I Don’t Want To Be A Mushroom
As a horse of a different color I always figured that I would grow up to be a fast-food loving, garbage plate-eating (look it up), fat slob with my priorities in music and art. Well all of that changed in my senior year of high school. I had a Participation in Government teacher that told the students “Don’t be a mushroom.” When asked what she meant she said “Well think about what a mushroom is”. After some pondering we came up with a couple of conclusions about the “mushrooms” which we probably were at the time. For one, mushrooms are not only kept in the dark but they thrive in it! And mushrooms feed on other people’s crap!
My teacher taught us that this doesn’t just refer to our participation in the government but every regulated aspect of modern life. So she, of course, followed up this speech with yet another grand project assignment. We were to create an essay and slideshow that would be used in a fifteen-minute presentation about an aspect of life in the United States. I wanted to do something that I knew nothing about, something that would interest me to where I might actually enjoy this project. She had an outline of what the finished product should include and a list of suggested topics. Food was among one of these topics and I told everyone immediately, “I call food!”
As I began to research for my project I learned more and more the scary truth. Two products similar to Splenda were outlawed before Splenda became commercially viable? Artificial food coloring caused children to get headaches and fevers and diarrhea? Microwaves were outlawed in the Soviet Union? This was all too strange to me but I decided to change my ways and to get as close to functioning at 100% as I could.
I quit drinking soda (the bubbly devil as I call it), I cut out MSG, artificial sugars, all fast food and began eating less meat and more vegetables. I was sad to not notice any differences in how I felt initially. It took a week for anything to happen. I felt like this was a bunch of hogwash. I had been had, hosed, fooled, and duped! But wait! My sleep began to affect my day more. I felt more rested with less sleep (it was my senior year after all). My digestive system began to become more regular and my skin cleared up and I felt fresh. I, of course, blew my peers away at my presentation and many questions were asked but nobody seemed to want to make these choices for themselves so I dove even deeper into the sea of great and healthy food.
For college I went overseas to Southern China to study Mandarin as a foreign language. I was surrounded by the infamous MSG-riddled food, the spoiled low-quality meat with no respect given to the animal. I was in China! I was in Food Hell. I immediately felt a drop in my health. My sleep became crumbier than ever and my stomach was always on the fritz. Soon I met my best friend; His name was tofu. I became obsessed and took meat out of my diet and replaced it with tofu and rice in every dish. I became a new man!
A year later I returned home to my motherland and on a whim I purchased a book titled somewhere along the lines of Miracle Food Cures. On my plane ride back to China that fall I read the book the entire way and I couldn’t wait to get sick. I knew that I could combat it without just treating the symptoms. Did you know that raw garlic is much more powerful of an antibiotic than penicillin? The next time I felt a cold coming on I held a clove of raw garlic in my mouth for an hour and all of my symptoms were gone! The famous quotation of Hippocrates comes to mind “Let food be thy medicine…”