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Let's Get Real

Author: Heritage Radio Network

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On Let’s Get Real Chef Erica Wides walks you down the aisles of the surreal world of food, serving up a heaping dose of reality by separating the food from the foodiness so you can forage, hunt, gather, trap and fish for real food anywhere, even in a foodiness-filled mega market. Incisive, pragmatic, sarcastic, and an unrepentant know-it-all when it comes to anything food, on Let’s Get Real Chef Erica Wides does the job for you of sifting out everything that’s fake in the world of food – from “foodiness” marketing and cooking show shams to “health-halo green-washing” and annoying whole-food righteousness – so you never unknowingly chow down on carpeting again.
124 Episodes
There’s nothing left to say. I’ve read every editorial, every FaceBook post, every HuffPo screaming front page rant. I’m done. I’m done with the election, and I’m done even discussing it, or him. He who shall not be named. I had been calling him the apricot barbarian, but you know what? I love apricots, they’re delicious and pretty and when they’re ripe, they smell how I imagine Eden might have smelled, if Eden had been a real place and not just a setting for a fairy tale. Apricots are an incredible fruit, and they don’t deserve the association with that walking pile of shit. No, you know what? That’s an insult to shit, too. How about we call him…Fake-n-Bake Hitler? I have no problem insulting fake tanning, it’s an abhorrent practice, and nothin’s worse than Hitler, so that’s a good moniker. That works. Fake-n-Bake Hitler. Perfect. FBH for short.Or Tang-Stained Goon? Or Dehydration-Pee-Color Monster? Fanta-Face?So here I am this fall season, thinking about color, and there it was, the NY Times Magazine. With their food issue article about how the big industrial food companies, think Kraft, M&M Mars, you know, Foodiness, Inc., are all scrambling to find new ways to color their garbage non-food products with natural colors, because all of a sudden, American consumers are freaking out. Not because a Sunkist-Soda-faced demagogue could be our next president, but because all of the shit food they’ve been cramming into their gaping maws has been artificially colored for years, and now the moms of America are calling on the major food corporations to STOP THE MADNESS?“GET THE BLUE DYE OUT OF OUR KIDS M&M’s and SQUEEZY YOGURT”. They’re DEMANDING that the big food co’s ditch the color, and replace it with natural colors.Nobody’s demanding that we label GMO’s, or stop dumping raw sewage on our crops as fertilizer, or stop using what accounts to slave labor to harvest our food, or demanding that we clean up the trillions of tons of plastic in the ocean…no. Just give us our blue food, but please make it less chemically so we can feel better about eating shit.Wait a second, moms of America, NOW you’re upset? You still haven’t figured out that you’re feeding chemical-sugar crap to your children, but are really upset at the big issue of the COLOR of the foods? Yes, the artificial color is terrible, and made from stuff like coal-tar sludge, but like FBH himself, the artificial color is merely the petrochemical-stained surface of a much, much deeper, larger problem. A tremendous problem, a HUGE problem!The problem of the fact that we CARE so much about what’s in our SHITTY processed junk food, and don’t give a crap about what’s being done to real food.And that’s a problem.Live at 2:00 pm EST on or later on
We're all really, really scared these days. Scared for the future, scared for the planet (well, some of us), scared of scary scaring clowns scaring kids, scared of scary clowns pretending to be legit candidates...OMG, so much scariness! And it's not even Halloween yet!But even worse than all that scary GLUTEN! Oh no, GLUTEN! The big scary monster lurking in all our most delicious foods, like bread!Well, you all know how I feel about this, that unless you are straight-up legit diagnosed with Celiac disease, get over yourself and your gluten issues. Just don't eat that shitty, processed, non-organic industrial bread and other crap that make up the SAD (Standard American Diet) that you're stuffing your face with. Ditch that crap, and you'll start feeling a lot better, a lot faster.Unless you're today's guest, Peter Michael Marino. He's my teacher and friend, a comedian, actor and solo performer, and founder of SOLOCOM, in which I'll be performing in November. And he IS straight-up legit diagnosed with Celiac, so he has something to fear, for real, in gluten. He's joining us today in the Foodiness Fallout Shelter, to discuss.He's a funny guy, so it should be a good time for all. Join us, why dontcha? Live today at 2:00 on or later on or iTunes!
