Friday, January 30, 2015

Subway serves breakfast??

You can call me old, even call me slow, but please never call me late for any meal!

I agree that I am a bit behind the times as a matter of age and the general laziness that comes with retirement. However, I so did not know that Subway is now serving breakfast! (At least in some locales). I haven't had the chance to check out the Subway in my area yet, but I will! In Forsyth MO, where I currently reside, there is a franchise just up the road from me. I've been there in years past, but really not very recently (the laziness thing). That, however, will change when I plan to go there early some morning and partake in what I hope is a good breakfast. (Actually, I plan to call ahead first to make sure they even have a breakfast).

Pictured above is the Steak, egg white and cheese offering that comes in at about 430 calories. I've no idea of what the cost might be, but I plan to post a followup with pictures just as soon as I can drag my overweight ass over there!

Update: I tried calling the Subway n Forsyth MO and it rang for a long time with no one answering. I'll give them another try in a couple of days.



Saturday, January 24, 2015

Itchycoo Park - circa the 60's!

video

YouTube, bless their little 12 year old hearts and wet underwear, has this old classic video as a mis-tracked and complete mess on their site. (Apparently, they've never bothered to fix it - perhaps they are too busy counting the money, I guess.( So, I did the necessary fixes). Pro Bono, no less!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

It's the salt stupid!


 What's the one thing we all do at home and at restaurants when we sit down to eat. Why we reach for the salt of course! I came across this informative article and wonder why-o-why don't more eateries offer salt substitutes?

By now, most health-conscious American men understand the difference between bad fats (saturated fats and trans fats) and good fats (omega-3s and other poly- and monounsaturates). Many also recognize the difference between bad carbohydrates (simple sugars and refined grain products) and good carbs (dietary fiber and whole-grain products). In addition, savvy consumers are finally switching from red meat to fish, poultry, and legumes to get the protein they need.

It's heartening progress, but it overlooks another nutrient that's responsible for more than 100,000 American deaths a year, about three times more than prostate cancer. Perhaps because the problem nutrient is hidden away in processed foods and receives massive support from companies that manufacture and market these foods, the average American consumes 55% more of it today than in 1980. The hidden nutrient is not a fat or carbohydrate, and it doesn't pack any calories. The forgotten nutrient is salt.

Read more at: http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mens_Health_Watch/2010/October/salt-and-your-health

Critique: Marie Callender's Salisbury Steak!

To date, I've written several critiques covering Salisbury steak offerings from; Healthy Choice (Score = 8), Lean Gourmet (a 7), Michelina (a not so solid 7) and Banquet (also a 7). Other than price differences, these meals tested as OK to eat, just nothing to go out of your way for. But, this day, I was going to sample the offering from Marie Callender and I was looking forward to the experience!

According to the box - “Marie Callender's® classic Salisbury steak is worth savoring. It's topped with a traditional brown gravy, and served alongside oven-roasted red-skin potatoes. The meal also includes broccoli and cauliflower smothered in a creamy cheese sauce. “ Sounded pretty darn good to me. But, then again, every TV dinner I've ever tried sounded good text-wise! The cost of this meal was $2.99 when I purchased it at a local grocery store in the Forsyth Missouri area. I'd eaten this brand before and other than the Healthy Choice series, found it to be generally acceptable. The problem with the HC offering is the high cost, even considering you get an upscale nutritional mix that is generally low in salt.

The directions for preparing this meal deal were straight forward. You remove the tray from the box, slit the plastic over the veggies, nuke on high for 4, open and stir the potatoes, re-close and nuke for another 3 minutes or so. Easy greasy and just the right degree of difficulty for the slower minded among us. That'd be me!

After the required amount of time in the microwave, I sat down to enjoy yet another, in a long line of frozen TV dinners. A history that began for me in the sixties, was interrupted for a time after I learned how to cook, and then was resumed when I became to lazy and too old to want to bother with preparing really good nutritional foods.

