By Mims Cushing

This is a very complicated country. Some wacko things happen, and I’m not just talking Washington D.C. I never talk about D.C. if I can help it. D.C. would probably pay me not to talk about D.C. Let me give you an example of how cuckoo our country is, though I love her to smithereens and wave The Grand Old Flag 24/7 outside my house.

New (new?) governmental nutritional guidelines have been published again that should have as a logo, “The U.S. Government’s Way of Taking All the Fun Out of Meals.” It tells us what we know already, and are sick to death of hearing: eat less sugar, less red meat. Avoid processed foods, GMOs. Anyone who eats baloney or hot dogs should do it with their eyes closed so they can tell people who catch them eating the stuff, “It was an accident.”

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We are told again to eat a plant-based diet: more fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. We know this.

The reports that are published are sometimes ludicrous, sometimes not even helpful. Here’s an example. Please read this sentence aloud: “Food groups do need to be eliminated entirely to Improve Sustainability Outcomes.” You don’t have to go to a writers’ conference to be told that phrase is pompous, overbearing, grandiloquent, supercilious, high-handed, haughty, grandiose, arrogant… You get the idea. Thank you, Mr. Roget. How about saying instead, “…to help us live to a ripe old age?” I give the U.S. nutritional guidelines people that phrase … free. Free. Take it.

How can the food guerrillas allow Americans to stuff their face with pancakes and do not outlaw IHOP’s Pancake Day? There is an International House of Pancakes Day. You can get free short stacks as long as you donate money to Children’s Miracle Hospital Network or other specified charities. How nice is that? If nutritional scholars want to do some good for people in this country, they should suggest we send cash to charities and leave the pancake bloating extravaganza alone. Unless blueberry or banana pancakes count as a fruit.

By the way, lest you think I do not like pancakes, and that it is easy for me to throw IHOP Pancake Day under the bus, that is not true. A year ago a friend and I went out to breakfast and I ordered the usual: two fake eggs, one piece of dry toast and fruit. She ordered chocolate chip pancakes! I have been dreaming of her breakfast for a year! I have filed away chocolate chip pancakes as my go-to breakfast if the end of the world is looming and my bathroom scales have died.

The good news is that the first National Pancake Day celebration was in 2006 — yes, 12 years ago — and since then more than $16 million has been raised for charities in the towns in which the IHOPs are located, which is pretty much everywhere.

What day can you celebrate in your house? National Everybody Do Their Own Laundry Day might be a good start. A washing machine is not a problem from a nutrition standpoint.

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