Johnny-on-the-Spot … by John Foster
If you’re reading this, you’ve survived another deadly hot dog season in America.
From Memorial Day through Labor Day, we Americans consume roughly 7 billion hot dogs and we typically east over 150 million on the 4th of July alone!
This despite the fact that a University of Michigan study says for each hot dog we eat, we lose 36 minutes of life.
The Global Burden of Disease study analyzed nearly 6,000 foods in the U.S. diet and measured their effects on minutes of healthy life gained or lost.
A typical beef hot dog with 190 calories and 61 grams of processed meat, served on a bun resulted in a loss of 27 minutes of healthy life.
Factor in the added sodium and trans fatty acids, each frank consumed shaves 36 minutes off your healthy life.
It could be worse.
According to this study, corned beef with tomato sauce and onion results in a 71 minute loss of healthy life.
But, if you substitute sardines with a tomato-based sauce, you gain 82 minutes of healthy life.
Reminds me of the story of the man who goes to the doctor for a check-up.
The doc tells the guy he needs to stop smoking, drinking, gambling and carousing with women.
The man asks if I do all that will I live longer?
“No” said the physician, “It’ll just seem like it.”
So, I guess it’s not overly critical as to what you put on top of your killer hot dog.
Seventy-one percent of us prefer mustard while 52 % choose ketchup.
So is it “ketchup” or “catsup”?
“Catsup” first showed up in a 1730 Jonathan Swift poem.
Ketchup is used most widely, although you’ll still find “catsup” in p[arts of the South for that concoction made of tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, salt, allspice, cloves and cinnamon.
Now mustard is made with ground mustard seeds, water, vinegar, lemon juice, wine or other liquid, salt and other flavorings or colors.
In the movie, “Sudden Impact”, Dirty Harry said, “Nobody, I mean NOBODY puts ketchup on a hot dog.”
The official hot dog etiquette guide says it’s “tacky” for any one over the age of 18 to top a hot dog with ketchup.
This guide also suggests it’s “pretentious” to consume a hot dog with eating utensils.
Despite the University of Michigan study indicating hot dogs are a bad choice if you plan for a long, healthy life, another study says a hot dog contains 30% of our daily value of vitamin B-12 which is crucial for normal metabolism and brain development in children and mental clarity in adults.
After all, Mickey Mouse’s first on-screen words were “Hot dog!” and Betty White reportedly ate a hot dog every day on the set of “Hot in Cleveland”.
If suddenly hot dogs were banned in America, supermarkets would lose $3 billion in business.
Based on the figures from the “Global Burden of Disease” study, I should be dead already after all the hot dogs I’ve consumed in my life.
The same study’s nutritional index says eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich can actually add 33 minutes you your life.
If there’s anything a like better than a hot dog it’s a peanut butter sandwich.
Jelly’s okay but I’m a JIF purist.
So I’ve obviously counter-balanced my bad hot dog habit with those sandwiches that used to stick to the roof of my mouth.
So, if you eat a serving of nuts, you’re 26 minutes to the good which means you think like me, you can eat a double cheeseburger (9 minutes) and wash it down with a soda (12 minutes) and still be up 5 minutes.
A slice of pizza will slice 8 minutes off a healthy life but just one banana consumed gives you back 13 minutes.
The ironic thing is I can eat all those healthy foods and get struck and killed by a car so I guess it’s a life of choices.
Now, nuts, fruits and no-starchy vegetables all have positive effects on life but I suspect if you eat those with rich dips or toppings, you’ve negated some of the good.
So, at this juncture in my road of life, I shant sacrifice a tasty hot dog as long as I keep eating a daily healthy dose of peanut butter.
Makes me wonder if I hadn’t picked up that nasty hog dog habit, just how many more years I might have before me if my peanut butter cravings had been consistent over those years.
Roman comic dramatist Plautus said “Moderation in all things is the best policy.'”
Eating in moderation means eating well 80-90% of the time.
I guess that means you need to eat a lot of celery after a French fry binge or just skip the fries altogether.
Can’t do that!