Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Therapy Session with Dr. Sigmund Food

"Guy Trouble" (#2 in the Sigmund Food series. Read the first.)

Dr. Food: Vhat brings you to my couch today?

Lentil Breakdown: It's Dean. I thought we were the perfect couple. I’m cheap. He’s easy. People said he was good for me. Even though he’s kind of scrawny and not the best-smelling guy, I eventually had feelings for him. And just when I was finally making a relationship work, now I think he's toxic and am wondering if I should dump him.

Dr. Food: Zair are plenty of other fish in za sea. Vhat's so special about Dean?

Lentil Breakdown: Sardine is one of the best guys out there, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch. And he’s a nutritional rock star.

Dr. Food: So is Meat Loaf. I don't see you eating him!

Lentil Breakdown: But Dean is chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids. He may be a wild type from California, but Dean is low-maintenance and there for me at a moment's notice. He's not like Meat Loaf who always needs to be coddled and sauced. Since Dean reproduces so much, he’s sustainable. I don't even mind that he sleeps around. After all, he is a rock star. And even though he rocks, he’s not into heavy metals. That’s because Dean’s life span is short, so he doesn't accumulate a lot of toxins—or so I thought. But recently, millions of dead sardines were washed up in Redondo Beach, like a floating holocaust in the Pacific. The media said the cause was oxygen deprivation, but then scientists found a toxin in the dead sardines.

Dr. Food: Zair are plenty of other fish in za sea. Vhat about Mac?

Lentil Breakdown: Mackerel were washed up with the sardines, along with dead anchovies and striped bass—all toxic like Dean.

Dr. Food: Vhat about Hal? Vith his firm flesh, I bet he's svimmin' in vimmin!

Lentil Breakdown: It's true. Women find Halibut a sexy guy with that roving flounder eye. Maybe that's why on the East Coast, they used Hal up like a cheap gigolo. Now he’s spent and Atlantic Halibut is down and out. And I'm worried that Pacific Halibut—the good Hal—is full of plastic. Maybe it's from being so close to Hollywood. I don’t know. But since he’s a bottom dweller (also from being close to Hollywood), he eats everything that floats to the bottom of the ocean. Researchers found more than a third of the fish they tested had plastic in their stomachs. Fish ingest plastic litter that breaks down into tiny pieces from the pounding waves and sun. It used to be that just big fish like Hal ingested plastic, but now they’re finding it in a lot of the small guys too. So when we eat fish, there’s a good chance we’re eating plastic.

Dr. Food: Vhat about Sal? Now he’s a popular guy!

Lentil Breakdown: Did you know that the first genetically modified Salmon may soon be approved by the FDA? It’s the first GMO animal designed by the biotech industry for human consumption! The FDA’s own studies show that the new Sal is less nutritious, may trigger allergens, requires more antibiotics, has a higher rate of deformities and contains elevated levels of a cancer-promoting hormone. This ocean factory-farmed Sal not only threatens human health, but wild salmon populations, marine life and fishing economies. And the FDA doesn’t even want to label this Frankenfish as GMO to consumers! Doc, why do we need to fabricate a fish anyway? It’s as if mad scientists invented a gene to make every man look like George Clooney so every woman could have a piece of him.

Dr. Food: You mean Sal vill look like George Clooney?

Lentil Breakdown: Yeah, but pinker.

Dr. Food: I’ve seen some of your boyfriends. Vhat are you complaining about?

Lentil Breakdown: It’s not natural! If every Sal looks like George Clooney, then George Clooney won’t even want to look like George Clooney anymore! Doc, I’m depressed. I'm running out of guys to hook up with!

Dr. Food: Didn't you like a Cajun boy down South?

Lentil Breakdown: I did love a po’ boy once. Even though he was po’, he was rich in flavor. But deep-fried shrimp, oysters, crawfish and catfish swimming in BP oil? Now I don’t trust that boy’s Gulf region. I’ve heard about his crabs!

Dr. Food: Vhat about a Japanese guy? You always look radiant after a leetle roll in za seaweed.

Lentil Breakdown: But now after a sushi roll, I’ll look radioactive! I’m sickened to think about the radiation seeping into the Japanese food and water supply from those nuclear reactors. And they're still exporting fish to the U.S. because our government says it’s safe. Isn’t it the same government that said Agent Orange was safe?

Dr. Food: Vell, you've rejected Dean, Mac, Hal, Sal, a po’ Cajun boy and a Japanese guy. I see vee are running out of fish in za sea!

Lentil Breakdown: But doc, it's not me—it's them! Between the chemicals, pollution, plastics, overfishing, Frankenfish, an oil spill and a nuclear meltdown, how am I supposed to have a relationship? Is any fish really sustainable now when our oceans are sick? Should I just resign myself to a lonely life of aquatic celibacy? I could always fantasize about Free Willy and Moby Dick in a dark dining room. But who wants to be master of your dinner domain when you could have a hot dish like Hal or Sal, live in the flesh? Is my ambivalence a sign of weakness or is it nuanced intellectual thought?

Dr. Food: Could you repeat zat last paragraph? I must've dozed off.

Lentil Breakdown: What am I paying you for?

Dr. Food: Zis accent! Zees z’s don’t grow on trees! And I’m cute.

Lentil Breakdown: I said should I give up my flexitarian diet, which includes occasional meat and seafood, and become a real vegetarian once and for all?

Dr. Food: Lady, stop your vhining! Either shit or get off the crockpot! Our time is almost up!

Lentil Breakdown: I can't decide right now on this couch. Breaking up is hard to do!

Dr. Food: Zen let's milk it for a few more years. See you next veek. Cha-ching!

Related Links:
My Therapy Session with Doctor Sigmund Food (#3: "The Intervention")
What's Your Diet I.D.?


  1. I love Dr. Food and zee accent!! I also love Dene, and Sal (unmodified, thank you!!), and even some Mac... *sigh*

  2. Very very cute...

    I agree with you, it can be quite overwhelming..

    I just drink more wine and then try to forget about

    Just kidding..I try to eat local, buy from farmer's markets, grow a garden....

    you just do what you can and don't worry about the rest...

  3. Okay we gotta find you a new aquarium! GREG

  4. Get rid of those guys and buy a container of protein powder. Non-GMO and organic, of course.

  5. Two words: Charley the Tuna. OK, three words.

  6. EEEEEEEEK!!!! NOTHING IS SAFE TO EAT!!!! AAAAAarrrgghhhh!!! Waaaaaaah!!!

    Tuna is big, gets old, and thus has mercury. I was JUST CONSIDERING trying sardines for the first time in years, for the Omega 3.


  7. I thoroughly enjoyed this post although I think you can safely eat sardines!!!!! You are truly a gifted and talented writer. Can't wait for the next "session!!"

  8. Nicely done! The whole issue is so disturbing. You will probably be horrified to know that when I was in New Orleans a few weeks ago I ate local seafood almost every day, all of which was probably BP-contaminated. But it was delicious :)

  9. You are too funny and too talented! This column should be published in the Washington Post or something!