Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Health-Care Reform and Junk Food

The other night when the House Democrats had their marathon tutorial, someone wheeled in a cartload of pizzas. I estimated 35 pizzas total. A staffer could barely push the cart down the hall, so laden was it with cheesy goodness. But, of course, it was also the Cart Of Death. Think of the carbs! The drippy yummy artery-clogging fats! I feared for these lawmakers -- and suspect that the pizzas were secretly ordered by their hated rivals, the Republicans. The GOP surely knows that the best way to kill health-care reform is for some large percentage of Democrats to be at the very least hospitalized. The ol' take-em-out-on-a-gurney strategy.

Congresspersons are unnaturally fond of junk food. See the Times story from earlier this week. And today Politico tells us more about the junk-food junkies of Congress and notes the failure of the health reform efforts to do much of anything about America's obesity epidemic.

Some of the most radical proposals for combating obesity -- like raising taxes on sugary drinks -- have been all but dismissed as political impossibilities. No surprise why: The food and beverage lobby spent more than $20 million in Washington lobbying in 2008 and contributed more than $15 million to political campaigns in the 2008 cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

But I bet you dollars to donuts that Congress's subsidies of the corn industry have played a role in the expanded use of high-fructose corn syrup throughout your local grocery story and in your soda pop.

[By the way, I'm at the Energy and Commerce markup. I just came from the Rayburn Cafe, where the pizza is selling -- dare I say -- like hotcakes.]

By Joel Achenbach  |  July 30, 2009; 1:04 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Bet on America
Next: 'The Evolution of God'


World sugar prices are exploding, thanks to bad crops in the biggest producing countries. I somehow don't expect that to translate into vast export markets for American corn syrup.

A new environmental history of World War II in the Pacific has a peculiar photo, showing residents of a tropical island in a big field of radishes, grown for the troops. Radishes in the South Pacific. Weird. No pizza?

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | July 30, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

On dieting, I still haven't decided if Cohen at the NYT is being serious or in the summer groove with his latest.

Bizarre juxtaposition of a blast against obesity, followed by an endorsement of the "General Motors Diet" of all things.

Posted by: engelmann | July 30, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow -- I so hope I get to be first (*pinching myself to see if it's true*).

I was doing some grocery shopping at Shoppers a few weeks ago and what struck me was a guy who had in his cart the following: several cases of soda, potato chips and the like, cakes, cookies, donuts, hot dogs, hamburger patties (frozen), respective HD and H buns, white bread and a lot of frozen pizza ---- and that was it! No veggies, no fish (even frozen and fried). He wasn't obese, which surprised the you-know-what outta me. But I've seen women there with much the same in their carts and they are ginormous. I really don't get it. But maybe junk food is cheaper to buy than food that is good for you -- but then again, the price for dealing with obesity-related illnesses (like Type II diabetes) is not cheap.

I went and had a bone scan yesterday in advance of my mammogram (the "girls" have forgiven me, thankfully). I've shrunk 1 1/4 inches over the years. That's a bit startling to me, even though I knew it was gonna happen sooner or later. I guess "sooner" caught up with me on the early side.

Gotta go draft some requests for admissions. Cya'll later.

Posted by: -ftb- | July 30, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I have digressed so often over the ADM/Fanjul family mutual back-scratching and palm stuffing of congress so often that I feel like a conspiracy theorist. Except that some conspiracies do exist.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm fine with an Aug. 6 BPH, BTW...

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 30, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Same time, same place for the BPH? I'll try to coordinate some work downtown so that I can join you all.

Posted by: -ftb- | July 30, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

August 6th is fine for me, but I'm good for just about any other day before Aug 13th. How do I go about getting other details, though, like time, location, secret passwords, etc.? Scavenger hunt? Hidden subliminal messages on TV? Microfilm?

Posted by: Southwester | July 30, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

[reposted from the tail end of the last 'boodle]
I loved this little exchange in today's politics chat:
- - -
Boston: From the polls today, I see that Americans are, once again, ridiculously confused about the issues of the day. Doesn't this say something to the media? I'm fascinated by the oft-pundited idea that Obama needs to do a better job explaining his healthcare plan to the public. Now, obviously, Obama should be -selling- his ideas. But isn't it the media's job to -explain- the plans? (Of course, this doesn't even take into consideration the ridiculousness of polling on "Obama's healthcare plan" when no such thing exists). If the public is confused, it seems to me you guys should consider it your fault, not the government's.

Paul Kane: Um, read today's Wash Post. We did a long explainer-type story on the taxing of benefits.

To be honest, we've written about a dozen of those stories the past 2-3 months. We write them all the time. You know what? You readers don't read them. Because they're very complicated stories, involving obscure tax and health-care laws. Instead, you gobble up stories about Sarah Palin and Skip Gates. You devour argumentative op-ed pieces. You devour news of the weird.

Sadly, it's just the way it is.

that's the link to the most popular things on right now. you'll notice that the piece explaining tax laws and health-care is not in the 10 most read stories.

so, whose fault is it?
- - -

Go get 'em, Paul!!

Posted by: bobsewell | July 30, 2009 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Sou'wester - Don't ask me. I can hardly ever remember, which is why I don't make it to most of them. On BPH nights, I'm usually wandering aimlessly around D.C., muttering, "Was it on this block? Was it back there? Was it by that other place?"

Posted by: bobsewell | July 30, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

The BPH location is mentioned in this article about crab cakes:
although, the review of the crab cakes in another article was "don't bother". yellojkt, I agree that I was a bit shocked about the exclusion of Bawlmer, but the BPH restaurant mention made up for it.

Seriously, SW, I'm sure TBG or someone will post all the details, if they haven't already while I've been typing (and munching Fritos).

