During lunch on Monday I overheard my mother-in-law planning a grocery trip and responding to Victoria that, “I’m not going to get that cereal if your mom doesn’t want you eating it…”
I tuned in instantly. “What cereal?”
“Awwwwww, Mom!! Can Mimi buy us Reese’s Puffs if we only eat them at her house??? Pleeeeeeeeeeease?”
“I’m pretty sure that’s a negative, sweetie, but let’s just see…” I plucked my handy phone from my purse and began to Google… “Um, see this list, Vic. Red 40, Yellows 5 & 6, Blue 1, TBHQ, Modified This and Hydrolyzed That… Do you think you should be eating Reese’s Puffs?”
She blinked in disbelief at my phone, then threw her head back in despair. “UUUGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!! WHYYYYYYYYYYY do they have to put all that in there?!!”
Man, I feel her pain. “Why don’t you ask them? Seriously.”
And yes, I am serious about this. Nutritionally-deficient foods are marketed to our children every day. These ingredients that I’m “bashing” are really not necessary for the making of a good product. The colors? Purely cosmetic. The TBHQ preservative? Potentially unsafe…why not use Vitamin E? The modified starches and the hydrolyzed oils? Genetically-altered, purposed mutations of something that possibly used to be natural. All of it dangerous. And not just with regard to biology, although that ranks in my book… I also have begun to consider the justice issues, the socio-economic issues and the oh-my-gosh-my-head-hurts-when-I-consider-all-the-resulting-world-ramifications issues.
So no, my kids can’t have it.
As I explained to Victoria, whenever I run into a problem with the foods and products that I purchase, or when I have a commendation or suggestion, I email the company. Vic has an email address and is learning proper and effective use of technology under my watchful eye, so I think she should feel perfectly validated in writing to General Mills and telling them that she really wants to eat Reese’s Puffs, but because of the ingredients her mom won’t let her have it. I truly believe if Corporate America is going to target our kids as a market, then they need to expect to hear from our kids. Vic may very well spend the whole email telling them how much she wants to eat those sugary, chocolately, crunchy corn puffs for breakfast seven days a week. But she’s also going to tell them why she can’t, why she won’t, and why her mother’s money is not going to be spent on the cereal they have spent money convincing kids to beg for.
I do believe I found the subject matter for the kids’ next typing lesson. Maybe I’ll sic her on Twitter for corporate food connections. On second thought… #whatwasIthinking #crazymomfoodie #mydaughtermighthavemorefollowersthanCharlieSheen. Perhaps it’s best that I not turn her loose with hashtags just yet. 😉