I read the panels on the boxes, too. I know about Riboflavin, Thiamin, Niacin and Folic Acid (whatever they are).
I'm familiar with zinc, magnesium, phosphorus and copper. They are metals which we're supposed to ingest and not build something electronic with.
I'm frightened by levels of Total Fat, Sodium and Potassium. I read somewhere that they do dastardly deeds to the system.
But then I can take heart at the Nutrition Facts on each package. They "lower your blood pressure," they lose pounds "the Heart Healthy Way"; and they "Keep it Off" by weight management.
I love reading that part of the box messages!
I call to Phyllis: "See! The quotations on the packages say they are a ?Sensible Solution' for our health problems."
And she counters with: "They're just public relations copywriting which you used to do to bamboozle the great unwashed out there."
She knows how to hurt a guy with her simple logic!
Then she turns the subject to something else. "Remember how we used to tease you by saying that the only thing you knew how to ?cook' was Grape-nuts� – and you spilled a lot, too."
"Yes," I answered, "and you used to clean up after me."
"I recall frying an egg once and it scooted off the spatula and slid halfway across the kitchen floor – or am I making that up?" I questioned.
"You've got a good imagination," she said, "and yes, you've made that up. Remember the only thing you could ?cook' was Grape-nuts�."
I could see that I was losing the battle of wits, which I had half of. She had me with the Grape-nuts� bit!
That's when I did an about-face and agreed with her. After all, I knew that I couldn't even boil water, and I admitted it. (The best way to win an argument with your wife is to concur – which I did.)
Getting back to the breakfast foods, by reading the panels on the boxes, I know what I'm eating, at least I think I do.
"People don't trust anything about food any more," says a publisher of a restaurant magazine. "You pick up the paper and there's always something else. What you thought was bad is good; what you thought was good is bad. People are trying to figure it out."
And that goes for me, too, as I pursue the copy on my cereal packages. I don't want to be caught up in a dietary war.
I guess I will follow the advice of the late food guru, Julia Child, who said: "The main thing about eating is to enjoy yourself."
Consequently, I will enjoy my flakes and pellets for breakfast each morning. Julia said I should!
© 2006 Robert F. Karolevitz