American Elephants

Smashing Pumpkins… by American Elephant

…and other fun ways to dispose of your carved creations apres Halloween.

If you’ve been reading our blog long, or have caught our annual list of the 20 Best Halloween Movies Ever! you know I’m a big fan of Halloween. One of my favorite parts is the annual carving of the squash. Conversely,  one of the biggest let-downs of the holiday is going to all that time and effort to carve a jack-o-lantern masterpiece, only to throw them away, or unceremoniously toss them in the compost just a few days later before they start to rot and grow a thick coat of gray fur inside. There’s got to be a better way!

Problem solved:

The five coolest ways to get rid pumpkins after HalloweenContinue reading


Way Too Much Information About Food And Nutrition. by The Elephant's Child
March 2, 2010, 12:41 am
Filed under: Health Care, Law, Progressivism | Tags: , ,

Pediatricians are calling for a “redesigned” hot dog.  Not because of any nutritional deficiency, but because they pose a choking hazard to small children.

Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio said “If you were to take the best engineers in the world and try to design the perfect plug for a child’s airway, it would be a hot dog.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics  says that more than 10,000 children under 14 go to the emergency room each year after choking on food, and up to 77 die.  Their new policy statement says that about 17% of food-related asphyxiations are caused by hot dogs.  That’s up to 13 kids, nationally,  in a year.  Losing a child is a terrible thing, but rather than redesigned hot dogs, pediatricians might be better off instructing parents on how to cut up food for little kids.

We’re a little over-inundated with “warning labels”, and they are far more often the subject of jokes than they are read.  Warning labels, devised by lawyers, get pediatricians and manufacturers off the hook.

Last year, the FDA warned the manufacturer of Cheerios against boasting about the health benefits of oat cereal.  “We have determined [Cheerios] is promoted for conditions that cause it to be a drug,”they said in a letter to General Mills.  A prescription to buy a box of cereal?

First Lady Michelle Obama is making childhood obesity her signature cause.  She will doubtless be advised about taxes on junk foods and soda. She is known to be an enthusiast for “organic” food and “local” food. The term “organic” is simply a marketing ploy, and refers to the process of growing food rather than any nutritional benefits. I hope that she can avoid becoming another food-nanny.

We are over-saturated today with food advice.  This is an era of a sort of “preciousness” about food.  If we just eat the right food, in the right combinations and in the right quantity, and dose ourselves with just the right supplements and the right herbs then we might have a longer healthier life.

Maybe so, but I doubt it. Food fads, acai berry juice, green tea, oat bran, shade-grown coffee, no coffee, free-range eggs, no eggs, brown eggs, egg beaters, all egg whites, bee pollen from New Zealand, and fish oil from Iceland.  We suffer from way too much information, much of it simply hype. Koreans do just fine eating dog and that dreadful smelling kim chee, the Japanese eat poisonous blow fish and usually survive,  the Inuit eat blubber — who is right? Man is omnivorous.  Eat a wide variety of foods with plenty of fruits and vegetables.  Skip the supplement store.

And ignore the food police. The chief nanny promotes a diet of bread and carrots, and restrictions on almost everything else.

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