Please don’t judge me by the contents of my shopping cart. In a town of this size, with my foody reputation at stake, I worry about being seen with some inorganic, white bread, prepackaged, corn syrup -infused product. With my best friends carrying around Michael Pollan’s Food Rules like a bible in their pocketbooks, I don’t dare risk being caught with anything but the slowest of foods. So it was with great dismay that today, after purchasing 6 entire liters of soda, I felt a gentle touch on my arm, and there was my children’s pediatrician saying, “Hi there. Nice to see you.” I smiled and murmured something back (knowing of course, that he doesn’t even know my name — just that I’m MaxMollyJoe’s mom), but all the while wondering, “Did Dr. Hill see the soda in the bags in my cart? Will he blame their asthma on the Diet Sprite? Thank goodness they have healthy BMIs!”
Last year my friend AJ asked me to pick up some brownie mix for her at our neighborhood IGA grocery. No big deal for most people, but I was mortified at the idea of having to purchase such a product. Have you ever read the list of ingredients? Do you know how silly-easy it is to make them from scratch?! My son Max was with me and I said to him, “Max, what if one of my friends sees me buying brownie mix? I’m known for my brownies!” He said, “Mom, I’ll go down the brownie mix aisle myself and get the box.” I seem to recall that he even offered to stand in a different check-out aisle and pay for it himself. He was willing to take the fall for me. My son is a mensch.
I loath soda, and brownie or pancake mixes, and prepared salad dressings. Anything “light” or diet are even worse. Take a good read at any of these packages and you can’t help but realize that you’re in for a tasty meal of additives. Not to mention that it takes about as much time to whip up something from scratch as it does to make it from a mix. There are a few mixes that I will occasionally purchase, if they have real ingredients, with names that I recognize and would use myself.
I recommend the books Fast Food Nation, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma. My husband bought me Fast Food Nation as a gift about 10 years ago. Since reading it cover-to-cover, all in that day, we no longer take our kids to McDonalds. In fact 2 out of 3 of them will refuse to go.
So, Dr. Hill, just a note to let you know that the sodas in my cart were for an event at our temple tonight. The other ladies like the idea of serving a punch and they had me pick up the ingredients. I didn’t taste a drop, nor did my children. I swear.