This Was SOOOO Not In The Brochure

Watching famous moms – June Cleaver, Carol Brady, Roseanne Barr (okay, maybe not her) – I expected motherhood to be a certain way. I expected it to be how it was on TV and in the movies. I expected to know the answers and be some kind of white, female Bill Cosby. Instead, my internal dialogue consisted mostly of three phrases:

  1. Don’t blow it. Don’t blow it. Don’tblowit!
  2. Oh, crap!
  3. This was SO not in the brochure.

Life just wasn’t what it looked like in all the pictures.

Neither is fast food. (Whew! That was a big leap there. Glad we all made it safely.)

advertising-vs-reality

The other day, I saw the video I’ve embedded below. It’s Irish people tasting American snacks and candy for the first time. These are snacks and candies that I’ve eaten … and enjoyed … for just ever. (Well, until three years ago, anyway.) Twinkies? Are you kidding me? I love those!

Yesterday, we talked about how my sense of taste has changed after eating clean foods close to their natural states. The taste of sugars, salts and fats comes to the forefront anytime I eat processed foods now regardless of how much I once loved them.

So, if these Frankenfoods are so gross, how did I ever grow to love them to begin with?

In addition to the addictive additives the food industry uses, I blame my eyes.

My eyesight is ridiculously poor and I’ve worn glasses forever; so, under the best of circumstances, they don’t see well. Plus, they’ve been known to see what they want to see rather than what is there.

I mean, seriously. Look at that advertised Whopper to the left.  Two words: Scrup. Shush. Right? Except that the burger never looks like that, does it? It looks like that sad, tired little thing to the right of the gorgeous super hero burger. The advertised product is all Captain America. The real product is more like Nick Nolte’s mugshot – a hot mess. By the time I take a bite, it’s too late. My eyes don’t really see the squished up, soggy mess; they see the advertised burger. Like a child before Christmas, they believe what they want to believe.

Of course, they don’t taste as bad as they look. The flavor enhancers used in making them don’t let that happen. Want flame broiled taste? Sure! You can buy in a bottle at the grocery store. Food chemists are brilliant. They can make artificial flavors that make our mouths think we’re eating a fabulous steak when we’re really eating fillers and beef that is boarder line good enough for human consumption. And it’s not just fast food.

Snack foods are just as deceptive. Take my formerly beloved Twinkies. They are beautiful, yellow spongecake filled with a creamy filling. So moist they glisten when you open the package, they are filled with that sweet creamy goodness. Hear the angels singing? Uh huh. They also have a shelf life of at least 45 days. The company says that they remain “fresh” for 45 days. Now you know that can’t be right. No unfrozen cake can remain fresh for that long- not one with natural ingredients, anyway. But those clever scientists have figured out a way to do it and, as a culture, we eat it up. Remember the hue and cry when Hostess ceased operations? Save our Twinkies! Beets just don’t get that kind of love.

So, there’s the key, I think: culture. Last year, we chatted about how many of our tastes are defined by our culture. We eat what everyone around us eats and, if we are told that it tastes good, we agree. But, if we stop to really think about it, most of it isn’t nearly as good as it looks in the brochure.

With that in mind, watch the video below and get the thoughts of people who haven’t been told that it tastes good.

 

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