On Chocolate Milk, Baby Carrots and Mind Bounce …

A story in The Washington Post this morning caught my eye:

The Surprising Number of American Adults Who Think Chocolate Milk Comes from Brown Cows

Surely this must be a joke, right?  WRONG!

“Seven percent of all American adults believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows, according to a nationally representative online survey commissioned by the Innovation Center of U.S. Dairy.

If you do the math, that works out to 16.4 million misinformed, milk-drinking people. The equivalent of the population of Pennsylvania (and then some!) does not know that chocolate milk is milk, cocoa and sugar.

One Department of Agriculture study, commissioned in the early ’90s, found that nearly 1 in 5 adults did not know that hamburgers are made from beef.”

Now, I did not grow up on a farm, though one of my pseudo-uncles was a rancher, and a friend of my parents’ was an orchardist.  But, I know from whence most of the food I eat originated.  The article, once my initial shock had worn off, brought back some memories.  My sister-in-law used to think that hamburgers came from pigs … ham-burgers.  Okay, I guess I can see that.  And my niece was visiting one summer when I made French fries one night.  Now, I most often eschew the frozen ones and make homemade French fries by peeling and cutting potatoes, then frying them in hot oil.  When I did so, my niece said, “Wow, Aunt Jill, I didn’t know you could make French fries from potatoes!”  Sigh.

“When one team of researchers interviewed fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at an urban California high school, they found that more than half of them didn’t know pickles were cucumbers, or that onions and lettuce were plants. Four in 10 didn’t know that hamburgers came from cows. And 3 in 10 didn’t know that cheese is made from milk.”

I did learn something new today from a related article:  baby carrots are not baby carrots! They are, rather, sculpted from full-sized adult carrots.  The story:

“In the early 1980s, the carrot business was stagnant and wasteful. Growing seasons were long, and more than half of what farmers grew was ugly and unfit for grocery shelves. But in 1986, [Mike] Yurosek, itching for a way to make use of all the misshapen carrots, tried something new. Instead of tossing them out, he carved them into something more palatable.

At first, Yurosek used a potato peeler, which didn’t quite work because the process was too laborious. But then he bought an industrial green-bean cutter. The machine cut the carrots into uniform 2-inch pieces, the standard baby carrot size that persists today.”

Who knew?  I guess I’m as under-educated in matters of agriculture as the rest!  Today, the ‘baby carrots’ account for 70% of all carrot sales.  It’s rather sad, though, to think of how much carrot is going to waste in this manner.  I typically buy the baby carrots, as they are just the right size for soups and stews, snacking, and roasting, but I think I will go back to buying full-size carrots now … after all, it only takes a minute to peel and cut a carrot!

produce.jpgAs tends to happen frequently these days, one thought sets my mind down a perilous path of many twists and turns, and the original article, about ‘food-ignorance’ led me to an ugly place.  Sigh.  But one must wonder, with the bulk of our population living in urban areas and never having grown so much as a scallion, what happens if … if there is an extended power outage, if through an act of aggression or a natural disaster, we are not able to run to our local supermarket and purchase veggies, cheese, milk and chicken?

We have become all too dependent on our food being always available, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we do not give a second thought to how that food got there.  When the weather forecaster says “a chance of flurries in the overnight hours”, the supermarkets are suddenly packed with shoppers who simply must stock up on milk and toilet tissue.  In the past year or so, people have become even more dependent, as now most major supermarkets offer a service where the consumer can go online, select their groceries, specify a pick-up time, then simply drive to the front of the store and pick up their grocery order.  I have not tried this service, and probably won’t, for the bulk of my shopping happens in the produce department, and I prefer to select my own peppers and onions.  But to others, it is a time-and-energy saver, and is gaining momentum, from what I understand.

All of us have become far too dependent on things that could disappear in the blink of an eye, and I am no exception.  I do not pretend to know what the answer is, and certainly we cannot live our lives in fear of the unknown.  I remember during the cold war, families building ‘bomb shelters’ in their back yards, stocking them with surplus food and other essentials.  Even more recently, in response to a panic that computer systems would not be able to handle the date switch to the 21st century, rumour had it that the entire electrical grid of the U.S. might be down for a long period.  Remember Y2k?  So no, I do not think panic is in order, but I do think it would behoove us to at least understand some of the more basic things in life, such as how to grow a few veggies, how to bake our own bread, and most importantly, how to live with less.