Posted by: seasea1 | July 30, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse


Big place, got a fence around it, just north of the Ellipse. Just tell the nice young folks at the gate that Barry asked you to stop by for mussels and a cheap cheeseburger...

McCormick & Schmick's on K St., just east of Farragut Square. Things get rolling right around 5 p.m., usually. Look for the large mass of hysterically laughing people seated (usually) near the bar. :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 30, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

A cartload of pizzas, a good hijacking target.

Today, David Ignatius has a good article on security for U.S. dignataries

When I was 15 years old, I mailed some postcards and rushed out of Santiago's central Post office. Can't remember why I was in a hurry.

I turned the corner and crashed into a tall gentleman who said in a severe tone, "Young man, you should watch where you are going."

Speechless, I stood aside and let President Ibanez get past me, wait for the traffic light to change and get lost in the crowd.


Posted by: Braguine | July 30, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

You guys switched the BPH date? I can only come one day a week. Bah...

After months of negotiations, this happens?


Actually, if you switch to Aug 6th, that's fine with me.

Posted by: russianthistle | July 30, 2009 2:55 PM | Report abuse

@S'nuke: Several years ago, my cousin was doing a Fourth of July cookout and invited Southwestress and me and we couldn't make it. The coolest guest there was our senator in the Illinois State legislature. He was just about to get going on the next big step in his career, a run for the Democratic nomination for US Senator. So had I gone, I could have had that cheeseburger with Barry, without even arresting a Harvard professor.

Posted by: Southwester | July 30, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

After driving around DC at Lunchtime, once a week for two years, I decided that the "state" veggie of Wash, DC is the bag of potato chips.

My I also say that I am getting even more disgusted by cigarettes. Sorry folks, if I offend. I work an physical 8 hour shift and when I get my break to sit outside and warm up, the last thing I need is someone parking next to me... almost in my space... smoking a cigarette.

In this hot and humid air, what do we need with smoke to breathe, as well?

Posted by: russianthistle | July 30, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Hi al!

Just back from a week of vacation and 3 days of business travel. Congrats on a new place Yoki, so long Southwester, sorry about the job Sneaks. That's all I could catch up on. Where's Mudge? I'm so confused...

Posted by: Raysmom | July 30, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

That Cohen article is shocking. I thought you could only get turkey legs in Frontierland. To find them available at MGM is just inexcusable.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

I am really disappointed with the Democratic majority at this point. It seems that the Republicans have already won. I'm sure that something will be passed, but it won't be close to the kind of reform we really need. At this point, the Republicans have convinced the court of Public Opinion that failure to pass health care reform is a great defeat for Obama, so the Democrats are wrangling to pass ANYTHING, just so they can say they did, seemingly regardless of whether or not the bill contains the most important reforms the President has called for.

Posted by: Southwester | July 30, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Southwester, just don't forget your bow, and you'll be fine.

Posted by: Yoki | July 30, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Hey - I thought we'd settled on the BPH on Monday the 3rd so certain Boodlers who shall remain nameless could attend...

Those Health Care pizzas for the Choice Socials - they have sausage, ham, proscuitto, pepperoni, scrapple, and some would suggest most importantly, *Canadian Bacon* on them, right?

You know, everyone's favorite pork products?


Posted by: -bc- | July 30, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Reposting Bob S.'s link to the informative health care issue story

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 30, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Bwaaa, I can't attend no stinkin' BPH reardless of the date. Mebbe 2015? Haff a good time yawl.

Posted by: Braguine | July 30, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

There is also the argument that making junk food cheap is a good way to contain health care costs because it encourages people to overeat and then die before they get old enough to really drag down the system. (Look, I didn't say this is a good argument.)

The point is, a lot of these cause and effect things are tricky. For example, the common claim the natural sugar (or, my favorite euphemism "crystallized cane juice" ) is healthier than HFCS isn't that cut and dried.

If you look closely at some of these studies (or so I have been led to believe) what you really find out is that while consuming vast quantities of HFCS may be measurably worse than consuming vast quantities of sugar, both are still pretty bad. It's the "vast quantities" that people need to focus on.

I mean I actually know a person who drinks many, many cans of an energy drink to push him through long hours. Yet he claims that he doesn't worry because his energy drink is "all natural." None of those nasty chemicals for him. Enough "natural" caffeine and sugar to kill a small army of lab rats, perhaps, but nothing "artificial" like HFCS.

Oh well. Could be worse. He could be eating pizza.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 30, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

God loves us so much more than we can imagine through Him that died for all, Jesus Christ.

Hello, friends. I've been lost for the past two days, and I've been very bad. Really bad. I just can't go into details now, really loud and bad.

As for the kit, we had pizza yesterday at the Bible study. A lot of cheese. I ate one piece, and tried to wipe all the grease off of that. But then, came home last night and killed the rest. It was something quick, and many times, that's the thing we go by, because it's quick. Overlooking all that bad stuff we swallow, and then when it comes back to haunt us, we're like, why me?

It's raining here,after all the heat and humidity. Just really yucky weather.

Hello, dawn patrol, and everyone. I'm so sleepy, but can't go just yet. Have a good rest of the day, folks. *waving*

Posted by: cmyth4u | July 30, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

We do these tests so you don't have to!

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 30, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

While I fully understand those who find cigarette smoking bothersome for all sorts of reasons, there's plenty of data to show that smokers are a good deal, health cost-wise. They pay lots of taxes, then die early, usually fairly quickly.

It's those healthy old farts who acquire incapacitating but not immediately deadly afflictions that are so expensive.

Posted by: bobsewell | July 30, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

When I shop, I always look at the label to determine whether there's any HFCS in it. If so, I put it back on the shelf.

