Robert Hitt Neill column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Eat healthy but enjoy it, too

When a home has survived an incident in which the main homemaker has had a sudden serious ailment, the inhabitants thereof generally embark upon a program of “Healthy Eating,” which may or may not be a drastic change from before the illness, but it is certainly emphasized more.

That has happened here at Brownspur this past six weeks.  But we’re doing it the Right Way.

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Not that we were eating all that unhealthy before.  We’ve always consumed a lot of game, as our meat dish, and that’s mostly healthy.  For commercial meats, we’ve gone the chicken-and-fish route between game recipes, and we’ve always done a lot of cooking on the grill, especially during the summer.  Betsy prepares a lot of salads anyway, and not just green salads: tuna, chicken, and fruit salads too.  

We usually grow some of our vegetables and fruits, and she puts up jellies, jams, and preserves in which she substitutes some other kind of sweetening for sugar, so as to make it ostensibly more healthy.  

I like oatmeal anyway, so we’ve never been bad about slathering a load of sugar on cereal for breakfast – matter of fact, when we cook breakfast, it’s usually for supper every once in a while, if you know what I mean.  Okay, when that happens once a month, maybe modern dietitians would not agree that bacon, scrambled eggs with Tabasco & Worchestershire Sauces, grits, and hot buttered biscuits with dewberry jelly is all that healthy a meal, but no one could disagree that it sure as heck tastes good and Admittedly, we’re talking about the mainmost meal-planner being a lady here.  If most of us men were left to our own devices for healthy eating – we got over the fast food phase long ago – we could be plumb happy with throwing a deer loin onto a hot fire after an afternoon of it marinating in soy sauce, then jerking it off after 15 minutes and wolfing it down bloody and slightly warm throughout, sopping up the juices with a half-loaf of thickly buttered and toasted garlic bread, washed down with a quart of sweet milk, followed by dessert of hot buttered cornbread soaked with Sog’um ‘Lasses (sorghum molasses).

That’s Healthy!

In these modern times, if one takes the time to read the labels (and takes their reading glasses to the grocery store!), thereon one may find down to the last jot and tittle all the scientific data available to man about the contents therein.  One may search for and find substitutes to the “bad foods” so that a proper diet may be followed medicinally.  

But does it taste good?

The mainmost thing foodwise that separates mankind from the animals is that men no longer eat just for survival – we eat because it TASTES GOOD!

Since the day when a man broiled his first brontosaurus-burger over a lightning struck tree fire, we have climbed steadily upward on the evolutionary scale – and do NOT read that as in Darwinism!  What I mean is, since the time man started cooking food to taste better and better, humans have invented Corvette Stingrays, Stealth Bombers, space stations, DVDs like “The Longest Day,” the Internet, the Remington 870 shotgun, and Ruger Interchangeable Cylinder 22/22 Magnum Revolvers.  Now, that’s the kind of evolution I can believe in!

All because we’re looking for ways to make what we eat taste better.

Wait.  What’s going to happen if, under the pretense of making our diet more healthy, we start eating stuff that tastes like ceiling-tile casserole?  

What if Diet Gurus start convincing large segments of our population that tofu (whatever that is!) is good for you and therefore should actually be consumed and digested?  What if Guv’mints start outlawing rare steaks and coffee?  Are those folks aware that cholesterol and caffeine are never mentioned in the Bible?  

For that matter, are Diet Gurus atall familiar with the amount of barbecued sacrifices ordained in the Good Book?  Do they even know there’s such a thing as a Good Book?

Healthy eating is a wonderful thing to aim for, so as to live longer.  But if it doesn’t TASTE GOOD, is it worth it? Eat healthy, but enjoy what you eat!