Now how the heck did I go from what was intended to be a humorous piece to this?  See … this is how my mind works.  I call it ‘mind bounce’, for it is as if there is one of those small bouncy balls inside my skull jumping from one place to another with warp speed.  Welcome to my world!!!

laugh

56 thoughts on “On Chocolate Milk, Baby Carrots and Mind Bounce …

  1. Here’s an idea. You put these types of questions on voting slip:
    Do you think brown cows make chocolate milk? – Yes
    You don’t get to vote this year!!
    And here’s me trying to tell you to be humorous in the light of this kind of thing.
    (Ever seen the film ‘Idoitocracy’ ?)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great idea!!! I’m fairly certain the 7% who believe this voted for Trump, so by simply eliminating them from the voting rolls, we would be rid of the Idiot-in-Chief! 😀 And I did try to be humorous, Roger … I really tried! 🙃

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s a struggle for me these days too Jill.
        Anyway we must help this poor folk.
        After being told they cannot vote they are to be given appointments with a medical professional:
        “You see, your brain has slipped down into your anal region. This circumstance is still being investigated. However we have prepared a programme to help stimulate the brain back to its right connection.
        Firstly to help you develop the correct cognitive reasoning and social skills we will sign you into a programme of watching Seasame Street, where you and fellow suffers can discuss the lessons you have learnt from the programme in a friendly atmosphere. Secondly in order to cause a physical environment which encourages the brain to move back a trained professional will three times a week give you a control ‘smack upside your head’; the resulting physical shock will bring the desired affect”
        (Nurse aside to doctor: “They got that glazed look doctor, I think the words were too big”
        Doctor: “Oh dear. Time for initial severe shock therapy” – strikes patient with copy of Constitution “Hey! Shit-for-brains! You wanna stop me doin’dis! So listen up assole!!”
        Nurse: “I think I saw a flicker of a reaction there doctor”) 😁

        Liked by 1 person

        • Now THAT was the absolute best laugh I have had all day!!! I can see it as a skit on Saturday Night Live, or some such show. Love it! My friend Steve posted this on Facebook today: “Help Make America Great Again:
          Spay or Neuter your local Republican today!” … that was the second best laugh of the day! Thank you for brightening my day … er … evening! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. We do take these things for granted. And we will continue to do so until they start to disappear. Then we will realize how stupid we have been to have ignored warnings about climate change for so long. The major problem will be the shortage of food and the rising prices of the foods that are still available. THEN we will wake up!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh Hugh, you are so right. People are very complacent at the moment, but when the ice is finally gone from our Arctic and Antarctic oceans, the seas will warm at an alarming rate never seen in human existence. It is like that nice cold G&T…when the ice is gone, it heats to room temperature…at a fast rate. What the Earth’s ‘room temperature’ will be then is unknown because all the normal weather systems and feedback loops change in ways that even our scientists can’t predict. What is happening is not a normal fluctuation in natural cycles (at least not from a human homeostasis point of view, since we started noticing climate effects long before they were ever recorded). When the ice is gone, we are in serious, serious trouble. 😲 Reminds me a bit of that old movie, ‘ The Day the Earth Stood Still.’ When I first saw that as a child, I wondered if such things could ever happen.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ohh…I really meant the film ‘The day the Earth caught Fire 1961.’ But actually, both it and the slightly earlier ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still,’ had a similar theme…that Humans were destroying their environment through sheer aggression and stupidity. We don’t seem to have learned much since I was a kid! 😖

      Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed, but perhaps even before we see global food shortages, we may see diminishing supplies of fresh water. I hope that enough is being done to turn the tides, and am trying not to be a doomsday-er … but those who would deny the science, would deny that WE are causing the destruction of our planet, MUST awaken soon! Interestingly, Herb signed one of those online petitions about fighting climate change, and he received a response from his congressman saying “I respectfully disagree …” I told him he should write back and say, “I respectfully will NOT be voting for you next year!!!”

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  3. I often perceived the consumeristic student expectations as an instructor in my community college classes associated with the theme “I will have a whopper , shakes, and college degree”. The lower quality of education and over testing movement in this country has resulted in a lack of curiosity to explore.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I agree with you 100% on that! One of my pet peeves is the decline of the educational system in this country. We do not hold students, even at the college level, accountable and do not inspire them to greatness. And if DeVos has her way, it will only get worse.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Libby! Yes, there are many things that could bring our current lifestyle to a screeching halt, and we are so spoiled I don’t even want to imagine the resulting chaos! We were without electricity for 3 days in 2008 due to a wind storm, and I just about went nuts! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Actually, when I lived in Canada we had a few outages! While it does make you think about getting a ‘back-up’ generator (Canadians bought every single one of them off store shelves and there was a shortage of them for weeks), it improves camaraderie with your neighbours. People share more, help more and talk more when the electricity is off! During the ‘Great Ice Storm’ back in the 90’s, large parts of Quebec were without power for six weeks during a particularly tough winter. I met a couple who took in twelve families into their off grid farmhouse…had woodstoves to keep everyone warm. It was a time of story telling and eating around the fire. They were rather wistful when it all ended and they had to go back to work and ‘normal life,’ after the power was restored to Quebec.