Speaking of nutrition, the label wasn't too shocking. About 420 calories with a small mountain of salt added for taste. Salt, you know, is added to a food to help make it more palatable. (Cave women used it a lot when they served what was, in effect, rotting meat to their men). Today's modern man or women of age who eat this stuff are practically begging for a good case of hypertension....

here's the skinny on the contents; the potatoes were helped out with a splash of A1 sauce and were OK, the broccoli and cauliflower veggies in that creamy sauce were actually pretty good and that Salisbury steak...well it's really not a steak at all but just plain old meatloaf. Something to put into your mouth and chew on.

I gave this $3 excursion into the frozen food wastelands an 8! Hooray! It's one of the best of the lot!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Animals - Please don't let me be misunderstood!

video
This video was so mis-tracked as far as the audio went, that the corrections I made are noticeable (3). I'm guessing that this deal was pasted together God knows when. I considered chasing after an original soundtrack, but gave it up. Still, it was worth recovering to the extent I did. Maybe I should seek some other employment... oh wait a minute - I'm too old!

A vegetable beef soup smash down!

This post is not really about a recipe, but rather a challenge, to my very few readers, to get into the kitchen and to do a little soup-makin of their own!

History: Soups and the making of them go back pretty far.. this insert was from Wiki:

“Evidence of the existence of soup can be found as far back as about 20,000 BC. Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers (which probably came in the form of clay vessels). Animal hides and watertight baskets of bark or reeds were used before this. To boil the water hot rocks were used. This method was also used to cook acorns and other plants.

The word soup comes from French soupe ("soup", "broth"), which comes through Vulgar Latin suppa ("bread soaked in broth") from a Germanic source, from which also comes the word "sop", a piece of bread used to soak up soup or a thick stew.”

Today, here in the 21st Century, many of us humans enjoy all kinds of soup, much of which comes in the canned variety from the local grocery. But here's a heads up! I would submit that consuming anything out of a can is right next to eating rat poison. Canned food providers, the media and even grocery stores, would have you believe that the canned and processed foods are actually good for you. Well, when it takes decades to see the adverse effects, I guess I can see where the public might swallow that old rusted hook. The truth is that FDA approved canned foods are generally dead in terms of living enzymes and full of salts as well as other weird preservatives. (If you desire to end up a mummy, I guess that would not be a bad thing). If, on the other hand, you wish to gain the benefits of a soup that can be all it can be, then let's move forward.


GOOD HEALTHY SOUPS...
START WITH ALL NATURAL INGREDIENTS!

This is really a duh statement by moi. The bottom line; when you shop at the local grocery, please avoid the canned goods isle like it was plague central. Because it is! Hang out instead, in the produce department, and even that place is not without some health pitfalls! [You all probably know that the produce you eat, depending on the time of year and season, comes from different countries. Some of them are good about banning insecticides like DDT and others... not so much so. You do know that, right]? Flashback: In Germany (circa 1944), during the height of WWII, the 'death camps' were running full bore. Every Jew and or unlucky political pole, who was exterminated, understood (at the last moment and when it was far too late) what a quick death and betrayal was all about. Here in America I would postulate that the consumption of processed foods over decades is also a certain and early death! Do you need proof? OK, sure! No problemo! If you were to back about ten thousand years ago, you'd experience a time when paleolithic man was moving from a hunter gatherer existence to one more centered around agriculture. Suddenly cereal grains came into the picture, followed by breads and pastries, followed by canned goods, etc. And along with that change also came a change in the human form. We went from lean, mean and disease free to overweight, pudgy and, well... not so healthy.

Taking the steps towards a more healthy lifestyle is up to each person. Shifting your focus from processed foods to fresh vegetables and meats will cause a change in your appearance and feelings of well being over time. I promise!

Oh yes, the soup. Here's the ingredients:

½ lb beef, cubed
2 small Russet potatoes, p&c
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, p&s
½ cup green beans, chopped
½ lb plum tomatoes, chopped
½ white onion, p&c
½ cup cabbage, chopped
1 beef bouillon cube
5 cloves garlic, p&c
1 tsp parsley flakes
1 dash dried Oregano
1 dash dried Thyme
1 dash dried Sage
1 dash Cayenne pepper

Braise the beef, then drop everything into a pot with a little water.  Simmer for about an hour over medium heat.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

I plead the Fifth!

video

This video composition was excellent in my opinion, also the story line was good and end effects were very worthwhile! A Thai video effort featuring two very talented young female artists! [Also, I was that male doll, or not :) ] And, as to the language? Not a problem! ความงาม, โครงเรื่องที่ดีและเสียงที่ดี!

