Monday, April 18, 2016

Are we made of oatmeal?

I am very much enjoying "The Revolving Door of Life" by my favorite author, Alexander McCall Smith.  We first began with Smith with the audiobook "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency" in about 2003 or 2004.  As you may know, Smith himself was born in Zambia and taught at an African university before moving to the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.  He was a professor of forensic medicine and the author of more than 50 books before the first of the now 16 volumes of the "No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency".  Later, he launched several other series and "The Revolving Door of Life" is part of the 44 Scotland Street series.  By now, the 44 Scotland Street books also include quite a number.

Smith's books are quietly humorous.  As I am driving around town, I am steadily smiling and occasionally exclaiming aloud at his remarks and his funny situations.  Today, I rode in Lynn's car while she drove and played the same story.  She, too, laughs and smiles all the way along.

There is a remark made in some science fiction writing "They are made of meat".  Some leader of living creatures elsewhere in the universe asks one of his officers what these human are made of and is told "They are made of meat."  Smith has two young Scottish women discussing their lives and backgrounds and they consider their families and Scots in general to be "made of oatmeal" in the sense that many Scots have subsisted on oatmeal as an important food.  So, this brings up the question "Are Scots made of oatmeal?"  Along those lines, are vegetarians chemically distinguishable from meat eaters?

As a high school wrestler, I was advised by team members not to eat candy bars on the ground that they were fattening and I would be too heavy for my weight class. About that age, I read about the Icelandic-Canadian Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson who studied Eskimo diet and went to some lengths to demonstrate that he, too, could live well on meat and fish only.  This was in defiance of those experts who were confident that such a diet would not suffice for health over time.  

You and I were fed some carrots in our infant years.  It was "baby food" but it was still carrots.  What food has been most constant during our lives?  Bread?  Cow's milk?  Apples?  Chicken?  Pork?  

It is a matter of some importance to get clear on what we are made of.  How did we convert all that Halloween candy and Thanksgiving turkey into us?  Maybe we are made of Cap'n Crunch.

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