I’m not sure why or how the old saying “it ain’t worth a hill of beans” came about, but I’m pretty confident it had something to do with beans being cheap.
That being said, a new Austrailian study regarding the eating habits of college kids — which attacked the beloved beans of my childhood — isn’t worth a plugged nickel.
Titled “Killer Ramen: College students who eat cheap instant foods are at risk for chronic diseases,” it was brought to my attention via a story in the Daily News by Rosemary Black.
Now, 40 years ago, we didn’t have Ramen Noodles. We had Lipton Chicken Noodle Soup. My mom would make a box and add some extra noodles (because the flavor packet of chicken fat, (schmaltz), was enough for a pound of noodles, not the teaspoonful that the box contained). She’d throw in a bologna sandwich on Wonder Bread (crust cut off), and that was lunch.
It wasquick and inexpensive Saturday meal or a quick fix when we felt sick and she didn’t have the time to make an entire pot of homemade soup. My brother and I ate it, and guess what?
Granted, it wasn’t a steady diet, but we chowed it down throughout our youth.
We also had Campbell’s baked beans, with hot dogs and french fries of course — also inexpensive alternatives to homemade delicacies.
Well, we’re still alive and kickin’ and, knock on wood, relatively healthy.
Until this day, beans are a favorite food in our house, whether they are Campbell’s, B&M or old fashioned homemade. They’re are a great source of protein and fiber (or so I thought), and, as per that old expression, inexpensive. To top it off, they are easy to make from scratch.
But according to the Aussies, we shouldn’t eat them.
So what did the study suggest that the students substitute — another shrimp on the barbi?
“Students should balance the diet with vegetables and fruits,” it intoned.
But hey, beans are legumes, aren’t they? Isn’t that part of the healthy pyramid of good eating? Less meat, more beans, whole grains, blah, blah. When did beans leave the good list?
Not for nuthin’, college kids are notorious for not having a lot of cash and Ramen Noodles and baked beans are cheap. Oranges and endives? Not so much.
Here’s what I propose: let the big chains, Mickey Dees and Burger King, come up with a cheap, tasty and healthy alternative, how about introducing a Tofu dollar menu or Sprout McNuggets with a side of Quinoa? Just sayin’.
But what do I know? Maybe my opinion isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.