When I was younger, I didn't worry so much about food, and maybe that's the same for most people here (and elsewhere), who have always had the luxury of choices of what they eat. If now I have any choice about pizza, I always get tons of veggies and very, very little cheese. Now, I like cheese -- a lot -- and I bought some this morning at Trader Joe's. But what I bought there was Jarlsberg Lite and some Cabot 75% fat free cheddar. They don't taste gawd awful and I get to have some good tasting calcium and protein for a much lower fat content. Once in awhile, however, I will succumb to a full-bodied, industrial strength jalapeno-laced cheese. You know, just to keep the machine lubricated. It's a well-earned treat, maybe once/year.

Well, I *had* to let you know that I'm human, after all.

Hey Yoki -- loved to hear about your new condo -- is it yours yet? When's the housewarming party?

Posted by: -ftb- | July 30, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Howdy. Junk food - food that is, on the whole, bad for you - is in fact usually cheaper than fresh or dried fruit or veggies, and it certainly is easier. You're right about that, Cassandra. As I tell the Ivansclan, pizza in moderation is not bad for you - it is grains, tomato sauce, cheese, and maybe a meat. High salt & fat content but basically healthy ingredients. It is eating the whole pizza, or eating it several times a week, that creates problems. These days, here, you can buy a large single-topping Little Caesar's pizza on Mondays for four bucks. That's a good price for a meal for several people.

I won't repeat my rant about high fructose corn syrup, other than noting that studies now suggest, in addition to its other ills, that it metabolizes differently than "regular" sugar - more like fat. Evil, I tells ye. Pure Evil.

Posted by: Ivansmom | July 30, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

"Vast quantities" of anything can't be good Padouk. Even water, remember that lady's brain exploding because of excess water at the NYC marathon I think it was.

Real cheese is good for you, the cheese product that ends up on so many pizzas has never seen the shade of a cheese bacterium and that is a very bad thing. It has all the bad properties of cheese (fat in particular) but lacks the goodness. Now, real mozza, provolone, caciocavallo, asiago or even feta on pizza and this is another story...

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 30, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

I cut out all the HFCS several years ago with no trouble, but now that there are so many natural sugar soda options out there, I find myself drinking more soda than I had for years. It's still not more than once or twice a month (my primary beverages are water and beer), but I had some of that Pepsi Natural in Chicago and it was great. It's still got lots of sugar, but it's so much easier to justify when you can say to yourself, "but it's all natural! It's okay, right?"

Posted by: Southwester | July 30, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I like the irony in those radio ads that go on about the benefits of sodas and "fruit drinks", and to tell your congressperson not to tax them. They go on about fresh air, exercise, and a healthy diet being the way to go. Well, last time I looked, virtually all of those drinks were NOT part of a healthy diet. Heck, add a penny a bottle tax. It won't hurt much, and maybe a few folks will hit the water fountain instead of the Coke machine.

Posted by: ebtnut | July 30, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, SD. I eat a lot of cheese - probably too much, and not high quality or farmstead cheese, but "real" cheese, not a petroleum product. I don't like meat that much, and I don't drink milk except on cereal, so I have to get protein and calcium somehow.

CNN is making a fuss about the "Beer Summit" not being public. Did anyone besides them have the expectation that it would be? I certainly didn't, and I was even hoping that we wouldn't know exactly when it was, so this sort of media circus would be kept to a minimum. Sheesh. Also, I considered it a good thing, or at least a sign of the times, that their lawyers would also be present. I'm really hoping a scuffle doesn't break out...

Posted by: seasea1 | July 30, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

If it's Thursday, this must be Sofia...

Posted by: DNA_Girl | July 30, 2009 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I used to have an apple and a banana every workday. Occasional grapes, peach. It tastes fine; I liked it. Somehow that habit went away. I am the worse for allowing that to stop.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 30, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

seasea, Colbert was funny the other day when he accused Obama of stereotyping cops as beer drinkers. "How do you know he doesn't like single-malt scotch?" he ranted.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 30, 2009 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm a cheesaholic myself, seasea. Love the stuff, just don't worry about the fat. For me the issue is simple carbs: I quit drinking regular sodas in college when I noted that an 8 ounce serving of Coke has 26.6 grams of carb. When your daily limit is 60 grams, you learn fast what to avoid.

TBG, SonofG and GF were here a little while ago, relieving me of part of the overstock of tomatoes. It was good to see them both.

Posted by: slyness | July 30, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Hey, Raysmom, I'm here. We're on vacation at the Joisey shore, and I'm checking in on the Boodle only very sporadically. Spent 3 hours at the beach this afternoon (I am now a bronze god. Tell George Hamilton to watch out--there's a new sheriff in town). Am now sipping a gin-and tonic and contemplating locations for dinner. Life is hard.

Congrats on the condo, Yoki.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 30, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm... I must have missed some homework. I wasn't aware that there was any serious data to indicate that high-sucrose cane/beet sugar was any "healthier" than high-fructose/glucose corn syrup. It all gets turned into glucose for body use, right?

Posted by: bobsewell | July 30, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I don't think there was any expectation that the "beer summit" was going to be broadcast live and in living color. The whole point was for 3 guys to sit down in a quiet place and hash some stuff out. And if no one says anything afterwards except "We had a good talk, shook hands and are moving on", that's fine.

Posted by: ebtnut | July 30, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

You've got tomatoes overload? %!!@*%@

My plants are committing seppuku over the ghastly weather we are ofering them. And I ordered a full kg of feta back in June, to have as TBG salad. Rats.

