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Food Safety Spoofs 

In his daily work, Carl Winter, PhD. deals with some pretty serious stuff: toxicology, food borne illnesses, and more. He has testified before Congress about pesticide safety and written papers with titles such as "Characterization of epoxide hydrolase activity in Alternaria alternataf. sp. lycopersici. Possible involvement in toxin production-Epoxidehydrolase in alternaria alternata f. sp. lycopersici." Huh?

But from the looks of it, Winter has a fun side, too. UC Davis, where Winter works, hosts a webpage filled with his parodies about food safety. These have titles like "Don't Get Sicky Wit It" [to the tune of Will Smith's "Gettin' Jiggy With It"] and "Clonin' DNA" [to the tune of the Beach Boys "Surfin' U.S.A."]. Although he uses to much jargon in a few of them, some are pretty funny. And it's kind of neat that he plumbs a variety of genres.

Here are some excerpts:

Still Seems Like Food To Me [Billy Joel's "It's Still Rock 'n' Roll to me]

What's the matter with the food I'm eating
Are you worried that it's modified?
Maybe I should buy my food organic
Till these high-tech fears subside
Inside I tell ya that I'm not so worried honey
Even if Monsanto's makin' lots of money
Roundup ready soy beans
BST and fish genes
It still seems like food to me...

U.S.D.A [Village People, "YMCA"]

People, there’s no need to despair
If you’re worried ‘bout your food, land, and air
I can tell you, there are people who care
There’s no need to be unhappy

People, there’s a place you can go
Where there’s research on how to make your plants grow
And some programs that pay the growers some dough
Even when they don’t plant nothing

It’s fun to work with the U.S.D.A.
It’s fun to work with the U.S.D.A.
They are everything 
An agency can be
They look out for you and me...

I Will Survive [Gloria Gaynor, "I Will Survive"]

I'd listen to the news and I'd be petrified
Another foodborne outbreak, I'd be all torn up inside
But then I spent so many  nights
Worried about what I just ate
Could I be next?
Did I have poisons on my plate?

But now I'm back
From cyberspace
Determined that I won't become a foodborne illness case
I've learned some simple steps
To keep my food all safe for me
And if you do the same
You'll raise your life expectancy

I've got a sign
On my fridge door
Sayin' go away bacteria
Cause you're not welcome anymore
Listeria don't scare me nor does that nasty E. coli
Hey Salmonella?
Did you think I'd lay down and die?

Oh no, not I
I will survive
Oh as long as I am careful with my food I'll stay alive
Cause I've got all my safety plans
I disinfect and wash my hands
And I'll survive, I will survive
Hey, hey...

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About The Author

Suzanne Podhaizer

Suzanne Podhaizer

Former contributor Suzanne Podhaizer is an award-winning food writer (and the first Seven Days food editor) as well as a chef, farmer, and food-systems consultant. She has given talks at the Stone Barns Center for Agriculture's "Poultry School" and its flagship "Young Farmers' Conference." She can slaughter a... more


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