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Monday, May 08, 2006 

Gluttony: Sugar

Is there really a market for apples that taste like grapes???

Kids love ‘em for their sweetness. Moms love ‘em because they're a delicious, healthy alternative for high fat, sugary snacks. Satisfy your sweet tooth with something sweet, crunchy, filling and good for you!
Is there really a kid out there that likes grapes, but not apples? Also, are there moms out there that are so desperate to get the kidlets to eat apples that they will give resort to some unknown industrial process that makes them taste like a completely different fruit? Now, some spinach that tastes like pizza, THAT would be genius! Maybe broccoli that tastes like cotton candy!

I’m no expert, but I do have a 4-year-old and its really hard to get her to eat anything other than apples and grapes. Well, chocolate.. and other refined sugar derived foods. I think that the only protein I have ever seen this child eat was some chicken hidden in a normally meat-free curry dish. She loves curries as long as she doesn’t find any meat.

Speaking of sugary snacks..

On our recent trip to the zoo, they had little food stands set up all over the area that prominently displayed something like a long and very colorful sucker. The girl was completely mesmerized, just as the evil food scientist/marketer intended. We called it “Sugar on a stick” and as soon as we saw it, we knew we were buying one. The sucker was prominently displayed, but the price was cleverly hidden.

By the time I found out that they we over $6, it was much (much) too late to avoid a major public meltdown without shelling out the cash. So, as a good daddy, I dug deep and got one. The wife wanted a soda so the total was over $9. It turns out that this was no ordinary sucker! Oh no, not by a longshot.

I swear it had crack in it. There is no other reasonable explanation for the effect it had on the girl. We had to put it away in order to enter any of the zoo buildings. Once the girl was informed that there would be no more animals unless she gave up the sucker for a while, she got with the program. The instant we exited a building, she was crawling all over me to give the sucker back.

She fell asleep on the way home (no such luck for daddy), that’s when I struck! Pulling over (mommy was asleep as well), I snuck the stick from her vice-like grip. I wrapped it up in a piece of waxed tissue (from our luxurious lunch) and stuck it in the camera bag. As I pulled into the driveway she awoke and panicked that her crack-laden confection was missing. The wife gave me the ‘ol skunk eye, knowing full well I had something to do with it. Once reunited with the candy, she immediately became placid and even a bit sleepy. Sugar induced napping ensued once the complete sucker was eaten. The surprising thing is that now that it is gone, she is not crying for it.

I thought we were pretty clever because this zoo had no admission fee. We were going to have a nice cheap day out in the sun. How did I ever think that? Drive 200+ miles, 9 bucks for a snack, 40 bucks for lunch and various and sundry other costs. They saw me coming a mile (or more like 100) away.

Should have stayed home and watched TiVo.

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