February 13, 2016 by Dr. Geyser
Below, you will find some health-directed comments on potluck etiquette. These are based upon medical reasoning rather than a literal re-rendering of scientific facts. Those who would like to supply references from their own reading are encouraged to post them as a comment. I intend to include these within the post itself, with an appropriate attribution to their contributors. If you wish this attribution to be linked to your website, blog, Twitter handle, or whatever, make sure to add whatever URL, blog/page title, and/or username you would like me to include.
Doctor Frank C. Geyser, DVT, OMG, DIC
Nobody likes a party pooper.
In this blog post, I situate the All-American potluck in the framework supplied by the body of the host, as a lens for examining diarrhea and fecal incontinence apart from the panoptic medical gaze represented by the FDA within a semiotic stream of graduate degrees masquerading in the form, rather than the material substance, of an All-American public health (crisis and/or resolution).
Chunk your own meat and veggies. Stir fry is better for the digestion because all of the ingredients are heated together. There is less risk of contamination because the sanitizing effects of heating begin and end at the same time. Serving meat and veggies independent of one another is a good way to promote diarrhea among your guests, family members, and dine-in lovers. If that is what you want, then go ahead and have a pig roast. Go ahead and quarter that chicken. Go ahead and smack that hot dog between her buns.
Serve food when its hot and ready.
Ignore food preferences that are not associated with life-threatening food allergies. Food politics are a common source of diarrhea, since new food fads are ill-conceived from the very beginning. Your guests will be glad you are powerful enough to not to give a shit about vegans, since they cause a lot of diarrhea by imposing their food preferences on others who are already stressed about life as it is.
Eat dinner at the same time every day. Sleep is not the only component of the body’s diurnal rhythm.
Drink Italian soda instead of soda pop, and serve a judicious amount of alcohol. Soda pop contains a lot of salt, which can throw off even the most balanced of meals, leading to GI discomfort and diarrhea. Alcohol slows gastric emptying, thereby prolonging the digestive process. In addition to preventing diarrhea, a bit of wine lowers the guest’s risk of diabetes, and limits the tendency among poorer guests to overeat when they go to parties.
Limit the types of spices, dressings, dips, and spreads served with each meal.
Potlucks are shitty, which means you are shitty, too. Embrace the filth by cooking with the proper techniques, and eating with the proper utensils. At times this means eating off of flimsy paper plates, but usually by this point you might as well forego plates altogether, and just accept the fact that an indeterminate quantity of bacteria will be joining you and your friends during this year’s barbecue season.
Don’t waste trees by pretending that your intestines need to be defended from bacteria, when it is actually your food that is left defenseless wherever paper plates are allowed to conceal the barbarous irresponsibility of mediocre hosts. In the process of diagnosing from subjective symptoms the pathological adaptations of our suburban hosts, the value of applying the rule is slowly revealed, even among those who never claim their a priori right to be called exceptions.
Prepare food in batches. If you are having an ‘open house,’ chances are you only want people to come over to obtain a profit. Let’s face it: graduation parties are about the money one obtains from guests. I really wish I had known that when I graduated, for instance, since then I might have made a profit from that worthless and embarassing endeavor. In any case, it is important not to give your guests diarrhea. You want them to feel full, happy, and rich from the food you serve, not like an empty dehydrated tube on the verge of physiological collapse.
Match carbohydrates and proteins with an appropriate amount of fat and salt. In America, the meaning of a “balanced” diet is taken quite personally, to the point of biochemical absurdity. As the host, be sure to serve a meal that contains a balance of fats, carbs, protein and salt.
The host sets the rhythm of the meal. Make sure to delegate to others those tasks which interfere with your ability to generate a sense of order, since you are the host responsible for putting an end to those communicable forms of gastrointestinal distress which public health officials tend to blame on bacteria. Yet the stress of mealtimes are a health burden that are best managed by the host, whose medical expertise lies in the silent prevention of disease rather than the promotion of a national diagnosis.
Public health propaganda appears to be less unhealthy than the epidemics of diarrhea and fecal incontinence to which it claims to respond. Pathogens, then, are merely the smallest conceivable justification for the mediocre sense of health which these campaigns betray. Let us learn how to speak frankly about our health, rather than miring ourselves in the never-ending toil of maintaining our national pride. Let us call their bluffs, and outbid their reasons, so that we may feast without fear, and consume without reservation, the products of our individual enlightenment.