Antibacterial

Episode 14 – Antibacterial

Michael and Katherine terrify germaphobes galore with a crockcast annihilation of all things antibacterial. Luckily, they’ll also make you laugh those fears away. Michael even faces some of his own in a failed attempt to prove he’s a Gryffindor. Unfortunately, his horror at the mere mention of sticky subway poles and bananas seal his fate as a wholly verified (and terrified) Slytherin.

Bacteria are the Real Heroes

This special morning edition of the podcast dawns as Michael explains the human body’s Microbiome. Turns out bacteria are critical to our well being. So, how can antibacterial be the hero of any human story? They can’t. According to Michael (with help from the NIH) our body is merely a meat puppet at the mercy of millions of microscopic bacteria.

Many of these bacteria play crucial roles in our health. They are, in fact, life sustaining and make up a large part of our bodies. So, even though they’re tiny with terrible reputations, bacteria are actually the hardest working goody two shoes of our constitution.

Reissue of the Meat Puppets Mirage album 2011

Antibacterial Products = Stupid Toxic Crap

Katherine doesn’t mince around about her contempt for antibacterial products. But lucky for her, scientists and experts in the field agree that this billion dollar industry is based on a lie and needs to be banned. The worst culprits, Triclosan and Triclocarbon were, in fact, recently banned by the FDA. It’s likely many of the alcohol based products new moms love to use for toddler dousing and dipping soon will be too. Why this vehement reaction?

That’s because antibacterial agents are proven to cause dire health concerns including hormonal scrambles, developmental challenges, metabolism issues, and cancer. Not only that, they aren’t even particularly effective! Soap and water works just as well, if not better. Thousand of people die every year from antibiotic resistant infections and antibacterials are a large contributor to this growing problem.

Speaking of Immune Systems…

Michael transitions into a probiotics probe. Do they actually work? Let’s cut to the chase…. Nope. Turns out, There just aren’t enough of the little buggers per serving to make an impact on the massive ecosystem of our bodies. We are made of many microorganisms, after all. He explains that in cases of people with gut disorders, probiotics can make a difference but only with the live cultures.

In other words, throw away any probiotics you have in capsule or pill form because a probiotic is ALIVE and needs to stay that way to have any impact at all. That means probiotics can help those who need an extra boost of good bacteria but it’s gotta be livin’ or it’s not worth a crap… and if you’ve got gut issues, we mean that literally.

Probiotics close-up from International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Probiotics

Chlorine is Antibacterial  Too

Katherine brings the podcast around the final bend to talk about being a dumbass. It’s familiar territory for her… almost as familiar as the five minute trip she takes many times a week to her nearby swimming pool. She shares how much fun she has telling all her friends about how because it’s a saltwater pool, swimming doesn’t damage her har or bathing suits as much and she just loves it so much!

But once again, Katherine is simply a fool. That’s because saltwater pools are actually just systems of chlorination. The salt actually creates chlorine in the water! So, after humbly admitting defeat, Katherine investigates a bit further and found out some upsides that remain for her saltwater swimming experience. Thus, it all worked out in the end. As it always does here at Such a Crock!

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Milk

Episode 7 – Milk

Didn’t we all grow up drinking milk? Well, we grew up doing LOTS of things that are a crock! Indeed, the list is infinite…

Monday, August 6th

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Milk is SUCH A CROCK! (or at least lots of stuff around it is)

Eating only chicken nuggets is SUCH A CROCK

Michael starts this episode off in kind of a weird way. In the UK, Stacey Irvine collapsed back in 2012 due to eating — reportedly — a diet of only chicken nuggets.

Wait a minute… Shouldn’t this be a story for back in Episode 3?

It turns out that a diet of only chicken nuggets isn’t so unique in its lack of nourishment. There’s almost no food you can subsist entirely on… Almost!

Mother’s milk sustains little babies, and can theoretically keep an adult human being alive, too. Good luck finding a woman to supply a sufficient amount, though.

Katherine is incredulous about the existence of a girl who ate nothing but chicken nuggets for fifteen years, but Irvine’s story has been widely reported, including by CBS News: British teen Stacey Irvine hospitalized after eating nothing but chicken nuggets for 15 years

Plus: What If I Ate Only One Type of Food? at LiveScience.

Raw Milk is SUCH A CROCK

Wondering what it is? Namely, it’s not pasteurized.

Today, it’s more difficult to get raw milk than conventional pasteurized, but it still sells due to health claims not necessarily supported by federal regulators.

While raw advocates claim that it helps with lactose intolerance or allergies, Katherine’s research indicates that this is not the case… And anyway, the societal benefits of pasteurization (i.e. the prevention of widespread disease) outweigh such claims.

Interested in learning more? Check out these links to raw milk studies.

