You know who annoys me more than newly converted Jesus freaks? Newly converted dieters. Today I was just trying to go to CVS to get some Tylenol when I was pounced on by “nutritional consultants” handing out samples of some new pom-soy-who knows what “nutrition” bar.
I declined and said, “I’d rather just eat the actual unprocessed fruit.”
I know this usually provokes a fracas, and I must admit I was a little feverish and I was looking to rumble.
Much to my contrarian chagrin, the perkier of the two woman didn’t take the bait! She actually agreed with me. I wondered if her corporate overlords know she’s saying such things?
Then she started yakking about the importance of eating a fruit or vegetable from as many colors of the rainbow as possible every day and how hard that can be and how her product can help fill those gaps when you just can’t find so much variety.
I’m not one to lose so easily, so I tried derailing her by asking whether bananas counted as white or yellow. I actually wonder about this, so it wasn’t completely combative of me. Then I brought up peaches. Pink? Yellow? What about the one I had with breakfast? It was pretty whitish inside, more of a cream than a true canary.
I started to feel guilty for being obnoxious and sounding self-righteous so I told them I’d spent the weekend subsisting on Guinness, tater tots, and chocolate. They giggled at my joke; they thought I was kidding. I wasn’t.
I also wasn’t kidding about eating actual fruit instead of pre-packaged snacks and this was making the Nutrition Specialists pouty and combative because I still wouldn’t try the snack sample.
The more she tried to make me eat the Soylent Pom, the more resistant I got.
Then the whole thing got derailed because someone else pointed out that you should never let your kids eat peaches because they’re a stone fruit and everyone knows that stone fruits cause ADHD. Or maybe Autism. Or maybe they just make them worse. Or maybe eating them makes the symptoms better.
Best not to take the chance. Make sure your children are terrified of peaches and apricots and cherries. One bite and their brains will implode. Or maybe explode. Just don’t take the chance.
Everyone seems to know this, with great certainty, even if they aren’t certain what they know. Everyone agreed it was something that started with “a” and that it was very, very bad. Apparently, giving little Jayden or Avery or Eithne stone fruits is now more dangerous than feeding them sugary breakfast cereals or letting them take a bath without water wings before they’re 18.
It always disturbs me when people are so adamant about eliminating a specific food or consuming a food based on vague health claims, even more so when they aren’t even sure why they’re doing it in the first place. Perhaps there’s a connection, I’m not an expert.
I wanted to shout a few disease names that started with “a” but I saw an opening and I took it, so I sprinted to my car and went home. They aren’t my kids and it isn’t my business, but the medical anthropologist in me still likes to stay aware of these wacky trends and the social and cultural implications of them.
Once I got home, I sat down with my macbook and tried to suss out the genesis of the stone fruit/ADHD or autism connection but quickly got distracted by Monsters Cereal, an entire blog devoted to Count Chocula, Franken Berry and Boo-Berry. Then I got sucked into the YouTube.
Then I got distracted by Breakfast of the Gods.
God bless the Internet. I feel better already.