And so onward, fellow travelers....  http://forsythkid.blogspot.com/2014/08/pm-today-this-disease.html?spref=fb 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Critique: Marie Callender's Salisbury Steak!

To date, I've written critiques covering Salisbury steak offerings from; Healthy Choice (Score = 8), Lean Gourmet (a 7), Michelina (a not so solid 7) and Banquet (also a 7). Other than price differences, these meals tested as OK to eat, just nothing to go out of your way for. But, this day, I was going to sample the offering from Marie Callender and I was looking forward to the experience!

According to the box - “Marie Callender's® classic Salisbury steak is worth savoring. It's topped with a traditional brown gravy, and served alongside oven-roasted red-skin potatoes. The meal also includes broccoli and cauliflower smothered in a creamy cheese sauce. “ Sounded pretty darn good to me. But, then again, every TV dinner I've ever tried sounded good text-wise! The cost of this meal was $2.99 when I purchased it at a local grocery store in the Forsyth Missouri area. I'd eaten this brand before and other than the Healthy Choice series, found it to be generally acceptable. The problem with the HC offering is the high cost, even considering you get an upscale nutritional mix that is generally low in salt.

The directions for preparing this meal deal were straight forward. You remove the tray from the box, slit the plastic over the veggies, nuke on high for 4, open and stir the potatoes, re-close and nuke for another 3 minutes or so. Easy greasy and just the right degree of difficulty for the slower minded among us. That'd be me!

After the required amount of time in the microwave, I sat down to enjoy yet another, in what's historically been a long line of frozen TV dinners. A history that began for me in the sixties, was interrupted for a time after I learned how to cook, and then was resumed when I became to lazy and too old to want to bother with preparing really good nutritional foods.

Speaking of nutrition, the label wasn't too shocking, just depressing. About 420 calories with a small
mountain (1100 mg) of salt added for taste. Salt, you know, is added to a food to help make it more palatable. (Cave women used it a lot when they served what was, in effect, rotting meat to their men). Today's modern man or women of age who eat this stuff are practically begging for a good case of hypertension....

Here's the skinny on the contents; the potatoes were helped out with a splash of A1 sauce and were OK, the broccoli and cauliflower veggies in that creamy sauce were actually pretty good and that Salisbury steak...well it's really not a steak at all but just plain old meatloaf. Something to put into your mouth and chew on.

I gave this $3 excursion into the frozen food wastelands a solid 7. Maybe I'll go back to cooking my food again from scratch...

Eating healthy in America today!

It's really no secret that Americans currently lead the world in terms of being overweight (a whopping 74%). And it's no wonder. Even as children starting out in grade school, practically zero classes are directed at proper nutrition, exercise and weight management. And yes grade school is not too soon to start beginning to educate kids. Proper maintenance of your health is a life long pursuit!

Did you know that the percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese 18% in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who were obese increased from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period. I find those figures troubling and they are getting worse (not better) every year! Even Michelle Obama's well intentioned school lunch program has faltered in many schools across America. The National School Boards Association reported in late 2014 that 83.7 % of school districts around the country have seen an increase in wasted school lunch food since a 2010 law was passed mandating new nutrition rules. So, something needs to be changed and changed soon. After all, today's pudgy will soon turn into tomorrow's cardiac arrests and burdens on the healthcare system!
increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly

Dressing was a mix of olive oil and vinegar!
One thing that moms and dads can do early on is to teach their children about the wonderful world of salads! There are virtuously endless ways of making highly nutritious and filling salad creations that not only will kids like, bet even learn to crave. And, while I'm no model of physical health, I have enjoyed a lifetime of salads. As a matter of fact, I enjoy a custom creation just about every day! Oftentimes, my choice of ingredients are limited by what I have on hand. Yet, even a very basic romaine salad with a few veggies tossed in can do wonders over time. The basic 170 gram lunch salad pictured here contained romaine lettuce, onion, bell pepper, shredded cheese, celery and croûtons made out of toast!

