Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Food Products, Essentially

So apparently, on a recent episode of Bill O'Reilly's television show on Fox News ("The O'Reilly Factor", series working title: "An Embittered, Privileged, Middle-Aged White Man Complains About Everyone Who Is Not Him") Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly visited to discuss the forced dispersal of Occupy UC Davis protestors from a campus quad by police. Including egregious use of large quantities of pepper spray on unarmed, peaceful protestors (uh oh, if sitting is a sprayable offense, I'm going to get pepper DRENCHED some day!). Megyn, whose name Bill O'Reilly would probably complain was intolerable if she had any other job besides Fox News Anchor, informed us that pepper spray is, in fact, "a food product essentially". You know, because it's made from pepper. OK Megyn, let's play by your rules. Here's a few other substances that are food products, essentially, and by your logic must be at least somewhat OK to use on peaceful citizens, in moderation.

1) Nutraloaf - A food amalgam that provides nutrition while effectively functioning as a punishment in prison. It is so bad that the legality of feeding it to inmates is regularly questioned as cruel and unusual punishment. Feeding it to people is tantamount to depriving them of food, even though it sustains life. It is probably the worst thing someone can be forced to eat that is still technically food. But it is, of course, "a food product, essentially."

2) Rock Salt - The stuff you use so you don't slip and break your neck on your outdoor stairs contains the stuff (sodium chloride) that you use with malt vinegar to make french fries extra awesome. This is the same stuff Budd uses as shotgun ammo in Kill Bill to incapacitate The Bride. But apparently this is just fine. I mean, "it's a food product, essentially."

3) Blowfish Toxin - In several Asian cuisines, knowledgeable chefs are able to prepare highly toxic fish for human consumption. For example, the puffer fish or fugu is considered a delicacy in Japan. Well, the parts that aren't fatal anyway. The parts that are fatal are really damn fatal. Puffer fish are some of the most poisonous animals on the planet. But, since they can be eaten, I guess we must consider their toxin "a food product, essentially."

4) Cyanide - Cyanide, a poison so well known for being poisonous it doesn't need to be explained when it kills people in shitty cop shows, can be found in trace amounts in almonds, apple pips, cherry, peach, and apricot pits, and the cassava root. In most of those, the amount is negligible, and easily dealt with by the digestive system, although the cassava, if prepared improperly, can be toxic. However, I'd say it easily meets Megyn Kelly's criteria for "a food product, essentially."

5) Human Entrails - Cannibalism is a thing, a thing that is done sometimes. Probably as long as there have been people, some of those people have opted to eat others of those people. Maybe due to starvation, maybe due to religious belief, maybe due to bizarre curiosity. It would be nice if we could believe that every instance of cannibalism was basically a Uruguayan rugby team in the Andes sort of incident, but we all know that's not true. Some people choose to eat other people even though other non-people foods are present. So I guess that makes chunks of human flesh food. Or at least, "a food product, essentially." If the cops start lobbing human heads at the protestors via catapult like it was Minas Tirith or some shit, it's nice to know we'll be able to count on Fox News to spin that damage.