Monday, October 19, 2009

Yoghurt and Swedish Health Care

I have become my father. I’ve already got the thinning hair and cul de sacs. I’ve got the abnormally long arms. I’ve got the skinny calves. I’ve got the poor eyesight. Ladies, I am single.

I’ve also been indoctrinated by the man. Because in the last few days I have espoused the virtues of yoghurt. Yoghurt. Fermented milk. I have carried on two separate conversations about a dairy product. Did I mention I was single ladies?

My father is under the impression that yoghurt cures all ills. Upset stomach? Yoghurt. Herniated disc? Yoghurt. Blood clots? Yoghurt. Syphilis? Yoghurt. For years I have made fun of him. Much as I am doing now. He takes it because he knows I am awesome. And because in the end, despite being well over 50, he can still beat me in arm wrestling. Clearly the only way to measure a father.

Apparently, repetition leads to some sort of belief. Something to keep in mind if you intend on starting a cult. This weekend I explained to someone how helpful yogurt is with digestion. This was followed by me explaining (in a separate conversation) that a little yoghurt will probably help beat back the oncoming cold a friend was fighting.

I have no scientific evidence to back this up. But by saying it with a sense of authority, I was able to convince both parties that they should be eating more yoghurt, since yoghurt is delicious, it is pretty good advice regardless.

Since moving to Sweden, I have been inundated with yoghurt choices. The dairy section of your average Swedish grocery store has enough yoghurt to cure cancer, maybe even breast cancer. (Which reminds me, feel free to support my friend’s boobies for breast cancer awareness.) I’d like to think that the availability of yoghurt in this country, coupled with my father’s voice ringing in my head, has led me to champion yoghurt as a cure-all. Really I just think it is a Swedish supplement to health care.

Take heed Obama, it’s no coincidence that there is more yoghurt in Swedish dairy sections than American and that the US health care system is currently in disarray. It’s no coincidence that since moving to Sweden, I eat more yoghurt than ever before, yet don’t have cancer. Or syphilis. Turns out the old man knew what he was talking about.

Welcome to Sweden. And yoghurt health care.

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  1. You've been in Sweden too long. We Americans spell it "yogurt." Anyway, yogurt is good food :) So eat up.

  2. Your father takes it because he's your father. And he probably does think you're awesome. Parents are like that. Especially the kind of parents who know that yogurt is a remarkable food. I *love* yogurt (because my parents raised me right). I even have my own yogurt maker. My dog has been sick lately so I was like, "Hmmm...." Then it dawned on me, "YOGURT!" This is the one instance where I'm not sure if yogurt is doing all of the magic that it usually does. I'm thinking I haven't given it enough time to work properly. Either way, love me some yogurt.

    P.S. I have to give a nod to Anonymous. Whenever I'm abroad and see yoghurt spelled that way it makes me want to pronounce it all funny. It takes away from the wholesome goodness that is yogurt when it's all gobbly-spelled like that.

  3. @anonymous - thats how I spelled it to start but then microsoft word told me to add an h. and if theres one thing Ive learned it is to never question microsoft. ever.

    @E - Im pretty sure that yogurt (see... I'm a quick learner) will solve any problems your dog may have. I think its pretty obvious though that for dogs it will require an extra dose due to the fact that dogs sometimes eat poop. That sort of thing takes a lot of yogurt to kill.

  4. Yoghurt is the answer. When will the governments realize?

  5. Bahahahahhaaha! Yogurt is your Dad's Windex (Big Fat Greek Wedding reference). Serious question: What types of yoghurt/yogurt do you recommend Hairy? Like is there one better than the other? Or are we going back to the Filmjölk post? Seriously though. If I'm gonna eat yogurt, I wanna eat the good kind. The one that wards off all illnesses AND the devil and H1N1.

  6. I'm not a fan of yougurt by itself
    BUT you add some berries and almond granola to that same yogurt and you've just made my favorite breakfast.

