With research attention pivoted toward ecosystems as the theme for an upcoming art exhibition in Berlin, I can’t help but filter out related story items from the wider noises of media. This morning -during breakfast- my reading of today’s NYTimes exposed two stories of interest. One was about Monsanto and one of its notorious herbicides (glyphosate) and how it was now traceable in Cheerios and Quaker Oats products. That makes it ver-rrry personal (..at least for me). I eat oatmeal every morning. Uninterrupted contiguous days of oatful dining; months and months on end. But for the rarest of emergency outages, Quakers** has been the preferred variety. That and a dollop of maple syrup and a small o.j. on the side is breakfast. Every day. Every single day (well, when (reasonably)available)*. But here I am now faced with a vital reckoning while I splurf down mouthful after mouthful of carcinogen-laced mush. After sixty four-plus years and countless impossibly reckless behavioral breeches of common sense, the fact that I can still walk erect (relatively) represents a statistical anomaly worthy of its own reviewed studies. But another even wilder fubar probabilistic would be that it’s actually gonna be a well-intended healthy cholesterol-staving grain that finally takes me down?!? Oy.
Quantitatively, over the years I must have consumed tons of -the now dubious- oats. A small mountain (if ever one could be built from gruel). Or, much like a :002:00+ boil-over onto the microwave’s revolving glass platter, spread out flat the magnitude of my historical intake might best be converted to acreage. My initial delusion would be that I’ve swallowed roughly 3 acres. But more rationally it’s probably a lot closer to a square footage metric. So, assuming -at the bare minimum- my daily bowls amount to only a small subsection of the field -just sprayed with good ol’ glyphosate – I’m pained to know a few specifics. I ache and fixate: Was my particular portion of the crop drenched and saturated with a toxic bath? ..or maybe my share was just barely even – ever-so-slightly – grazed by the most lightest of mists? ..or, perhaps my stand of grain grew happily sun-drenched upwind and altogether spray-avoided?
Hmm-mm, ..but then that special quality harvest would have to remain collectively in tact throughout its entire processing up until my mouth. Fat*** chance, that.
Whereas this is typically the kinda thing that’d keep me up nights, in this case, such paranoid dietary angst may truly end up being a beneficially healthy thing. Sleeplessness might safely preclude my ordinary routine of fixing a coagulated a.m. bowl of oatie death.
Now, since you’re still reading, you may be wondering about that second tidbit from the NY Times that I mentioned far earlier: The “revitalization” of grizzly bear hunting ..for sport, no less. I mean, seriously?!? Just when they’ve finally almost returned to survivable numbers, the ranks of these impressive upper-foodchain members are agin facing a faux foe. These wild animals deserve far better than to be blindly extinguished by high-caliber equipped trophy wankers. I mean, if killing a potential predator saves lives, then it may well be warranted. But if not for food and essential survival, what meaningful sense does such an assault on this ecosystem make. Unless the Wyoming folks encouraging this reinstitution of bear hunting are willing to level the proverbial playing field**** , I have a hard time accepting their projections of “entertainment” or “sports” value. It has neither, until you restrict hunters’ implements to slings and spears.
Now, that I’d probably enjoy watching for a few minutes on my laptop in the kitchen as I plunk down to savor yet another savory-sweet steamy bowl of herbicide-laced cereal…
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- One from a limited number of efficiency-before-pleasure rituals that often both regulate the routine into the ordinary, as they rule my life. No need for time-consuming distractions to bog down the launch of a new day…
** Quaker® “Quick 1-minute”. Oats [N.B.: Thousands of microwaved bowls have shown me real-world results that indicate a Level-10 (1K Watts) :01:50 -:02:00 cooking time.] I have been known to suffer through other commercial-grade brands, but have found little joy beyond the boxes with “a figure of a man in ‘Quaker garb” (except possibly the bloated bags of local stone-ground buy-in-bulk from nearby Amish stores).
*** Maximum-level cholesterol aggregations.(We used to eat oatmeal for that…)