We’ve all heard that phrase, and I think it was originally intended as a reminder to eat healthy. In my family, it’s used as a put-down (a good-natured one, but a put-down nonetheless.) But then I started looking at the things we eat, and I got to wondering. . .
I’ve had some of my kids’ friends ask why we don’t eat certain foods (like the cracker packs they sell for 50c at karate class.) After two years of graduate level biochemistry courses, my rule is this: if I can’t identify the ingredients, probably no one should be eating it!
Lately, though, I have been questioning even some of the things I can identify. I think a lot of us are familiar with this standard food used to get gum out of hair: peanut butter. Apparently, it’s just so greasy it breaks the gum right down and out it slides. Did you know you can make your dishes sparkle with a dash of lemon juice and then use that same lemon to remove stains from all matter of things? That is pretty common knowledge. Though it’s not a stretch to realize you can keep your hinges from squeaking with olive oil, you may be concerned to find that it also removes make-up and shines stainless steel.
I start to get worried when I see that vinegar will clean my house. It will make my glass clear and my surfaces shine. Lots of older people associate the smell of vinegar with cleanliness as it was apparently the cleaning agent of choice back before everyone had Windex and 409 in their closet. But when you add in that vinegar will also set dyes (like your easter eggs) and kill weeds (!) I start to wonder. What am I eating???
Don’t worry, the list gets even longer and more disturbing . . .
It’s not surprising that Vodka has a use other than just getting you plastered. That high alcohol content (paired with almost no flavorings) makes it great at killing odors. Like the nasty ones in your sink. Or your sneakers . . . What’s next? A vodka body spritzer after the gym? You wanna disinfect something? Vodka is a great go-to agent.
You may have heard of using mayonnaise as a hair conditioner, I’ve known that for a long time. But recently, I heard of another use from a friend: a de-louser. Yup! If you can’t use that RID stuff to kill lice, you can use mayo! Slather up your kid’s head like a slice of white bread in a southern household! Then wrap it in Saran Wrap and sleep on it. Wash it (and the lice!) out in the morning. Apparently, it works BETTER than the chemical stuff – to which many lices have grown resistant. Is it really good to know that no nit survives a full-scale mayo onslaught?
A lot of people think they are healthier for cutting sugar (and its associated calories) out of their diets. But it gets replaced with things like aspartame. Some people will tell you that aspartame was originally designed as a poison, then one day a lab tech tasted it and thought “Hey! Artificial sweetener!” If that wasn’t bad enough, try this alternate use: ant killer. Yes, ants will make it through nuclear war, but that little pink packet on every diner table will take them out!
My dear friend Coca-Cola is probably the most disturbing of all. We know it’s a tasty beverage, but were you aware it’s also a drain cleaner? (I’ll give you a moment to get that look off your face.) And, even better, Coke will eat the corrosion off your batteries. This is really useful if you drive an old car and it won’t start. Yes, a Coke for you and one for the car, starts like a charm every time.
I have eaten all the things on this list in the name of health! Though I did cut out aspartame out of my diet in favor of real sugar, the rest can be found in my kitchen at this very moment. (Though I’m mostly an organic food person, Coca-cola remains a weakness. . . )
As I pop open the top of a cold fizzy coke to enjoy with the mayo-laden BLT I lightly toasted in olive oil, I hear those words . . . You are what you eat.
But maybe I like it. When I think about what these foods can do, I think to myself “If I am what I eat, then I’m frickin’ invincible!!!”
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