HFCS is a commodity. Ten years ago I witnessed a small ceremony where the last (20-40?) rail tank cars of a large order was delivered to the Coca Cola corp. Coke had well over a thousand cars dedicated to that service in those days.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 30, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

DNA_Girl, I wish you'd tell us what you're doing in Mittel Europe instead of just dropping place-names! It is driving me mad...

Posted by: Yoki | July 30, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Why, she's trying on European genes, Yoki. That should be obvious.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 30, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

The best way to consume sugar cane is distilled into rum :-)


Posted by: Braguine | July 30, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

You drive me nutz with your hard life.
Wait 'til December when my beach time and pisco sours comes around.


Posted by: Braguine | July 30, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

@bobsewell: I think you're right. Most of the anti-HFCS talk doesn't have a lot of biological research to back it. But I do think that natural sugars taste better and since pure sugar is more expense than HFCS, it makes the products more expensive to gorge on, making them less likely to lead to obesity.

Posted by: Southwester | July 30, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon everyone.

ftb, I always wonder what people think of my food choices when I am grocery shopping, on some occasions the cart is filled with fruits, veggies (fresh),meat all the regular foods.

Other times when I am buying snacks/lunch stuff/food for parties the junk food quotient can go quite high - particularly if the shopping is for the older childs parties as I will include Pop which is something that is only in our house when we entertain as no one in the house drinks pop/soda.

So there are days when I could very well be that man.

We definitely eat more junk food than we should but there is also a lot of healthy foods.

When I was in university I had a job at a discount food store, I used to find it distressing that the customers with the least amount to spend made some very poor choices (so many bags of chips, cans of pop etc), it also drives me crazy that Juice is so much more expensive that pop or the juice 'beverages'.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 30, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Hi Al, Just got back from cleaning up the Brit ( about an hour ago. Man it was hot. The Classical Festival session starts tomorrow night. The artists have been in practicing the last three days. Means I got to get in by 7:00 to get the pavilion cleaned before they show up @ 8:30.
Now sitting back with some ice cold gin and previously frozed shrimp. Feel a nap coming on.

I'm lamenting the the breaking of the belt that I have worn for 47 years. A nice piece of saddle leather 1 1/2 inches wide and a quarter of an inch thick. It has server me well, all over Northern California hunting blacktails and fishing some back country for rainbow trout, working in Mexico, Scotland, and China, elk hunting trips into the wilderness area of Idaho, and British Columbia (4 times)
It records the history of my waist line (western style.) Started out on the fourth notch when I bought it 1963 from a street vendor in Berkeley when I was in the Coast Guard stationed at Yerba Buena Island in the middle of San Francisco Bay. Over the past fifteen years It moved out all the way to the first notch. Then in the last two years after cutting WAY back on the gin and scotch, I was all the way back to the third notch. This spring the welch terrier puppy in the teething stage got it one night and chewed a vee out out of the second notch. Yesterday it broke above the third notch. Tried one of my old suit pants belts today but they don't hold up my levies when they get wet from sweat like old faithful.

Posted by: bh72 | July 30, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Okay, now that my drafts of Request for Admissions have been sent on their merry way to "da Boss" let's settle down to the really important stuff. Did anyone see SYTYCD last night? The finals are next week, and all 6 remaining dancers did their thing last night. One boy and one girl get eliminated this evening, so here's my prediction:

Final two boys: Brandon and Evan
Final two girls: Jeanine and Kayla

And, I think that Brandon will win it all. He should, but Kayla is terrific, too.

All of them, I hope, will get remunerative work out of this show. There's loads of talent.

Anybody else wanna chime in? Frosti? Raysmom? Mudge?

Posted by: -ftb- | July 30, 2009 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for asking, ftb. No, the condo isn't mine yet. I don't expect the final deal til some time on the weekend; the vendor is a pilot, so his availability is spotty.

Actually, you'd think a pilot would be easy to communicate with; it is when they go silent that people get nervous.

Posted by: Yoki | July 30, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you on those predictions, ftb. Last night, Brandon was great in everything, Kayla was great in everything but her solo (I've never been impressed with her solos -- she needs better choreography for them), and everyone else was good. I've enjoyed Melissa's dancing from the beginning, but I think it's likely she only survived last week because of the emotional punch of the breast cancer choreography, and she'll be gone tonight.

I never listen too hard to the judges, but I do wish Lil C wouldn't try to make technical comments for genres he's clueless about. I don't mind that he knows nothing about ballroom, but I do mind that he tried to apply another judge's critique of jive technique to quickstep. Huh? I'm sure he could come up with something to say about the emotions or character conveyed by the dance; I wish he'd do that instead and hold a little tighter to his credibility.

I've got all kinds of opinions about the status of ballroom on this show, but I'll restrain myself from the rant for now.

Posted by: -bia- | July 30, 2009 6:11 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I watched last night, thought Brandon solo was incredible - great music and a great dance.

Not a big fan of Melissa and although I really like Evan I am not sure he should be in the top 2.

If I had my choice it would be Brandon, Ade, Kayla and Jeanine.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 30, 2009 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I agree that Brandon's solo last night was simply breathtaking. I have never seen anyone dance like that, and of course, the music was equally breathtaking (and a piece that I have always loved).

I'm glad that we won't have to wait until next summer to see the next season. If they decide to have this show year round I certainly won't complain.

Posted by: -ftb- | July 30, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

I do get it almost year round, Canadian version starts next week I think or the following one.

Posted by: dmd3 | July 30, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Part of the pop biochemistry lore about HFCS is that it aborbs into the blood stream much quicker than cane sugar and plays havoc with the body's natural insulin response time. Somehow that causes people to eat more than they should or not metabolize food right or something. I just know that cane sugar drinks taste better and less "syrupy" than HFCS drinks.

