Soap, Vitamins .. What’s Next: Spinach?

You may run into the “vitamins are a waste of money” meme just about everywhere on the internet and on cheesy television news programs (you still watch television news?). Here is a blurb from CNN:

vitaminsA newly-published editorial about vitamins is getting a lot of attention.

The controversial piece, published in this week’s Annals of Internal Medicine, claims that dietary supplements and vitamins are a waste of money.

The editorial, which is based on three studies, says taking supplements offers no benefit when it comes to preventing cardiovascular disease, cancer or a second heart attack.

The report also says those studies also show that multivitamins don’t prevent mortality or improve cognitive function in men older than 65.

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Hungry?

Today I got an email flier from the local big-box store and one of the items tweaked my interest so I selected it and, of course, I was transported into a vast web site where I could find everything I ever wanted … at a tremendous discount. I roamed around in electronics and furniture and somehow landed in groceries where I found something I just hadn’t thought about picking up on my recent visit to Kroger — a full-years supply of food for four people in one convenient package:  over 20,900 servings, 1340 calories per person per day.

Where was this when I was in college? It sure could have save me a few trips to the Von’s (although, that would just leave the laundromat for meeting girls). But having what is in effect a four-year food supply for one sitting in the kitchen (stuffed in the garage?) reminded me of my experiences with various freezer plans:  tenderloin all week-long followed by rib steaks, strip steaks, and eventually realizing the freezer was half-full of neckbones … no more steaks, no more roasts, even the ground beef gone to barbecue Valhalla. Would the same be my experience with this new food supply?

And, of course, there is also the question of portion size:  yes, they advertised an extended period of nutritious eating, but I’d hate to consider how long I would survive on a 2-ounce burger with three fries. But I didn’t need to worry too much because a quick look at the packing list suggested I might be enjoying 2-ounces of meat substitute and a small bowl of reconstituted potatoes. It was sounding more and more like my college days when Ramen noodles soaked in MSG was considered home cooking.

Now, you might not think of a lazy, starving college student when you see all that food, ersatz or not. In fact, there was an extended essay included with the order forms and such which was a concise treatment of the many reasons one might have for buying over 20 thousand carefully portioned meals. I won’t go into the full list (which included a “many-more …” entry), but here are a few of the highlights:  the future value of our currency; a National ID card that, if enacted, could be used to control the flow of food; concerns over Global Warming could impact food availability even if Global Warming is a hoax; the government is considering making private gardens illegal; the country relies too much on foreign foods that might sap our vital fluids; and, of course, Revelations tells us what is really going to happen so we better be ready.

I think I’ll run out and pick up a bento box for lunch.