Those little plastic salad cups!

Who'd ever write about salad cups? That'd be me!
Whenever I order a take home meal from a local restaurant I frequent, I often will have a salad which is accompanied by a small plastic cup containing whatever salad dressing I had ordered to go with the salad. Just recently I had ordered French dressing and as I was rinsing out the container, I became curious to see how much dressing I had consumed.

In terms of size, these cups are pretty small (see diagram). There are two parts, a lid and the cup
itself. Both weigh about a gram a piece. The material used to make them is polystyrene, a material that is recyclable. Each cup, when filled to the brim, will hold 59 ml or 2 ounces of dressing. The filled cup pictured above held 41 grams or about two tablespoons of dressing which I made myself using equal parts mayo and ketchup!

These little guys work great as reusable containers for small salads that I like to make up ahead of time.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Frankie Valley and Let's Hang On!

video
No real rhyme or reason for the images here. Just some people I've known over time. Some, for a long time, others  not so long... I'm a bit eclectic don't ya see... Life and living is an illusion that ends too quickly!

Is an American revolution brewing?

Group Notice From: The xxxxx

xx Jan. xx 8am xx We are going to discuss at what point do we have the right to revolt against our government. When is force validated? How can we get over the desire for peace, enough to lose all in an effort to make life better for others? Are we all sheep just sitting around waiting for shearing? So many questions here. If you haven't watched The Piano, it is that slow evolution of your freedoms that we are talking about here. The worse is never really that far away. Come lets discuss HOW & Why?

This email notice from the popular virtual reality site makes me have to wonder. Is there such unrest going on in America, that people are now gathering together and discussing the prospects of such a radical act? Personally, I'm happy to see that people are discussing topics that could see them hanged in some other countries - [ISIS comes to mind]. So, yes, I plan to attend and will do an update.

Addendum:  The concept of the right of revolution was developed at the beginning of the Enlightenment era in the work Two Treatises of Government. Written by the philosopher John Locke, the right to revolution formed an integral part of his social contract theory, in which he tried to define the origins and basis for social conditions and relationships. Locke declared that under natural law, all people have the right to life, liberty, and estate; under the social contract, the people could instigate a revolution against the government when it acted against the interests of citizens, to replace the government with one that served the interests of citizens. In some cases, Locke deemed revolution an obligation. The right of revolution thus essentially acted as a safeguard against tyranny.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Salads, it's what's good for you!

I fancy myself a reborn Benjamin Franklin, only without the kite!

1. Eat Salads for the Fiber

It's hard to believe that something we can't even digest can be so good for us! Eating a high-fiber diet can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent constipation.

Not only that, says Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan, eating more fiber can help you feel fuller, eat less, and ultimately lose weight.

2. Eat Salads for the Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables

Many experts agree that Americans need to eat more fruits and vegetables (especially dark green and orange vegetables) and legumes -- all popular salad ingredients. David Jacobs, PhD, professor of Public Health at the University of Minnesota, says in an email interview that there is plenty of evidence that nutrient-rich plant foods contribute to overall health.

If you frequently eat green salads, you'll likely have higher blood levels of a host of powerful antioxidants (vitamin C and E, folic acid, lycopene, and alpha- and beta-carotene,) especially if your salad includes some raw vegetables. Antioxidants are substances that help protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.

For years, researchers have noted a link between eating lots of fruits and vegetables and lower risks of many diseases, particularly cancer. A recent study from the National Cancer Institute suggests that people whose diets are rich in fruits and vegetables may have a lower risk of developing cancers of the head and neck -- even those who smoke and drink heavily. Foods found to be particularly protective include beans and peas, string beans, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, apples, nectarines, peaches, plums, pears, and strawberries.

3. Eat Salads to Cut Calories and Increase Satisfaction

If losing weight is your goal, you may want to start your meals with a green salad. Studies have shown that eating a low-calorie first course, like a green salad of 150 calories or less, enhances satiety (feelings of fullness) and reduces the total number of calories eaten during the meal.

Rolls, lead researcher of the study, suggests that "bigger is better" as long as the salad is bigger in volume, not in calories - which means more veggies and less dressing and other fatty add-ons.

