It seemed like I sort of struck a nerve in this post where I talked about trying to avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup in the foods I choose to feed my family. I always find that sort of thing interesting, because the HFCS thing was really a sidebar to my main point in that post (which was, I think, “insurance companies and doctors’ offices make me want to eat my own face”), plus I did not (that I noticed, anyway) say, “HFCS bad! If you feed it to your kids or eat it yourself, you’re a filth-encrusted whoremongering minion of the devil!” And yet the urge to justify one’s choices is human nature, I guess, and so responses to that post pretty much fell into one of four categories:
1) “You are so right, Mir! Corn syrup is evil and so hard to avoid! ACK!”
2) “You are so right, Mir! Corn syrup is evil, and that’s why we consume lots of aspartame and sucralose, instead, because I prefer chemicals to genetically-modified corn! ACK!”
3) “You are a whiny alarmist, Mir! Corn syrup never hurt anyone! Why don’t you go hug a tree, you filthy hippie!”
4) “LALALALALALAAAAAA! I can’t HEEEEEAR you!”
Alrighty, then. I’m glad we all know where we stand!
The thing is, I am really NOT that crunchy-healthy mother that I sometimes wish I really was. I’m more of an all-things-in-moderation kind of mom, not the least of which because I have a sweet tooth, myself, or because I realize that forbidden fruit is all the more sweet. It’s not like I go for groceries and come home with my reusable eco-totes full of tree bark and organically harvested spelt. I really think it’s all a matter of balance, you know?
So that means I avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup as much as possible, because the reality is that it’s in several products we still consume, including the occasional meal out and all of the food the kids consume over which I have no control—snacks at friends’ houses, food swapped at the school lunch table, etc. Plus, avoiding HFCS as much as possible means that when I buy the occasional container of ice cream, I can feel all virtuous, knowing this is an occasional treat rather than the icing on the early-onset diabetes cake.
Furthermore—and I’m not saying I necessarily do this on purpose, you understand, but I’m not exactly UNAWARE of it, is my point—the more deliberate and nutritious our everyday menu is, the greater the chance that I get to (occasionally, oh-so-briefly) be a revered rock star on those rare, beautiful days when I offer up something normally verboten.
This weekend, the kids were gone and Otto was working and I have a really sucky week on tap, here, so I did what any normal person would do, and I invited a bunch of girlfriends over to play on Saturday night. But first I spend most of Saturday exercising extreme sloth, spending half the day in my pajamas, cuddled up to craptastic television programming. Ahhhhh. The second half of the day I spent preparing, which meant that I ran to the store for provisions (and by “provisions” I mean “wine”) and then came home and made a mess in the kitchen.
Because all of my friends are awesome and not nearly as piggish as me, at the end of the evening I still had most of the bean crack and cookies, as well as about thirty more bottles of wine (okay, maybe not thirty, but it seemed that way) and twice as much snack food. Including a jar of pickles. I mean, Wickles. Wickles pickles! (From the product description: “The most exciting new pickle product in years.” Maybe I will just suck down that jar for lunch today.)
I of course tidied up after everyone left (a wild evening of frolicking and playing Balderdash will take it out of you, hooboy), including putting away all of the extras, and the children were none the wiser.
This morning I packed them nutritious lunches—as I always do—including sandwiches, cut up celery and carrots, dried fruit, and a bottle of wine each.
Oh, wait. No I didn’t. It’s really hard to fit an entire bottle of wine into a lunchbox, plus Monkey never finishes all of his before he passes out.
I meant to say, I hid a cookie in the bottom of each lunch bag. The children will be DELIRIOUS WITH GLEE when they discover this. Which means I’m a hero with minimal effort.
And with no High Fructose Corn Syrup; just the element of surprise, mounds of refined sugar, and sticks of butter—the way God intended.