Monday, August 4, 2008

I Eat Yeast (and other childhood tales)

I am sitting at my desk eating popcorn with yeast on it. It's not the pebbly kind of yeast that goes into breads; it's something I grew up calling "good-tasting nutritional yeast," thanks to my mom's clever marketing. It's kind of flaky and yellow and to most people is probably only marginally less gross than regular yeast, but to me it tastes like the sweetness of childhood. Despite my mom's best efforts I eventually answered the siren song of Kraft macaroni and cheese, but the good-tasting nutritional yeast stuck as a comfort food. I even swiped the container from my mom's cupboard yesterday, since she is on vacation (sorry Mom—I'll replace it!).

It makes me think about how malleable children's minds are. I have a friend whose four year-old daughter has yet to taste McDonalds (which is probably rare these days). Her parents have successfully trained her to call it "the big M" and to declare that "it's not good." My sister, genius that she was and is, called McDonald's "E-I-O." My mom really tried to make us both healthy eaters. She banned sugary cereals (except for dessert, which takes the fun out of it, because instead of eating ice cream you're eating Corn Pops, and you realize you've been had) and tried to make nutritious versions of popular fast foods. To her credit, she sort of immunized us from the lifetime of crap-eating that started once we hit puberty. Also I breastfed until I was like four, so I figure I have extra IQ points to waste on saturated fats and Yellow #5.

Unrelated: Why is it that when I bring my lunch and snacks to work I somehow consume them all before noon? Discuss.

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