Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Corn Syrup = Poison

I've noticed that in this new age and time, there seems to be a competition (yes another one) brewing among mothers. It's the my family is more nutritionally wholesome than your family war. I've noticed this most among my playgroup.

On one side you have the moms who do not care what their child is eating, as long as it's not paint chips and as long as they are, in fact, eating. At the other end of the spectrum are the moms who won't let a drop of non-organic milk touch their child's lips. No chicken nuggets for these kids. And soda? Well, that's just unheard of. If it has the word hydrogenated or high fructose in it, it's considered tainted.

Well I agree with the latter -- to a certain extent. But at what point do we let other mothers' over protectiveness spill over into our own lives and in turn, bring on the guilt? There was a time that I felt guilty for letting my son have any baby food that wasn't organic. That canned organic food was good enough for me. Then I met a mom who wouldn't let her daughter have anything that wasn't non organic AND homemade. BRING ON THE GUILT! I must be the laziest mom ever, because I'm not at home with my blender making purees. Not true. I got over that guilt trip pretty quickly. In fact, I am too lazy to make my son's baby food...but I really don't care that I am.

So yesterday, I was faced with another bit of guilt. I was discussing corn syrup with another mom at the mall during our play date. We were on our way to eat lunch. The conversation started out to be harmless enough. We were discussing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Before we could even get into the elevator to head up to the food court for lunch, I was contemplating how to hide the soda I'd brought to drink with my lunch that day.

Knowing full well that the woman I was speaking with was a wholesome living guru, I asked what sort of PB she used. She informed me she used ONLY organic and ONLY natural. There would be NO hydrogenated oils entering her children's bodies. Then she returned the question with the same. I use store brand "less sugar, less sodium"....for my son anyway. I, personally, like the taste of all the hydrogenated sugared up peanut crap. But don't I at least get an E for effort since I do buy the reduced crap version for my son? In my defense, I explained that my husband doesn't let me buy the natural because it's separated and it grosses him out.

"There's a brand that makes no-stir natural PB, ya know," she informed me.

Then the subject of jelly.

"I only buy the natural jelly that is sweetened with fruit juices. No sugar," she said.

Well don't you get the Whole Foods shopper of the year award? Step off the Smucker's, biotch! I grew up eating it and I'm not morbidly obese.

So, showing that I was just as interested in protecting my son from the harms of hydrogenated, I pulled the corn syrup card.

"You know, I bought Sara Lee bread the other day because it was on sale. I'm soooo ticked! I got home with it and found out like the fifth ingredient is corn syrup!"

She just gave this "you're surprised why..." look and nodded vigorously as she explained to me that nearly all bread was like this. That's why she buys Nature's Own brand. I'm not really that upset about the corn syrup, but for the sake of saving face I sure was. My attempt to save face was quickly being lost...she went into a lecture about corn syrup in wheat bread. I felt very dumb. How could I be so unknowing in this area? I must be less of a mom.

In a quick rebuttal, I shot back with what brand of bread I like to buy (but don't generally because it's expensive). I touted that it comes in whole grain varieties with added vitamins.

"You know, when they enrich the bread, they strip it of all of it's nutrients first and then just add the others back in...You're better off just getting the bread with corn syrup."

I couldn't win with this woman. No one can. Can any of us really win with any of us? I don't think so. We all have a point to get across, and of course all of us are correct. We're moms, and we don't want our style to be threatened.

Then we proceeded to get in the elevator and go up to the food court. I unpacked my sack lunch and proudly plunked my can of Coke down beside my sugared up, fully hydrogenated PB&J.

I drank my Coke like it was a badge of honor to less than perfect moms everywhere.


Missy said...

Oh man, sounds like she is a little insecure in her natural (and pricey) food choices if she had to spout off like that. I hope she did not ruin your coke! Just happened upon your blog- I like your insights.

Rantings by a Middle Aged Drama Queen said...

Well see thats why I never have "food" convo's w/ you because I know I would be on the losing end!!! :)

Kelly said...

That is too funny, I have conversations like that w/ a few moms in a natural families playgroup I had joined. Even had a playdate at my house w/ another mom and her baby. My daughter (who was 6 at the time) wanted to show her daughter who was like almost 2, a part in this move she really liked with faries in it. the movie is called Fairytale . The mother got very upset and would not let her daughter watch the brief clip of the movie that my daughter wanted to share. BEcause she was not allowing her to watch tv and being on a playdate was no exception...
Whatever lady...
She even went on to bloat about how her and her daughter have never even as touched a disposable diaper.
Well gee, by son was sitting in his pamper wanting to watch Spongebob...
I must be straight from hell in her book!