  7. Nordic countries consume a lot of dairy; and the further north you go from the equator the less you find of lactose intolerance. Unfortunately, Sweden has the highest incidence of breast cancer too. I don't know if there's a relation or not, but it certainly isn't a cure-all, a panacea for all ills, at least not breast cancer, unless, of course, you were to argue that if it weren't for all the yogurt Swedes consume, the rate of breast cancer would be even higher.

    You're right about the repetition of a mantra and cults, hence the saying, "Fake it until you make it." Most religions/cults have repetitive mantras, and we all know how effective cults/religions are.

    Arm wrestling! Yes! That is the true measure of a father, though my father's form of arm wrestling is long drives on the golf course--so long as he can out-drive me (not to mention kick my ass in score as well) I think he'll be happy. I think most sons would let their fathers keep winning even if they felt they got the better of their fathers though, because no one wants to acknowledge their father's aging and mortality, do they? I certainly hope Hairy would let his father win should he feel he got the upper hand, otherwise I don't know if I could keep on reading your posts ;)

    Another good post.

    I can't wait to get back and eat filmjölk! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

  8. Hahaha, yogurt shall rule the world. Mr. Obama should just give out free yogurts around the country to solve all the problems. That way nobody would be uninsured. By the way, my firefox dictionary says "yogurt" is fine. Thanks for this funny piece,

    take care, Lorne

  9. haha too funny... "did I mention I was single ladies?" hahahaha.

  10. Oh Hairy, you have me in fits of laughter - again! Jessy's comment is spot on ;)

    Me, for one, HAVE TO have dairy in the mornings - it's a must. And of course yogHurt is spelled with a "h"! Everything else is just crazy talk, just like dropping the "u" in colour and stuff...

    Anyway - on the dog issue; I think your dogs will get better even faster if you give them filmjölk (if you're in the States, try buttermilk, but make sure it's very fresh - it gets kind of cheesy after a few days). At least our big German shepherd always did. You can mix it with some rice too. (And suddenly be glad you're not the one eating it).

  11. Yogurt is fantastic, as are other fermented foods. My partner is currently brewing "medicinal beers". That's right, beer that you drink when you have an ailment to cure. His first beer featured milk thistle, a liver cleanser! Zero impact beer, I guess. If we all started eating (and drinking) better we'd be healthier. Hooray for micro-orgranisms in our food!

  12. I can even get non-lactose yogurt here--very good for this old fart, and especially for those in his vicinity. Oh, and don't forget to put some dried cranberries and fresh or frozen blueberries in the Yo.

  13. Yogurt is good for your stomach, if you have pain. Like all dairy products. And in case of having poisonous stuff in your belly. It tastes good too! Vanilla yogurt with apples fried in oven with syrup...that's awesome!

  14. So all over the world dads like yogurt! thought it was only mine. although he really didn't make us to eat it so much. guess wanna eat the whole packet by himself!

  15. I understand. You have this amazing filå thing (I might have made up the name)..which I think is like liquid yogurt but better, with all this lactobacilus. Therefore I suspect your father may be right. Which is a scary thought, because it will provide a reason to think that my mother is right too when she recommends hot water, lemon and honey for all -all- that can happen to our mistreated body.

  16. I love yoghurt. LOVE. IT. My entire day is ruined if I don't get some yoghurt in the morning. Plain, vanilla, raspberry. Basically anything goes. Just as long as it's nice and creamy.
    On the dog issue: considering the fact that most dogs apparently are lactose intolerant I wouldn't recommend giving yoghurt, filmjölk or any other kind of dairy product to a dog with an upset stomach. It might result in you standing on your knees, wiping up dog poo from the floor. Believe me. I've learned the hard way...

  17. dairy is a scam! and all you guys are falling for it.

  18. Love to see a pic of your skinny calfs! ;)

  19. My dog does NOT eat poop. That's not normal, healthy dog behavior. Granted, my dog is sick...but he's not sick in the head.

