Culinary no-no #765


An organization I belong to recently was planning/scheduling our annual banquet. Unfortunately our favorite #1 choice was ruled out.  Menu prices had soared, too high and unmanageable for our meager treasury.

PRIME RIB | 12 oz. Queen $52.99 16 oz. King | $56.99

FILET MIGNON | 6oz. 48.99, 8oz. 54.99


ROAST DUCK | 30.99

Understandable. Can’t blame restaurants. Bidenflation has resulted in all food items costing much, much more. Dining establishments are still trying to catch up from the pandemic that damn near destroyed those who somehow were able to survive.

Out of control inflation has and continues to do an evil number on the economy and everyone’s personal budgets. But that’s not all. The effects have also been devastating on public health.

This week’s rather serious culinary is from the Epoch Times:

How Inflation Is Wrecking Your Diet and Health

The restaurant smelled like the Texas barbecue of my youth, so of course I was ready for a thrill. I ordered the beef brisket for $20, which is pretty expensive but these are inflationary times.

The plate came. A third of the plate was a giant pile of fried potatoes—cheap carbohydrates topped with salt and served with a corn-syrup liquid we call ketchup. Next to that was a giant piece of cornbread, but this is New England, so of course they don’t know how to make it right. It’s more like a corn cake sweetened with corn syrup and filled with corn oil. It’s a big piece of processed corn.

Danger food.

Then there was a boil of beans. Another carb.

Finally, there was the stuff, the meat itself. It was two tiny slices, each consisting of two bites. It was covered in a sticky sauce, most likely sweetened by corn syrup. Add a beer on the side and you have a plate of early death, for which I paid $20 plus $9 for the beer plus a service charge plus tip. In the end, we’re looking at $40 for four bites of quasi-real food.

You know the drill. The profit margins of restaurants have been seriously harmed by inflation, and so they’re pushing cheap food at high prices, minimizing the expensive stuff (once called food), and loading you up on carbs. They hope you don’t notice.

This has become all the more essential in the post-pandemic period when restaurants are trying to make up for the devastation of lockdowns. Then they had to pay more in wages just to get workers. So I completely get it. At the same time, it’s deeply dangerous to public health.

Most people already put on weight during lockdowns. From closed gyms to massive alcohol intake, plus the munchies born of too much weed, there’s a reason they call it the “COVID-19.” So now is the time to get healthy. But real income has been declining for 20 straight months and good food is more expensive.

The American diet was already a disaster. It isn’t the “fast food” as such, but the reality that nearly all food out consists of some combination of corn, corn oil, corn syrup, and salt, with a sprinkling of actual food, but that, too, is likely breaded with corn flour and fried in corn oil.

It’s actually not easy to find any mainstream American food that isn’t built from some corn product. Take a tour of your local convenience store and look at the ingredients: Observe the ever-malleable presence of corn. The food you seem to be looking at isn’t the food you’re eating.

Of course, you could also do pasta, which is another carb.

Truly, eating healthy food, or what in other countries is called food, requires real acts of deliberation. Mostly, you have to cook at home, and shopping for the ingredients is harrowing. The grocery store used to be a delight, but now, the prices should infuriate you all over again at what the cabal of government, media, and tech, backed by the Fed, did to the American standard of living.

Beef, chicken, and pork have all soared in price. It used to be that eggs were the cheap way to get good protein, but that’s not possible either.

Epoch Times Photo
(Data: Federal Reserve Economic Data [FRED], St. Louis Fed; Chart: Jeffrey A. Tucker)

But you have to eat, and while vegetables are wonderful food, they don’t exactly satisfy, so you end up at the grocery aisle for pasta, bread, beans, and junk food, just to get by. As a result, the economics of the situation are preventing people from doing something to fix all the health problems they developed during the lockdown crisis. Just when people might have imagined they would change their ways, they can no longer afford to do so.

Looking at the big picture, we have a pricing disaster on our hands. All good food has gone up by 30 percent over the past three years!

Epoch Times Photo
(Data: Federal Reserve Economic Data [FRED], St. Louis Fed; Chart: Jeffrey A. Tucker)

It’s been true for decades that U.S. agricultural policy has pushed out junk food, starting in the early ’70s with the massive subsidies for corn and soybean, which led to the attempt to get Americans to eat soy burgers. That didn’t work well, and the ridiculous push for other veggie burgers hasn’t fared well either. The “food pyramid” from the 1970s lasted for decades, too, and pretty well wrecked the American diet.

Meanwhile, the American  obsesity problem and all associated health issues are out of control. The obesity rate has more than doubled since the 1980s. It’s the second leading cause of premature death. A third of American adults, plus 1 in 5 children, are classified as obese. Even our pets are developing an obesity problem. Maybe they’re eating what we’re eating.

“Furthermore,” reports Forbes, “19 states in America have obesity rates over 35 percent, increased from 16 states just last year. A decade ago, no states had obesity rates above 35 percent! … The annual medical cost of obesity was nearly 173 billion dollars in 2019 alone,” so that is obviously going to get worse.

How many ways can the government kill us? It wrecked our normal diet from several generations ago with massive subsidies for bad food and has now caused a level of inflation that’s making good food unaffordable. It’s gotten so bad that major fashion labels have started valorizing obesity, which is just about the most irresponsible advertising campaign in world history, not to mention aesthetically offensive.

Here’s a way to go about fixing this. Think about anyone you know who’s healthy, fit, and well. Just take a few minutes to ask how she or he does it. I guarantee you that this person has a regime, a deliberate plan. It involves carefully eating only good and high-quality food and plenty of hard, daily exercise. They aren’t on a “diet.” They’ve learned to live healthily in every aspect of their daily lives, without exception.

If you want to foil the planners in Washington, you have to do the same, even if that means pushing away the pile of fried potatoes and corn cake masquerading as cornbread. Haven’t our rulers in Washington done enough to ruin your life? Don’t let them get away with it anymore.

—Jeffrey A. Tucker is the founder and president of the Brownstone Institute, and the author of many thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press, as well as 10 books in five languages, most recently “Liberty or Lockdown.”

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