People of the Book – part 23

Sometimes Muslims are pointed because they don’t eat the same thing the people consume. Actually we aren’t the first prevented to eat whatever we want, the Old testament prevented its followers to eat whatever they wanted. That means dear reader, if you’re a Christian, it is forbidden for you too to eat certain things. Here is what we find in Deuteronomy 14:3-21 :

You must not eat any forbidden thing.
These are the animals you may eat: the ox, the sheep, the goat,
the ibex, the gazelle, the deer, the wild goat, the antelope, the wild oryx, and the mountain sheep.
You may eat any animal that has hooves divided into two parts and that chews the cud.
However, you may not eat the following animals among those that chew the cud or those that have divided hooves: the camel, the hare, and the rock badger. (Although they chew the cud, they do not have divided hooves and are therefore ritually impure to you).
Also the pig is ritually impure to you; though it has divided hooves, it does not chew the cud. You may not eat their meat or even touch their remains.
These you may eat from among water creatures: anything with fins and scales you may eat,
but whatever does not have fins and scales you may not eat; it is ritually impure to you.
All ritually clean birds you may eat.
These are the ones you may not eat: the eagle, the vulture, the black vulture, the kite, the black kite, the dayyah after its species,
every raven after its species,
the ostrich, the owl, the seagull, the falcon after its species,
the little owl, the long-eared owl, the white owl,
the jackdaw, the carrion vulture, the cormorant,
the stork, the heron after its species, the hoopoe, the bat,
and any winged thing on the ground are impure to you – they may not be eaten.
You may eat any clean bird.
You may not eat any corpse, though you may give it to the resident foreigner who is living in your villages and he may eat it, or you may sell it to a foreigner. You are a people holy to the Lord your God. Do not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.

We are not different, we just didn’t forget.

What about … #22

A new study shows that eating 5 days/ 7 helps the liver to produce a hormone which increase the brain’s memory and functionality.

Personally I prefer to eat less or even skip the lunch rather than fasting two days in a row! But that’s an interesting thing, which means that people fasting are in better shape than those who eat regularly.

Featured: Mainepaperpusher / Title: Zero Pounders

About forty years ago, I became a vegetarian because I thought it was the right thing to do. Besides, a guy I liked decided he was going to be a vegetarian and how better to gain his attention and respect? Ok, so it was mostly the latter but I was fifteen and I didn’t know any better.

I became a vegetarian, and then three days later I had a Big Mac. We were on a school trip and on the way home we stopped at McDonald’s for dinner. My new principles went by the wayside and then something amazing happened. One of my friends on the bus took one look at the hamburger in my hand and said: “I knew you couldn’t do it.”

Oh yeah? Hummmpph! Not only did I become a vegetarian, I became a vegan. That’s right my doubting friend…just watch me not eat animal stuff! You just watch! I was a vegan for a year and then it became obvious that living without cheese was a life not worth living….at least for me. Plus, I was going to college soon and I wouldn’t be able to cook for myself there. Even if I could sustain a vegetarian lifestyle, I was sure being a vegan would be next to impossible. As it turned out, I was right.

I was lucky that my college did offer a vegetarian menu. It consisted of pasta a couple of times a week, but mostly it was lima bean casserole. If I never see another lima bean that will be just fine with me. I must have consumed my weight in lima beans 10 times over and I’m a big person!

In spite of the lima beans, that Big Mac on the school trip was the last piece of meat I’ve had. It’s been over forty years and I’m still meat-free. Sure, it started for all the wrong reasons, but I’ve never regretted it.

My parents might have questioned it a bit, though. My big decision to prove my friend wrong happened just a few days before Thanksgiving. My mother was shocked that I wouldn’t be eating turkey. How could this be? She was so concerned that she contacted our doctor and asked his opinion. It was a short reply: “she’ll die.” As you can imagine, it was a rough road there for a while. As time went on, it was obvious that I wasn’t dead yet, so things settled down.

I got through college, went out on my own, got married, got a job, and did all of the things people do. I still wasn’t dead, but by that time, the doctor was. It seems that being a vegetarian isn’t nearly as lethal as cigarette smoking.

People would hear me say I was a vegetarian and they would ask if I ate chicken…uh no. “Don’t you eat fish?” Uh no. Finally, I came up with a way to make them understand. I would say “I don’t eat anything with a face or a foot!” That sounds weird, but it meant I didn’t eat clams or other shellfish either. Hey, they don’t have faces, so I had to improvise!

I figure if I can’t kill an animal, I shouldn’t be eating it. One of my best friends is a hunter and she bags turkeys and deer and even bears! She guts them, skins them and uses every last part of them. I admire that. At least it’s not a trophy and nothing more. I couldn’t do what she does, but I respect it. Since I could never pull the trigger (at least against anything four-legged) you won’t see me eating bear burger anytime soon.

Early in my life as a vegetarian, every once in a while I would go to McDonald’s and have some french fries. I’m rather partial to french fries and they were a treat. Then I learned that McDonald’s put tallow in their fries, so they weren’t vegetarian! I sent them a scathing comment on their website. Not long afterward, I got a message from some law firm telling me I was part of a class action suit! Wow, a scathing comment can have some ramifications! The end result was that McDonald’s had to give a few million dollars to a bunch of charities who didn’t like tallow in french fries either. Good! Serves ’em right! I vowed I would never set foot in one of their establishments again.

