This morning, I began constructing this blog—the hysteria of Six Feet Under re-runs in the background—and noticed several ads for Rice Krispies new Cereal Straws. Our old friends Snap, Crackle, and Pop have a new attitude: the typical small-adult, smart-ass, snarky-ness that America loves so much. They’re street-wise, irreverent, and rather than just snap, crackle, and pop, they now dip, sip, and munch as well. New Cocoa Krispy straws, a cereal shell lined with a chocolaty filling, are perfect for enticing America’s kids to drink they’re soy or lactose-free milk; great to wash down ADHD meds; an excellent means of inserting refined sugar and processed chocolatey-gunk into every aspect of young America’s diet. Awesome.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I visited our nephews in Washington, Indiana. Each of our older nephews (Drew, age 9 and Berkley, age 5) had a soccer game. At the last whistle of the game, the kids—especially the young ones—rushed towards the snack bar; Chris’s sister, Kara, explained that each soccer player is allowed to choose two snacks after their game. The parents pay for this in a round. Both of our nephews chose Mountain Dew and a candy item. Should gyms institute a similar practice?
I’ve just started reading Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, a complex cookbook/food philosophy text that challenges America’s “diet dictocrats” with an all-natural, anti-vegetarian—and I’m talking sweetbreads and brains here—approach. There are a few ideas in the book that I easily buy into—views that reinforce my own belief system: avoid processed as much as possible, especially any “fattening” product that claims to be reduced-fat such as cream cheese and sour cream; eat a balance of meats and veggies; insert healthy foods whenever possible—oatmeal in waffles, flax seed in muffins. But I have trouble with the labor-intensive practices—such as soaking all grains for 24 hours—that will keep ordinary folks reaching for extruded cereals and instant rice.
Within the book I’m writing, SCRATCH, I hope to achieve a balance, less than extremist but a healthier version of ordinary. There’s a better way to live in post-modern America eating healthily, affordably, and interesting, and I intend to piece it together.