My new enemy is these silly quasi-natural artificial sweetners. There is a juice substitute out there that is half citrus juice and half water sweetened with this crud. Why not just drink half a glass of juice?

My wife bought a case of a glucosamine drink only to find in the small print on the bottom of the box that it was artificially sweetened. Yuck.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 30, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Calling Mudge, calling Mudge! Just back from the church league softball championship, rain delayed since Tuesday evening. Our guys tied the score in the ninth but lost in the tenth. Their pitcher wouldn't pitch to our best hitters. Why the heck is THAT legal?

The doctor has me off all artificial sweetners, and on stevia. It's sweet enough, I don't mind it, but the cost, yeouch. I'm not sharing with Mr. T. I never cared for saccharin or Sweet n Low, but Equal and Spenda taste okay. It must be working, though, 'cause I am losing weight.

Posted by: slyness | July 30, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

I read something recently, maybe it was here, about grocery shopping around the edges of the store and realized that’s pretty much what I do. We do buy cereal and diet soda and salad dressing, but most items come from the produce, meat/fish and dairy aisles. I think Splenda tastes fine in most things. I love an occasional potato chip or nacho chip but don’t keep them in the house and only buy the smallest bags when indulging. I’ve been known to throw away a half-full bag of chips if I feel we’ve done enough damage. Granted it’s easier when there are only two adults in the house, but it’s never to soon to learn good habits. Years ago we were in a grocery store behind a man who had potatoes, vanilla ice cream and popcorn in his cart. We decided it must have been ‘white’ night.

Yoki, good luck with the condo purchase. Don, good luck to your daughter.

Posted by: badsneakers | July 30, 2009 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Slyness... thanks for the report; glad Son of G could help relieve you of your excess tomatoage.

It pleases me to know he'll be eating homegrowns; it'll remind him of his grandparents, no doubt, who kept us supplied with their garden delights.

Posted by: -TBG- | July 30, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, processed modern convenience food is a problem not so much for being processed, but because it is so convenient. Open a box and the next thing you know you've snarfed down enough to keep you alive for the better part of a fortnight. (Or thereabouts.)

It is when we try to make meals a bit more of an event, by savoring the food and eating more slowly, that we end up eating better and eating less.

I know this is certainly true for me.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | July 30, 2009 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I agree with everyone else that Brandon's solo was terrific. He and Kayla should be top two and that Melissa and Ade will be gone tonight.

I was away last week, so didn't know until last night that Janette was eliminated last week. She was my favorite, and I'm shocked. Was she really that bad, or did people not vote for her because they figured she was a shoo-in?

I love my fruits and vegetables (people at work have asked if I'm a vegetarian), but find potato chips and nachos almost irresistable. Do they put some sort of addictive narcotic in them?

Posted by: Raysmom | July 30, 2009 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Gov't Suspends Cash for Clunker Program

Posted by: -TBG- | July 30, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Does that mean Mudge will be moving his office again?

Posted by: dmd3 | July 30, 2009 9:15 PM | Report abuse

SOG has indicated he will relieve me of some tomatoes as well. After this afternoon's rain I went out and saw I am overloaded. Even worse, I have so many yellow variety. You leave red ripe tomatoes on someone's doorstep, the communication is self-contained. Yet with the ripe yellow tomatoes, one feels the need to speak. "They are yellow. Yet they are indeed ripe. They are bred that way. Eat them now."

The silly part is I shopped today and forgot both mayonnaise and gazpacho fixin's. An error not to be repeated.

I am of the opinion that corn sugar is no better or worse than cane sugar. And of course there is this wonderful form

There is now grapefruit flavored beer. I can assure all that this sounds far worse than it is. In fact, it is quite good. Googling reveals most pertinent info on this.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 30, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Drat, I hope they find more funding for the program as it seems to be working quite well.

My dryer has died. I'm not sure if it's fixable or not. Naturally this happened in the middle of two big loads which are now strung out all over the cellar. I really don't want to spend money right now, but I'm certainly not living without a dryer!

Posted by: badsneakers | July 30, 2009 9:32 PM | Report abuse

RD_Padouk said "fortnight." Hee hee.

Posted by: Yoki | July 30, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

No, but seriously. This is what I wanted to say.

I hate it when people treat food like medicine, like a prescription.

I eat fresh, home cooked, from real ingredients, not processed, food, all the time. But if I started to worry about whether every bite I put in my mouth was good for me (*good* for me!), I would lose all sensual pleasure in aroma and flavour, taste, texture, ambiance.

I proudly eat cheese. Just not too much at once or often. I also eat red meat, but seldom. I make cream sauces every once in a while. Because they taste good and are honest food.

Remember what Anthony Bourdain said in Kitchen Confidential? "Your body isn't a temple, it's a [expletive] amusement park." That is a little strong, but I hate to see anyone obsess over whether every bit of food they put into their mouths is virtuous. Food and virtue are divorced, as far as I am concerned. Food and health have a lively debate going, most days.

Posted by: Yoki | July 30, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Well, I seem to have called it correctly. The finals are gonna be with Brandon, Evan, Jeanine and Kayla. While I think Brandon is such a complete and excellent dancer, I also think that Evan is cute as a button and a real Broadway guy. Of the girls, I think I prefer Jeanine to Kayla for some unknown reason. Perhaps it's the ethereal quality to Kayla which makes me lose interest. Jeanine has a passion about her dancing that I really admire.

It was terrific to see Twitch and Kaytee (sp?) doing that absolutely fabulous Mia Michaels piece in the doorway. Man, I LOVE that dance!

