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reading tiger

One More I Forgot

My mother confirmed that I come across as "kind of a health food nut" to Midwesterners. This is hilarious in many dimensions, especially as it was related to me over a plateful of fast food fries.

I then explained to her the concept of Berkeley Parent Points and how far in the red I currently am.


Midwesterners are mystified why anyone would make vinaigrette from scratch instead of grabbing a bottled dressing. They count potatoes, corn, and jello 'salads' as vegetables and are perplexed when someone wants something else. In June I watched my sister prepare a 'salad' that involved boxed pudding, canned mandarin oranges, Cool Whip, and crushed tiger stripe cookies. Me, I'm mystified that anyone voluntarily eats Cool Whip when real whipped cream tastes so much better, but that makes me a 'health food nut' in my family.

It's another country, truly. Then there was the time in a large grocery store in Arizona when we tried (and failed!) to find just one whole grain bread that didn't contain high-fructose corn syrup. There's another country.
"Then there was the time in a large grocery store in Arizona when we tried (and failed!) to find just one whole grain bread that didn't contain high-fructose corn syrup. There's another country. "

I grew up in Phoenix with parents who were absolute health nuts. They even made their own tofu and ground their own whole wheat flour for homemade bread. As health food stores have grown slowly more available, they have stopped doing that, so I think some of their more extreme health-nut habits were out of necessity. It is a different world over there, you're right.
Potatoes and corn *are* vegetables. Just sayin'...

Also, I didn't want this post to become an occasion for disparaging other people's foodways.

Sorry. I grew up in the Midwest but am appalled at the non-critical acceptance, nay, enthusiasm for every faux food product that comes along. It's the non-critical, blind acceptance that particularly appalls me.

Re corn and potatoes: vegetables is a very amorphous category. Most nutrition guidelines class those two as a starch rather than a vegetable. There is no botanical category for vegetable. </p>

I could (or you could) delete my comment(s) if you want. I wouldn't have any problem with that. I respect your desire to maintain a desired level of discourse in your journal.

Actually, classifying corn and potatoes as "starch" rather than vegetables is a cultural artifact (most notably of the starch-vegetable-protein mode of Western-style meal planning), not a nutritional one. Peas, limas, sweet potatoes and winter squash are usually considered vegetables, yet are high in starch.

Nutritionists are more prone to talk about "starchy vegetables" and "nonstarchy vegetables."

Anyway, my point is that non-critical acceptance of processed food is not limited to the Midwest nor particularly characteristic of same, particularly in contrast to other regions of the country.

I'm going to let the discussion stand. I just want folks to be mindful in the future.
I suspect it doesn't help when you explain (as I do in similar circumstances) that you are mostly eating what you like. Sure, chocolate ice cream is good, but so are ripe plums.
Oooh, ooh, I have one! This weekend I was at a child's birthday party with T. There was a pinata. I said to T, "Guess what? There's a pinata!" "What's a pinata?" "Well, you hit it and candy comes out." "CANDY!!!"

As I was saying this, 3 other parents got every worried looks on their faces, and started shaking their heads. They hissed at me not to build her up. Huh? "Why not?" "Well, there may not be candy in the pinata." "I've seen them filled with little toys." "You know, you can get them with trail mix!" "I was online looking for a pinata and there are all these groups that are AGAINST pinatas, as they promote violence."

OMG, people, let the kids have some candy at a birthday party! I am relieved to say there was candy in this pinata. But yeah, those Berkeley Parent demerits are really piling up...I think it is delightful that you are considered a health food nut.
Pinatas promote violence?! WOW. I am laughing so hard at this! That is a new one!

(Also, a pinata stuffed with trail mix just sounds wrong.)
A pinata stuffed with trail mix sounds, at first glance, like a good way to deter violence -- "Hit someone, and lots of little hard things may fly out and hit you in the eye, and it'll *hurt*!"

(Yes, I know, it's probably trail mix in boxes, or bars, or bags, but still -- trail mix in a pinata sounds like a health food fragmentation grenade.)
In my sojourns in the wedding industry I came across the photos of a reception pinata filled with condoms and the tiny bottles of booze.


David and I get all kinds of snark from his older sisters for our diet (vegetarian) - one of whom is the same sister who neglects to prepare even remotely to feed us when we come visit. We once showed up for Xmas dinner - drove all the way to Mesa, AZ - and she'd prepared a ham, mashed potatoes (with bacon) and meat gravy, and soda. We ate iceberg lettuce and cheese sandwiches.

It's a different world out there. My first interaction with jello 'salad' in an Indianapolis church gathering was.. enlightening into my partner's childhood.

Re: oof.

I don't get any snark -- which is why it's taken so long to figure this out. It was a chance remark from my father who was surprised I feed my kids fries that started the whole chain of discussion. And my parents are generally pretty easygoing in all directions (kinda like me). Plus Mom is a gardener, so she understands my fixation of fresh vegetables.

My sister's wedding even had a (homemade!) gluten-free wedding cake as well as a traditional wedding cake -- apparently many of the groom's family can't tolerate gluten. Now, if it had been a Berkeley wedding, there would likely have been no traditional cake, *only* gluten-free. Amirite? ;)

Re: oof.

Wow, I wish I could eat cake at parties!!!! Yummmmmm. I want cake so bad. Actually, I usually just make g-free brownies and frost them.