I read in dismay the so-called journalistic reaction to the way we tend to absorb poutine by the ton and how many of us practice unhealthy ways, thus leading us down coronary alley which ends at the heart attack hotel. I kid you not, I felt guilty to be a poutine lover. First the fries, then the hot-water-and-powder sauce and then the finale, real cheese curds, smothered with glows and sighs of appreciation. Yes, this is caloric heaven, with stairs descending to the office of a reprimanding dietician.

I remember when fries were a delicacy, and poutine was discovered only recently, when Val d’ Or and all night 24/7 hamburger stands sated many who had too many brewskis, became a normal course of living. It was sort of a pre-breakfast cuisine which appealed to those who dared to stay up that late. Yes, the price was right and tastebuds craved more than what we could consume. It’s sort of like eating nuts or chips, except you have to endure the oil drenched air and smoke (now I know why many French fry stands serve those in the open air).

Today, the stigmatism of our own craving for a new culture and all that it offers is our own downfall. We tend to accept things too easily and all too often, in excessive and express service fashion. The days of waiting for the dinner to cook is replaced by the 30-second chime of the microwave and the smell of fresh killed meat cooking over the fire now smells like a propane fueled carcinogenic time bomb, set to go off when we reach 40 pounds of that now labeled evil fatty cell.

In the old days, lean and mean meant an impoverished family lifestyle, and others would feel sorry for you. You see, fat is not bad, when you use it properly. The fat of a bear has many uses and the goose that spits when cooked is valued as greatly appreciated nutrition. Even cholesterol from eating eggs has now come back to the front pages of medical magazines as the main ingredient that keeps your brain a finely tuned thinking machine. Without fat, we die a lonely and scrawny death, with only the need of two people to carry your coffin. But I do admit, that the fat we used to eat did not come prepackaged with the ingredients neatly indicating their caloric level, but came from healthy animals who stored healthy fat as reservoirs for energy or times of no food.

I’ve looked at pictures of the past of our people, and those who are bulimic would label our ancestors as overweight or somewhat chubby, but their fat served a purpose. It kept them warm in the winter and healthy in times of famine. Today, we have homes heated with imported energy and consume imported food, so nature dictates that we, as genetically healthy people, become obese from our natural tendency to store our oil for times of need. I know that one day I will use my stored fat, which I know will come in handy, and I will conform to modern-day appreciation of Schwarnegger-of-the-north body that will not only turn heads, but have the ability to return back to its original couch-potato figure, when no one is looking.