You know, Sneaks, within a day or two after my father died, almost 25 years ago, the clock in the kitchen that my parents had for most of their married life (just shy of 51 years) fell off the wall, the washing machine broke and the dryer went on the fritz. If you can wait until it gets a bit colder -- too cold to hang up the clothes outside (and, of course, there can be *no* rain -- which could be problematic this summer for you) or inside in the cellar, maybe there will be some Labor Day sales you can take advantage of.

*Faxing the appropriate amount of gleeful karma (anyway) to Sneaks*

Will undoubtedly boodle with ya'll on the morrow. . . .

Posted by: -ftb- | July 30, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Raysmom, I think that addictive substance is called salt. Also fat.

Personally, I'm not a potato chip fan-- nor much for flavored nachos since I stopped being a kid, but give me salty tortilla chips and salsa on the right day and I'm compulsive.

I wish my appetite matched my body's needs. Otherwise, Yoki's right.

Food is life. Enjoy it, don't let worry over it ruin you.

Posted by: Wilbrod_Gnome | July 30, 2009 10:17 PM | Report abuse

ftb, I am wondering (and dreading) what the other two things will be. In my previous life at the summer house I hung clothes outside whenever possible. I did have to dry the towels as the girls complained of their stiffness, but everything else smelled wonderfully sweet from the Cape air. I’m not sure how I could set up a proper clothesline outside here, the configuration of gardens and trees out back is an issue. But it’s a nice thought!

Yoki, I agree with your food philosophy pretty much although I rarely make sauces, I’d rather just eat more cheese! I don’t like how I feel if I don’t eat healthy. And I love Anthony Bourdain’s comment. I had forgotten it as I lent the book to #2, who lent it to #1 who lent it to a friend as all have worked in restaurants and found his stories spot on as well as funny.

Posted by: badsneakers | July 30, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Badsneaks, there still might be time to trade that dryer in on a new Honda Civic under the "Cash for Clunking" program...

Or, it might simply be a drive belt that needs to be replaced - what are the symptoms?

On a related foodie note, I am interested in seeing the new movie with Meryl Streep playing the late Julia Child. Streep may be better at impersonating Child than Dan Akroyd, though perhaps not quite as funny as he was back in the day: "Oh, dear, I seem to have cut myself... Save the liver!"


Posted by: -bc- | July 30, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

*happy, happy, happy, happy Snoopy dance!!!!!!*

Double pike position with half twist amen to Yoki's 10:06.

slyness, need more detail to make a determination.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | July 30, 2009 11:19 PM | Report abuse

I *was* kind of interested in seeing the new movie with Meryl Streep playing the late Julia Child.

But then bc reminded me of Dan Aykroyd's version and I thought, "What's the point?"

All that blood... it was like MacBeth performed by the Romanovs.

Posted by: byoolin1 | July 30, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

You're on a real movie streak, byoolin, aren't you?

Posted by: -TBG- | July 30, 2009 11:25 PM | Report abuse

I must be a metabolic anomaly. I always make it a point to make friends with the cafeteria ladies at school, and for nine months of the year, I eat big lunch and dinner. Breakfast is a minimum of three cups of coffee, the first with milk, then a fade to black. I'm not really much on junk food, but in order, cheez-it, and potato chips. If I exercise to excess, lifting weights is about the only way (and I don't do it, nor run, can't bike because of my knee, don't exercise), and eat, I'll gain weight. If I don't, I don't gain weight. I've lost two inches from my one pack due to school stress, surgery, light lunches and dinner. Lately, it's been only dinner. Work on the shop has consumed me. I dispensed with nearly all of the rot today: 12 feet of sill (real 4x6), 2 treated 2x8x8, and 2 8' 2x4's were consumed in the process. Salvaged some wood that I'll finish milling on the table saw tomorrow to replace the siding. I'm calling the inspector for a dry run of the final tomorrow. All that stands between us and a certificate of occupancy is a short list of cosmetic stuff, and installation of 15 feet of 2' galvanized on the meter box. Oh, and the inspector. Almost forgot. Drink only coke. Every other soda is a lie.

Posted by: -jack- | July 30, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Why do all new cars have a front end that looks like Lightning McQueen? Acura is particularly bad, and now Ford joins the fray. The new Taurus:

gotta admit that 365 horses out of a twin turbo v6 sounds interesting enough for a test drive.

Posted by: -jack- | July 30, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

AAAnd I take back my corn sugar opinion. Doing some research, I see I know too little to have an informed opinion. Perhaps a biochemist should chime in.

Posted by: Jumper1 | July 31, 2009 12:02 AM | Report abuse

-jack-! You are seriously a hoot.

Posted by: Yoki | July 31, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Curmudgeon! Thanks, buddy.

Posted by: Yoki | July 31, 2009 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, you all.

For snack food I like pecans and walnuts, CosCo sells them in large bags, no salt, very satisfying, munch, munch.

Enjoy your BPH next week, I wish I could join you but I can't. :-(

Posted by: VintageLady | July 31, 2009 4:10 AM | Report abuse

bc, the dryer is not getting hot. It’s a gas one so it may be the igniter thingy. If it was an electric dryer “S” could more than likely fix it, but we don’t mess with gas. I will call a repairman today and see if it’s worth trying to fix. Meanwhile I’m glad we have a dehumidifier in the cellar!

A bit less humid here today but big t-storms forecast for later. My last day at work. They’re taking me to lunch. I will feel better when I’m not physically there anymore as it’s sad to be doing everything for the ‘last’ time. Fingers crossed that their business improves enough for me to go back! Meanwhile, plenty on the todo list.

Posted by: badsneakers | July 31, 2009 7:05 AM | Report abuse

'morning all. I'm getting to like these 13 minutes commutes. Next Monday is a civic holiday so there are lots of people taking today off to make it a 4-day weekend and I goy lucky with the traffic lights.

