoosh – out of the
    factory and into your grocery aisle.., all in a blink of an eye.

    And, my greatest heartbreak – the ‘whole wheat’ fiasco: breads [and
    wheat flour and other flour products] are not what is traditionally
    thought of as ‘whole’ meaning the whole grain ground up with all the
    good natural vitamins and minerals intact. Nope. Some time ago the FDA
    allowed whole to mean plain old white flour with some marginal amount of
    wheat bran added in – along with colours etc to simulate the real
    food. Asked the bakery and was informed ‘whole
    grain’ is the proper reference. But, when I checked that out lately – it
    now [or maybe always] starts as white cheap flour again with some
    grains and bran and colour added back. Oh yeah, with cheap synthetic
    ‘vitamins and minerals’ – representative of only a portion of what
    should be there. Often odd things like cheap
    non-viable calcium [‘for health’, wink nod], a ton of salt [the single
    largest source of salt in our diet nowadays], and the obligatory high
    fructose and the rest of the weighty additions – applied ‘. No protein,
    which should be a there as a good source especially for vegetarians –
    when combined with beans or rice, corn – this used to make a ‘complete’
    protein food and was very satisfying.
    Oh, but wait – the rice is stripped as well and don’t eat the ‘whole’
    rice [brown] because of the exceedingly high arsenic mercury content the
    pediatricians recently warned us about – in a full page NYT ad because
    the FDA refused to respond over many years. And corn – like beets and
    other ‘wonderful’ produce we are encouraged to eat? Modified into quite
    another ‘animal’ – pretty much all starch – designed primarily for sugar
    production, and virtually no ‘germ’ left – the sweet spot where the
    proteins and vital nutrients once resided.

    Not long ago these
    were quality foods, plentiful, inexpensive, tasty, and highly nutrient
    dense. The food of the gods, the ‘staples’ that could support a healthy population even
    with little else available.
    And, don’t even begin to look at what has happened to the potato.

    • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

      Thank you Sadie. You have enough wonderful points for another article!

  • Patrick Monk.RN. SF. Ca

    It ain’t easy being Green.
    Good work as usual Chris. How will we be able to distinguish between Natural Soylent Green, Cage Free Soylent Green and Organic Soylent Green

    • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

      Thank you, Patrick. Always appreciate your feedback!

  • Cinnamonbark

    God this was vindicating and SO GOOD to read!! I live in a food desert, and sometimes I think I’m the only one who cares about this, thinks this way!! I’m sharing this. And YES, I JUST WANT F***ING FOOD TOO!!!!

    • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

      Thank you. Let’s work together to make JFF a reality!

  • TinyTim

    Welcome to the World–not the World of…, but just the World. We’re in it for the long run. Better be literate, because if you can’t read product labels, mouse print and legal briefs you soon will not be able to live. You will die from lack of information, which you will have to acquire constantly throughout the day–whether it be FAKE news, e.g. Twitter feeds, network news, whispers on the street, website links to fake stories or medical breakthrough press releases perpetuated by the media (“This discovery COULD mean the end of —— in the very near future. Scientists at GenoPomp report in the Journal of Death-defying Medicine that all life will be fake by the year 2020.”) Just be very worried when the fake crab is actually found moving on the beach and consuming real crab, which have barcodes on them to identify their origin–in which factory they were assembled. BTW, have you heard about “grass fed” cattle that are actually munching on astro turf?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Shields/100000508545040 Mark Shields

    Pure Gold dude… such bullshit… like “natural” PB needs to be labeled, where as chemically atlered shit PB is just PB

    • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

      Thanks, Mark. Agree with you.

  • Michele at Foodtodyefor.com

    Thanks Chris for putting into words what I think every…damn..day!!!

    • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

      Thank you, Michelle. Hopefully, the next generation can grow up in a world of JFF and thank us for our good fight!

  • Laura

    Thank you for not sugar coating your words – even with 100% organic USDA certified fair trade sucanat!! This article is brilliant, to the point, engaging, and had me LMAO at the end! You have a new fan!!!

    • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

      Thank you, Laura. Love to have your support!

  • BethG

    Brilliant! Couldn’t agree more.

    • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

      Thank you, Beth

  • http://twitter.com/FamilyOrganic Sara

    Love this! You summed up half of my blog content more succinctly than I ever could. JFF!

    • http://twitter.com/chrisk2000 chris k

      Thank you, Sara. What is your blog url?