It's special guest day here in the Foodiness Fallout Shelter! My new, once-in-a-while co-host, Emily Peterson, has taken time out from her busy life of cheffing, motherhood, chicken raising and occasional taxidermy to join us down here. You may know Emily from her HRN show, Sharp and Hot, but today we're doing a mini-series within my show, called Sharp and Blunt. Guess who's Blunt? Ha.We have lots of stuff in common and lots of similar food issues, so we're gonna kinda free-form it today, and, like on Bravo, watch what happens! Or I guess in this case, listen to what happens? Should be fun...So c'mon down the rabbit hole, and join us for some Foodiness-fueled banter and chat.Live at know where, right?!
@KarlMeltzer just broke the world record for the being fastest ever finisher of the entire Appalachian Trail, you know the Appalachian train, right? It’s a 2,190 mile hiking trail that runs along the East coast of the US, from Georgia to Maine.Now, I hike, and I’ve done little bitty bits of it, 4-5 miles here and there, on DAY hikes. I see people on the trail, with their huge packs and gaunt faces, and their lingering clouds of BO trailing behind them…and I give them major respect for undertaking such a long trek. I’d like to do it too, one day. Maybe. Anyway, On average, people take 3 months to complete the AT. You start in the spring in Georgia and head north with the seasons, finishing in Maine on the top of Mt. Katahdin in late summer.This guy, he went a little faster. He did it in 45 days, 22 hours and 38 minutes. To basically run, almost nonstop, up and down huge mountains from Maine to Georgia. He beat the previous record holder’s time of 46 days, 8 hours and 7 minutes, by about half a day. Ridiculous. And I thought I was pretty fit.Now, why is this of LGR importance? Well, we here in the Foodiness Fallout shelter like to hike, so this is super impressive. But, what’s really interesting to us really, is what he ate along the way to fuel his win. See, the previous record holder is Scott Jurek, who was made famous by the “Born to Run” book, about indigenous people around the world who are great distance runners, and how he is a champion of barefoot or virtually barefoot running. Scott Jurek, he’s a vegan. He did his record-breaking AT run eating vegan. Very impressive, I must say, because I know for myself, if I don’t eat an egg before a big workout, I feel weak, and he did the whole thing eating plants. Or at least no animal products, there are certainly plenty of energy-providing carby and sugary foods out there that are vegan. God knows there are plenty of overweight vegans and vegetarians. I was at my fattest ever when I was a vegetarian, maybe I should have done the AT.So Scott Jurek set the record for the AT as a vegan.But Karl Meltzer, not a vegan. He’s more of a fan of Foodiness. He fueled his record-breaking trail run on a regimen of candy, Red Bull, and beer. Ok, beer’s not Foodiness, I like beer. And it provides a lot of carbs for energy. But every night he’d have a beer or two, then as he ran, he’d down a Red Bull or other energy drink every 10 miles. At rest stops (btw, the trail goes through towns and there are stores adjacent to it in many spots that cater to hikers) he’d buy Spree candy, Three Musketeers bars, and cooked bacon. He’d keep those in his pockets and eat as he ran. According to the NYTimes article detailing his win, he’d sleep less than 7 hrs a night, and when his support crew found him napping, they’d feed him a pint of ice cream to get him going. For the record, bacon, candy and ice cream, not Foodiness. None of those are pretending to be anything else, but Red Bull and other unnamed energy drinks? That’s straight up F-bomb.But so what? He won, right? I mean, what’s worse, a smug vegan winner, or a Foodiness fueled candy-crazed winner? It’s not like you do this kind of thing every day, right? When he finished, he celebrated with a pizza, and a few more beers. Then fell asleep. As far as I know, he’s still asleep. I’d sleep for a week after that. After I finished the NYC Marathon in just over 5 hours I slept for a week. And then didn’t work out for 12 weeks. All I’m saying here, is that the vegan got beat by the Red Bull guy, and I think that’s pretty funny. I have no major point or point of view on this, extreme sports are just that, extreme. You don’t have time to cook your morning quinoa and egg and make your wild salmon salad with baby kale for lunch when you’re running the entire east coast up and down mountains. So, a major shout-out to Karl Meltzer for his record-breaking finish, and to Scott Jurek, you rock too, but maybe try a little bacon next time?Live from the #Foodiness Fallout Shelter today at 2:00, on or later on
