I can’t imagine surimi is any better for you than the steak of the sea even with mercury in it. But I’m no expert, and the one Time magazine found said it best: Readers are done no favors by single-food scare stories. On a petty level, I did wonder why the store next door was, yet again, given a pass in the testing; it only is about the biggest seafood retailer in town. And it should not have taken a listen to Brian Lehrer to hear from a real authority how the dangerous stuff actually gets into the tuna to begin with. Phyllis Richman predicted many years ago that sushi would become the new hamburger. If we can swallow the reality of mad cow and E. coli, what’s a little industrial spillover? We do like to leave the lights on and the microwaves humming in this country. . . .
In other nutrition nuttiness, let the “consumer advocates” rail against NYC’s new rule requiring certain restaurants to post calorie counts. As I must have said a thousand times, I have not eaten a Mrs. Fields cookie since learning back in the last century that each one contains about 260 calories. And I was, back then, a scholar when it came to the back of Fritos bags. So all those defenders of the public’s right to be stupid, the ones who say anyone can easily discern the difference between a bucket of chicken wings and a salad, should be sentenced to Southwest-salad-with-crispy-chicken hell. With Big Gulp cholesterol drugs for the ride.
By contrast, I was happily surprised by the junk brochure from the College of Physicians of Philadelphia that my consort dropped off on my desk the other day. A promotion for a health web site, it included not just a notice of a “dark chocolate and red wine reception” but a photo of and recipe for a salad made with warm goat cheese in a panko crust. We’ve come a long way from the “pasta makes you fat” attitude toward healthful eating. I’m not sure, though, I would want a tour of the Mutter Museum after that reception. Elephantiasis is a terrible petit four.