"We saw reductions in consumed calories when people ate salads that were 1 1/2 cups and 3 cups in volume but around 100 total calories," she says. The 3-cup, 100-calorie salad reduced the total calories consumed at the meal by about 55.

4. Eat Salads to Get Smart Fats

Eating a little good fat (like the mono unsaturated fat found in olive oil, avocado and nuts) with your vegetables appears to help your body absorb protective phytochemicals, like lycopene from tomatoes and lutein from dark green vegetables.

A recent study from Ohio State University measured how well phytochemicals were absorbed by the body after people ate a salad of lettuce, carrot, and spinach, with or without 2 1/2 tablespoons of avocado. The avocado-eaters absorbed eight times more alpha-carotene and more than 13 times more beta-carotene (both of which are thought to help protect against cancer and heart disease) than the group eating salads without avocado.

If you dress your salad with a little olive oil, there may even be some additional years in it for you. Italian research on people aged 60 and older has suggested that a diet that includes plenty of olive oil and raw vegetables is linked to reduced mortality. [A reprint from WebMD]

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Charlie Hebdo cartoon!


OK, let me see, this cartoon by Charlie Hebdo is something about lashes... well, I'm sorry I don't do French very well.... and I really don't do Islamic nut jobs at all! Am I afraid? Why yes! I'm afraid that millions upon millions of these people will soon be exterminated and that no one, not me or their God, will give a flying shit!

On this date, the French Prime Minister announced that they are at war with Islam - where the fuck is our President standing on this issue??

Please forgive my bad language. But seriously, as an aging individual who faces the 'terrors' of advancing age and who is preparing (abet ever so slowly) to meet his maker - Well, I find these Islamic extremists a tiny bit pathetic... Let me put it another way - any bag of water, (which is what we all are), who thinks that a Creator - any Creator would put them on a ball of granite somewhere in the Universe so that they might rape, subject others and kill in that God's Name are at the very bottom of any species IQ list. Duh!

North facing hills can become dangerous!


 Forsyth, MO. - Travelers moving between Hollister and Forsyth MO often use Highway 76 to make the connection. A section of that road, however, has witnessed some pretty bad accidents especially for autos headed north towards Forsyth Missouri! This north facing section is known by locals as Manly Hill and during the winter time, it can easily cause problems. The reason is the fact that this section of road never gets direct, but rather slanted, sunlight during the winter months of December through February. As a result, the surface can get quite cold, especially if there has been a prolonged period where the air temperature hung in the teens or even single digits! While sections on either side can remain wet, this section of road (and others like it) can easily build up a thin layer of ice during those times when special winter weather conditions prevail. (Conditions that will likely exist on Sunday, January the 11th, 2015). So, it will be interesting to see if there are problems on that date. Note that such problems can exist for any section of road that stays shaded much of the time!


Hot tomato soup!

After what feels like weeks in a frozen wasteland, a cup of hot tomato soup is just what the doctor ordered! Low in calories, tasty and did I mention it was hot?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Keystone Veto?

Washington D.C. - The Keystone Pipeline -  The EPA has reviewed it for years and then approved it, 69% of Americans are for it, the Congress enjoys bi-partisan support and 40% of the damn thing is already built! America currently buys 7 million barrels of foreign oil a day. This pipeline would give Americans jobs and would make us a little less dependent on OPEC.

Yet...

President Obama stubbornly refuses to support this bill even though he has no basis to have an objection! Come on man, grow a pair and work with our legislators...

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A healing soup for the winter!

It's a fact that colds and the flu are more prevalent during the cold months of the year. Staying healthy during the holidays can be a challenge as the crowds are larger and the parties more frequent. This year (2015) has seen a flu outbreak that the CDC has described as an epidemic, so anything you can do to keep healthy is worth a shot!

I believe a good bowl of hot soup can do wonders for boosting a person's immune system, and this recipe for a homemade vegetable beef soup is also simple, fast and inexpensive! Here's the ingredients list:

¼ lb beef, cubed
1 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can green beans
¼ cup celery, chopped
¼ cup onion, chopped
1 med potato, peeled and cubed
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
½ tsp dried basil
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
1 dash of cayenne pepper

Add olive oil to a covered pot over medium high heat. Add the cubed beef and braise for a few minutes to brown. Reduce the heat and add the rest of the ingredients, cover and simmer over medium heat for about 60 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender. Serves 4-6.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Zeroing in on a really tasty chili!


