The 90’s, episode 304: You Are What You Eat

Episode 304 of the award winning series, The 90’s. This episode is called “YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT” and features the following segments:

0:15Copy video clip URL “Islander Restaurant” by Eddie Becker and Danese Seals. Addie Green, owner and chef of the Islander says, “You are what you eat. If you eat like a swine, you’ll act like a swine.”

1:08Copy video clip URL “Cape May” by Maxi Cohen. Senior citizens on a beach list the foods they’ve been eating while on vacation.

2:12Copy video clip URL “Michael Jacobsen” by Eddie Becker. Jacobsen, of “Science in the Public Interest,” talks about the changes in the diet recommended by the government. “Twenty years ago, the focus of nutrition was eating a variety of foods. Well, who didn’t eat a variety of foods? In the 1970’s, 1980’s, and the 1990’s, it’s excesses that caused problems. In 1980, nutrition policies of the government changed. They got rid of ‘just eat a variety of foods’ and replaced it with a policy that said don’t eat too much fat, too much cholesterol, too much sugar, and people are beginning to get the message.”

3:30Copy video clip URL More from “Islander Restaurant.” Addie Green, owner and chef, talks about the importance of eating right: “A lot of people are trendy. We carry this body with us to the end. It’s not just a matter of money with me, it’s a matter of nutrition. I can’t wait for the day when fast food chains turn around and realize that they breed contemptuous adults.”

6:59Copy video clip URL “Salad Bar” by Skip Blumberg. Doug Skinner plays his ukulele and sings the praises of the salad bar: “We will wander from bin to bin / and ponder the things within.”

8:59Copy video clip URL “Yam Man” by Jim Mulryan. Ben Swets, the Yam Man, goes to the warehouse to collect his monthly supply of tubers. Upon inspecting the merchandise, the Yam Man marvels: “They are solid, they feel good. They’re beautiful. It is amazing, this came out of the soil. The dirt converted this, spawned this, like a cyst, like a thing that grew inside an oyster.”

13:24Copy video clip URL “Wax Food” by Chip Lord. In Tokyo, Chip Lord scans a window display at a coffee shop: “You realize this is all made of wax… here’s your $3 cup of coffee, $5 banana split and $3 Coca-Cola.”

14:08Copy video clip URL “Jim Bouton” by Marty Goldensohn. Jim Bouton, ex-pitcher and author, talks about ballpark food while eating lunch at a sushi restaurant: “The best vendors are in Yankee Stadium. They say things like ‘Cold beer here, Peanuts – How many?’ It’s not a question of whether you want peanuts, its only how many. You have to order something from these guys. The most interesting vendor was a guy in California used to proceed everything he said with ‘shunimaguy’ – ‘Hey, shunimaguy hot dogs, hey shunimaguy peanuts.’ I have no idea what shunimaguy means. You can‘t question the marketing. They’ve field tested a lot of approaches.”

15:53Copy video clip URL “Bob Mustang” by Russ Miller. Bob Mustang throws a baseball around and then talks about baseball, hot dogs and America: “Hot dogs are kinda like America: You take a hot dog, it’s all the stuff – all the fat , all the salt, all the entrails. You wrap it all up in a hot dog; it’s the best food snack food in the world. Is it healthy? No. Is America healthy? No.”

17:39Copy video clip URL “Oscar Mayer Weiner Mobile” by Matthew Gilson. The Oscar Mayer Wiener Mobile rolls down the street.

17:52Copy video clip URL “A Taste of Soul” by Fred Bridges. Aris Piper, co-owner of Army and Lou’s Restaurant in Chicago, a healthy soul food restaurant, presents two customers with the “Taste of Soul” combination platter and explains the romance behind the food: “It makes lovers. We’ve had engagements over ham hocks. We’ve had love affairs over black-eyed peas. ‘Oh, I love you baby, that was such a good meal.’ “

20:29Copy video clip URL “Chinese Noodles Backwards and Forwards” by Skip Blumberg. In Vancouver, British Columbia, Chef David Yang prepares Chinese Noodles both backwards and forwards.

