Popcorn - junk food for body and soul

The other night, my wife, Rocky, found a poem she had written many years ago, after our friend Ken Feit had died in a traffic accident. Ken, who called himself an "itinerant Fool," graced our lives with his many wonderful stories, and his incredibly gentle being. We attended one of his performances in which he used a spoon, a candle, and a kernel of popcorn to demonstrate the art of joyful surprise. It was one of the simplest, most elegant experiences of absolute wonder I have ever witnessed. He just sat there, holding the spoon over the candle, watching the kernel. And somehow, we all were utterly absorbed, waiting, with him, for the magic to happen. And when it did, his face exploded into such sheer delight that we were all transformed into the children we've always been.

OK, I realize this may be a kind of heavy-handed introduction to a story about the world's best junk food. But, well, popcorn is kind of like that. Here's some popcornly kernels of wisdom: "Carelessly, we think of it as 'junk food,' however, popcorn is a thorough-going vegetable which supplies your body with more iron than eggs, peanuts, spinach or roast beef. It contains more phosphorous and fiber than potato chips, ice cream cones or pretzels!"

And this: "Few foods are as old as corn. As far back as 80,000 years, fossil corn pollen was discovered 200 feet below Mexico City, and scholars believe the first use for corn was popped corn. Besides eating it, they used the white "beads" to adorn their bodies. Native Americans held ears of corn over a fire until kernels popped, then they ate it off the cob. Later, they removed kernels, threw them into the fire, then scramble for them as they popped free. This led to heating kernels and sand in clay pots and separating the two. Shallow clay vessels, as broad as eight-feet, have been found in Mexico and South America from as far back as 500 A.D. People from the Pre-Incan society used similar pots as early as 300 A.D. Popping corn has tremendous keeping qualities. Archaeologists tell of a donkey which came upon some thousand-year-old kernels and ate at them. Also, scientists discovered corn this old will still pop."

All of which explains why popcorn is the official recommended Junkyard Sports junk food.

If you want to know more about Ken Feit, Joseph F. Martin has collected some of his stories in his book Foolish Wisdom.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fascinating research on popcorn! I'm going to pop a bag right now.

www.waronjunk.com (turn your speakers on)

Blogger Debu4all said...

very nice !
it is so interesting.


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