It's not a problem if your body is a temple, it could be a temple to Bacchus.

It's all clear now, we are on the wrong side of the jet stream. So bh72, seasea and dr are frying and we are floating away pushed by a cool breeze.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 31, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I am feeling SERIOUSLY jinxed this week...

Work PC's been really sluggish for awhile, and completely gave up the ghost late Wed.; tech comes over late yesterday and discovers the HD (80 GB) is almost full!!! The culprit could quite likely be a very stealthy Trojan that ballooned the "Temporary Internet Files" to more than 30 GB. :-O

So anyway, the tech goes and gets a new HD, preloaded with my "network image" so I can access e-mail, etc. I come in this morning and it fires up faster than you can say Jack Robinson... but no printers available. Still waiting for the tech on that one.

So part of the normal routine is to print out some daily stuff and make copies. I get on another machine and get the documents printed, but our copier's busted. I wander over to the next office and use theirs. It's a short copy run, but I manage to inadvertently hit the "off" button before it finished... *SIGH*

*staggering to the Bunker Bulletin Board looking and feeling like the "It's!" man with just enough strength to post...*

Today in Nautical and Aviation History

July 31, 1498: Columbus discovers Trinidad during his third voyage to the New World.
1942: Congress establishes the WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service), the women’s’ branch of the Navy; Lt. Cmdr. Mildred H. McAfee is the Waves’ first commanding officer.
1970: The British Navy discontinues the issuance of grog (rum mixed with water), ending a 230-year tradition. R.I.P.

*wondering-what's-coming-next-even-though-it's-TGIF Grover waves* :-)

Posted by: Scottynuke | July 31, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for that link SD. So I guess moving isn't an option ;-). I feel for you and your extreme rain amounts. It hasn't been quite so bad here (only the 9th rainiest July on record) altho' I hear that north of Boston they have had much more rain and peoples' vegetable gardens aren't doing well. Ours is ok, if a bit behind where it should be by now in terms of actual fruit.

Posted by: badsneakers | July 31, 2009 8:14 AM | Report abuse

I have one of those 13 minute commutes. You get spoiled fast.

Night 2 of my temporary bachelorhood had me steam cleaning the carpets. In nine years we have done nothing but vacuum and it shows. The rented Rug Doctor declared the patient dead on the operating table. It looks a little better, but not much.

Tonight I'm going to kick it up a little bit. 80s tribute band The Reagan Years is playing Looney's Pub in Fulton/Maple Lawn. Show starts at 10. Look for me. I just wish I still had my skinny ties and Members Only jacket.

If I weren't doing that and I were a little closer to DC I'd definitely go see Barack Stars at Woolly Mammoth Theater downtown again. It's a hoot and the guy playing Rahm Emmanuel is dead-on hilarious.

According to the WaPo Post Points entertainment e-mail, they've added an 11 pm show tonight for only 25 bucks a seat.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 31, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Hello Yoki, (if you are out there??)

Here is a link to a small and very nice food site ... wonderful presentation of Lamb Shank.

Thought of you. Some reason.

Posted by: russianthistle | July 31, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

Yellojkt, Nothing says "I want to do my part to help the economy recover" like re-doing the house in Wall-to-Wall.

Do we still have troops in Karistan?

Posted by: russianthistle | July 31, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

It's tough to see grand old traditions like free (watered down) rum go by the way side. Lets hope the British navy never abandons buggery and the lash.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 31, 2009 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Geez, I start to boodle for the first time in weeks with a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit in hand and what do I find? Y'all talking about eating healthy! But criminy, it was good!

I'll never catch up so I hope someone will tell me if something really important happened. Sneaks, I gather you were laid off, I'm so sorry! I'm channeling major mojo to you and everyone who needs any...

Been gallivanting up and down the east coast for the last few weeks. To Murrland for my sister's 50th birthday party, where I injured my knee dancing to "Bully, Bully". It totally stinks that my body has deteriorated to the point that I can't dance with the abandon I used to... I've been doing all the usual things hoping to avoid visiting an MD about it, but I think I'm going to have to give it up and go.

Went to Saratoga Springs, NY for my brother's vow renewal ceremony. I thought vow renewals were kind of unnecessary, because, well, a vow's a vow, isn't it? But it was a very sweet and happy event, so I'm vowing to be less cynical from now on. Saratoga Springs is DELIGHTFUL!

Last but not least, went to Tech for my son's orientation. I have had a big ol' lump in my throat ever since. I'm not ready, but since he is...I guess I'll have to figure out how to fake it.

Ok, enough boodlehogging...hope everyone's well!

Posted by: Kim_1 | July 31, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse


Last week we had a contractor give us order of magnitude cost estimates for a) replacing our rather decrepit and undersized shower, or b) completely redoing the master bathroom. Either number was shocking and hence my newfound enthusiasm for regrouting tiles as they fall off.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 31, 2009 8:46 AM | Report abuse


The best part about being a healthy eater (selection and portion control management in place and working) is that you can "sin" and enjoy it.

Bacon is a personal favorite.

Give me a BLT on some nice bread and Mayo ... Some good T.


Posted by: russianthistle | July 31, 2009 8:50 AM | Report abuse

OK, I sinned there! Sorry.

From the previously referenced Food Blog, here is a great little recipe that you can use to accompany grilled meats or veggies. I have an eggplant in the fridge that, I am sure, will go very well with this as a late meal snack after I get off work tonite.

