Mighty good eatin’ anytime

In recent years I’ve found that my physician has become increasingly strident in his demands that I consume more green leafy vegetables as part of my daily dietary regimen.

For some reason, he seems to think that my fighting weight of 230 pounds at 5-feet, 10-inches tall is, er, somewhat excessive. Poppycock and, I might add, harrrummmph…

I tried to placate the good doctor by eating an occasional salad or periodically popping a brussels sprout, but I soon discovered that vegetables have become increasingly risky to consume. Unfortunately for me and many of my fuller-figured friends, this whole green, leafy vegetable routine became significantly more difficult to follow during the past year when vegetable after vegetable fell victim to E. coli and salmonella.

True, if you consume foodstuffs contaminated with either of these bacteria, you’re sure to shed pounds. It’s the vomiting, dehydration and death that make them unattractive to most of us wannabe health food fanatics.Thus I was pleased to learn that the federal government recently announced plans to more carefully monitor both commercial fruits and vegetables as well as meat products. Hey, I guess we all know that if the U.S. government gets involved, we’re going to see positive action in a hurry.

Until this health-conscious federal task force actually gets under way, however, a lot of us are going to be feeling a little uneasy about what we place on our dinner plates.

What to do? What to do?

I was thinking about adopting a strict diet of extremely well boiled rice and soda crackers dipped in a diluted Lysol solution when I heard words of hope during a CBS news broadcast when an expert declared that the safest processed meat one could consume was probably smoked canned ham eaten right out of the can immediately after opening.

Now that’s what I call healthy and convenient.

Think about it, amigos. All you need is a can opener and a Buck knife to enjoy the healthy bounty of smoked American pork without a care in the world. Canned ham: Fast, convenient, appetizing and it probably won’t kill you or leave you semi-conscious in some strange restroom.

The next time my well-meaning physician begins to yammer at me about eating healthier, all I’ll have to do is reach into my jacket and produce a gleaming, life-giving can of smoked ham.

Mighty good eatin’ anytime…

And canned ham is so versatile. It can be eaten with the Buck knife alone, or consumed with the assistance of a gourmet gadget called a fork. For a real treat, foodies can turn up the excitement with a splash of Tabasco sauce, or walk on the wild side with a squiggle of bright yellow mustard from one of those handy squeezer bottles.

Light up a can of Sterno, pop a Yanni cassette into your dining room tape deck, drape a Harley-Davidson neckerchief over your shirtfront and you’re ready for a romantic evening at home, content in the knowledge that you probably won’t die from the after-effects of your sumptuous repast.

I know some of you militant vegans may be gnashing your teeth right about now, but as for me, I’ll take my canned ham. You take your chances …

Originally published March 18, 2007