I’ve been on this kick lately where I’m trying to buy foods that contain only ingredients that I can pronounce and understand. This means I’ve been reading the label on everything, which is something I’ve had to train myself not to do upon exiting a meticulous calorie-counting family. It turns out calories don’t mean anything if the food doesn’t fill and nourish you. (Surprise-surprise, right?)

Today, I really wanted to make a Frito pie. If you live in Texas, you already know it is the tastiest slapped-together food innovation since peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So I bought Fritos, which, while not exactly healthy, contain corn, oil, and salt. Totally fine as long as I don’t overdo it.

I also needed chili. I have my regular brand, the brand an ex turned me onto, the brand I know I don’t like, and the chi-chi organic stuff. Chili comes in a wide variety of flavors, textures, and artery-hardening potentials. As it turns out, a lot of them contain mostly the same stuff. They all have a little soy, with the exception being the organic kinds, that have a ton of soy. I’m also finding that soy isn’t the fucking godsend vegetarians make it out to be. It’s okay in small amounts, but it can fuck with your thyroid if you use it as the sole replacement for meat. (I’ll still eat boka burgers and drink soy milk sometimes.)

Anyway, I’m was reading a can of turkey chili and the main ingredient is “mechanically separated turkey”. I immediately imagined some poor little turkey being tied by the feet and wings to some horrible machine that would slowly draw and quarter him while his wild, gobbly shrieks filled the dark, cold room.

And then I bought two cans.