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Food Fraud

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A Fouled-Up Diet

Too dumb to break mirrors, I allowed vanity to get me on a diet. I denied it was just another "yeah, sure" moment, one more immature effort to get hunky again. I convinced myself it was a calm considered crack at feeling better and getting healthy.

Because I've had some luck with the low-carb thing. I threw away my uninsured anxieties over possible complications, dumped the brown rice, swore off the great (and dirt cheap) big box store chocolate chip cookies, and stocked up on meat and dairy products.

I started losing weight - but it didn't run off in sheets the way it once had. Something wasn't working right. I was only losing a pound or so a week even though I was being a very good boy and keeping myself (I thought) under ten carbs a day. My body just wasn't going into that magical weight loss state of ketosis.

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After about six weeks of this slow and disappointing progress, I decided to drop seven bucks and go for the ketone test strips- an investment in the scientific method.

Sure enough, despite my rigorous adherence to well learned methods, the test results revealed only mild, rather than severe, ketosis.

Where the hell were the carbs coming from? I knew my all-beef franks had one carb apiece - it said so on the label. How could that put me over my limit? The chop meat, other beef, chickens, chicken thighs, and pork products all listed zero carbs on the label.

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My first impulse was to blame modern technology. It must be the test strips.Whadda waste of money! Just to be sure, I returned to the two big boxes where I save on food, and diligently re-read all the small info labels. Except for the franks, everything else was zero, zero, and zero. The cream in my coffee? Zero. The cheeses for the burgers? Less than one gram!

By this time, a couple of months had gone by. I was sick to my stomach of bacon and eggs and chicken thighs, and had only lost around ten pounds. Then one day, instead of reading the analysis on the little labels, I finally noticed something that was right in front of me on my roaster chicken. It said "contains fifteen percent water". How had I missed that? The fine print went on to redefine water as broth, a clue as to what might comprise mystery liquid.

It wasn't just the chicken. On every product with a global price point, the meat was watered. One Tyson pork loin admitted it was thirty percent water.

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