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Stop Playing With My Food

February 20, 2009

Anyone who knows me well knows that I have rather bizarre dreams. In my REM world I am married to Evil Dave, who is, as his name implies the exact opposite of my husband, or rather he is everything Dave and I both wish he was. Evil Dave is a dirt bag with a borderline psychotic personality disorder and a lot of young girlfriends. I have also had the odd prophetic dream about a friend’s pregnancy or a flat tire. I even have haunting dreams of my dead sister, Parrish, who seems really pissed off that I’m the only one who can hear her in the afterlife. Seriously, can you blame her? However the most disturbing dream I’ve had of late has involved the seemingly innocuous appearance of a naked Jamie Lee Curtis. And not the Jamie Lee Curtis of the “Perfect” era either. Rather it was the middle-aged yogurt hawking Lady Haden-Guest that scared me awake in a cold sweat. I’m just glad I woke before she whipped out a spoon shaped scepter and a roll of Charmin.

Jamie Lee might be rubbing her belly and touting it as the Latin multisyllabic Bifidus Regularis , but let’s face it, Dannon is, essentially, putting laxatives in their yogurt. They say it’s there to help you “stay regular”, but so too was the infamous chocolate Ex-Lax in the brownies we all made a batch of in junior high school. The commercials for Fiber One’s version have a customer binging on the yogurt in the store with everyone looking uncomfortable when the reality of her situation dawns on them. Coming from a long line of binge eaters, I have good reason to flinch. Perhaps, it’s not as frightening as the time my mother spent 3 days in a fugue state after eating the entire pan of hash brownies, but it means that with my predisposition to eat the entire box or bag of whatever snack is on hand, I have to stay on my toes. As a nation have we so easily forgotten Olestra? The side effects of binging on the Wow potato chips were so bad the FDA had to get Frito Lay to put warning labels on their packaging. Anything that offers “oily anal leakage” as a side effect should be treated with the respect and dread it deserves and shouldn’t be considered a value add for breakfast foods.

Rather than encouraging us to eat fresh fruits, the fine folks at Coca Cola have decided to save us the effort of masticating and have kindly added Vitamin E to their Cherry 7-Up with Antioxidants. I am pretty sure that the benefits of the trace amounts of vitamins in the soda are going to be negated by the sugar in the regular soda and the Aspartame in the diet version. It’s not just the 7-Up line either. Coca Cola seems to be spiking their Diet Coke brand with a derivative of Vita-Vegemin as well. Have you looked at the label of Glaceau’s Vitamin Water? It’s not just vitamins and water like their advertising implies there’s a couple of cellulite ripples worth of sugar in there too. I have a cheaper homemade recipe for you. Take 1 mulit-vitamin, swallow it with one glass of tap water, and then chase it with a sugar cube.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I embrace the American art of processed food wholeheartedly. I like additives in my food. I won’t need to be embalmed when I die. I have consumed so much Saccharin, Aspartame, and Sucralose in my 42 years that I am pre-preserved for the big sleep. I am pretty sure it has more to do with why I don’t have wrinkles than my genetic makeup. I am a huge fan of Easy Cheese, Velveeta and Miracle Whip. I believe that snacks like Twinkies deserve their own food group on the pyramid. I wish they would put MSG back in my Chinese take-out. I hoarded the red M&Ms when they were carcinogen coated. I took offense to vegetarians trying to mess with my McDonald’s French Fries and their delicious added ingredient of beef extract. However, I have to draw the line with the new craze of putting trace amounts of additives in my food with an eye to making me “healthy”. If and when I decide to get healthy, I’ll add broccoli to my Velveeta when I pop it in the microwave.

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