Monday, January 5, 2009


Who doesn't LOVE soup?
Whether you like Campbell's in a can or a hearty bone broth choked with every vegetable, meat and pasta under the sun, EVERYBODY loves soup.

January is National Soup Month!!!

So what are we gonna do? We are going to celebrate National SOUP SWAP DAY on Thursday, January 22!
Make it, freeze it, bring it, talk it, swap it, take it.

Why is soup good food, anyway?

By K. C. Blair, Founder, Director
Soup Research. Back when most mothers were stay-at-home moms, there were soup company executives who believed soup was good food. They thought they could prove it by conducting a study of consumers to determine that more soup servings and healthier ingredients were associated with enhanced health.

If the marketing researchers found the association to exist, the company marketers could and would use a claim that soup is good food in a new advertising campaign. That hopefully would get more consumers to increase all soup usage to enhance their families’ health, increasing the executives’ company sales the most. The sources for the consumer research were 1) consumer diary panelists’ soup purchase and usage data and 2) family member doctor visits and illnesses of cooperating panelists, as reported in health records filed in their doctors’ offices. The consumer researchers gathered, analyzed and reported the data.

Soup Research Findings. The key finding pleased everyone: The more soup servings there were in the households, the healthier were their families. But the secondary finding pleased no one: The panel families who ate soups predominantly with healthier ingredients, like homemade and vegetable, were not healthier than those eating primarily the less healthy ingredients of commercial and chicken noodle. That meant if you wanted to conclude soup is good food, you would have to do it without the association with healthy ingredients. Since healthy or less healthy ingredients seemed not to make a difference, the researchers wondered how soup is good food. In trying to find a physical link between soup servings and health, without the more-healthy-ingredients theory, the company researchers speculated that the hot cooking and warm servings of soup must have supported better digestion. No research was conducted to determine if that hypothesis were true. The puzzle continued.

Soup Advertising Test Market. Finding a relationship between soup servings and health, regardless of causality or direction, was enough for the company to make the advertising claim that soup was good food. The finding led to a test market in which advertising was used to tell consumers soup is good food, the more the better. In the advertising test market, versus the no-advertising control market, more consumers bought more soup overall and the executives’ company soup gained the most during the heavy-spending campaign. The in-market advertising experiment was considered a success.

The Great Soup Illusion. From the soup-serving puzzle I had an epiphany, which I call The Great Soup Illusion. Soup traditionally delivers two variables: 1) servings of physical ingredients and 2) servings of mom’s tender loving care. The “Illusion” is that when the physical ingredients and subjective compassion are served together, the physical ingredients may not create healing or health but being visible get all of the credit, while the subjective compassion likely creates all healing and health but being invisible gets no credit. I call it “Great” because it has helped me identify and understand similar illusions, like The Modern Medicine Illusion in which the invisible power of the placebo does the healing, while credit goes to orthodox medicine, which may have done nothing positive.

The Physical-Visible Ingredients. The soup company researchers found out that serving healthy ingredients does not necessarily contribute to health. What they did not know was, when people have a nutrition sufficiency, giving them more nutrition does not add to their health. In contrast, another research study showed vitamins and minerals were given on a daily basis to malnourished Africans, who were susceptible to disease. Their health and immunity responded quickly and noticeably after only a few days because they had had an insufficiency of those vitamins and minerals. Adding mega vitamins and minerals to a healthy group of Americans, affects health little or not at all, making a change in health impossible to measure. Soup ingredients are healthy when they enhance health, which means there first has to be a deficiency of those ingredients.

The Subjective-Invisible Compassion. Soup is good food because it always helps mom serve more attention and care to her loved ones. The historically famous, “Mom’s chicken soup,” is a symbol of moms’ compassion served to their sick and vulnerable children. The belief that it worked was important. Compassion seems to have unlimited possibilities and our beliefs seem to be the only limitation. When soup was first commercially manufactured and packaged it mattered not whether it had the healthiest of ingredients. It was mom’s compassion, conveniently packaged in can or envelope, ready for her to serve us at lunch or waiting on the counter for us, when we got home from school. It protected us from everything, even the preservatives.

Progressive Learning. My first serious healing research began with my breakthrough understanding of the placebo in medicine. The placebo is usually thought of as a fake medicine or procedure offered to people in clinical trials. But the placebo effect of healing is delegated from within us to the symbols of every medicine, procedure and physician. More research has been done on the placebo than there are medicines and procedures in the marketplace. The placebo has been proven to consistently help more people than any drug. For example, if a drug is said to help 60% of the people in a clinical trial, 40% (40 of 60 points) will likely be due to the average effect of the placebo and the remaining 20% may be due to the drug, unless the more active ingredient of the drug is considered part of the larger placebo effect, along with the placebos’ less active ingredients. Translated from Latin, placebo means, “I shall please.”

