one man's ceiling
Thursday, November 23, 2006
  eat up, american children, so that the evil witch can stuff you in her oven!
yesterday at the girl's school they held a family breakfast, a little pre-holiday get-together for families to share breakfast foods and check out the kids school work and generally wish each other a happy thanksgiving.

my zuska and our youngest made coffee cake muffins from scratch. they were both very proud of their efforts, and rightly so. very tasty indeed.

but while i was scanning the food tables i noticed someone had brought in cereal and milk for kids who would normally prefer such things over donuts and whatnot. and what were brought in were those little single-serve boxes that came shrinkwrapped in a 12 pak. ah, what fond memories of fighting to be the first one up in the morning so you can grab your favorite flavor (sugar pops, as they were honestly called back in the day) leaving behind the raisin bran and special k for the unwary loser. so much fun! punching open the box and carefully tearing open the wax wrapper in order to eat out of the box like a bowl. what a thrill! when someone cut badly and milk leaked out the box all over the table...

wait. what the hell? the cereal boxes... they've grown! they're huge! they're twice as large as they used to be!

and americans wonder why there's an epidemic of obesity among our children.

back when i was a kid, one box was the limit and it was because these cereals were a special treat. early on my parents realized (without scare stories in the news) that sugar and kids was a bad combination and we were put on a diet of wheaties, cheerios and the occasional kix. we could have seconds but we weren't allowed to add sugar and if we were still hungry after that it was on to fruit or juice. with the little boxes we were allowed the one serving and seconds had to be of one of the regular cereals.

but what has changed since those days when a single smaller box was considered a serving while today a larger box is necessary? did they just give in to parental pressure and marketing and double the serving size so kids wouldn't complain that they were still hungry? have parents accepted the fact that even though cereal (as we have been told billions of times in commercials) is only "part of a balance/nutritious breakfast" that getting kids to eat anything in the crush of the morning routine is good enough? sure, let them load up on vitamin fortified empty calories, double the portion to keep them quiet, send them off to schools with a sugar high for the teacher to deal with, and write off the obesity as "baby fat" that they will eventually grow out of because putting them on a diet with give them :food issues" that could scar them for life.

i'm sorry, but the agribiz and food industry in general are going to have a reckoning day when americans decide to stop poisoning and killing their children with food. until then, the witch in the forest is rubbing her hands with glee that hansel and gretel are slowly trundling down the path, ready for a quick gingerbread house break, grain-fed and fattened for the oven.

and now i'm off to produce my own masterpiece of american gluttony. three cheers for the annual tradition of proving that the way to inaugurate the beginning of the holiday shopping season is by getting together (and barely putting up) with family, watching the great american gladiator sport of football on television (because no one would even think of doing anything like exercise on this day) and eating ourselves into a food coma.

actually, that all doesn't sound so bad. for one day.
 
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