Greg Rutter lives in Portland, OR. He is a professional writer and is a semi-professional tour guide. He has been a fervent supporter of snacking ever since he was a little boy and remains one to this day.
I don’t want to tell you how to live your life. As far as I can tell you’re probably doing pretty well as it is. From what I can gather you’ve got the leisure time to read a publication dedicated to snacking, you have access to a computer or mobile device, navigating the internet is well within your grasp. But all this, all the blessings you’ve had bestowed upon you, is a mere shadow of the potential joy you could be experiencing. Why? Because you’re not currently enjoying the greatest snack in existence: sunflower seeds.
Maybe I’m wrong about you. Maybe you already understand their magical properties. Perhaps you’ve seen their massive flowers and were captivated, as I was, by their yellow faces that gaze up at the sun as it moves across the sky all summer. Perhaps you’ve witnessed them at the end of the summer revealing that all along they’ve been making hundreds of those perfect little seeds, all arranged in a pattern that’s not only gorgeous to look at, but just happens to correspond to the golden ratio, the universal symbol of perfection. Perhaps the dying flower drooped within your reach, to where the seeds were literally ripe for the picking. And then, you were welcomed into the delectable embrace of the of the world’s most perfect snack.
But sadly, I’m almost certain that you’re not enjoying sunflower seeds. Either it’s from ignorance or foolishness or just good old fashioned spite. Whatever the reason, you need to turn your life around and truly start living.
If you have an issue – and I only pity you if you do – it is with their shells. But that’s just like you, to refuse this incredible gift from nature over something so petty. The way I see it, the hard shell is part of their allure. With sunflower seeds you have to want it. This isn’t some Twinkie you just shove into your face. It’s a puzzle. It necessitates cunning, grace and skill to open. It requires all parts of your mouth to engage in the snacking process, rather than just blindly dumping in more. That kernel inside is your reward for not obliterating the whole thing between your molars, not jabbing the cracked shell into your gums and not accidentally spitting out the seed when you got rid of its salted packaging. Yeah it’s a pain in the ass, but life is a pain in the ass. Each little kernel that you extract is a reminder that a little effort has its reward.
Once the technique has been mastered, all that needs to be done is to settle in and get into the snacking zone. And I literally mean “The Zone.” This is the same Zone that Iron Man winners talk about. With sunflower seeds you get into a soothing rhythm of pick bite spit chew, pick bite spit chew, over and over again until you fall into a meditative state. Hours can slip by with a bag of sunflower seeds, letting yourself enter into the blissful state of snacking. This is not a snack for the modern go-go-go world. While some snacks are a sprint, sunflower seeds are a marathon.
Baseball players, the living embodiment of athleticism, should serve as heroic inspiration for the life you could be living. Even with all the demands of their job they still can find time to enjoy sunflower seeds. These dedicated athletes serve as role models for the rest of us snackers, reminding us that no matter what you have going on in your life – no matter the demands placed upon you or level of intensity – it can be made better by adding sunflower seeds.
But perhaps the best argument in favor of sunflower seeds is their price. Any decent sized bag goes for no more than a buck and half, which probably works out to around four or five hours of sunflower seeds. That’s a lot of sunflower seeds, pal. And this isn’t even taking into account the ability to get them in bulk because that’s really what we should be doing. This is a snack that’s within everyone’s grasp. A snack for the common man. A snack for the people.
So you can keep your candy and chips. You can keep your cookies and your crackers, and even your pretzels. Go ahead and keep throwing your life away with imperfect snacks. Because long after these inferior mouth-fillers have run their course sunflower seeds will be standing at the ready, awaiting their chance to improve your life.