Recipe for Minted Feta Yogurt Dip: (makes 1 1/2 cups)

* 1 cup Greek yogurt
* 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
* 1/4 red onion, peeled and grated (or very finely minced)
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2 fat cloves)
* 1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
* 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste. The amount of salt to add will vary depending on the saltiness of your feta cheese.
* Freshly ground black pepper - several grinds

Posted by: russianthistle | July 31, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

jkt, no doubt you heard the word segment "--rty thousand" which is even worse than "nty thousand."

Posted by: russianthistle | July 31, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

No. The numbers were only '-teen thousand' (a number I would fully expect would jump to '-rty thousand' by the time all the Mr. Blandings dream house upgrades were incorporated) which still exceeds the available balance on my HELOC. The dream bathroom may be doable in three years if I can convince my kid to skip his last semester. But all this is seriously disrupting my mid-life crisis plan to buy an off-lease BMW Z4 from some dentist tired of his.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 31, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I do something very similar RT with pressed yogourt. It goes well with cucumber slices but the best application is on grilled eggplant slices. Spoon a generous dollop on the grilled eggplant slices just as they get out of the oven and eat them when they have cooled down.

I have a theory that renovation cost are like car repairs. If you were to "renovate" a new house it would cost 5 times the amount to build it. Just like the price of building a car at your local dealership would probably 5 times the cost of a factory-built car.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 31, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Foodwise, I think that everyone's different and that a diet that works for one person may not work for another. Seems that a lot depends on lifestyle, eating habits, metabolism/genetic traits, etc.

My doctor would beat me soundly across the head and shoulders with her clipboard if she knew how much sugar (and that terrible corn syrup) and caffiene I consume, yet she assures me I'm very healthy in every dimension she can measure.

Fortunately, she cannot measure the quality or health of what happens between my ears. Or if there's any to be found whatsoever.

On a final note, my tomatoes are coming in, and I picked up some fresh imported Italian buffalo mozzarella from a friend the other day. Stopped at the store for a little fresh basil, too. A little balsamic vinegar and some nice EV olive oil, and I'm good to go. Yum.


Posted by: -bc- | July 31, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

At least with home improvements you can delude yourself with the rationalization that some of the upgrades are recoverable in resale value (Insert housing market irony here).

As my son found out, the cost of a replacement AC compressor for a '99 Camry is easily half the value of the car and when you are done you still have just a '99 Camry. He wisely talked my wife out of pursuing the repair any further (who needs AC in Hotlanta?), but I think that saved cost will come back to haunt me some other way in the future.

I keep telling him I'd let him have the Z4 on alternate weekends if he'd move back home and transfer to UMBC.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 31, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone remember posting a web address a couple of boodles back where people offer private residential rooms at affordable prices? Please repost, I can't find it. Thanks!

Posted by: davemarks | July 31, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and s_d, depending on what you mean by "build a car at your local dealership," they may not even be able to do such a thing.

You'd want to go to a custom builder and depending on what you want, the 5x cost estimate of a factory build might be correct, or it might be conservative.


Posted by: -bc- | July 31, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Ezra Klein has a fascinating takedown of a libertarian's bias against national healthcare. It's not only kinda on-kit, it's kinda on-the-last-two-kits. I'm not sure if anyone has already posted it, I haven't backboodled far, but it's definitely worth a read.

RT - that sounds yummy. It sounds like the sauce on the fantabulous gyros at our local Greek festival.

SD - what is pressed yogurt?

Posted by: Kim_1 | July 31, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I haven't finished backboodling yet after yesterday evening's t-storm power outage, but in case no one else has responded to Raysmom's question about Janette, here's my take. She did great last week, as always. She was paired with Evan and clearly outdanced him, though he didn't dance badly. Their dances weren't memorable, whether because of that asymmetry and lack of chemistry or because of the choreography. Her solo was very good, maybe her best of the season. Her fans may have been overconfident, and the dances with Evan weren't striking enough to drive casual watchers to vote. Then toward the end of the evening, Melissa and Ade danced a contemporary piece about a woman with breast cancer and the man who loves her. It had the judges in tears. (I thought they danced it well, but I found the backstory and topic choice manipulative -- if you don't love the dance, you must not support breast cancer patients.) That dance most likely encouraged many votes from the more casual watchers and kept both Melissa and Ade in the show and out of the bottom two (Brandon and Kayla were in the bottom two last week!). So Janette basically fell through the cracks. A lot of people were surprised, I think, but then the other top girls are really good, too, so if Melissa wasn't going to go, someone surprising had to.

Posted by: -bia- | July 31, 2009 10:22 AM | Report abuse

It sounds like it's time for another Boodle Tomato Beauty Pageant. I volunteer to judge this year if TBG is too busy with her duties as Obama's Victory Garden Czar. Remember, all entries are non-returnable except as part of a nice bruschetta.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 31, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

I think it's full fat yogourt drained of further water by pressing it against a filter, so it's almost like cream cheese.
I buy it at a Lebanese store. According to the hand-written labels they offer two kinds: cow and ship. I sure hope they mean ewe.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | July 31, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Denizen! Yes, and I toss cucumbers into the sauce/dressing, as well. (yeah, raita)... why the heck not?

I enjoy tossing cayenne and/or cumin in to give it some pop. Or mustard and vinegar. Something like that is going to end up on some lamb kabobs in the next couple of evenings.

Posted by: russianthistle | July 31, 2009 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Ewe bet!

Posted by: russianthistle | July 31, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

From the quality and length of that Klein column, WaPo is getting way more for their money from Ezra Klein than they seem to be getting from Bill Kristol. Although Bill Kristol's role at WaPo seems to be more a part of Fred Hiatt's neo-con welfare program.

Posted by: yellojkt | July 31, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

And of course there is a NEW KIT!

Posted by: yellojkt | July 31, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company