23:54Copy video clip URL “Night and Silence” by Alter-Cine. While troops in the Middle East are poised to fight, a thirty-year war continues in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Eritrean Nationalists have resisted the Ethiopians’ attempt to take over their land, which is the gateway to the Red Sea. Food has been targeted for destruction throughout the war. The port in Massawa has been bombed so often that ships no longer travel there. Having sold their livestock and even their seed, families scour the dirt looking for wild grain to provide their next meal. “Millions of people starve, yet they [the government] can afford bombs.”

29:17Copy video clip URL “Gail Smith” by Eddie Becker. Gail Smith, a development consultant in Washington D.C., talks about the Ethiopian famine. She claims that aid groups react to famine in the wrong way, distributing food instead of seeds or ways to gain the means of production. She explains that famine is not a singular event, it is a process that occurs over many years as war forces farmers to gradually sell off livestock and tools, reduce production, and eventually eat their seeds. “What we tend to do is look at a famine as an emergency. You hope they’ll get off of your television screen, the starving will go away, you stop feeling guilty, then you forget about it. Once you sell of the means of production – you eat the seeds – then you start to starve to death.”

31:22Copy video clip URL “Midnight Mission”by Judith Binder and Jody Procter. A glimpse into the Midnight Mission, a free cafeteria for the homeless in Los Angeles. The cook says, “We only have one rule – that is to behave yourself.” He cooks for 1500 people a day. “I be hungry and I like to eat. This ain’t gonna fill me up,” complains a guest. Another homeless man talks about looking for a job, “When I get money for bus fare, I’ll get on a bus an look in a different area. That’s hard to find. That’s hard to find.” For a contrast, we visit Asylum, a ritzy restaurant in Beverly Hills. “An entree costs $15-20. It’s very reasonably priced and it’s lots of fun.”

33:57Copy video clip URL “What We Ate On Our Vacation” by Paul Chen and Laurie Kaiser. Kaiser treats Chen to a trip to Hong Kong so he can “relive those moments of eating that my taste buds had forgotten.”

36:52Copy video clip URL “Alfred Johnson” by Nancy Cain. Alfred Johnson plays the piano in Venice Beach and sings a tune about desserts: “Good loving just don’t last / But I got plenty of pounds to prove that good cooking do.”

39:01Copy video clip URL “God’s Love” by Esti Marpet. God’s Love is a volunteer-run program in New York that brings hot meals to people suffering from AIDS. Eleanor Doefler, a recipient of the service, says, “The love. That’s the cure. The volunteers come up with these sweet smiles and share maybe a joke and that’s delivered and it makes a difference.”

42:12Copy video clip URL “Reggae Rappers”by Andrew Jones. Scrapehead and Ganjati, a popular reggae rapping duo in Jamaica, sing and talk about their music. They sing the praises of their native land: “Jamaica nice, Jamaica nice / It’s the land of sugar and spice.”

47:46Copy video clip URL More from Michael Jacobsen. Jacobsen declares Burger King’s Double Whopper with cheese “quintessential junk” and holds up a beaker filled with 14 teaspoons of fat, explaining that it’s the same amount as in the Whopper.

48:29Copy video clip URL “The Best of Everything” by Ben Swets. A profile of Dr. Pietro Rotondi, vegetarian guru and medicine man. He says, “We eat the best of everything. Too bad this kitchen isn’t about 50 times as big as it should be. I’d show the world how to eat, how to live long, how to be happy and everything else that’s good for you.”

51:51Copy video clip URL “Anna Weinberg” by Tom Weinberg. “A sandwich is better for you than Ruffles. Raisins are better for you than crackerjacks. Figs are better than frog legs. [How do you know?] I don’t know. I’m just saying stuff.”

52:24Copy video clip URL Footage from “Once a Star”. Minnesota Fats reminisces about a guy he used to know in New York who was a “junkie for figs.”

53:01Copy video clip URL “Date Festival” by Skip Blumberg. A visit to the Date Festival in Indio, California. The highlights are the ostrich and camel races.

56:22Copy video clip URL Cooking a cheeseburger at the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago under credits.



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