- Food and Cooking
Toilet Visits Made Easy
It's Anti-Social to Discuss Toilet Visits
Everything has a beginning and an end, an entry and exit point, a birth and a death, but that seems to be missing in the millions of blogs, books and videos about food.
Food provides fuel for the body and nourishes it in various ways. Once the mission is accomplished, it leaves the body as waste. We then visit the toilet for relief.
Pigeons, cows, dogs, elephants and most animals do it freely, out in the open with no fear of a public outcry. It is a different matter for human beings. Waste management is done in private and is governed by social, cultural and even religious norms.
In countries like South Africa, international airports and cinemas have washroom facilities for certain religious groups.
These factors make us shy away from discussing what happens in the toilet after having eaten certain food. It’s private and confidential. It is only headline news when diseases like cholera affect communities after drinking bad water.
Eating should be seen in totality. Information about the amount of calories, fat, sodium or nutritional value is important, but the ease or difficulty of the exit option is also pertinent.
It has not always been like that. How we remove waste from the body was swept under the carpet when food became a science, a middle class pastime, with the ever present calculator of counting everything on the plate.
There are millions of people around the world who don’t push supermarket trolleys to buy food. They go to forests, rivers, oceans and backyards to find something to eat. You call them uneducated but they know their land and plants, herbs and grains that make it easier in the washroom.
Parents, especially mothers in cities all over the world, mostly work with limited budgets to feed a family of four, eight or more. They want food they will ‘stretch’ to feed everybody. They might not have the luxury of brown rice all the time, so they prefer a 10 kg bag of white rice.
Parents in rural areas have a better choice, especially if they grow their own crops. They know the nutritional value of certain plants and how they come out in the washroom.
For example, I learnt about Senna leaves the hard way. I couldn’t attend a family wedding because of a running stomach. My aunt Natalie asked me what I ate.
I showed her the tea I had made from her wide collection. She laughed and told me about Senna leaves and how they are a first class plane ride to the toilet.
Feeding Big Families in Cities is Expensive
Old school porridge. Parents in cities want their kids to eat more oatmeal, wheat porridge and other hot meals for breakfast. Most kids want something else, preferably something that comes out of a box. It is their reality. They see ‘happy’ kids on television eating cornflakes and pop tarts.
Peas. Mothers cooking for big families or extended families in cities can buy frozen peas to throw in fruit salads, soups or stews. There are also many vegetarian dishes based on peas.
You also don't need salt because they are sweet. Peas have a nice bright colour, are very cheap if you buy them in bulk, make a meal to ‘stretch’ and make toilet visits easier.
Beans. My grandmother used to harvest beans. I'll sit under a tree and sort them with her. I hated visiting her because it meant working the land, producing food. What a fool i was! Anyway beans are good for you and the toilet.
Corn. Kids that grow up in farms where corn is in abundance have healthy teeth and don’t sweat when they visit the toilet, because corn is a snack.
Parents in cities don’t have that luxury, but they can eat as much corn as they want during the summer, when supermarkets sell it in bundles, maybe four for $2. It is much more expensive in winter.
Cornmeal. It has different names. It depends on where you are in the world. They call it polenta in Italy. Down south in the U.S. kids used to eat hot ‘grits’ laced with milk for breakfast, before the cereal box. We don’t know if that is still the case.
Mama hated bread, claimed it was not food. She said I gave her kids bread because I was too lazy to cook. It’s tough being the first born in any family. I couldn't say, 'Mama, I'm also your daughter.' I didn't want a certain part of my body whipped.
In most cities, bread is on the table three times a day, even four, if kids have bread in their lunchboxes. The ideal bread would be whole grain because it will make toilet visits smoother.
However, that is not possible in large families because a loaf of bread with 12 grains costs around $3.50, depending on the supermarket, city or country. Mothers have a difficult choice. Buy two loaves with that money or the whole grain bread?
What we eat is determined by money in the bank, class, culture, religion and whether we live in a city, farm or along the sea, but one thing is for sure, we all end up in the toilet.
Going to the washroom in public places is quite a revelation because you don’t know why the person in the next cubicle is groaning.
It is probably what they ate that is the problem. It also happens at home when I have to push and push then I remember what I ate the previous day.
It’s nice to have a treat from time to time when there’s extra money or the sun is shining, but what will happen in the toilet afterwards should determine what we eat.
Anyone for pizza or smoked ribs?