Today, on the season premiere of Let's Get Real!!!Ok, so a couple of changes are afoot here in the Foodiness Fallout Shelter. Well, no, actually the shelter is the same, I barely touched the place over the summer. It looks really great, and the biomass fuel HVAC system I built last winter is working great, too. Biomass is awesome, you guys know about biomass right? It’s using stuff like agricultural waste products to create energy? Like threshed wheat stalks and orange peels and broccoli stems because people are too stupid to eat them and shit like that?Well, my biomass is even better than that, because my biomass is the ultimate #FOODINESS FUCK YOU to the food industry. While I was on summer break, between swimming and hiking and growing too many green beans, I was also doing a little sleuthing and investigative research and I discovered that there is a gigantic, massive, huge, underground storage facility in Staten island, under the Fresh Kills landfill (which, if you don’t know, was the largest garbage dump in the country for nearly a century, so large that it created a mountain on Staten Island which is now covered in grass and is soon becoming a park, albeit a park built over a massive, festering toxic dump of NYC’s old diapers, chicken bones, phone books, mafia hits and dirty mattresses from the last 75 years, but it’s Staten Island so…do we care?)And in that storage facility, there lurks, slowly staling and decomposing, the largest containment of out-of-fashion, off-trend, expired, nutritionally debunked, and forgotten FOODINESS products! Yeah, I know, SO EXCITING. It’s like finding Tutankhamens tomb, but filled with Carnation Instant Breakfast, Pepsi Clear, tons and tons of margarine products including Squeeze Parkay, billions of variations on the granola bar, trillions of liters of expired baby formula (which as you know, I call the original Foodiness gateway drug) and, what may be the best, worst and forever immortalized here product…the….the...the...What? You think I’ll give it away before the show? You’ll have to listen, peeps, to find out. And guess what? You can, because we’re all new and LIVE today, at 2:00 on! Note the new time, please.
Today, on Let's Get Real...It's the extended live version of "Cod Worms and Devil Dogs"!Can't remember what that is? It's the live theater piece I did back in March. This is the extended version, that I performed on Saturday.I worked so hard on this as a live show, that I'm not ready to put it to bed yet. So all you lucky listeners get to hear it today, instead of a regular episode.Live at 1:00 p.m. on as always, and later on, iTunes and Stitcher, too.
I’m hiding out down here in the fallout shelter this week. I’m safe here, since we’re so deep underground and we filter our air. I can’t go outside anymore, since I seem to have developed terrible seasonal allergies, all of a sudden. Twice this spring I’ve been hit with weeks of a sore throat, major congestion, coughing. It’s not a cold, I feel fine underneath it all, and I’m convinced that it’s related to climate change. I never had any allergies before, so why now? I think there are invasive species, or native species going nuts from all the extra carbon dioxide in the air. It’s happening now, people, the earth is becoming uninhabitable. Better build your spaceships or dig your bunkers, ‘cause terrestrial life on the surface is coming to an end. And even though a few years ago my doctor gave me a full allergy test panel, and declared me allergic to “nothing”, things seem to have changed. Or, she can’t read results.I know using the word assault is a bit dramatic, and also diminishes the weight of the word, as assault isn’t to be taken lightly, and certainly not just thrown around as a term. There are other, much more serious and horrible ways to be assaulted, than by pollen. And two of my friends have been violently assaulted just in the last month, right here in post-Giuliani Manhattan.So I’m going to retract my use of the word assault, and instead use the term pollen-whacked, ok? When I go outside, I feel like I’m getting pollen-whacked. Right in the face, and the nose, and throat.And after being sick from this garbage for a week, I finally returned to the gym, where I took a Burn class, taught by a crazy person called Eagle. (Not her real name)And Eagle is ALL about juice, and juicing, and wheatgrass, and her own wack-job theories of digestion and health, and I swear if it’s not one assault it’s another, because she really can’t just shut up about her stupid juice and I really just can’t stop coughing and nose-blowing and I just want it all to STOP! Unless she’s really onto something…? Nah. Who am I kidding?So today, on Let’s Get Real, we talk trees, grass, shrubs, and juice. And stupidity. My favorite topic.
Once upon a time, a long, long time ago, in a very dark, grim place in my past...I waited tables at TGI Friday's.Yes, really. Hard to believe, I know, but I needed a job, I couldn't get hired anywhere else, and a friend got me the job. It was the early 90's, we were in a recession, I was depressed and dumpy looking, and no higher-end restaurant would give me the time of day, so I went the corporate route. For a few months...Suffice it to say, TGI and me...we didn't really, uh, "mesh"? My flair wasn't flair-y enough, I kept trying to stick political buttons on my suspenders, I refused to promote the "Saddam Slam" drink special we were offering (it was the first weeks of the first Gulf War) know the story. This fish was seriously out of the water.But I got myself a taste of corporate hospitality training, and all of its enforced cheer and generic conformity. And instead of hanging myself by my red-and-white suspenders, I did the right thing, and got fired instead.Today, on LGR, we have a guest who is all too familiar with the ways and woes of hospitality training, my great buddy, Kate Edwards! Kate's a hospitality management expert and coach, and she's worked at the best places in NYC. No TGI's for her, she's too classy!We're going to hang out in the newly AC'd Fallout Shelter and talk corporate training, chains vs independents, and whatever else comes up. We may also discuss sea could happen.