Our research has found that the placebo is really compassion, mislabeled and misunderstood by medicine men down through the ages. Compassion, we define as new and incremental love, is created from within, where love seems to accumulate, where health is, where deviations from health start and where healing occurs. “From within” is called the subjective. Doctors, drugs and surgery come from outside us, called the objective, where our health, healing and disease do not take place. The more research I do, the more I find we live in a subjective universe.

From experiments, we have learned about the relationship of compassion and love’s correlates, like health. The more compassion we create within and between us, the more we enhance love’s correlates, the healthier we are; the less compassion we create, the less we enhance the correlates, the less healthy we are. So far, I have not found there is a compassion sufficiency. It seems we always have a compassion deficiency and adding compassion always enhances love and its correlates. We have found compassion works two ways: locally through the senses, like when we visit a sick friend; and nonlocally, not through the senses, when we send a sick friend our compassionate intent, like prayer, from a distance.

Our research indicates compassion is the common denominator of all healing. It does not matter which medicine you are exposed to, whether it is conventional medicine, complimentary, supplementary, alternative, or integrative medicine, the common denominator of what works and how it works seems to be compassion-related. The success of all of these alternatives at the time of our exposure to them is a function of how well they use compassion. There is an exception: in an emergency a good body mechanic needs no bedside manners.

When you are too busy, you do not create or experience enough compassion. When you take a moment to make yourself some tea, hot chocolate or soup you are showing yourself attention and care. Compassion deficiency results in symptoms, seemingly placed at random in the body. The signal from symptoms is that you need more compassion, overall. We ignore the signals for compassion replenishment at our peril. Our subjective thoughts create our reality for better or worse. More compassion is “for better,” less compassion is for “worse.”

Conclusion. Creating compassion enhances love’s correlates, like healing, health, happiness, longevity, creativity, productivity and everything else good we want. And if you focus on any one correlate, you will enhance the others. This is synchronicity and why people say we should think positive thoughts. Positive synchronicity helps exclude the negative information of fear and its correlates of pain, sickness and disease – medicine, invasive procedures and doctors.

Serving and consuming soup is positive. It is good food but not necessarily for the reason most people believe. And that reason, you know by now, is pretty important.

So far, our research has found the power of compassion has unlimited potential in helping us create better realities. In practice, it seems to be limited only by our beliefs of what is possible. Maybe it is time to start changing some beliefs.

Compassion? That is the short answer to the question: Why is soup good food?

So as you can see, soup is about more than eating. We have so far this month, been eating soup every single day for lunch. Andre says it's "a-licious" and Sagan says there is nothing better than soup. And Ember? She's covered in black bean goo, it must be good. Me? I like to see the stock pot steaming for a day or two. I LIKE chopping vegetables. I like to take TIME to make soup, because you can't really rush GOOD soup. I love to smell the aroma, I love to feed the people I love with things that I have touched and transformed. I like to see people HAPPY with what I've prepared, and I like to think that in eating it, they feel the joy I feel when I create it. It really does more than nourish the body, it nourishes the soul.

To hear the guy I'm not going to talk about tell it, I'm trying to kill him with the food I make. It breaks my heart to see him heat up a Hot Pocket when I've spent a few hours cooking something fabulous that I think he will (or should) love. Nothing is like a soup ladle through the heart than the ones you love hating what you do for them. I'll say this. Cooking for the Unspoken One has become a traumatic event. If I don't cook, I feel not only empty, but GUILTY. If I cook I get severe anxiety and fear of rejection. It's PTSD in the kitchen.

It's not that he wants "What MOM made", but that's what I feel like right there. Like he's a prisoner being force fed some kind of nasty gruel by ME, his captor. sigh
I just don't want a diet of Hot Pockets and Microwavables and LIFELESS fatty mush. I don't want to cook them either, no matter HOW much time it saves. That is "food" that doesn't feel like love OR compassion. Cooking it OR eating it.

So in light of my plight, please come share both SOUP and COMPASSION with me.

If you are interested in Soup Swap, and/or COMPASSION please contact me for more information!


noordinaryspider said...


my big kids went through a phase where they refused to eat anything i cooked for them and it HURTS!!! it must be even worse with dh.

i'm so sorry he's being so difficult. Don't let it get ya down. You're a strong mama. I've come to believe that the primary relationship is between mother and child, not between husband and wife.

That's not sour grapes, it's lots of reflecting on my disfunctional family of origin and my own failings as a parent.Oh, if I could have back the five years of preteen/young teen years I squandered on the long distance relationship that never works out and give all that love to my babies instead!

kiwi said...

I love soups, especially if they are homemade, they are healthy, taste great, they make a great meal.

Processed food on the other hand e.g hot pockets etc, is full of mystery meat and clog the arteries with fats and god know what, it is all heart attack material.

It is tough have a healthly diet and I applored you for trying so hard to keep your family healthy. It is hard work to make home cooked meals all time. If it is not appreciated let who ever it is cook the meals and find out how much work it is.

This is all my personal opinion and probably easier said than done.
I would take a home cooked meal any day over processed food.

I think you are doing a great job

About Alyssa said...

Yup. Sometimes it seems we keep them around just so we have something to cry over huh?