After many years of experimenting with all sorts of chili recipes (I even bought a book on the subject), I've come up with a rather simple recipe that seems to work for me. Mind you, there is nothing fancy about the ingredients list. I've tried fancy cuts and combos of meats and while they were OK to even good, I wasn't entirely satisfied. With this simple chili, I was...! So, here goes.....

Ingredients:
--------------------------------
1 lb hamburger meat
1 can of petite tomatoes
1 can of red beans
1 pkg Williams original Chili Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
---------------------------
Directions: Brown the meat and drain off the grease. Add the other ingredients and simmer for 40 minutes. Serves 4.

And that's it! Sure, you could add some chopped onions and hot sauce or whatever, but trust me – simple really is good!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

James Taylor - Long ago...

video

Charlie's Steak, Ribs and Ale!

I've frequented Charlie's Steak, Rib's and Ale for a number of years now. It's located at 139 State Highway Y in Forsyth, Missouri (417-546-2011) and just like the name sounds, features good old American cuisine.

When you step inside Charlie's you might immediately notice that you've entered an upscale eating establishment where the staff helps to keep the premises as neat and clean as can be. Charlie's has both a smoking and non-smoking section and feature a fully stocked bar complete with a micro brewery that give the patrons a choice of home brewed light and dark ales! On most days, an attractive woman named Brandy can be found managing the bar. When she's not there, oftentimes her son, Niko fills in and does a great job. The atmosphere is professional and yet fun as you never know who is going to pop in.

The restaurant serves up a full menu of items including meals suited to breakfast , lunch and dinner. I've had occasion to eat a number of their breakfast offerings including the Works; a platter
The Works!
containing eggs made your way, a choice of meats, toast and hash browns! A great way to start ones day for under $6!

Lunchtime items include a wide variety of choice items, including the ever popular hamburger and fries! Want something different? Charlie's offer up a wide range of sandwiches and sides to satisfy most anyone's lunchtime desires. You also might want to check out the specials that are offered during thew week. One very popular choice is the steak platter that contains a thick juicy steak, potato, roll and salad, all for under $8! Folk! It just doesn't get any better than that!


Bottom line! Please stop in and give Charlie's a try. And, if you happen to live in Branson, there are three other sites there as well! One of them is called CJ's located at 2001 State Hwy 248! Please stop in and say hi to Jenny!

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed here are those of the author and may not reflect the opinions of others. Also any prices stated therein are subject to change without notice.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Critique: Banquet's Chicken Fried Chicken Meal!

I'm very surprised that over the past few years of critiquing Banquets cheat meals, that somehow I'd missed one!

This vintage offering from the folks at Banquet costs about a buck in early 2015 and thus makes it very eligible for someone on a limited food budget such as myself. Seriously! What can you buy for a buck these days? (I stopped at a small convenience store recently and could not find anything other than a local paper for less than a buck – and you can't eat that)!


Inside the box, I noticed you get some chicken (a thigh?) in a white gravy sauce, mashed potatoes and some corn! A mix that reminded me of dinner while growing up on a farm in Central Missouri back in the 50's – only everything back then was very fresh and had zero preservatives. Hell, the chicken was still moving! These days, I guess you have to give up some things in order to live in the wonderful techno-gizmo world of today – like freshness! And, anyway, how could all those chemicals they use to preserve food be bad for you? Disodium Dihydrogen Pyrophosphate is an ingredient in this meal and it certainly sounds interesting, doesn't it? After all, the EPA backs these companies and we all know the EPA is like some super mom whose only reason for existence is to protect and nurture her slightly retarded children. The fact that scientific findings that are now becoming well established and indicate a diet of processed food is a certain ticket to all sorts of cancer, while troubling to ponder, just cannot be true – after all, your government wouldn't intentionally lie to you or hurt you, now would they?
So, in spite of some questionable risks, I elected to pop one of these little 340 calorie beauties into my microwave oven. After all, what choice did I have? I was hungry! The directions on the box were pretty easy. All you had to do was to cut the plastic cover from over the potatoes, nuke it on high for 3, stir them pertaters and the nuke it again for another 3 minutes. (Man, If I had a nickel for all the meals I've prepared that same exact way)! Ding ding sing – the sumptuous chicken repast was ready and I dug right in!

