640 Food

It’s not just for breakfast anymore

(Well, actually, it is. For the time being, anyway.)

There I go again, saying I’d abandon the Dewey (R) System and then going ahead and using it anyway. Like I said, the number of hits on this blog is anemic; today, just by accident, I may have found at least one reason why, other than the blog’s having no coherent theme and the likelihood of its being off-putting in polite company. Reason number three: it seems that anyone using a PC without a high-powered microscope probably can’t see the little gewgaws on the right-hand side, the bits and bobs that are so very important to my work here. And, oh, yeah, reason no. 4: this blog is all about me, and as I’m learning more and more, it ain’t all about you.

Be that as it my, I’m asking you all for a favor. I would love to speak with anyone who has any knowledge whatsoever of the origins of the federal School Breakfast Program. By anyone, I mean anyone. Even if you happened to be watering the plants or washing the windows and overheard something when federal officials blew through your town back in the early 1960s and asked all the local city, town or school officials whether students were getting anything to eat for breakfast, please let me know.

I’m doing a research project (full disclosure: it’s with my dad, who used to work for the Agriculture Department) on the School Breakfast Program and a whole passel of other federal child nutrition programs. It’s not a big, dark, secret, Deep-Throat-meets-Michael-Moore type of thing. We’d just like to know how the program got started, who was there when they started it, what research they did, especially in the field, to support getting the federal government involved in school breakfast. I have a whole big  list of other questions I still haven’t finished writing yet. We’d like to know how many sites they visited and who they brought with them.  Respond to me here and I’ll figure out how to get in touch with you without getting all the spammers involved.


John Leonard

Today’s post will be a short one. This bully story comes from the good folks at, a site that has helped me get my head together from time to time. I won’t give too much away, other than that I think the “nut quote” comes almost at the end of the story: “Turning 18 is not a magical age when you leave all of these experiences behind. People do seem to carry these experiences with them.”

My next bully story will involve…apples….

Prevention Magazine Editors. The Complete Book of Vitamins. Emmaus, Pa: Rodale Press. 1984.

p. 62 – Nicotine increases the production of blood platelets and platelet aggregation, which may trigger the formation of arterial blood clots leading to atherosclerosis. Daily doses of vitamin E decrease platelet aggregation. At a level of 1,800 IU, platelet aggregation is reduced by half; however, at this level, blood absorption of vitamin E is also cut off.

p. 63 – The attraction between hemoglobin and carbon monoxide (CO) is 200 times greater than that between hemoglobin and oxygen. Thus, when CO enters the bloodstream, cells are deprived of oxygen and instead are poisoned with CO.

In the Journal of Orthomolecular Psychiatry, Dr. Irwin Stone explains that vitamin C detoxifies the carcinogenic substance benzpyrene in the liver by hydroxylation, the process of raising the content of a chemical compound, rendering it harmless.

p. 64 – Dr. Stone then cites studies that show that vitamin C detoxifies CO, arsenic and cyanide; “vitamin C is a wide-spectrum detoxicant.”

p. 65 – “The findings must be ‘further evaluated’ before they can be extrapolated for human use.”

p. 66 – hazards of nutritional therapy:

  • Self-diagnosis may be overemphasized instead of competent professional advice being sought.
  • Certain nutrients have the ability to change the results of some diagnostic laboratory test.
  • Some nutrients can have harmful effects of their own.

p. 69 – If you take large amounts of carotene, your skin may turn orange.

p. 73 – 300 mg/d of vitamin C can kill e. coli bacteria, the most common cause of urinary tract infections

Magnesium can reduce kidney stones.

p. 80 – aspirin does not prevent heart attacks

p. 88 – large doses of vitamin A reverse night blindness

p. 89 – in patients suffering from Crohn’s disease, vitamin A returns bowel functions to normal

p. 97 – symptoms of heavy menstruation can be alleviated with vitamin supplements

Among the many side benefits of the insomnia and shallow sleep I have had pretty much my whole life, I would rank the freaky dreams I have when I’m wide-eyed or semi-conscious pretty close to the top. I’ve gotten a couple stories that I like out of these hallucinatory episodes, and since the sleepless nights don’t look like they’re going anywhere, I might as well get something useful out of the experience. Below are two sketches I scribbled down as soon as I got out of bed recently:


Some sort of family piece

When I was growing up, my parents told me everything. Then my sisters told me everything. Then my grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles – they told me everything, too. My girlfriends, such as they were, I suppose told me what they must have thought I wanted to hear. My friends, bless their hearts, they at least were straight with me. Spock-like, they always said “everything we’re going to tell you is a lie.” My wife seems to be on the up-and-up.

So now, after having been told everything all my life, I’m out on this enormous ranch in the Palouse, wandering through an enormous barn I’ve never seen before, talking to an enormous cousin I barely know, trying to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. Wish me luck.


In the tradition of The Brothers McMullen, We Were the Mulvaneys and all those other stupid Irish-American family sagas, comes The Corbetts of Ocean Township, complete with

1) sappy Irish music, including that damn tin whistle
2) a daffy mom
3) ghosts, and the daffy daughter who thinks she sees them
4) five more daughters, plus six sons and a dad who’s just kind of there
5) a Dark Family Secret (maybe that they’re really Scottish or something)
6) Johnny Rotten
7) Shane McGowan
8) U2
9) Thin Lizzy (maybe Phil Lynott will be a ghost)
10) Bernardo O’Higgins (maybe he’ll be another ghost)

Okay, The Brothers McMullen and We Were the Mulvaneys are actually pretty good. I’m just punchy from lack of sleep.