        Liked by 1 person

      • While I don’t do ‘fear’ of losing access to modern life, I do think about it. And prepare in case it happens, in the sense that I am adaptable, and have quite a few basic skills….(one of my many lives was as the operator of a Heidelberg printing press which is an unusual occupation for a woman).

        On a recent blog, I featured Guy McPhereson, an archeological biologist and climate researcher. He recently stated that we have 10 years to extinction. I think that brought ridicule from a lot of people, but actually, watching his lecture (link on the same blog), I can see where he gets his understanding from. We have passed the point of no return in the climate warming feedback loops. In ten years, he says global temperatures will be raised by another 4.5°C on top of current temperature rises. It will make life untenable for many, many people.

        I think we need to focus more (as he says) on caring for each other. The survivors of his predicted holocaust will have to start again from scratch and the rest of us will be dead.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Well … I will definitely check out the piece about McPhereson … but I must admit this is all a bit … bleak! It makes one think things like … well, why bother to quit smoking if we’ll all be dead in 10 years anyway? 🙂 Sigh. I’m 66, so I don’t expect to live that long anyway, but … I’d like it if others could. And … I hate to see what our society would devolve into if there were irrefutable evidence that we would all be dead within ten years! 😦

          Liked by 1 person

          • Well, I personally think 10 years sounds alarmist, but at the same time, I wonder if it is what it will take (mass human death and civilisation collapse) for the planet to regain a biodiverse balance. I don’t know. But focusing on something dramatic, traumatic and devastating, might be what it will take to bring people to their senses on what is really important…namely, love, sharing, and friendly community. Humans are social animals…and we seem to have forgotten that. Our lives have become individualistic and selfish!

            Liked by 1 person

            • I agree that 10 years sounds alarmist, and I seriously doubt we are ‘beyond the point of no return’ on climate change, but certainly there exists such a point, and we may well be barreling toward it. As for humans being social animals … these days, the more I see of humans and their behaviour, the more I want to live far from them … perhaps a cabin in the mountains. We as a species are certainly not learning to be better, kinder, smarter … only greedier.

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          • I could write several I think, but no time. I have had a very full and varied life. I have also been fortune enough to visit large parts of the world on all continents. My life has experienced everything from destitution to being wined and dined in exclusive NY hotels with the rich and powerful. And I have also dined with the poorest people on the planet (far preferable). I see the inequalities first hand in many places, but I have also seen the crime and violent side to society (both rich and poor) and that is where the problems lie. DDT is on the rich side of that equation. His disingenuous approach to governance of the less powerful, reminds me that electing anyone to office with the idea of ‘greatness’ as part of the mandate, is a flawed idea from the start. He is like a festering sore that we lick at, but it will require drastic surgery to cut him out!

            Liked by 1 person

            • I know I would love sitting down for about a 10-hour chat with you! You have obviously lived an exciting life and have seen and done so much!!! I would love to know more someday!

              As to DDT … he may be rich in stocks, bonds & other assets, but he is morally destitute. In my book, I would rather spend time with a homeless person in NYC than with the likes of DDT.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Me too! There is so much richness in the lives of people who have had to make their own way in life…sometimes hitting bottom in the process.
                I have met so may ‘snobs’ who just don’t experience actual life, but rather live a pseudo-immitation version of it, hiding behind ‘materialism’ as the only goal of any importance. It is the emptiest version of life possible, but they are too stupid to know it!

                Liked by 1 person

                • Yes, as they say, experience is the greatest teacher. People who have never had troubles in their lives find trauma in something as simple as a button falling off their shirt, something that the rest of us would simply laugh at. I will never forget one time one of my staff came to work several hours late. When I asked her why, she said she had been in an auto accident. Of course my first question was whether she was hurt (she did not appear to be), and she burst into tears because … wait for it … she had broken a fingernail!!! I swear I am not joking … sigh.

                  Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Jill,
    For those who believe that cows make chocolate milk, they probably live in the alt-reality world of DDT. I do not go in for a lot of processed food stuffs. A lot of folks like making life simpler especially in a world where there is so much chaos.
    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • No doubt that is true. I wonder if DDT himself knows the difference? I’m like you, I rely very little on processed foods and most of my cooking is from fresh ingredients. Tastes better AND is better for you! Hugs, my friend!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dear Jill,

        It seems to me that both big business have and the government have made peoples dependent on cheap processed foods and a lot of things that one doesn’t need. Fewer peoples now how to sew, how to create a garden for fresh tomatoes and other veggies; how to do basic home and car repairs, etc. This makes people less self reliant and stuck.

