I’m fairly controlling and love vetting food that is kid-friendly (whatever that means), husband friendly (or “dude food”) and Foodtrainers friendly. I’ll admit I feel a little virtuous when all boxes are checked. Take this past weekend. We packed the car with the coffin-sized cooler. As we made our way North the kids picked at strawberries, Kirby cucumber and cinnamon popcorn I had popped. We stopped at a pizza place that uses a lot of organic ingredients, has gluten free pizza, delicious vegetables and even organic beer for Marc. I then hit the Brattleboro food coop to refill our kombucha and maple syrup bottles -gotta love Vermont. The next day I filled the slow cooker with ingredients for a lentil sweet potato soup. Healthy, organized but this was all going to change.
Tuesday, I had what seems to have been a 2-day migraine or virus. Foolish enough to not let dizziness derail me me, I went to play tennis. I play for an hour with a friend and then they kids come for their after school lessons. As I stumbled off the court I saw my son holding this:
“J’s mother got it for me, is it ok this one time?” It took every ounce of my depleted energy to be dishonest but I summoned up “sure”.  There was nothing about the situation that was going to be a teachable moment and I was feeling too lousy to police. So this neon concoction with high fructose corn syrup as first ingredient and a collection of chemicals and blue dye was ingested by my 7 year old. One saving grace, I don’t think he liked it. Most of it remains. It says, “refrigerate after opening” but I’m fairly certain this blue beverage could outlast me.
The nutrition nightmare wasn’t over. We rushed home because Granny was taking us out to dinner for blue-drinking son’s birthday. His birthday isn’t for a couple of weeks but Granny will be out of the country; you may not know my mother but she and her boyfriend are always out of the country. I only add this because me and my migraine were off to Benihana for a nasty hibachi dinner sure to be chock filled with tidbits about my mother and “Dr Ron’s” upcoming South America adventures.
Marc texted to tell me he’d drive us to the restaurant. In the car, I looked down to grab my blackberry charger and saw this in the ashtray
Maybe it should be called a gumtray
As I glared at the gum, Marc did what any “dude” would do and popped a piece in his mouth. The nauseating faux-spearmint smell filled the car. My head was pounding, my mother awaiting, there was no holding back. “So you don’t drink diet cancer anymore, right?”. Marc ignored me, chomping away. “Do you think gum is any different?” At this point my corruptible birthday boys said “Dad can I have a piece?” The gum gushing was off and it wasn’t going to stop.

I picked up the pack of crap and started spewing facts

SORBITOL sugar alcohol AKA guaranteed gassiness , GUM BASE, GLYCEROL, MANNITOL another sugar alcohol, bystanders beware, NATURAL AND ARTIFICAL FLAVORS, HYDROGENATED STARCH HYDROLYSATE (also polyols and 20% to 50% as sweet as sugar); LESS THAN 2% OF: ASPARTAME migraine trigger, carcinogen and potential contributor to preterm labor ACESULFAME K stimulates insulin secretion, part of the argument that sweet begets sweet. Plus hasn’t been properly tested SOY LECITHIN an emulsifier, to separate this from soybean oil chemical solvents are used, plus should we place bets about whether this soy is non GMO? BHT (TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS) BHT is banned in England, at higher doses causes animals to bleed it brain, can damage heart cells and retard weight gain and as CSPI says “bottom line is that BHA and BHT are unnecessary. There are safer ways to prolong the shelf life of foods.” COLORS (TURMERIC, BLUE 1 LAKE). “Blue is for brain tumors” as blue 1 shown to cause in animals. Chew on that.

So yes, my family eats healthy most of the time. In general, I try to offer advice only when we’re alone. I know one neon drink, every so often, is to be expected from a seven year old but gum? Totally nasty and I don’t think people think about it.
Do you say something when your family members eat something blatantly unhealthy? What food bothers you most? Are you a gum chewer? Had you contemplated the ingredients? And yes, I realize not everyone swallows their gum and I am still anti.


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