Saturday, September 6, 2008

Sound Off: Green Bags & High Fructose Corn Syrup

As the saying goes, if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy! I just have to take a moment here and sound off about two things that are hugely irritating to me.

First item up for discussion: Green Bags. The Green Bag movement is dear to my hippie heart in many ways and in case you aren't familiar with it, green bags are reusable shopping bags made from recycled plastic. I call them green bags since I first saw them at HEB and because of the whole "happy environment/stop global warming/go green" movement. Green bags come in many different colors and I have red ones from Target and green ones from HEB. They're actually pretty strong and I love their versatility. Plus, they're cheap to buy and make me feel oh so European. So why are they hugely irritating for me? For one reason alone: while it seems that everyone wants to use them, the people bagging your groceries are clueless at how to use them. I mean come on, do you have to put my produce and that gallon of milk in the same bag? And do you have to load one bag with ALL of the heavy items? I don't know how they even lift it up into the cart much less how they expect me to carry it out of my car and up the stairs to my kitchen! Or worse, they put two items into a green bag, call it a day, and then bag everything in the disposable plastic bags.

Honestly, I wish they'd just let me bag my own damn groceries. I've always had issues with grocery store baggers; it really irritates the piss out of me when I get home and I have broken eggs, squished bread, uncooked meat mixed with produce or baby stuff, and household products with the cereal. I like to have my cold stuff packed together to keep it cold, the delicate items placed seperately and my jugs of liquid non bagged. And for the love of God and all that's holy, please don't mix mothballs or soap products with any food products!!!! I don't understand how something so simple can get so screwed up. I actually enjoy it when the store is so busy that my cashier doesn't have a bagger and I get to bag my own groceries. If I could just bag my own groceries, I would be ecstatic. Yes, I am that nuts. But you know you love it :o)

My other beef is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Michael and I were watching TLC last night and saw several commericals from the Corn Refiner's Association touting the wonders of HFCS. For the idiots in the commercials who think that having sugar made from corn is ok, HFCS IS NOT GOOD FOR YOU. And for the idiots in the commercials that can't seem remember their own names much less why HFCS is bad for you, here's a reminder: the body does not recognize HFCS the same way it recognizes real, honest to goodness, genuwine sugar. Why might this be bad? Ah, well, let me step up onto my soapbox and tell you through the use of clever analogy!

After the legal amount of real sugar is consumed, Body the Bartender cuts you off and says you've had enough and calls you a cab. When you consume HFCS, it's like Body the Bartender matches you shot for shot until you've consumed an entire bottle of vodka each, the bar has long since closed, and offers to drive you home themselves. Friends do not let friends drive drunk. So what does this mean in plain English? THIS IS HOW PEOPLE GET FAT. With HFCS, you keep eating until you literally cannot fit anymore in your somach and yet you still want more. This is why you can chug a two liter of Coke and still not feel satisfied.

With obesity levels in this country soaring, I am shocked and amazed at the Corn Refiners' gumption to tout a product that is actually contributing to the problem. I wrote my college thesis on obesity in children and the numbers are not pretty. Schools are having a really tough time trying to educate students and their families about healthy eating and exercise. You'd think it was common knowledge, but it's not. And now, the stupid Corn Refiners are erasing all of that hard work by lying to the American people about HFCS. Corn Refiners of America, you are making people fat and killing them. Where is Homeland Security? Because I would think the number of deaths attributed to diseases caused by unhealthy food products is terrorism and unpatriotic. Oh wait, the corn industry is subsidized by Uncle Sam, so of course it's ok to keep on fattening us up like pigs for slaughter.

Now before you start wagging your finger in my face about my Oreo addiction, I hereby acknowledge that I do eat some products that contain HFCS. It's incredibly hard, and incredibly expensive, to go completely HFCS free. Believe me, I tried. The stuff is innocuous and insidious. The stuff shows up in everything from your cereal to your chocolate milk to your tomato sauce. It's cheap, easy to obtain, and so easy for food producers to use.

So what is our best defense? READ. Seriously! If more people actually stopped to read, and not just the internet or their email, they'd know that U turns are not allowed at certain busy intersections, that they cannot go down an up row at the foodstore (that's for you Kristin!), and just how far down the list HFCS is on their foodstuffs. They'd also know that the speed limit is 30 mph and that even though I am going 40, they can back the eff off of my tail while driving. But that, my friends, is for another sound off at a later date.


1 comment:

  1. This made me laugh. Especially about the baggers at the grocery of my HUGE pet peeves. Especially now being pregnant..I've already gotten it off the shelf, in the buggie, onto the belt, and NOW they think I can lift ALL of the heavy stuff from my buggie to my car. Not so much.



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