June 11, 2012

Plan for Getting Rid of Ants; Legumes and Whole Grains; Spilling the Fat Jar (A Play in One Act)


Keeping crumbs off the counters/floors hasn't been helping to reduce the ant population, so Paul has a new idea: he's leaving food out on purpose to give the ants a fatal obesity epidemic. Or even just the FEAR of one! The ants will shun our house completely!

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I'm so discouraged about nutrition. I feel like "legumes and whole grains are good" was the main good solid thing I managed to internalize from my brief first marriage to a pacifist, social-cause-oriented, world-view-inclusive, Mother-Jones-subscribing Christian missionary. And NOW look: legumes and whole grains are bad TOO, so what CAN we believe in? (And I guess my former in-laws must have been thin because of malnutrition rather than Healthy World-View-Based Eating as they supposed. WHAT ELSE MIGHT THEY HAVE BEEN WRONG ABOUT?)

What is left that is righteous enough to eat? Does it look as if "organic raw vegetables and Greek yogurt" are the only things left on the list? (THIS JUST IN: Greek yogurt contains DAIRY and so is also out. You may continue eating the organic raw vegetables. But to be on the safe side, we suggest not eating anything.)

I had thought to try to avoid the old-ladyish "Things aren't the way they used to be!," but goodness, I didn't even make it to 40. THIS TOO IS NUTRITION'S FAULT.

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Spilling the Fat Jar: A Play in One Act, By Which I Probably Mean "Scene"

Swistle: Oh god! Oh no! Oh CRAP!

Paul (from downstairs): ...Is everything...okay?

Swistle: I just DROPPED the FAT JAR!

Paul: Oh NO!

Swistle: It didn't have a LID!

Paul: Oh NO!

Swistle: It BOUNCED!

Paul: Oh NO!

Swistle: The refrigerator was OPEN.

Paul: Oh NO!

Swistle: There is fat EVERYWHERE!

Paul: Oh NO!

Swistle: It's all up inside the fridge!! It's on every shelf!! It's all over the floor! It's EVERYWHERE!!

Paul: Oh NO!

(Fin)

49 comments:

Rah said...

heh heh. Excellent play. That would be an awful mess if it REALLY happened. So what's behind your change of attitude toward legumes and whole grains?

Swistle said...

Rah- I was cleaning up fat for, like, half an hour! Up side: fridge and floor look so CLEAN now!

I still have faith in legumes and whole grains, but everything around me seems to be tearing it down! It seems like everyone's cutting them out "for health" or making statements like "It used to be common knowledge that only processed grains were problematic, but NOW we know..."

g~ said...

I get MAJORLY depressed thinking of all of the things that I should no longer eat...corn, grains, dairy (even skim), sugar, potatoes, beans, veggies from post-paleo...I mean, hell, that's not even mentioning the Little Debbie snacks, sugary cereal, chips, fast food, restaurant food, soda...well, I think I'll just enjoy this...er...small-portioned, non-iceberg lettuce salad with no dressing, here, three times every day for the rest of my LIFE.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Oh, I totally identify with the fat jat incident. My husband and I have still not totally recovered from the infamous Vinaigrette Fiasco of 2009.

Suburban Correspondent said...

And I CAN'T HEAR YOU on the whole grains/legumes thing. Next thing I know, you'll be saying that ChikFilA kids' meals are not the basic foundation of a healthy diet that I thought they were.

el-e-e said...

I'm definitely leaning toward the Life is Short, Eat What You Want Diet these days. It's just too much trouble to do anything else. SIGH.

Nowheymama said...

So my daily lunch of beans and grains is... junk food?! That doesn't seem right.

Bethtastic said...

About the ants...
We left a quarter of a watermelon exposed on the kitchen counter once, and sprinkled it with Borax, in an effort to kill the ants.
They ate the whole damn thing in a day and still didn't die. I feel your pain.

About the food...
I'm completely with previous commenter el-e-e. Life is too short, eat what you want, as long as you do a little exercising and feel good. Food is so overrated.

Becky said...

I assume many of us has read "In Defense of Food," since it's been out for quite some time now, but just in case... The best thing I took away from that book is that food science has been consistently wrong about what is and is not good for us to eat for the last 150 years. Collectively, we've gotten fatter and unhealthier eating what we've been told is the Final Answer in Health and Nutrition.

