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Wednesday, April 4th, 2012
This Easter, enjoy the by-products of pig bones, crushed bugs, and my personal favorite, beaver anal glands. I know I will!
Sorry for the Debbie Downer title and subject matter today, but I think you will appreciate how enlightened you will be by the end of this.
Though I haven’t consumed any meat in a long time now, I will be breaking my vegetarian streak this Sunday.
It’s not because I will be grilling out steaks or chewing on some deer jerky, but simply because I want to join in on all that marshmallowy goodness; as we evidently celebrate the bunnies and baby chicks who were present when our Lord and Savior was resurrected from the grave.
Here is why vegetarians, as well as the kosher abiding, must compromise their principles in order to truly enjoy their children’s Easter candy. And for any of you Doubting Thomas’s or blog snipers out there, I’ve conveniently paired each one with a snopes.com (or other more-legitimate-than-Wikipedia) link where you can verify these aren’t simply urban legends or Internet hoaxes left over from April Fool’s Day.
1. Marshmallows: They are what makes Easter candy special, as compared to Halloween or Christmas candy. But what makes marshmallows themselves so special? Well, it’s just that they are made with gelatin, which is comprised of cow hide, pig skins, and bones of both. Pudding, anyone?
2. Red food dye: If any of your candy contains the red food dye Crimson Lake, you will be appreciating the splendor of crushed scale insects (parasites of plants). This is why Starbucks is currently taking heat for their Strawberry Frappuccinos. Could be worse; at least it’s not made from beaver genitals…
3. “Natural” vanilla flavoring: How can you know when a vanilla flavored food is made with actual vanilla or just castoreum, which is the oily secretion, found in two sacs between the anus and the external genitals of beavers? We can’t, thanks to the FDA. But at least we can credit Jamie Oliver for bringing the truth about castoreum to the national limelight for us; just as he did for “pink slime.”
Let’s be honest. Knowing all this is fascinating and equally disgusting, but it’s not going to keep any of us from enjoying some Peeps. Especially not me. Happy Easter everyone!
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candy, castoreum, Easter, Easter bunny, FDA, food dye, Health, Jewish, kosher | Categories:
Health, Must Read, The Dadabase
Saturday, February 4th, 2012
I believe that most men are wired to appreciate and use formulas to get the job done. That’s definitely the case for me. I just want someone to spell it out for me so I always know what to do the next time I’m in that situation again. I hate having to guess.
Therefore, I will attempt to share my formula for writing a thoughtful and sincere Valentine’s Day card for your wife and the mother of your children.
This year, instead of rushing by the drug store the day before and scribbling in the card “I love you” while sitting at the red light, you can be prepared ahead of time.
You can even have her card purchased and filled out a week ahead of time. Nice plan, huh? Let’s do it.
1. Make it quirky. No matter how serious or funny the card itself is supposed to be, I always like to personalize the card. Like if on the front there are two cartoon cats who are in love, I write in “you” and “me” with arrows pointing to the appropriate characters.
No matter what the writing inside the card says when you buy it, you can always add to it, inserting a line with a specific example of something she did or said that was special and memorable.
2. Use the phrase “in love with you.” It’s a given that you will tell her in the card that you love her. But by proclaiming that you are in love with her, it resurfaces those feelings and memories of when you first fell in love with her and it shows her that you never stopped falling in love with her.
Just be sure you don’t say, “I’m still in love with you.” The word “still” makes the whole thing go south pretty quickly.
3. Use her name at least once. It’s so easy to get in the habit of calling her pet names or even simply nothing at all that you end up not calling her by her name. But there’s a lot of power in saying and/or writing a person’s name. So say her name, say her name.
4. Mention your appreciation of her motherly skills. We all know that parenting is a thankless job. So thank her for how good she is at it. And if your kid is too young to talk yet like mine is, add a little note from your child- pretending to speak for them.
Okay, the card is purchased and written. Now figure out where to display it on that fateful Tuesday morning. Maybe on the bathroom sink? Let it be one of the first things she notices, to help start Valentine’s Day out the right way.
One more thing, save this article in your “Favorites.” You may need to use this card-writing formula in the near future: her birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas, Arbor Day…
Image: Valentine heart candy, via Shutterstock.
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Wednesday, October 26th, 2011
As if Halloween wasn’t already a cool enough “holiday,” with all the free candy and the part about getting to dress up as whatever you want and get away with it, there is yet another really good reason to love Halloween:
You don’t have to feel guilty for not celebrating it for the “right reasons!”
It’s not like with Christmas, where people preach to each other about the cliche of “getting so caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas that you forget the real meaning of it all.”
And while I would love to enjoy my Peeps with a clear mind, I admit how easy it is to get distracted by the delicious pastel commercialism of Easter; instead of being reminded of how and why Jesus Christ was raised from the dead for the sake of mankind.
Heck, I can’t even have a guilt-free conscious on Columbus Day, because it’s basically just celebrating when a Spanish-sponsored Italian explorer “discovered” a continent of natives who would ultimately be conquered by Europeans for their land. I guess that’s how the history of the world goes- dividing and defeating; not that I’m okay with that.
But with Halloween, all you have to really do is just have a good time. It gives parents a reason to have just as much fun as their kids.
Now, I guess technically, Halloween is based on a pagan holiday where people celebrate their dead ancestors coming back to life or something like that. I don’t really care.
Because Halloween has become so commercialized in modern day America that all it’s about is pretending to be someone you’re not and getting free candy for it. I won’t argue with that.
To help celebrate the upcoming sugar rush, I personally invite you to download Parents magazine’s free Carve-a-Pumpkin app:
Carve-a-Pumpkin from Parents® magazine is the easiest — and safest (no knives involved!) — way to make jack-o-lanterns with your family this Halloween.
Choose from five different pumpkin styles, then either “carve” a design of your own, or pick from our library of wacky eyes, noses, and mouths.
Add a message and you’re ready to share your creation with all your friends! This easy-to-navigate, take-anywhere tool is perfect for families on the go. Products from Parents magazine help moms and dads celebrate the joys of parenthood and raise kids in a healthy, safe, and loving environment.
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Friday, September 23rd, 2011
The title almost makes enough sense on its own, right? If it were possible to shrink Jack down to half an inch tall and color him all red, he would make the perfect Gummy Bear. It’s that simple. Or on the flip side, if it were possible to mutate a Gummy Bear into a living human being, it would become Jack.
On most of the bags that the candy comes in, there’s a cartoon of a bear waving at the consumer, as if to say, “Well hey there, come be my friend!”. For me, Jack encompasses the assumed personality of a Gummy Bear: He’s fun, he’s friendly, and he’s cuddly.
Here lately, I’ve been noticing that Jack is a bit more cuddly than normal. Usually, he has to be a part of the action, whatever it is; it usually involves an attempt to disassemble or make a skateboard out of something, while putting it in his mouth.
To my surprise, Jack has been regularly crawling in my lap and letting me massage his shoulders. I guess he needs some relaxation from all his hard work. The more cuddly he gets, the more he becomes a Gummy Bear to me.
Of course, there is another kind of gummy bear that Jack reminds me of, one that’s spelled with an “i.” I’m referring to the 1980′s Disney cartoon with the really awesome theme song. The youngest of the group was an adventurous pink boy bear that carried around a wooden sword; his name was Cubbi.
I have Jack’s famous “tie picture” hanging up at my cubicle wall at work. Sometimes I look at it, the shape of his pastel, rainbow necktie makes me think of Cubbi and his sword.
My son is a cute, little, adventurous bear cub. And for some reason right now, I’ve got a case of the munchies…
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