The English language is full of pitfalls.



The word “rooster” has come to replace the older word “cock,” meaning “male chicken”; the older (and perfectly respectable) word is now a vulgarism, although it still shows up in contexts like “fighting cocks” and “cock-a-doodle-doo.”



You have to watch your language.



I was putting together a bicycle rack the other day out of the sidewalk. It was fairly straightforward – just simple nuts and bolts. But one of the nuts jumped out of my hand. As I walked back and forth looking for it, our mailman came by. “Looking for something?” he asked.



“Yeah,” I said. “I’m looking for my – um – “ (Now, think about how ridiculous I would have sounded if I’d finished the sentence with the right word. So I was a coward and decided to use the wrong word.) “Bolt,” I said. “I dropped a bolt.”



He pointed at the bolt I’d just put down. “Is that it?”



“Nah,” I said. “Different one. I’m sure I’ll find it. It must be around here somewhere. It probably just rolled away. I’ll just buy a new one.”



Just imagine if I’d used the right word, kids. Just imagine!




Do you not recognize the title of this blog? Well, I’ll tell you what it means: MonoUnsaturated Fatty Acids.



These are found in olives, and olive oil, and avocadoes, and nuts, and a few other places.



MUFAs are good for you. They defeat heart disease, and (some say) even cancer. They are very good for your cholesterol. They even help you control your weight.



MUFAs are the latest recruits in the nutrition wars. Remember “superfoods”? The list keeps growing. Recently, in the Providence Journal, they featured something called “seaberries” (also called “sea buckthorn,” Hippophae). They are said to have a “citrus-like” flavor that’s “somewhat unpleasant.”


But they’re good for you!



Remember goji berries? And acai? Also very unpleasant-tasting. I also find pomegranate juice unpleasant, unless it’s mixed with raspberry or something more palatable. All three of the above – goji, and acai, and unadulterated pomegranate – taste (to me) like dirt laced with motor oil.



But they’re good for you!



My student employee Joshua recently brought in a whole papaya, which he tried to eat. Papayas are a superfood, right? But his papaya (he told me later) was a little unripe: hard and sour. He ended up throwing much of it away.



But they’re good for you!



Here’s the thing about foods with MUFAs: we know them already, and they taste good. I like olives, and olive oil, and avocadoes, and cashews, and walnuts, and peanuts, and dark chocolate.



It’s like the old canard about American moms and French moms: “American moms tell their kids: ‘Eat it! It’s good for you!’ But French moms say: ‘Eat it! It’s good!’”



I’m with the French moms on this one.



Eat more MUFAs. They’re not just good for you; they’re good.


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