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COUNTY AGENT GUY

By Staff | Nov 6, 2015

The WHO recently decreed that eating smoked or cured meat can be harmful to your health. Well, I think the WHO is full of baloney.

I’m not talking about the epic rock band The Who, the group that recorded a hit song which had lyrics that consisted almost entirely of “Who are you? Who, who, who, who?”

The WHO entity that came out against meat is the one that consists of Wonks, Hacks and Oddballs. This opinion isn’t based on knowing any members of WHO, but mainly due to their dunderheaded ideas regarding what we should avoid.

For instance, the list of stuff the World Health Organization says is bad for us includes such things as sunshine, beer, shoe repair and being a painter.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t care to languish in a sunless cave while gnawing on rutabagas and wearing tattered shoes, unable to cheer things up with a fresh coat of paint or even a cold brewski.

I’m surprised that the WHO didn’t add dihydrogen monoxide onto its list of deadly substances. DHMO is a corrosive chemical that’s injected – without our knowledge or consent – into many of the food products we consume daily.

This despite the fact that DHMO has been implicated in thousands upon thousands of deaths and has been known to cause such calamites as widespread crop failures.

Numerous scientific investigations have proven beyond a doubt that crystal DHMO (its street name is “ice”) was directly responsible for the sinking of the Titanic.

But the WHO folks don’t seem to care about such things. It seems they would rather sit in their ivory tower and murmur “Let them eat kale.”

When you think about it, consuming meat is actually a form of vegetarianism, with smoked meats atop the veggie apogee.

The animals we dine upon did all the hard work of digesting and concentrating our vegetables for us.

And by soaking the meat in wood smoke, we are simply adding an additional layer of plant-based deliciousness.

Don’t even talk to me about those so-called meat substitutes. No one has ever said, “Wow, this broccoli tastes way better than barbecued pork,” or “A ribeye could only wish it was be as scrumptious as this tofu.”

My wife and I happened to motor through Nicollet, Minnesota a few days after the WHO report hit the news.

As we tooled around the town of 1,100 our olfactory senses drew us inexorably toward a particular building, a sprawling structure that’s the home of Schmidt’s Meat Market.

As soon as we clambered out of the car, the wondrous aroma of hardwood smoke grabbed us by our noses and pulled us into the butcher shop.

It smelled so good inside of Schmidt’s, water began to run from my mouth and my eyes. We had discovered a meat-lover’s Mecca.

Refrigerated cases of meat lined the walls. There were scores of summer sausages, bevies of brats, worlds of wieners, and bacon cured with raspberry and chipotle.

It was a carnivore’s dream and a vegan’s nightmare.

Even though it was the midst of a Tuesday afternoon, there was a line of customers at the counter. After we had selected a basket full of sausage and bacon and brats, a nice white-haired checkout lady placed our purchases in a brown paper bag.

Later, at home, I scrunched the paper sack against my face and inhaled its smoky perfume like a caffeine addict who had stumbled across a coffee roastery.

I spoke with Ryan Schmidt, owner of Schmidt’s Meat Market. I asked him if the WHO pronouncement had had any effect on his business.

“No, none at all,” he replied. “I think that many such things are agenda-driven.

“There are a lot of positive attributes of meat that are never mentioned in those reports. For instance, meat is a good source of B vitamins and other hard-to-get nutrients.”

Not to mention deliciousness.

How long have you folks been here?

“My grandparents Gerhardt and Esther Schmidt purchased this place nearly 70 years ago, when it was just a small, one-man butcher shop. I’m the third generation of Schmidts to own the business.”

What’s the secret to producing such delectable meats?

“Ours is a traditional type of smokehouse and burn whole pieces of wood. Some of our recipes originated with Grandpa Gerhardt. We didn’t have to relearn the old German-style methods of meat processing because we never quit using them.”

Would it be O.K. to eat your bacon at every meal?

“Everything in moderation,” replied Ryan with a smile.

Perhaps the WHO would change its collective minds if it came to Nicollet on a fact-finding mission.

Especially if it sampled the German beer summer sausage.

Nelson is a freelance writer from Volga, S.D. Reach him by e-mail at jjpcnels@itctel.com.

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