My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Now With More Labeling!

I love to make grand and exorbitant breakfasts and it was during one of these recent culinary quests that I got to wondering why most people eat cereal as their first meal of the day. We all know that in the morning your body needs protein, yet breakfast cereal, because TV, radio, and print ads, is what is most available in the United States. Why? Why on earth should someone load themselves up with something that will only drag them down? Sure it’s easy and cheap, but those are the worst two reasons to do anything (High School relationships aside).

So off I went to the local grocery store to take an overly observant trip down the cereal aisle. What I found is that shopping for breakfast cereal is a self-realization process. Everything ever learned by sociologists, psychologists, and marketing people is on display for all to see. There are huge boxes with large glossy pictures and descriptions of all of the wonderful things that the product will do for you. “Lower your cholesterol” “Good for your heart” “Now with More Fiber!” scream out at the hapless shopper while proclaiming that they are made with “Whole Wheat”, “Clusters”, and “Real Fruit” and all part of a balanced breakfast (once you eat a banana, drink a glass of orange juice, and swallow a multivitamin). All you have to do is find one that appeals to you and then you get to question your value system, intellect, and upbringing.

Now walk down the produce isle. How many signs do you see extolling the virtues of the fruits and vegetables? Are there any? Probably not. Instead you will find unassuming food in large crates adorned with small stickers telling the cashier what code to punch in to ring up the item. This has lead me to believe that the more a food product tells you that it’s healthy, the less chance it actually is.

This same thinking is echoed when someone tells you that they are trying to eat healthier. They usually are just choosing the same items with a “Low-Fat”, “30% Less Sugar”, or “Now with more Vitamin C” instead of switching over to something that involved a couple million years of evolution instead of several months of lab alterations. It is if we think that our scientists can better nature with a couple of beakers and a white coat. The natural world has produced its first plants over 475 million years ago. Kellogg made his first breakfast cereal about the same time as we started driving automobiles. Moreover, it is what we as a species spent the last 50,000 years eating. Now I’m all for science in areas where we need some help, but healthy food is not one of them. And our audacity to believe that we can create a better breakfast through marketing is not only ridiculous, it’s laughable.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to do further research on my recent purchase of Double Chocolate Cookie Crisp.

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