    "Dairy is a scam." I have lots of friends who feel the same way though. Or they only drink raw milk. Or only goat's milk. Or only soy. Or only almond. Seriously. I just want to drink my evil pasteurized cow's milk in peace.

  20. @Robban – I hope to be the messenger.

    @SwedishJenn – I’m pretty sure that vanilla yogurt (notice the now Americanized spelling) is the way to go. Its glorious really. Not only will it save you from illness, the devil, and H1N1, it will even help you stomach the Social Democrats. For a while at least.

    @Mama – As long as yogurt is the base you will be protected from all of the worlds evils.

    @Bazarov – I think I would make that argument then. Because clearly yogurt is a cancer beater.

    I think youre right... it might not be arm wrestling, but there is always some equivalent. Some things they are just better at no matter how old they seem to get. It drives me nuts sometimes, but it also gives me hope that I will one day be an awesome old man.

    @primerica – I think so too. Enough of the insurance companies lobbying, clearly the dairy companies should be doing it.

    @Jessy – just pointing out what has most likely become painfully obvious. Yogurt conversations not exactly a chick magnet if you will.

    @terander – I agree... I damn near panic if I dont have any form of dairy in the mornings, whether it be milk and cereal or yogurt and cereal. But very seldom does a day go by in which I dont eat yogurt.

    @Katherine – medicinal beer gives a whole new twist to self medicating.

    @pavellas – Im partial to the blueberries. A delicious choice!

    @Smek – ooooh... appels with syrup. Mmmm

    @Tod – dads everywhere know the secret.

    @TNT – filmjölk is pretty amazing stuff. I actually mix a little fruit yogurt in with the fil. But you’re right, it is a bit scary when you realize they actually might know whatthey are talking about. I think Mark Twain had a nice quote about that: "When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years."

    @Carin – I think it is obvious that yogurt is amazing. And the peoples choice.

    Maybe a good call on the lactose thing for dogs. Or it might help them vomit and clear the bad stuff out. Because Im basically a veterinarian.

    @anonymous – you’re a scam. An evil non-yogurt eater.

    @Em – oooh... I dont think anyone wants to see my skinny calves.

    @E – Maybe he ate poop and thats what made him sick.

    But I agree, let me drink my milk and eat my yogurt. Its delicious and I like it. So leave me alone.

  21. Floridian in FinlandOctober 25, 2009 at 12:48 AM

    Am I missing some new slang here? Does a cul de sac mean anything other than a type of street?

  22. its my receding hairline. looks like a cul de sac.

  23. Ok seriously though yogurt is no joke. If you get it without tons of added sugar and you get the a-fil stuff esp. Oh yes. I will campaign with you on this man. But sounds to me like your dad is a little like the dad on My Big Fat Greek Wedding spraying windex all over the place...

  24. thats the second big fat greek wedding reference. I feel out of the loop. is this a movie I should have seen?

  25. So delicious! Most of the time.. I've been noticing some health problems lately, and what do you know, I haven't had any yoghurt in years... I guess It's about time I changed my eating habits.

  26. load up on some yogurt. it will do the body good.

  27. Seriously Hairy, HOW can you be single (if you still are, that is)!?!
    Conversations about dairy products work as a magnet for THIS chick at least *pointing my thumbs at myself*
    I LOVE filmjölk! Yoghurt too, but filmjölk is the shit, really!
    Also, I have nothing against thinning hair, cul de sacs, abnormally long arms (that just means you can hug people better!!), skinny calves or poor eyesight.
    And what do you know, I'm single too... Du borde höra av dig ;)


  28. Also, I too love and own a pair of bright orange sweatpants. I'm just sayin'...

  29. well, I'm no longer single actually. must have been all that dairy talk

    you also own a bright orange pair of sweats! that makes me way happier than it should.