        Hugs, Gronda

        Liked by 2 people

        • You are so right! I used to be able to do my own car tune-ups, change my own oil … but today’s cars require a computer and practically a degree in rocket science to even understand how they work! I do know how to sew, knit, crochet … though I haven’t done any of those for several years. But I can grow veggies, can prepare a feast from practically nothing, and am likely more self-reliant than some. That said, without electricity, I am a wreck! We were without for 3 days a few years back, and I was near tears by that third day. Luckily our water heater is gas, so we still had hot water for showers. So, in the event of a catastrophe, I would be as bereft as any. We are spoiled!
          Hugs!!!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I refuse to resort to home shopping for food. The supermarkets, despite knowing people live alone, send out goods with a short sell by date ( first off the shelf) but if you’re buying a 2 litre bottle of milk you need it to last as you do with bread. With other foods, if I’m going to pay for them I like to choose them myself. 6.30 am in the morning and I force my visiting brother to get up and provided he can see to drive we’re at the supermarket an hour later before all the crowds appear.
    xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • I fully agree with you! I like to comparison shop, select fresh produce, and try to get the most for my food dollar. And, as you said, the milk at the front always has the closest expiry date … I always dig all the way to the back to get the one that will last the longest! As to timing … I would be well-advised to go in the early morning also, but … when one stays up until 3:00 – 4:00 in the morning, one is not likely to want to grocery shop at 6:00!!! 😀

      Not too long ago, Amazon was considering delivering groceries via drone! My thought on that was that I would likely step out my front door one morning and have 50 pounds of groceries dropped directly on my head! No thanks!!!

      xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

      Liked by 2 people

      • What a time to stay up till. You should be good like me and turn your bedroom light out (with you in bed of course) around midnight. Then you get up about 2.10 am and start the day again.Easy to be off shopping early then.With Mike, I just have to promise him breakfast to motivate him.He can get up at midday when he’s home again.
        Yes, I don’t fancy being killed on my own doorstep by something I just paid for. It’s adding insult to injury there.
        xxx Cwtch xxx

        Liked by 1 person

        • Now David … if you go to bed at midnight and get up at 2:10 a.m., YOU are getting even less sleep than I am!!! I at least try for 4 hours a night! 😀 One night last week, though, I was engrossed in what I was writing and lost track of time. When I finally crawled into bed, I noticed that for some reason it was light outside … it was 6:30 a.m.!!! But … life is short, gets shorter by the day, and there are so many better things to do than lie abed snoring! 😀
          xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

          Liked by 2 people

          • Gosh, I die wonder if you were late owls? I kept counting the difference in time zones (especially when I was in Thailand) Now I know. I’m usually away to bed by 10pm and up at 8:30. I do like my eight hours worth, and since my head is usually too busy when I first retire, it can take up to two hours to drift off. My husband drifts off in about 30 seconds, so he is no fun 😂

            As for baby carrots….didn’t know that either. But we don’t buy them (often called chartreuse carrots in UK and expensive). We do tend to buy end of day specials here in UK. When something like Kale or carrots have reached their ‘best before date,’ the UK supermarkets sell them off for pennies (a tenth of their original price) so they don’t have to deal with the waste. We take home and cook and eat whatever we buy that day.
            We do also have lots of dried legumes (which we often sprout for stir fries) canned food, nuts and grains in storage on our narrow boat (steel hulled canal boat) where we live in the UK, mostly as nomads. I can recommend this off grid lifestyle…not so reliant on being just around the corner from a convenience store 😄

            Liked by 2 people

            • About once a month I actually do manage to sleep 8 hours or so, and admittedly it feels pretty good, but … there just aren’t enough hours in the day for everything I need/want to do, so I try to be in bed no later than 4:00 a.m. and up by 8:00. I can relate to the mind being too busy to sleep … I have more than once spent a whole night thinking, smoking, thinking some more …

              You guys sound pretty efficient and self-sufficient on your boat! Sounds like a fun way to live … and if you get bored with the scenery, or annoyed with the neighbors, you can just lift anchor and move along!

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahhh …… funny about the chocolate milk thing? One would think that the word chocolate was giving a clue? As a vegetarian, even I know Hamburgers are derived from the town Hamburg. Not sure that Hamburg ever made those patties. I seem to remember they came from one of the earlier World Fairs? Where they were given the name for a European flair? Cheers Jamie

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 😀 😀 Okay, so you got me to go in search of an answer … and a quick Google search gave me this: “The prevailing version is that at the end of 1800′ s, European emigrants reached America on the ships of the Hamburg Lines and were served meat patties quickly cooked on the grill and placed between two pieces of bread.” If time permits, I will delve deeper and let you know the results! 😀 Cheers, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

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