Here, in corporate Big Food America, we apparently hold certain Foodiness truths to be self-evident, which is that all industrially produced foods are created Equal, that they are endowed by their corporate Creators with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are potentially destroying Life, crushing the Liberty of the small farmer and the pursuit of profitable Happiness for those running the corporations.- Sorry, I’ve been thinking about American holidays, and the 4th is right around the corner, so I thought I’d rewrite the Declaration of Independence, to make it more appropriate for today’s world.The whole Memorial day/Independence day/Labor day structure of the summer got me thinking, about how the season is bookended by holidays, and peaks with one. July 4th, Independence day, is really the beginning of the end of the summer. What do you have, like 6 weeks after that? And the back-to-school ads start running by the 4th, and the Xmas crap starts to show up in stores alongside the Halloween candy, it’s like time doesn’t really exist, the whole year is a mashup of pre-and post holiday sales, for every holiday, all at once. There’s a dollar store near my summer house, and one year, in early July, they had leftover Father’s day and graduation party crap, alongside 4th of July star-spangled junk, and an early display of Xmas decorations…All at the same time. It was like the time-space continuum had totally collapsed! I’m already getting nostalgic for and feeling the loss of this summer, and it’s only May 24th!!But back to the agenda for today’s show, which is primarily about truth…Truth, Justice, and the American Foodiness way. If you’re under 40, that’s a variation on the tagline from the old Superman TV show. Superman fought for truth, justice, and the American way, because…the cold war. Here in the fallout shelter, we’re fighting for truth, and justice, and definitely the American foodiness way, or more correctly, against, the American foodiness way, because…our food systems are so effed.So come on down the rabbit hole, and into the shelter, where’s it dry and cozy and we have snacks, too! The CBS news team was here last week, and the place is all spiffed up and tidy.
Episode 155: Babies & Cake

Episode 155: Babies & Cake


So I’ve got babies on the brain. Everywhere I go, everyone I know and see is breeding, birthing, being fruitful and multiplying as if babies were going out of style or were about to be banned or rationed by the government. Brooklyn is baby-breeding central. I miss the old NYC where once you had kids you moved out, fearing for their lives.Not me, of course, I’m too old, that ship has sailed and there’s no turning back into the wind now. Oh sure, so-called well-meaning people say to me, “Oh no, it’s not too late, you can still do it! I know someone who got pregnant at 50, with a donor egg and donor sperm and 17 rounds of IVF and a surrogate” Because that’s what you want, to have a lab-grown, $100,000 infant at 50. Uh…thanks, I say, but nope. I don’t need your reassurance that it’s not too late, because it is too late, and it was a conscious decision, and please go away and take your little Junipers and Masons and Oleanders and their runny noses and sippy cups away from me. Please. Just. Stop.I went to Bethlehem, PA last weekend for a baby shower for my beautiful cousin Robin, who is a devoted LGR fan, btw. Robin took charge of her food life and completely overhauled her diet a few years ago and dumped all the Foodiness, and her picture hangs on the Foodiness Fallout Shelter wall of fame, and she looks great. We give her a shout-out now and then on the show. Hi Robin!So Robin and her husband Jay are expecting a baby boy in July, and I am genuinely super happy for her. She is an amazingly loving, generous and kind person and will be an exceptional parent, and if anyone should be a mom, it’s her. And a couple other friends have either recently had babies, or are expecting, and it’s fine, it’s what humans do, right? It’s the norm. I chose not the norm. But I like being an aunt, to my real nieces and all my friend’s kids.And I like baby showers. I think the pregnant moms need that lavishing of attention before their lives change so radically and they risk losing themselves in parenting. They need to eat little sandwiches and open presents and get all weepy, it’s very good for them. Plus, at almost every baby shower, there’s cake. And I like cake. I hardly ever eat cake, so when I go to an event with cake, usually, I eat some cake. And that’s kind of what today’s show is about. Cake. Not babies. Well, indirectly about babies. So today, on Let’s Get Real, let’s talk about cake. Ok? Oh, and IHOP, and the government, and even autism. Yikes.
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