Eat it

From Congressman Dan Lungren to local farmers markets, these three news briefs show that three square meals can sometimes be a tummy ache

Dan Lungren likes it in Styrofoam.

Dan Lungren likes it in Styrofoam.

“Styrofoam Dan”: Dan Lungren, the Republican congressman representing California’s 3rd District, recently earned the unflattering nickname “Styrofoam Dan” from Democrats and environmental groups after he tossed out Nancy Pelosi’s composting program in congressional cafeterias, according to media reports.

Lungren defended his decision to swap out eco-friendly plastic utensils, cups and containers for Styrofoam and regular plastic utensils by arguing that the environmentally friendly spoons “tended to bend or melt, the forks didn’t work and the knives couldn’t cut anything.”

The switch will save taxpayers nearly half a million dollars, Lungren said. He also explained that the change will benefit cafeteria employees and visitors who have complained about the eco-friendly materials.

Lungren noted a few pilot programs he’s spearheading, including looking into facilities that burn waste and convert it into energy, and the possibility of washing permanent utensils instead of using disposable ones.

A whopper of a hangover: It’s well-known that consuming greasy bags of food from the drive-through is a no-no when it comes to keeping your heart and body healthy. But there are some effects of fast-food that may be off the average person’s radar. Here are four, according to healthful-action website Care2:

1. Fast-food can cause “hangovers.” Processed foods often contain nitrates or nitrites, monosodium glutamate (otherwise known as MSG) and artificial sweeteners, which increase blood flow and cause head pressure and pain.

2. Fast-food can make you depressed. In a study done at England’s University College London of people who regularly ate fast-foods, 58 percent were more likely to experience depression than those who ate a balanced diet.

3. Fast-food can lower your sex drive. Fatty acids in processed and fast-foods can decrease libido because they cause weight gain, biochemical changes and reduced sperm count and ovulation.

4. Fast-food can be addicting. High levels of sugar and fat cause blood-sugar levels to peak and crash, causing one to become dependent on the euphoric cycle.

And now for some good news: They’re back: Five seasonal Sacramento-region farmers markets opened this month for summertime business.

Every Tuesday at downtown’s Roosevelt Park, at Ninth and P streets, shop for local produce and more from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Also on Tuesdays, do some grocery shopping at Fremont Park in Midtown, 16th and P streets, during these same hours. Both of these markets will be open through September.

One of the summer’s most popular markets goes down every Wednesday at downtown’s Cesar Chavez Plaza, 10th and J streets near City Hall, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. as well. This market runs through October and also features lunchtime food vendors near the fountain at the center of the park.

If you live further south, Elk Grove’s farmers market opened on May 11, also on Wednesdays, but during the evening, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Elk Grove Regional Park on Elk Grove-Florin Road next to the Pavilion. This market runs through August.

And, again for downtowners, Capitol Mall at Sixth Street will be taken over by produce and fruit stands every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. this summer, through September.