We all know about the so-called “four food groups” of grains, fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy, yeah?
But granted you have the ability to count, or at the very least aren’t a thalidomide baby, you could figure out using the fingers of just one hand that there are actually five
categories in that list provided by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The reason for this is twofold. First – and this is a little-known secret – the staff of the USDA actually is
wholly made up of thalidomide babies who can’t count worth a damn, which is why they want you to eat, like, 12 servings of grains every day and drink two gallons of milk.
Second, there are far more than just the “four” food groups pushed on us by The Man, though most of these have been lost to the sands of time.
See, the USDA first began issuing periodic food guides in 1916. These would explain what Americans should eat so they could remain strong enough to fend off the ever-growing menace of the Bolsheviks, or whatever was threatening our way of life at any particular moment.
As political dissidents changed with the times, so did the guide. By 1934, Americans were urged to eat up to four government bonds per half-hour
, in addition to the regular fruits, grains, scrap metal, coal dust, and other items necessary to fight “Jerry” (as the propagandist literature of the time had labeled Ba’athist France).
The guide reached its zenith in 1956, when the USDA consolidated nationally and regionally accepted food groups, which it then broke down into the “basic” and “advanced” categories.
The “four basic food groups” are all almost any of us remember, as the term was later amended to simply “the four food groups.”
The other 13 groups in the “advanced” category were all but forgotten, like that other guy from Wham!
But one – Legumes – recently made its way back into the fold during a 1991 revision of the guide, giving hope to “advanced” food enthusiasts such as myself.
To recap, or for those simply unfamiliar with the remaining 12, they are:
Pickles, Candy, Coffee, Alcohol, Smoke, Plastics, Cocaine, Government Bonds, Cephalopods, Glass, Ink, and so-called “Crumbs.” (This last refers to Bose-Einstein particles absorbed through the skin, which aren’t technical a type of “food” in the strictest sense, but were thought at one point in the stupider parts of country to “put hair on yer chest.”)
It’s important to note that many of these were abandoned or forgotten with good reason – government bonds aren’t cheap, after all. But with our nation threatened by terrorists as never before, perhaps it is time to revisit the olden days, when men drank ink and pickled rabbits feet were consumed daily for good luck in our war against "The Reds."
And though I and others of my ilk feel a good many of these foods could – nay, should
– one day rejoin their brothers in the "basic" food quadrangle, we also understand some consumer precautions need to be taken and information must be made available to the public.
For while a strict diet of cocaine might have helped plant the seeds of modern psychiatry in the mind of Sigmund Freud, no one today would dispute that some of the other foodstuffs mentioned here could have adverse effects if consumed in too great quantities. Remember, these are called "advanced" for a reason!
Eating too much candy, for instance, can cause this reaction:
While too much smoke produces something akin to this:
And, of course, it’s up to you how many cephalopods you enjoy on a daily basis, but keep in mind the end results could be devastating:
But don't despair America. By building upon a mastery of the basic food groups - and with a little luck - you too will eventually be able to find the balance in these advanced groups that best suits you. Why, just look at what they've done for me: