Most of us have grown older and wiser as the years have rolled on. We have adopted seat belts, even fancy baby seats for cars. I used to drive with my children lying in a cardboard box in the back seat. Honest.

I get it.

Reluctantly, at the daily lessons administered by Blue Eyes, who subscribes to every foodie and animal rights website on the Internet, I have come to understand the dangers of unsafe eating. Reluctantly.

I have drastically cut down on bread (please God!), hot dogs, sausage, bacon (never ate that much), red meats, french fries (the pain!), even salt and sugar, for God’s sake. No Coca-Cola. Ever.

But I draw the line at the Heinz ketchup. And the Hellman’s mayonnaise. How long do you want to live, anyway?

I will cling to my gigantic Heinz ketchup until the end. I will fight like Davy Crockett at the Alamo to keep it. For God’s sake, it’s ketchup.

Let’s listen for a moment to the foodie killjoys at I hate them.

“If you use commercially prepared ketchup on your food, you might as well be starting an IV of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), because that’s primarily what glugs out of the bottle. Most bottled ketchups consist basically of overcooked tomatoes, water, and a large (dose) of sugar, usually as some form of genetically engineered corn syrup. Many brands also add ‘natural flavorings,’ which are really flavor-boosting chemicals, one being MSG,” the killjoys reported.

Ketchup? What could me more innocuous? Marriner’s home fries without ketchup?

We have been informed that just one tablespoon of commercially prepared ketchup typically contains four grams of sugar. And many people consume much more than one tablespoon at a time, which quickly builds up your daily sugar load. Who uses one tablespoon? I use as much as the plate will hold.

Their recommendation? Ketchup is a condiment you can make in your own kitchen, which gives you the advantage of controlling the amount and type of sweetener, as well as the other ingredients. Homemade ketchup is much better in every respect than anything that’s been bottled commercially.

Like I am about to make my own ketchup when I have a gallon container in the fridge. French fries at the Helm Restaurant in Rockport without ketchup would be like a day without sunshine.

I used to use mayonnaise every day. Now I use it once a week, when I make tuna fish sandwiches, the greatest substance under the sun. I would venture to say that I have consumed more tuna sandwiches than anyone on Earth, even more than John Yanowicz.

Here come the killjoys at, who say that mayo is the worst. It has bad oil, brother. “This type of oil, whether partially hydrogenated, organic, or made from newer soybean varieties modified in such a way as to not require hydrogenation, are highly processed and wreak chaos in your body at the cellular level, paving the way for problems ranging from obesity and diabetes to reproductive disorders and heart disease,” they reported.


There is more. “In addition to the trans fats created from hydrogenation, the majority of soybeans grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered and, as a result, are saturated with dangerous levels of the herbicide glyphosate, which has been linked to a growing list of serious health problems,” the killjoys reported.

“Even though you may not consider mayonnaise a sweet product, most commercial varieties contain high fructose corn syrup or other forms of fructose, which adds to the toxic load on your liver. If you think you can’t live without your mayo, consider using an organic variety made with olive oil. Or better yet, make your own mayo.”

Good mayo requires only a few basic ingredients: olive oil, egg yolks, vinegar or lemon juice, mustard, and a little sea salt. Spare me.

Be serious. I have owned a big-time juicer for years. I have never turned it on. What are the odds I will make my own mayo?

All right. I will skip sausage and bacon from now on, unless I am camping with Jefferson Phil. But they will have to pry the Heinz ketchup and Hellman’s mayonnaise containers from my cold, dead hands.

How long do you want to live, anyway?

Emmet Meara lives in Camden in blissful retirement after working as a reporter for the Bangor Daily News in Rockland for 30 years.