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copyright 2007, La Tigresa 

“In many supermarkets, a sign is posted, usually near the seafood section, warning consumers — especially pregnant women and children — about the dangers of eating fish that contain mercury.” --Seattle Times, Feb 9, 2006 


      Inspector Polenta Crouton of the Food Police here. Yeah, I know, the name’s corny.  Comes with the territory. But get a load of my partner: Lieutenant Velveeta Camembert.  And if you’re thinking, “just another cheesy dame” -- think again, buster.  Nobody messes with Polenta and Velveeta twice.

      Being on the Food Police used to be a piece of cake, you should pardon the expression. Somebody served red wine with fish; we slapped ‘em on the wrist. Nowadays the fish themselves are dangerous. A tuna fish sandwich in the hands of a seven-year-old becomes a lethal weapon.

      “Step away from the refrigerator. Put the sandwich down carefully, Tiffany --- that’s right…”

      Used to be a homicidal housewife pulled a casserole of arsenic-laced “tuna surprise” on a philandering hubby once or twice a year. Now, the arsenic is no longer required.

      Awright…. so I’m exaggerating a bit. Tuna doesn’t really kill you outright. It just gives you mercury poisoning, which causes brain damage. But hey -- brainpower is over-rated, right?  Who needs brains?


      Thing is, tuna, especially canned albacore, is now so full of mercury that pregnant women are advised to avoid it. That salad Nicoise at the baby shower could lead to a brain-damaged bundle of joy.

      And kids who’ve been packing tuna sandwiches in their lunchboxes on a regular basis are showing up in doctors’ offices with big-time problems. Some can’t read. Some can barely speak in complete sentences. Their IQ’s dribble away like ice cream in the Texas sun.

      Which brings us to the “Tuna Noodle Conspiracy” theory.  Allegedly, the son of a former President of the United States was kidnapped by food terrorists and fed tuna noodle casserole until his brain turned to mush. Then, through a rigged election, he was put into power as the puppet of special interests.

      Even Velveeta thought this theory was too cheesy to be true, but now…

      “The United States has behaved just as it has on Kyoto, twice blocking the European Union’s efforts to draw up a binding international treaty to curb mercury emissions.”--LA Weekly, Feb 15, 2006 

        Are we cooking on all burners here?  “Global warming” is not a new way to heat leftovers. Mercury is not the new tartar sauce. Flaky piecrusts are good.  Flaky science is not.

      Now, I’m one tough cookie, but this conspiracy stuff scares me worse than a tofu milkshake in an unmarked briefcase.  Believe me, it’s not all doughnuts and java on the food beat any more.

      Used to be a crime to eat tuna because dolphins got caught in the nets.  Remember Flipper? Even Charlie Tuna put on the brakes to save that lovable marine mammal’s mug.

      That was then. This is now. And these days it’s not even considered a misdemeanor to dumb down an entire generation.

      But that’s the way the croissant crumbles, here on The Food Police.

      This is Inspector Polenta Crouton, signing off. Before I go, though, I’d like to serve you with a slice of advice -- those of you who eat food, that is. (If you subsist on cappuccino and vitamin supplements you’re out of our jurisdiction.)

      But if you’re one of the brave ones, valiantly trying to feed your family on the alleged “food items” found in stores and restaurants, heed this warning:

      It’s a jungle out there. If something smells fishy, it probably is. Don’t swallow everything the spin doctors try to force down your throat. Don’t buy the sugarcoated cover-ups. Get the facts. Chew them over and decide for yourself.

      Good luck; and good lunch. Hold the mayo, and do yourself a favor, kid – hold the tuna as well. This is Inspector Polenta Crouton of the Food Police, over and out.

      It’s a free country. You can eat what you want.  But poison on toast? 

      Dumb, da dumb, dumb….dumb!!!