An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A Veggie Tales Murder

This past Friday our local paper ran an article citing the South as having the highest obesity levels in the nation.

Living in Georgia, I have to say it's nothing to be proud of.

Oh, I know the incredible heat has something to do with obesity. When it gets near 100 degrees, everyone turns into a slug; really, just walking up the driveway to get the mail is an effort.

But do you want to know my theory as to why obesity is so bad? You do? Well then, here it is: obesity is so prevalent because southerners kill their vegetables.

Think about it: tomatoes are stewed; okra is fried; beans are boiled with bacon and fatback (what's fatback? I have absolutely no idea); carrots are glazed with brown sugar; and then collards, cabbage, and spinach are cooked so as to give new meaning to the term "wilted greens".

Basically, things that are naturally non-fattening are now laden with a gazillion calories.

Nobody does biscuits, iced-tea, peach cobbler, and BBQ like a true southerner, and the South's gentile manners are unsurpassed, but those veggies . . .

Anyway, that's just my theory. But what do I know?

13 comments:

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

I think you are on to something there. It always puzzles me how such heavy foods are enjoyed in such a hot climate, though.

Kathryn said...

Oh, I have to disagree, southerners always cooked this way and yet obesity is new, granted higher in the south but still new. Please tell me there is another reason!!!

Bia said...

Kathryn- You have a point. Maybe it's the portion sizes, although that's a problem all over the country.

For example, two weeks ago I was running errands and decided to stop at the Checker's drive-thru for a diet coke. When I pulled up to the window they handed me a bucket. I kid you not...a bucket. After double checking, they reassured me that it was indeed the small size (what, is the large size served in a bathtub??!!). I knew if I drank that entire diet coke I may as well set up a tent in the bathroom because that's where I was going to be for the next 12 hours.

Oh, well. Good to hear from you...hope you're having a wonderful summer!!

Laura said...

I have NO room to talk- as I constantly battle 15 extra pounds....BUT- I have wondered about the limp dark green beans that I often see served with southern meals.
It's a curious cuisine.
But, your also right about the hospitality. We Washingtonians could learn so very much from the ways of the people south of the Mason/Dixon line.

:o) mg said...

4 words:
high fructose corn syrup

Look it up, it's in all your "favorites". The only thing it isn't in is stuff you make at home, whether you put fatback (yeah, I don't think I WANT to know) in your green beans or cook your collards to death, at least those four nasty little words aren't present.
Oh, and by the way, I am now craving peach cobbler, thanks a lot. LOL

GrandmaK said...

I get the slug part...Here in IN we get very "sluggish" in the heat/humidity. If more would just eat the veggies and not so much carbs imagine that would help too...But I really think the slug has a lot to do with it too. So to you from H/H IN I say have a good day!! Cathy

Lisa said...

You are SO onto something! This is exactly the way I grew up eating veges. I didn't know what a green bean tasted like without its being stewed in fatback 'til I was good and grown up. And, it's true... Most of my southern relatives struggle with weight issues. And I continue to do so, too. But, I gotta admit, though they are SO not-good-for-ya, and I DO like crisply cooked veges, too, I do have a soft place in my heart for those limp beans and collards. And sweet tea, and biscuits and pie, etc... It's comfort food, for sure. I wonder if part of the beautiful southern hospitality doesn't have something to do with the whole concept of comfort and food, too...

Karen said...

That's a very good point. What Southerner is famous for their fresh green beans?

Cheryl Lage said...

Here's an even worse confession: My Mamaw and Babby (grandmother and great-grandmother, respectively) in addition to making (assassinating?) vegetables in the methods you've described also would prepare "simlins" (summer squash) LADEN with butter and brown sugar, as well as sides (passed off as vegetables) of spoonbread and corn pudding.

Not sure that they're the culprit of the obesity epidemic, but those things certainly don't help.

Mmmm, but thinking of Babby does make me want to whip up a batch of bourbon balls....

(Thanks for stopping by my blog, Bia! LOVE yours! Adding you to my roll!)

Wani said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Yours is great! Have an awesome day!

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

I think you are EXACTLY right. I had never met a green bean I didn't like until I visited my in-laws in Tennessee and met some green beans slathered in bacon fat and butter. Blech!

E said...

And that don't forget that disgusting plastic cheese food Velveeta on the brocolli

Soutenus said...

mg -- you hit the nail on the head.
High Fructose Corn Syrup

But, now I am craving brussel sprouts cooked with bacon. . . go figure!