Thursday, 11 December 2014

A Cautionary Message





I see stuff like this all the time on social media. I'm never entirely sure what to make of it.

The point I'm trying to make is that if we all just use a little bit of common sense, we can probably avoid killing ourselves and our children. Should you feed your kids Timbits every night for dinner? Probably not. Is it likely you will find me doing this at least once during this next month? Yeah, damn skippy it is.

The problem is oversaturation. The Internet and social media mean that no matter whether something has been scientifically proven or not, it can be disseminated to skillions of people in an instant. This means that no matter what you do, and no matter what you're eating, there's a real good chance that someone out there has posted something about how dangerous it is.

Remember when our moms would hear that a particular item/food/habit was dangerous and:

a) dismissed the problem, because any kid stupid enough to die from it probably would have died walking in front of a bus before adulthood, anyway (cough- venetian blinds- cough, cough),


b) decided it was an actual threat and kept you safe.

That was back when the danger had to be real enough and well-documented enough and the story had to be verifiable enough to make it either into a newspaper or onto the TV or radio news (I am not including the National Enquirer here. No one ever actually BELIEVED there were alien baby goats being bred near Roswell, except the creepy lady down the block, and I'm pretty sure she was eating those cats). Now one person just needs to post a scary picture or study, and it's all over the world in a heartbeat.

I, being one of those women that finds it irritating to be told what to do, read each and every one of these articles, resolve to change my ways, then go back to doing whatever I was in the first place anyway. This is pretty much how I've lived my life since I was 2, and it works for me. (Not always so well for everyone around me, but that's a different blog.) If it makes you happy, I promise to make an effort to feel super guilty about it for a while, and act all ashamed and embarrassed when I feed my kids those Kraft crackers and cheese spread kits (not even for snacks, but in multiple quantities for breakfast, cause I haven't had my coffee and I've lost the will to care).

Here, in celebration of the fact that I will never actually get it right and have thusly given up trying; taken directly from an article posted on, are the '5 Foods You Should Never Let Into Your Kitchen', each and every one of which are currently residing in my pantry....

  1. Packaged instant oatmeal- although oats are actually very good for you, the sheer volume of sugar in the packaged instant stuff makes it entirely possible that your kid's head will spin around so violently that it flies completely off before 2nd period and at lunch they'll crash so hard the dislodged head will suffer a concussion. This is a shame, as instant oatmeal is what I feed the kids when I run out of Kraft Handi-Snacks.
  2. Margarine- we all know margarine is made of calories and trans fats and manufactured by obese little demons in the 9th circle of hell. This isn't news. But it's cheaper than butter, and has the added bonus of maybe killing one of the kids, thereby further reducing my grocery bill. Everybody wins.
  3. "Reduced Fat"* packaged foods- apparently, while reducing the fat in these foods, the manufacturers replace it with sugar to maintain the flavor. The problem is, now that we've cut out instant oatmeal, where exactly am I supposed to get my recommended daily value of sugar? Exactly. Reduced fat foods are the perfect vehicle for your sugar intake. How am I the only person to figure this out?????
  4. "Diet"* soda- turns out artificial sweeteners can trigger your appetite to kick in, which is not ideal, and may actually alter the healthy bacteria in your stomach, which could lead to glucose intolerance. But it tastes better. Like, way better. I'm drinking one right now. Soooooo...............
  5. Microwave popcorn- I agree. That stuff is shit.
Anyway- my thought for today is this. If you can put it in your mouth, are capable of chewing it, and it is not made of anything that your TV is also made out of, go ahead. Eat it. Just do it in moderation.

Living to 120 is no fun if it's bland.

*Quick side note, here- I particularly appreciate the author's use of quotation marks to emphasize their point. I would never have understood the article's slant without them.

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