For years the "health" community has been trying to eliminate men by getting them to stop eating their vegetables.
Oh, they will certainly deny it, because it is a top-secret, tightly-controlled conspiracy to which only 20 million or so dietitians and doctors worldwide are a party. This gets a little complicated, so bear with me.
First, it was ulcers. Men who had ulcers were put on very strict diets. They were told "You have to stop eating Mexican Food or anything remotely delicious. It's causing ulcers." And their wives fell for it. Consequently, the typical Western dinner table became increasingly bland over the years, and now new generations of homemakers no longer even know the original reason. Spicy was equated to bad.
Then there was fat. Cholesterol became the new suburban boogeyman lurking inside anything even remotely enjoyable: eggs, cheese, sour cream, bacon, whipped cream on top of bacon-flavoured ice cream, and steak. Meat was an innocent bystander in the war on fat. Food became lower in protein, higher in empty calories, and what meat we did consume became more tasteless, tougher, and laden with guilt.
Finally, to complete their triumvirate of tastelessness, dietitians declared war on salt. People were incited to extreme and ludicrous measures to eliminate virtually every source of sodium in food and drink. This is still continuing today, and people unquestioningly obey and defend this corrupt practice.
What does this add up to? If all of the things that make vegetables even remotely palatable are banned, hot spices, cheese, butter, sour cream, bacon, and foremost of all, salt, then no man in his right mind will want to eat them, much less grow them for himself in an act of self-sufficiency and defiance of The System.
And for all their do-gooding and banning, what is the result of dietitians' campaign of tyrany over the male diet? An epidemic of obesity. Round, soft males who can no longer fend for themselves. Lacking testosterone and any will to live, they loll around consuming whatever food-replacement product and bland entertainment the big corporations deem most profitable to provide.
But Now, The Truth.
First, Ulcers. In 1982, Australian scientists Robin Warren and Barry Marshall made the discovery that 80% of stomach ulcers and 90% of intestinal ulcers were caused not by spicy foods at all, but by a specific bacterium. A short course of the right antibiotic takes care of it. For most men, there's no longer any medical reason to be bland. Warren and Marshal were awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in medicine, presumably by people who like spicy food.
The other 10 - 20% of ulcers are managed not by diet but by stress reduction. Mainly, this means becoming more physically active and thinking differently, both of which we are at perfect liberty to do at all times.
Second, cholesterol. There are countless references to both sides of the question, but a few things are crystal clear. First, cholesterol is not strictly bad, but a vital component of healthy cells in your body. A critical lack of it has even been linked to emotional instability and violent behavior. Second, any link between consumption of cholesterol-bearing foods and heart disease is extremely complex and actually rather weak. The media over-simplifies things by reporting, "Cholesterol causes heart disease." But the data actually support a conclusion more along the lines of, "If you're not physically active enough, heart disease will get you, using your friend cholesterol as a mechanism."
Eliminating fat and cholesterol from your diet is like refraining from putting gasoline in your car because it might explode if you attempt to drive it. The more sensible course of action is simply that - Action! Eat what your body craves, and always be doing things. Life's too short to lay about, anyhow, so get out and enjoy it.
Third, sodium. In 2003 a review by medical researchers revealed that although a low-sodium diet has a tenuous, barely discernable link to lowering high blood pressure, the effect was so slight as to have no measurable impact on overall health. In other words, the enormous effort and cost of our low-sodium diets are not justified by any positive benefit. Far more dramatic reductions in high blood pressure and immediate health benefits are readily observed when people simply exercise physically, and exercise good mental health by not indulging in excessive worry, which is as destructive a habit as compulsive smoking or cutting one's self with knives.
Have you spotted the common theme? Everything's OK to eat if you are physically active. Fortunately for me, there's always plenty to do at the Shed, and most of it is pretty strenuous.
What does this have to do with eating vegetables?
Exploding these deceitful and misandrous dietary myths means you can grow your own vegetables and load them up with as much salt, real butter, melted cheese, spicy seasonings, sour cream and bacon as required to make them edible. A baked potato, for example, is chock full of energy, fiber, vitamin B, vitamin C, potassium, and Wodan knows what else, while at the same time being a highly effective sour cream delivery medium, which is why I eat them. Certainly not for the flavor of potato!
But a person can have too much of a good thing. To stay healthy there is one absolute dietary rule that I hold to without exception most of the time: Only eat when you're actually hungry.
But that's not hard when there's so much to be done and so little time.