18 April 2010

If I'm Going To Continue to Consume Garbage, I Should Probably Stop Reading the Ingredients

If you know me, you know my love for the finer things: Olive Garden, Little Debbies, Mister Softee (with orange magic shell). This love, surely, was cultivated by my mother, father, and grandmother since, I'd wager, my birth (more likely starting while in utero). Included in my grandma-packed lunch every day in grade school was a Little Debbie snack - most often the Swiss Cake Roll, but also of course Zebra Cakes and the standard chocolate and vanilla cakes; occasionally the Oatmeal Creme Pie and that rare treat, the Strawberry Shortcake roll. Mr. B's was a soft-serve joint a few blocks from my childhood home where we would frequently go with my father on "dad visit" days. I'd always get the BLT, and of course vanilla soft serve with rainbow sprinkles for dessert. Olive Garden was where we'd go for post-Church dinner when I was a bit older - middle and high school. Some great reward for sitting through Church, maybe a bribe, I don't know, but I do know it was and is so-delicious.

I have somehow become, against all odds, something of a healthy-eater kind of person. Whole grains, raw or barely steamed veggies, organic tofu, beans and rice. My favorite snack is hummus and pita. Gone are the days of fake meat products for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Gone are the days of Banana Nut Crunch or Quaker Oats oatmeal squares (packed full of vitamins and protein, but also packed full of sugar and corn starch - you could lay bricks with that stuff) for breakfast (or, let's face it, and lunch and dinner). Gone are the days of V8 Splash - a delicious and sugary vehicle for "vitamins." BUT, I still engage in trashy foodery. I know they are disgusting, literally one step above garbage, occasionally tantamount to flavored plastic food items, but I allow myself these guilty pleasures on not entirely rare occasions.

I always loved those individual serving Hostess pies; not in the shape of a little pie, but like a Hot Pocket, but not hot. They had various fruit fillings, but also chocolate pudding. Mmmmm that was my favorite. Whenever I see these pocket pies, I look for chocolate pudding; alas they are never found. I recently re-ignited my love affair with pocket pies, by way of Entenmann's lemon pie. There's a 24-hour bodega a block away from my apartment, with a very limited selection of snacks, this being one of them. So I picked one up last night, needing a pick-me-up whilst working on this seemingly never-ending paper. It's so delicious on the way into my belly, but I always detect a strange aftertaste that I can't put my finger on. After a chips/lard fiasco a few weeks ago (I would tell you about it but the thought makes me wretch), I decided to check the lemon pie ingredients, certain I would not find any animal by-products therein. And indeed, no (obvious) animal by-products jumped off the loooong ingredients list into my eyeballs, but here's what did : PARABENS. Inside of food! This is the stuff that I refuse to even let touch my skin, scouring skin-care product ingredients lists to make sure they are not included, and here it is GOING INSIDE OF MY BODY. Parabens which, among other ghastly things, in their estrogen-mimicking has been linked to BREAST CANCER. Thanks, Entenmann's!


  1. Well, that orange "magic shell" that's on Mr. Softee is just wax, so that's safe, right?