by Mike Todd
The words didn’t come easy. As they left my mouth, my ears wondered if someone else was saying them. “Can you make that pizza gluten-free?” I asked, and somewhere a hipster’s first neckbeard sprouted.
Actually, I was ordering the pizza for a friend of ours who swears (and I believe her, in case that doesn’t come across) that changing to a gluten-free lifestyle has made a huge, positive difference in her health. It probably could in mine, too, if I could deal with the hassle or figure out what gluten is. It’s apparently some sort of glue that holds every delicious type of food together.
I cracked open the lid to the pizza box, expecting to see melted cheese and sauce poured onto wax paper. Instead, gluten-free pizza looks much like normal pizza, except somebody let the air out of it.
Diets low in grains and carbs are supposedly healthier since humans didn’t evolve eating those things. Seems like we might be giving our ancestors too much credit on that score, though. Sure, cavemen never died of diabetes, but that had less to do with their diets and more to do with saber-toothed tigers, who enjoyed a diet high in caveman.
While our family may not be joining the gluten-free movement, certain members of our household are being dragged into buying organic. “Did you mean to buy the expensive milk?” I asked recently.
“It only costs a dollar more than regular milk,” my wife Kara replied.
You can tell when I do our shopping because the fridge will be packed with items that have generic brand names stamped on them, names like America’s Second Choice, Sure-It’s-Probably-Fine and Essentially Adequate. When Kara does the shopping, she comes back with milk cartons that feature a photo of a cow in a reclining chair getting a manicure and pedicure with made-up words like “Omega 3” in large font and an invitation to a square dance at the farmer’s house.
“But this is only a half-gallon,” I said. “It’s a dollar more for half as much milk.”
Kara said, “My friend’s friend took her seven-year-old daughter to the doctor because she was already having her period. Turns out, it was the hormones in the milk she was drinking. They switched to organic milk, and she stopped having her period.”
“Dude,” I replied, which is the only proper response to that story.
“So whatever it costs, it’s worth it,” Kara said.
It’s tough to argue with her on that one. While switching to organic milk goes against my deep-rooted cheapness, it also aligns perfectly with my desire not to have a menstrual cycle.
It’s very hard to know what is actually good for you. In the morning, as I normally pop my gummy multi-vitamins, I’ll say, “Time for my morning placebo.”
Perhaps realizing the maturity of its audience, the vitamin industry has finally started producing nutrients in ice-cream-topping form. “I don’t care what they say. I think vitamins are good for you,” Kara will reply, popping two of her own.
You may have seen the news a little while back when a scientific study found that multi-vitamins do basically nothing to improve your health or increase your longevity. Still, we’ll just keep taking our gummy multi-vitamins daily anyway until they are scientifically proven not to be delicious.
I get the impression that older generations think we’re silly for worrying about this stuff. When my mom was a kid growing up in Florida, a truck used to drive down the street in the summer, spraying a mosquito-killing fog into the air. The neighborhood kids would run around in the fog, laughing. Back then, as long as it tasted OK, they didn’t care if their DDT was organic and gluten-free.
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