NCBI Study   CDC Food Safety Report  FDA Weighs In

Reducing Milk Fat is SUCH A CROCK

Michael starts his second segment out with a 2007 press release from Starbucks. You might not know this, but Starbucks defaults to 2% for espresso drinks if customers don’t specify a type of milk in their order.

Starbucks Moves to Reduced Fat Milk

It turns out that whatever kind you’re drinking — whole, 2%, or skim — milk is likely contributing to weight gain.

That’s because, while milk ranks low in glycemic index, your body probably treats it like eating white bread. So why does Michael — crazy over carbs as Katherine is wont to claim — drink whole milk? Maybe he should stick to his goofy nut milk alternatives.

Further on glycemic index: Glycemic index for 60+ foods at Harvard Medical School

Milking “everything” is SUCH A CROCK

Katherine closes out our milk melee with a list of the BEST milk alternatives from Food & Wine magazine: Non-Dairy Milk, Taste-Tested and Ranked

First she tries to trick Michael into drinking “pea” milk (NOT ‘pee’). Katherine then shares her thoughts on the many flavors and consistencies of the various milk alternatives. At last, she wraps up the ranking to the horror, and eventually winner’s circle of her podcast partner in the end.

Find out why in the podcast!

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Serving Size

Episode 5 – Serving Size

Today Michael and Katherine tackle the not-only-food topic of:

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Serving size? Like “suggested” serving size? Because he often has food on the brain, Michael jumped, mentally, to calories. To get a baseline, Michael consulted Google about just how many calories someone should eat per day. This is what he “learned”:

The 2,000 calorie per day guideline is SUCH A CROCK

The Google guideline — which to be fair isn’t so much “from” Google as “reported by” Google — is such a crock!

Unfortunately, many people live and eat believing that 2,000 calories is the proper baseline number of calories they should be eating. This thinking is problematic in multiple ways, but can most easily be summed up by the idea that all calories are not created equal, or “beef calories do not equal bourbon calories”.

Michael quotes The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss, or rather, a study by Kekwick and Pawan comparing three groups put “on calorically equal semistarvation diets”:

  • 1,000 calories at 90% fat: lose 0.9 lbs. per day,
  • 1,000 calories at 90% protein: lose 0.6 lbs. per day,
  • But 1,000 calories at 90% carbohydrate? GAIN — motherloving gain — 0.24 lbs. per day!

Even if we consider “a calorie a calorie” (which, based on Kekwick and Pawan’s work, above, we shouldn’t), and the 2,000 calorie per day guideline…

Well, MichaelJ has some fun with the nutritional guidelines from one of America’s favorite chain restaurants. We’ll let you listen and draw your own conclusions there around Serving Size.

But “serving size” isn’t just about food. For instance, many things have a regulated or at least advertised time frames. Just like people who are obsessed with getting their money’s worth, Katherine personally seeks a life where she gets the most out her time.

A “week” of camp might just be SUCH A CROCK

One might think sending your child to the alleged “#1, World’s Best Computer Camp” would be worth… something. But one would be wrong. What makes it less than the alleged best? Time spent is falsely advertised! When you’re paying for “a week” of camp you are not expecting a half-day Friday, and certainly not expecting to spend it yourself looking a pictures of other kids in front of computer screens.

Further, you may have heard that there are 24 hours in each day. Some might even call that a fact! Fine. But don’t layer on the info that Beyonce’s 24 hours are the same 24 hours as anybody else’s. Some people have resources that can boost what they accomplish during that supposedly same 24 hours. If you’re Mariah Carey, and thus somebody holds your straw while you sip, that frees up both hands to multitask in ways the rest of us can only imagine.

Should travel time be included in a charitable work time sheet? It’s time you gave… But is it worthy of record keeping and thus credit toward time-served?

The Soda Ban was SUCH A CROCK

Back in 2013 then-NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg attempted what was colloquially called the “soda ban”.

It didn’t ban soda so much as try to limit serving sizes. Under Bloomberg’s attempt, you could not buy drinks larger than 16 ounces at “food-service establishments” in New York City. Michael thinks the soda ban came from a good place, but its implementation was horrendously flawed.

  • 7-Eleven was excluded, so you could still get a Big Gulp
  • You might not be able to buy a drink of greater than 16 ounces, but you could just buy another drink
  • Fruit juice was excluded. Michael maintains there is no conceptual difference between fruit juice and soda for the purposes of this ban
  • Diet soda was excluded; how would that have even worked?
  • Milk drinks, including milkshakes, were exempt. No one knew what to do about Starbucks Frappucinos

Such. A. Crock.

Read more at The Washington Post: The New York City soda ban explained

We finish the episode with a wonderful sweet treat inspired by Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix. Here’s a preview:

As always, we’d love it if you subscribed at Apple Podcasts!

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The Most Important Meal

Episode 4 – The Most Important Meal

The most important meal… What is it? Is breakfast the most important meal? What about one’s last meal? And are folks who Instagram every bespoke artisanal gluten-free waffle mentally ill? Such a Crock investigates:

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Breakfast is Such a Crock!