Then the unthinkable happened; I had to go there. McDonald’s was giving away a doll with the purchase of two Quarter-Pounders. One of my customers in Chicago who is a dear friend was desperate to get one for her niece. All of the McDonald’s in Chicago were sold out. Damn it…er I mean luckily, Maine still had them. I couldn’t possibly buy meat because it was against my principles. But I was torn. This was for someone I really cared about. I was stymied.

Against my better judgment, I went there. I asked if I could buy the doll outright…No. I asked if I could pay for two Quarter Pounders and get the doll and not take the Quarter Pounders…I was just met with silence. Once they regained their ability to talk, they politely told me that they didn’t have a button for that. Eventually, they agreed to provide two Zero-Pounders and the doll. They didn’t have a button for that either and I’ve always wondered how they dealt with those four extra burger patties at the end of the day. It didn’t matter, I proudly left with my Zero Pounder sandwiches consisting of nothing but buns with ketchup and mustard…and the doll. Score!

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking that I went against my vow to never set foot in another McDonald’s ever again. How could I do such a thing when I promised myself? Well, I didn’t…I went through the drive-thru!

What about #59

This is a post I wanted to make for a long time. I hope that it will be useful for everyone of you who has to eat food made by others without thinking about it. 😑

It bothers me to buy food from the fast food restaurants or even take aways, but unfortunately most of my food source comes from those establishments. 😞

Along the years I’ve learned lots of things about their hygiene. 😕And depending on the location where you find yourself, you’re most likely to eat dirty food most of the day unless you eat at McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, etc…. 😒

 Let me explain:

In most of the countries, when you buy/take food from a private fast food such as a Kebab house, a Deli or even your friendly neighbor be sure that they’re going to prepare your food without washing their hands. 

The cashier is the cook at the same time, so they take the money (with all its microbes and viruses), they answer the phone which is the most dirty thing around us (google it), they might even handshake their frequent customers and then touch your sandwich or your pizza or whatever you ordered without washing their hands or putting disposable gloves on. 

I don’t want to go into details but unfortunately there is no hygiene in public food places. Half the year we can find flies walking and jumping on bread, cakes, sandwiches, vegetables …. and that doesn’t bother the customers ! 😲

Can you imagine flies walking on your food? 😨 Well….. that’s normal for most of the countries. Or you can find supermarkets where the bakery is self service, so the people/customers take the pasteries or bread they want with their bare hands (some people even dare to feel and touch some cakes or bread without buying them) . As they have contact with the food, they can touch, cough, pick them up if they fall and put them back….it’s disgusting ! 😵

When you vist your friends, they offer you biscuits for instance. But they didn’t wash their hands before (no offense please). They brush their hair before you arrive, they check their eyes in the mirror (with their hands), and then they open the door for you when you arrive. They ask you to make yourself at home and they jump to the kitchen to bring you coffee and something to eat. But did they bother to clean their hands first or will they take a look at their them and judge them clean as there is no sauce or dirt that they can see? 😕 According to them if they don’t see anything on their hands, they suppose that they are clean. 😡

Let me give you an example:

The last time I was in Switzerland I went to a Turkish/Italian Restaurant. I’ve ordered some plain pasta. There was a girl at the till, a boy who was making pizza and the cook. I couldn’t see the kitchen but I could see the cook coming out or in. As I always try to see who and how my food is prepared. After a while,  I saw the cook coming out of the kitchen and going to the toilet. 😮

I was a little overturned by the fact that MY cook went to the toilet before my food was ready. And very seldom cooks washed their hands after doing their personal business. 😬

Guess what I saw?

The cook came out of the toilet very slowly, CLOSING HIS ZIP!! 😲 do you know why? because he didn’t wash his hands. 

And that’s not all. I went toward the toilets as if I wanted to pee and looked inside the kitchen (perhaps he was washing his hands 😏). Do you know what I saw? God knows that I’ve never, ever imagined in my whole “experienced ” life that I could see such a thing 😶. My pasta was cooked, and He was pouring the pasta with HIS HANDS in the trays!! 😵 My God, I was shocked. 

He just came out of the toilet with his wet fingers, directly into my food! 😨 The girl at the till was there helping him. She looked confused or perhaps ill at ease that I saw everything. When I told them that I would never buy that food, she became angry asking what was wrong. I told her everything. She defended her cook saying that her cook was clean and that he had washed his hands (how would she know, she wasn’t there at the time😕). I told her so, well the only thing she found to say was that I had to leave and to hurry.

I tried to put my review in google maps, but they weren’t on it so….. 😠

Another story:

A very long time ago, I was just a child. We ordered chinese food by phone, which was customary in US. After a while the order was delivered. We began to eat when at a certain point my mom found something awful in the food: a big dead green fly.😲

Of course we vomited for a long time and then my dad went to the take away to show them what we’ve found. 

The point is, never trust a fast food or restaurant if you can’t see the kitchen or toilets. Never eat something which can be touched or spoken on by anyone except by the seller if he/she is hygienic. Beware of what you ingest. Lots of diseases come from our own fault. Some people are used to taste grapes directly from the store without washing them or even washing their own hands and after they complain that they’ve fallen sick. I’ve seen some people put their car keys, their parking ticket or even their money in their mouth as if they were dogs! 😶

The good news is that some countries have rules for the food. Such as Portugal,  Ireland and very often in Germany. The person at the till never touches the food with their hands, kitchen hats are always in use, they use gloves or tools to serve the customer, they wash their hands if they’re going to touch the food directly…. Those are special countries where you can eat more safely. 😊
Please be more careful with your health. And watch what you eat 😉