Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Chicken Soup for the Body

Chicken Soup for the Soul is a series of "inspirational" books including the newly published I Can't Believe my Cat Did That. The series is so titled because of the commonly held belief that chicken soup is a cure-all for the body, especially cold and flu symptoms, so a figurative application of chicken soup type beneficial tidbits must help the soul as well. My personal experience with the book series is very limited to a quick skimming, 15ish years ago, when I received the high school graduate themed version, as a graduation present from one my mother's church-lady friends. At the time I thought it was a fluffy, preachy, mess of pop-psychology nonsense that totally missed my demographic's needs and practical competencies. I'm sure I wrote the obligatory thank you note and went back to my Metallica albums. The reference to the feline themed, newest title illustrates my current research on the series, because it still seems like a ludicrous bit of fluff.

Moving on...

The premise that Chicken Soup is an important source of healing and nourishing  indeed comes from the food itself. I just finished reading The Secrets of People who Never Get Sick by Gene Stone. In it, he has a chapter about chicken soup and its benefits. There is a recipe from Cooking Jewish, by ]udy Bart Kancigor which is supposed to be the standard chicken soup formula. Sadly, the same flaws in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series have happened to the commonplace, modern food version of soup as well.
Turned into This

Some refer to this as the "Premium" brand.
Just this week, when my wife got some sniffles, she asked me to stop at the store and pick up her favorite brand of chicken soup- Progresso's Homestyle Chicken Noodle. This product is just a vague, weak, barely palatable form of a supposedly hearty, satisfying, and health-full food! The whole chickens, onions, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, garlic, celery, dill, parsley, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, celery root and more fresh dill on top, is out. Chicken broth, chicken, chicken skin, chicken fat, and more chicken with carrots, eggs and wheat, sugar and invert sugar, barley and soy ingredients, is in.

Seems so obvious that if you take a shopping cart full of produce and steep it in hot water for a couple hours, you're going to get a lot of nutrients in a tasty soup. Why do we settle for this drivel in our mind from silly books or in our belly from silly canned goods? The moral of the story: Pay attention to what goes in your mind and body. We are what we eat, literally and figuratively.

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