Okay, okay… Breakfast is probably okay.

But the idea that breakfast is the “most important meal” of the day is a crock.

It turns out a talented PR man by the name of Edward Bernays working for the Beech-Nut company used a combination of preacher-style moralization and marketing to create the idea of the American breakfast… To sell product! Bernays got about 5,000 doctors to co-sign his very un-scientific letter pushing breakfast food, and our culture today is largely an extension of that. I mean… balls?

Read more in The Guardian: How lobbyists made breakfast ‘the most important meal of the day’

Is the Notion of a Last Meal Becoming a Crock?

The “last meal” is a tradition among condemned prisoners. It’s thought to have started in 1924 in Texas.

In some places, a prison warden will share the last meal with a prisoner. In others there are strict limitations on how much can be spent on a last meal.

Michael shares some famous last meals, from a single communion wafer to a surprising amount of KFC.

But it’s the lavish request of Laurence Russell Brewer that gets last meals knocked off the Texas tradition list… And Michael thinks that is a crock. Brewer ordered a ton of food, but didn’t eat any of it. His bad behavior has had lasting impact for condemned Texans.

My San Antonio: Last-meal requests off death row menu

Food Porn is Such a Crock!

Is documenting all your food on Instagram a sign of mental illness?

Some folks at the CBC seem to think so: Posting pictures of meals online? You may have health problems

… But Michael certainly hopes not!

That doesn’t mean that every meal you eat is worthy of Instagram commemoration. That said, Katherine comes up with some [hopefully] reasonable reasons to document your dinner.

Was Eating the Ortolan Such a Crock?

Michael was curious about Bobby Axelrod’s quasi-last meal on Billions this past season. The Ortolan bunting is illegal to eat; but it’s supposedly the most sublime dining experience possible.

So heavy was the language around the forbidden ortolan, from celebrity chef Wylie Dufresne to the now-departed Tony Bourdain that Michael just had to follow up.

Is the ortolan real? Yes.

Do you really wear a napkin over your head to hide your shame while eating it? Apparently.

But is crunching on songbird bones whole, and scalding your mouth and throat with hot fat possibly the apex of meals? Give us a listen and judge for yourself!

More from CNBC: The illegal delicacy Axe ate on ‘Billions’ is a real thing — here’s the story behind it

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chicken

Episode 3 – Chicken

Can it be, intrepid listeners?

Can the unifying crock-topic of our third episode be that beloved bird…

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Michael begins with fightin’ words for a big chunk of the chicken-eating populace:

Weight Watchers is Such a Crock

Weight Watchers is an American company that offers various products and services meant to assist customers in losing and maintaining their weight. Since at least 1997, it has used a points-based system. It is essentially a simplified calorie counting / calorie deficit system.

However, the new Freestyle program (“Count less and enjoy more”) adds chicken and some 200+ new foods to the so-called “zero point” list.

In Michael’s opinion, this makes Weight Watchers a crock.

The point system, which once had ketchup as zero point (but no longer, as it includes sugar) BUT adds chicken, turkey, and tons of seafood to zero points seems tantamount to surrender. This “count less and enjoy more” philosophy flies in the face of the company’s long-standing value-add for what looks and smells much more like the low carb / keto / Atkins family of dieting.

Read more at Business Inisder: Weight Watchers’ new program has 200 ‘zero-point’ foods you can eat as much as you want — including eggs

Fried Chicken is Such a Crock

If someone asked you “who” invented fried chicken… Who might you guess?

If you — like many — default to The Colonel… Katherine says that branding is kind of a crock.

Katherine digs into the origins of fried chicken in the United States and the ex-slave entrepreneurs of Gordonsville, VA.

Bonus: Michael never really understood cultural appropriation… Until now! While most of Katherine’s crock is about the Colonel and nostalgic Southern cooking, it’s Korean fried chicken that tells the tale for MichaelJ.

Katherine’s sources are many, but we suggest As American As Fried Chicken at The Atlantic.

Our CONCEPT of a Chicken is a Crock!

While we typically use the word “chicken”, today’s farms raise effectively two distinct birds: Broilers and layers. They’re quite different!

One lays eggs. One is prized for its breast meat.

Since about 1946 and the quest for “the chicken of tomorrow” chickens raised for food have become quite different from root stock. They live less than two months but produce many times the historic amount of breast meat… On a fraction of the feed and vitamins.

The genetics of such birds extends even to organic free-range chickens! Such birds live only a little bit longer than now-conventional factory farm chickens, and are themselves also descendants of the chicken of tomorrow.

Much of this comes from Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

A Little Kid’s Opinion of Chicken Nuggets is a Crock

Katherine shares a story from celebrity chef Jamie Oliver teaching children where their beloved nuggets come from.

Oh… Just watch it:

… But not until after you listen to Episode 3:

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