OK, so the loads of salt (910 mg) probably did help to make the meal tasty – after all we humans crave salt so much that most anything tastes better when it saturated with good ol' NaCl. The fact that a high salt intake, over time, is directly linked to hypertension and heart disease is not germane to the taste conversation we're having right at this point! I enjoyed the experience and damn the consequences!

I gave this a solid 7 on a scale of 10 and would recommend that any of my non-friends stock up and eat them often!

Obama Kicks The Oil Industry While They Are Down

The federal government is about to issue landmark regulations aimed at slashing methane emissions from oil and gas operations.

The Environmental Protection Agency's regulations could come along with several other federal rules that will impact the energy sector. In the past, U.S. President Barack Obama has trumpeted the extraordinary rise of oil and gas production under his watch. While he cannot take much credit for the oil boom, his administration did shy away from environmental regulations in his first term that could have slowed drillers down.

But with two years left in office, he no doubt wants to score some points on the environmental front for posterity's sake. And with no elections left to run for, and an unfriendly Congress in the U.S. Capitol, the executive branch may pull out all the stops.

To be sure, many of the pending rules have been years in the making, but with oil prices crashing, there is a smaller political price to pay for adding burdens on the industry. Gasoline prices provoke a visceral reaction from American voters. With retail gasoline prices safely below $3 per gallon, there is a much smaller downside for executive agencies slapping new rules on the energy industry. One of the biggest rules will be on methane emissions from oil and gas production. While the EPA punted on the rules until after the holidays, a decision is expected in January that could establish the first direct regulation of methane.

Fugitive methane is a massive problem for the country. Estimated to be 86 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide over a 20-year span, methane is a major concern for climate change. Not only that, but methane is often "vented" or flared into the atmosphere as an unwanted byproduct when producing oil. It is also released from a web of creaky old pipelines that crisscross the country. The Washington Post writes that a plume of methane the size of Delaware hovers over northwest New Mexico because of leaking methane.

According to the Institute for Policy Integrity , 7.7 million metric tons of methane escapes each year from energy operations, enough natural gas to heat 6.5 million homes. Fortunately enough, cost effective technologies already exist that could cut methane emissions, if and when the EPA decides to enforce the industry to use them.

But the energy industry says that new rules will "impose unnecessary costs and burdens on an industry challenged now by a sustained low-price environment," as Greg Guidry, a Shell executive, recently put it . In fact, drillers already have plenty of incentives to reduce methane emissions on their own, obviating any need for new regulation, an industry trade group says.

Methane rules won't be the only new regulations about to be placed on oil and gas drillers, as the Wall Street Journal explores in a recent article . The Department of Interior is set to announce new regulations on drilling in the Arctic, as well as new standards on blowout preventers used in offshore drilling. Interior will also finalize rules requiring drillers to disclose the chemicals they use during fracking on public lands. The Transportation Department will stiffen standards for shipping oil by rail.

Combined, the regulatory smack down could have a slightly chilling effect on oil and gas drilling. The rules could add modest costs for producers, making marginal drilling in the current price environment not viable. But it is important to keep things in perspective: it is the price of oil itself - falling below $60 per barrel in the waning days of 2014 - that is beginning to force drilling cutbacks. The number of rigs in operation continues to drop. The most recent data from oil services firm Baker Hughes shows that another 35 rigs were removed from drilling during the week ending on December 26, falling from 1,875 to 1,840.

While it may seem like adding insult to injury, low oil prices are providing President Obama much more political space for the federal government to finalize the suite of rules it is considering. While that may seem perverse to drillers who are watching their profit margins vanish, the threat of high gas prices has always made new regulation unpopular. That is no longer a concern for the Obama administration.

This article originally appeared on Fool.com and was written by Nick Cunningham of Oilprice.com.