Is "science" is telling us anything that people have been eating without issue for centuries across the globe (which includes pretty much any non-poisonous plant) is suddenly BAD FOR YOU, then maybe SCIENCE IS WRONG.

Betsy said...

Dropping the fat jar sounds like the most horrific horror movie to me. We keep ours under the sink and it STINKS so bad. Now I'm wondering if keeping it in the fridge would be a better idea -

Swistle said...

Nowheymama- And it's not enough to call it "junk food," even: it has to be referred to as eating "CRAP."

Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

I am mourning not just for all the intense and greasy and repetitive cleaning you must have had to do... but also for all that beautiful fat, just gone in a second!

Beylit said...

Well it is a damn good thing I have been protesting eating legumes and whole grains for so long. Seriously its a texture issue, both make my gag reflex go wild. That and I become irate anytime I find my favorite cookie/cereal/cracker/whatnot has been made whole grain. It always just means they made it taste like cardboard. It is a cookie for Pete's sake, I don't expect it to be good for me.

Just wait 6 months they will change their minds again and the legumes and whole grains will be back in the good category, and leafy greens will be the work of the diet devil.

If a fat jar the same as a bacon grease jar? I mean I have a dappling jar in the fridge, but I have never considered keeping any other fat. Just used grease/oil goes in a jar under the sink. Now though I am imagining my dappling jar dropping and...well since the grease is solid from being cold I think I would just have chunks of bacon grease and shards of glass all over my kitchen...and there is the cat trying to lick glass shards. Yea, no, still pretty much a nightmare.

Oh and I so would have forced my husband to clean it up...my sensitive gag reflex and all.

Katie said...

This is why I against-my-mother's-advice dispose of the fat every time. I can't handle the keeping of the fat.

Also, my personal favorite bit of Michael Pollan advice is "Eat food. Not too much of it. Mostly plants." Not that I'd call what I eat "most plants", but I like the motto anyway. It gives me food peace.

Lastly, we've had an Ant Problem for over two years, and it isn't even food they want most of the time. They are the most random assortment of impossible to kill bastards I've ever had the displeasure to battle. I wish you better luck with yours!

Jenny said...

You might try grits (Southern hominy-based sludge, most similar to polenta, kinda like Cream of Wheat) as an ant remedy. Sprinkle the uncooked bits around, and the ants eat them and supposedly explode. I wish more housekeeping tasks were so satisfyingly demented.

fran gee said...

My ant problem started a few days ago. I made the mistake of eating a peeled Mango at my computer. I knew it was messy and probably squirted a little onto my keyboard. I wiped it off and thought no more of it. Well, the next morning I had thousands of those little tiny ants running all over my desk. I used Windex and cleaned again. Would you believe the ones that survived now live inside my monitor. I think they come out at night to eat between the keys. Thank God they don't bite. I have given up Mangos forever.oti

Bryahnn said...

My husband and I use cornmeal to get rid of ants. Spread the cornmeal around; the ants eat it and then can't digest it, so go back to their colony and die. Evidently, they even take it to their queen to eat and she dies. It's worked for us a number of times, even in the garden when we had a red ant colony right in the middle of where I needed to weed.

Peppermint oil also repels ants. We mix some into a spray bottle with water and then spray it on all the normal anty entryways to the house, door jams, windows, etc.

Matti said...

Five words for you:
Entire. Jug. Of. Orange. Juice.
Yes, one of the stickiest substances known to man was EVERYWHERE inside my fridge, under the fridge, over and under the cupboard next to the fridge. All over the kitchen floor. All over the dining room floor. And now, about a month later the seal on the fridge door still sticks weirdly. I have since given my kids only milk or water. :)

kate said...

About the only food "rule" I can handle is avoid processed foods. Other than that, God, leave me alone. I liked Food Rules because it made sense to me, but mostly I just can not abide lists of foods that I either should or should not eat.

Mama Bub said...

