My night to cook

Damn. My night to cook. I love cooking. It’s deciding what to cook that I hate. I’m so tired of everything. And there’s nothing interesting in the fridge, so I guess I’ve got to go shopping.

I could swing by Kroger, but that is such a nightmare. It’ll take me an hour to pick up six items. Plus, everything in there is all Monsantoed up and corn-syruped down. I don’t really want my family to be Round-Up ready or genetically modified via Twinkies and Cheez-Its. As a family, we’re pretty good at taking our toxins, but why push it?

I could go to Rainbow Blossom and score some local, organic, all-natural, gluten-free, antibiotic-free, cage-free wheatgrass. But then I’d probably end up spending an extra $300 on CoQ-10 and flax oil and milk thistle and magnesium and, what the hell, melatonin and valerian because it would keep me up at night thinking about what supplements I might not be taking.

Hey, maybe I’ll swing by Trader Joe’s. But no. As a Southerner, I’m morally opposed to shopping at a store that doesn’t stock black-eyed peas. Also, I think I read somewhere they’re the Walmart of grocery chains — exploiting their workers and their supply chain in order to keep prices down. You know if they’re selling $1.99 bottles of wine, somebody in the grape chain is getting screwed purple.

I guess I could drive out to Whole Foods. But wait. Their CEO, John Mackey, is an anti-union, anti-healthcare, global-warming denier who got rich by underpaying employees and overcharging customers. He espouses free markets, but he ran afoul of the Federal Trade Commission by anonymously trash-blogging his competitors. Plus, their sushi master looks so sad.

I could hit up ValuMarket, but Mid-City Mall sometimes smells like pee and that always puts me out of the mood to cook. I guess I could go old school and hit up Paul’s and Lotsa Pasta and Kingsley’s and Breadworks and Old Town, but that’s a lot of C02. Plus, it would be midnight before I got home.

Dammit, you know what? I’m just going to get some carry-out. But what? Definitely not Cheesecake Factory. Their Crispy Chicken Costoletta — one dish — has as many calories as an entire 12-piece bucket of KFC, according to The Center for Science in the Public Interest. IHOP and Chili’s serve similarly lethal dishes, and they’re just slightly worse than other chains. It’s enough to make you go on a liquid diet. But the same report says Smoothie King’s Peanut Power Plus Grape Smoothie has six and a half days’ worth of sugar: 51 teaspoons!

And yet, I’m not sure local restaurants are any better. Most Louisville restaurants shovel out enough butter and gravy and salt to keep the local cardiac-care centers and the mortuaries and the industrial-pharmaceutical complex busy for as far as the eye can see. Then again, according to the Human Food Project, microbiologists at Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University helped a man drop 113 pounds in 23 weeks, simply by tweaking the microbes in his gut. Some say the future of diet and health lies in the “microbiome” and “bioinformatics” — DNA techniques that can help us live better and possibly even survive baby-back ribs.

Heck, if the Chinese are going to heal us genetically anyway, I might as well pick up something simple. McDonald’s? Nah. Crap food, plus I’ve never forgiven them for using beef tallow in their french-fry recipe. You don’t have to be Hindu to know that shit is wrong. KFC? Factory farming. Chick-Fil-A? Haters and bigots. Papa John’s? The sweat-shop problem, plus the healthcare problem, plus the crap-food problem. Taco Bell? Is that even technically food?

You know what? Screw all of that. I’m going to skip all the fat and calories and go find some Amish farmer to sell me some spinach before our pesticides kill all the bees and there’s no more food at all. Oh, but now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that leafy vegetables are the leading cause of food-related illnesses. Guess I better see some sort of certificate ensuring those Amish lathered up with Purell before harvesting that spinach.

Damn, there’s really only one safe way to eat: Don’t eat at all.

I guess I should be more grateful. We’re really lucky to have so many choices. But why do I get the feeling that everybody who sells food is trying to kill us? Wait, where was I? Oh, yeah, my night to cook …