Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Would You Like a Side of Sucralose With That?

Dammit. I’m in the breakfast aisle in Publix, and I have no idea what the hell is good for me. I’m trying to eat more healthfully, but once I’m in a grocery store, I’m a complete tool. And reading the ingredients is no help, because for some reason it is always in Russian or French or some damn language that I can’t decipher. Well, I did once manage to memorize that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) means Instant Death (ID). If you ingest it, you actually collapse right there at the table. At least, that’s what my sister Lori thinks.

Since I can’t afford a personal nutritionist, Lori serves that function, albeit by phone. She lives in northeast Ohio, where her husband Doug hunts and fishes for all of their meat and she tends to a garden for all of their vegetables. They also scour the Internet daily for the latest conspiracy theories, like how HFCS is an example of big corporations trying to kill us.

There’s not a whole lot to do in northeast Ohio.

Nutty theories aside, Lori is a good resource for all things diet, so she’s gotten used to phones calls like this from me:

Ring! Ring!

Doug: “Lori, answer it!”

Lori: “I’m doing the dishes! Why don’t YOU answer it?”

Doug: “I can’t hear you over that phone ringing! Answer it!”

Lori: (drying off her hands to answer it) “Damn lazy ass.” (Into phone) “Hello?”

Me, yelling over the sound of a loud bar at Happy Hour: “IS RANCH DRESSING LOW CARB?!?”

Lori: “As long as you don’t go overb—”

Me, to someone else: “Dude, shut the hell up. I’m talking to my sister. Just because I don’t want to be a lard ass like you doesn’t make me a homo. Now get me a beer, Fat Boy.” (Into phone) “What was that, Lori?”

Lori: “If you’ll eat it you’ll die”.

Me: “Thanks!” (click)

She actually usually gives me accurate information, but I guess over the years she’s grown a little tired of administering this free service. Which is why I’m standing here right now trying to figure out which hot cereal will lower my cholesterol and which ones will assassinate me.

I give up. I’ve been staring at this stupid shelf for ten minutes now. It’s time to call my nutritionist.

Ring! Ring!

Lori: “Areyoubleeding?”

Me: “Uh, what? No!”

Lori: “Ihaveguestsseeyoulater!”

Me: “Wait! Didn’t you say sucralose is the same thing as HFCS?”

Lori: “Noyouidiotbutit’sbaddon’tbuyitloveyoubyebye!” (Click)

Well, I guess I learned two things: One, don’t buy anything with sucralose. And two, when it comes to nutritionists, you get what you pay for.


  1. Lori is right--HFCS is a scourge on humanity.

    I used to walk around with a list of chemicals to avoid in shampoo, makeup etc. It was really difficult to do. Turns out there's formaldehyde and crap like that in almost everything. It was kind of a fun game: "Find the product that won't leach carcinogens into your skin."

    But then I realized, "Hey, I'm gonna die anyway! I want a mascara that stays on and doesn't run or flake!" So I happily apply heavy metals to my face. I already have names picked out for the tumors I will inevitably grow.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that you shouldn't worry too much about this stuff, since life ends in a dirt nap one way or the other. But stay away from HFCS unless you want to die a fat diabetic.

  2. Joe - You might try my simple rule of thumb: don't buy anything with ingredients you can't pronounce. :-)


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