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Deep End | Miracle Food: Reach for a Cheeto to live longer and happier


Recently The New York Times announced the 11 Best Foods for human consumption. Topping the definite list were beets (high in cancer-fighting folates), followed by cabbage (combats cancer), Swiss chard (good for your eyes), cinnamon (lowers blood sugar), pomegranate juice (lowers blood pressure), prunes (anti-oxidants slow down aging process and laxative properties keep your insides clean and fresh), pumpkin seeds (helps you glow on Halloween), sardines (fortifies your blood), turmeric (fights gum disease), blueberries (aids short-term memory) and canned pumpkin (tastes great, less filling).

As this list demonstrates, one of the great advantages of living in the modern age is that science, on almost a daily basis, makes discoveries in the food department that allows us to stay healthy and extend our lives here on Earth. For example, science has now proved that things formerly regarded as bad for you—chocolate, coffee, wine—are good for you. In fact, they are recommended by leading nutritionists as essential staples of a well-balanced, healthy diet.

The New York Times provided a valuable service in publishing the list of the 11 Best Foods, but all the attention the list has gotten has overshadowed another list of best foods just released by the Food Additive and Preservatives Society of America (FAPSA). Coincidentally, the FAPSA list also contains 11 foods guaranteed to improve your health and extend your life.

Here, in no particular order, are the new miracle foods:

Cheetos: Long regarded as the quintessential junk food, the FAPSA scientists have discovered that the food dye responsible for the irresistible orange color of the crunchy edibles acts as a micro-stimulant for the endo-andrenal system that regulates mood, short-term memory and the ability to eavesdrop on conversations in the next room. Cheetos, by the way, were a popular snack food of the early pioneers. A package of Cheetos was found in a crawl space in Cove Fort, near Beaver, still crisp and ready to eat.

Crackerjack: The perennial food favorite is more American than apple pie, but doctors have advised patients not to take large doses. Nevertheless, nutritionists have long known of the synergistic effect produced by the combination of peanuts and popcorn, especially when coated with caramel. And the extra infusion of corn syrup has been recognized for more than a century as a sure-fire procedure for sending your blood sugar to the moon.

But the secret ingredient than makes Cracker Jack the new miracle food is soy lecithin, an emulsifier used in many foods to provide that satisfying sticky feeling on the tongue and interior membranes of the mouth. According to Dr. Gordo Grossman, the chief nutritionist and food sampler for FAPSA, soy lecithin may be the closest thing we have to a perfect food.

“We used to think the banana, with its high levels of custardized molybdenum, was the food to keep stored in the basement in case of emergencies. Of course, then there was yogurt, which supposedly kept those geezers in Siberia playing soccer with a goat’s bladder until they were 120.

“The verdict is still out on yogurt, but now we have absolute proof that soy lecithin is the ticket to immortal life.”

Keebler Fudge Sticks: Packed with loads of energy-boosting sugar, these tasty treats are also a great source of soy lecithin. Fudge, which may or may not be present in Fudge Sticks, depending on the meaning of “fudge,” was used by the ancient Egyptians as a hair restorative.

Animal Crackers: Also a good source of soy lecithin, along with 50 percent of your daily requirement of protein. Now often difficult to find on the supermarket shelf due to disruptive protests by PETA.

Easy Cheese: This handy cheese in a can contains more than your daily ration of sodium alginate, which protects you from various air-borne spores and keeps your skin young-looking. Also a good source of soy lecithin.

Cheez Whiz: Scientists claim to have found the reason this universally loved food is so nutritious. One of the main ingredients is Worcestershire sauce which, in the age of Shakespeare, was used to disguise the taste of rotten meat. But researchers at FAPSA discovered a chemical compound, sodium sublimate, which shares many properties with soy lecithin. Worcestershire sauce is a key ingredient in a Bloody Mary, which accounts for the longevity of those who partake of that adult beverage.

FAPSA recommends that you stock up on soy lecithin. I plan to do so, as soon as I finish my Bloody Mary and empty the package of Cheetos.

D.P. Sorensen writes satire for City Weekly.


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