Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
||Not Good for You....
"It's NOT Good for You!"
Don't eat that spinach!" These words are music to kid's ears
everywhere -- words they thought they would never hear. Ever since
adults were brainwashed by a cartoon character named Popeye, kids have
been victims of vegetable abuse because adults were convinced that to
grow up big and strong, and have muscle power like Popeye, a kid
should be vegging out on spinach.
Nutritionists have long proclaimed the virtues of green leafy
vegetables, spinach in particular, because it contains a large
concentration of vitamins and nutrients said to be "good for
you," a virtual "powerhouse of nutrition." Somehow,
kids were just never quite convinced that something that tasted so bad
could possibly be good.
Kids got a temporary reprieve from vegetables when Bush Sr. was
President since he didn't like nutritional green stuff either and
refused to eat his broccoli. If the President of the US didn't eat
green vegetables, surely kids shouldn't have to eat them either. But,
alas, Presidents move on and vegetables stay around and continue to
plague kids by being good for them.
In the mind of a kid, the only good vegetables are French fries and
ketchup. The rest of that stuff may be good for you, but it sure
doesn't taste like it. Adults secretly knew that kids are right, since
they were once kids too. New generations have shunned the slimy pots
of greens that were once a dinner mainstay, especially in the South.
The new trend is raw or nearly raw "steamed" vegetables,
which are said to retain the vitamin content that could be lost in
The hip new generation of adults likes salads, and baby spinach has
become the vitamin-laden darling of the salad bar generation. If you
couldn't quite disguise the awful taste of spinach, you could always
slip a few leaves into a cellophane package with other more palatable
greens and market it with a perky name like "spring salad
And so, spinach remained king and retained its lucrative market power
even as the sodium-laden canned vegetables of past generations lost
their allure. Fresh vegetables became more popular and more readily
available at the supermarket. "Eat your spinach" is more
likely to refer to a bowl of salad these days than to a bowl of droopy
greens cooked all day until a vitamin could not possibly survive.
Trouble is, kids don't especially like salad either. Finger foods,
such as baby carrots that can be dipped into ranch dressing, might
slip through for a while, but the only really good vegetable is a
vegetable that you don't have to eat. So, kids continued to hide
steamed broccoli in their milk and pass the salad up for Jell-O.
When spinach turned up in the news with the deadly E. coli virus this
week, kids everywhere were delighted to know that they were right.
After all, television said so and media everywhere broadcasted the
potential deadly result of eating raw spinach. Mom trashed the green
salad in the fridge and salad bars scrambled to find replacements for
the sick vegetable.
Popeye, no doubt, is still squeezing cans and popping spinach to give
him super strength, if he is young enough to do so. It seems that the
deadly E. coli virus is inside the spinach and cannot be washed or
rinsed away; however, cooking will kill it. Therefore, Popeye's canned
spinach is safe from the contamination that plagues the popular fresh
If kids can only convince adults not to return to the green slime of
yesteryear, they will be safe from the virtues of green vegetables for
at least a while longer until the source of the contamination is
removed and green vegetables again become healthy and family friendly.
Now, if kids can only figure out a way to get rid of broccoli, the
second most detested green vegetable, they will be home free.
Pass the ketchup, kids.
Copyright 2006 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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