For what it's worth, my doctor went on a very long tirade about people who go gluten-free for "health reasons." She contends that only a small portion of the population - those with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance - really need to be gluten free, and that otherwise wheat - in whole grain form - is a healthy part of our diet. In moderation, blah, blah, blah. AND, I was listening to some doctors chatting on the radio about how beans are such a great part of your diet because although they are carby, they don't cause a blood sugar spike. So! Legumes and whole grains! Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

If you can find the place where the ants are coming in (that's hard, I know), sprinkle baby powder all around the opening. They won't cross it, it smells good and is non-toxic. Also, you can't imagine how far pimientos will go when you drop a jar of them on the kitchen floor...

Sarah said...

Oh man. I feel your pain on the fat jar mess. I came home the other day and found that our dog had somehow managed to pull an ENTIRE GALLON OF VEGETABLE OIL off the counter, chewed it open, and ran around the house with it dumping oil EVERYWHERE. The amount of hatred I have for that dog...

Hope T. said...

We have an exterminator, an expensive one, who forced me to sign a one-year contract and we STILL have ants.

The latest news is that you must lightly steam your organic veggies and eat them with a pat of organic raw butter and a spoonful of coconut oil so that you will absorb the nutrients in the veggies. However, I am starting to see that this will not alter one's weight or health at all. I am beginning to believe that weight gain (and any health problem associated with it) is largely, if not totally, emotionally based. So instead of spending my money on all those veggies, I am spending my money on psychotherapy. I mean any money I have left after paying the exterminator.

Peyton said...

After listening to his psycho recently-turned-vegan coworker go on numerous tirades about the evils of . . . well, everything, my husband figures he's got as much right as any other armchair nutritionist to invent the newest eating craze, so he developed the "EAT MORE HEALTHY" diet. He concluded that if you just eat more of EVERYTHING, then you'll be getting more HEALTHY things. Seems as good as anything else, and a lot less inconvenient.

Anonymous said...

We sprinkle an "ant shield" around our foundation and any ants that live past that get to eat Terro. Works great for us.

Nicole said...

Have you heard of fruitarianism? These people eat only free-fallen fruit, as it is given freely by the trees. Even vegetables - well, that's killing a plant, which is a living thing, therefore salad = REDRUM REDRUM.

Hey, I'm a strict vegetarian and maybe I shouldn't talk but THAT seems insane.

The thing about fruitarianism is, what kind of clothes do you wear? What house do you live in? Presumably there is WOOD in your house and unless that wood is from previously dead trees, well...

It's just all so confusing. Would you be able to write on paper? Because paper is from a plant. Maybe we should all just kill ourselves. Good grief.

Today Wendy said...

I got super-stressed about this sort of thing a few years ago, and finally decided that the diet I needed was an information diet. I don't need to know about the latest health craze, because it is quite likely to be wrong. And ultimately, reducing stress is healthy, so it will balance out a little bit of unhealthy eating, so it's all good. Right?

Also...fat jar? What the heck is a fat jar?

Moderndayhermit said...

I go by the following rule:

If I cut it out of my diet for a couple weeks and I feel awful after introducing it back: I try to minimize my consumption.

Wheat makes me feel like crap. I'm ok with rice and with beans.

Do what works for you.

KP said...

We have a fat can - drippings that we don't want to end up going down the drain when cleaning a pan - but we keep it in the freezer to avoid spillage (I have the coordination of a drunk toddler, so there would be spillage). Not sure what your fat jar is for, but would freezing it be an option?

LoriD said...

Forgive my ignorance, but for what do you use a fat jar? I get it that it's fat drippings (from bacon?) Are you just waiting for the fat to solidify before discarding it?

Swistle said...

Today Wendy and LoriD- It's the jar where we put the fat we drain off the ground meat, which isn't supposed to go down the drain. We let it build up in a (usually LIDDED) jar, and then throw it away when full.

Jenny said...

I just had See's candy for lunch. Thank God! It didn't have any whole grains in it whatsoever.

Frondly said...

AAAAAAAAAAAA HA HA HA HA!

That Play in One Act made me laugh so hard. So funny, and yet so AWFUL!

Abbe said...

The thing about messes like that is that you THINK you've cleaned it all up, but you keep finding patches of the mess weeks later. When my two oldest boys were four and six, they watched an episode of The Magic Schoolbus and decided to perform experiments in a non-friction environment. I walked into the kitchen and found that they had poured a bottle of pancake syrup on the linoleum. They were sliding around in their bare feet. I swear, that floor was sticky for months.

Maggie said...

LALALALA I'm not listening about issues with legumes or whole grains. My oldest has been a meat disliker from the time he started solid foods (he also hates peanut butter, which, what??) so he gets most of his protein through legumes and dairy. I cannot handle even one more food being declared bad for me. Screw it, the legumes stay.

Cayt said...

Wait, so even the raw vegans have it wrong? Well, I guess I'll just keep eating delicious food with plenty of vegetables and going on long walks (and I'll continue to be fat because that's how my body works).

Shalini said...

I personally find the nutrition confusion UTTERLY FREEING. I can just make up my own fad diet and be totally right and ahead of my time. In case you would like to partake, you must eat lots of cheese, chips, candy, chocolate and ice cream. It's healthy because I SAY SO.

vanessa said...

For what its worth my nutritionist tells me that actually, almost everything we think we know about nutrition is basically bullshit (or, in nicer terms, not even close to being definitively proven).

Alice said...

these comments are FABULOUS!

since i have the willpower of a worm, i'm not very good at following Current Nutritional Guidelines anyway. it helps, since that way while i'm aware of the constantly changing foods i'm supposed to be avoiding, my actual diet remains entirely consistent.

Joanne said...

It's too bad the spilled fat didn't somehow magically cure the ant problem. That's how it would have gone down on my sitcom, anyways. We have ants every now and again, just today I looked down at my kitchen floor and there were - well, I want to say thousands but it was probably just several, I had to get the vacuum out and the Clorox wipes and get rid of them. Anyway, we like those ant traps that look like arrows and we shove them under the stove, garbage and fridge and then the ants go away. I've had the exterminator in but they just make a mess leaving sugar based bait around. Best of luck with it, lord do I hate the vermin!

Jessica in Canada said...

This works like a charm to get rid or ants (and I've tried everything!))
-clean the area well, no crumbs, no stickies, no food at all lying around
-mix 1/4 c. icing sugar with 1 tsp. borax. Sprinkle it around where the ants are. They will take it back to the queen and kill the whole colony.

It is non-toxic, but still not good for kids or pets to eat, so be careful.

You can sprinkle it anywhere, doorways, baseboards, grass, etc.

d e v a n said...

Try diamatecious earth (food grade) for ants. It's an annoying powdery pain in the house, but it's completely non toxic and works really well for ants!

As for legumes and especially whole grains; I didn't know! I thought they were still good for you and I'm still sticking to it.

d e v a n said...

*diatomaceous earth

Spelling at 6AM is hard.

Heather R said...

I didn't read the comments yet, but for the ants, I spent a few years trying to deal with ants on my own and then found out it was only $125 for the ant guy to come and spray my foundation and that is ALL it took. He didn't have to come in and spray inside or anything (although he offered for another $150).....when they cross the foundation on the way in and out they carry the poison back to the nest and kill the rest of them. Seriously, we had a BIG problem. MANY LARGE ants in the dishwasher and all over the kitchen and bathroom and within a day of spraying I haven't seen one!
($125 may sound like a lot to some, but it is nothing, in my opinion, to get rid of the ants!)

velocibadgergirl said...

We, too, have a fat jar and I am recoiling in full-body sympathetic horror.

Shea said...

Hmmm... I lost a substantial amount of weight switching to legumes and whole grains as the core of my overall diet. I still eat a ton of both. My health is so much better when I eat this way. I call shenanigans on anyone who wants to tell me they're bad for me.

I feel your pain on the fat jar. I had a similar experience a couple of weeks ago. I hope you had help cleaning it up!

We had an ant problem when we moved into our place last year. I love the polenta idea! I'm going to have to try it if we have issues again. We planted mint around the perimeter of the house, though, and that's helped keep them at bay so far.

Surely said...

I no longer worry about balanced diets since you introduced me to Clif bars. I don't think I'll ever eat anything else ever again.

Stimey said...

My fat jar broke a couple of weeks ago. It was a clean break, right at the top of the line of fat. The whole top of the jar just fell off. And then I accidentally put my hand in the fat. I think I would rather have cut myself. *shudder*

Lora said...

I use an old coffee can for grease because when I was little my mom used an apple juice jar and I was so excited that I thought there was juice in the house (we weren't juice people, unless it was home made) that I snuck a swig only to find myself drinking warm grease. It was horrifying.