My salad dressing days

Secret societies
March 15, 2007, 10:29 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A friend invites the chicklets and me to lunch.

The kids scoot off to play, whilst my friend starts to assemble the lunch things on the obligatory garishly-coloured plastic Ikea plates.

Then, in a hushed tone, she approaches me waving a multi-pack of Hula Hoops under my nose.

‘Have they…? Do you…? Is it…?’

She shuffles around nervously and looks down at her feet.

Uh-oh. She thinks I am One Of Them.

So I jump in quick: ‘It’s fine! Oh yes! Oh God, totally yes!’

Her shoulders heave up and down indicating the relief. The relief of finding another Club Member.

But you can never be sure. Not the first time. Politeness pays a big part. Fear of being the odd one out.

So when it comes to drinks for the kids, she’s on the back foot again.

‘What will your two drink? What do they normally drink? Water…? Jjjjjjui…?’

‘Oh, whatever,’ I reply. Although it then strikes me that this is exactly the non-committal sort of an answer One Of Them would give.

So I start again: ‘Water, juice…’

Then I sidle up to her and say: ‘It’s usually Coke, though.’

She laughs.

‘Fanta for breakfast, Coke with lunch, Irn Bru for tea and gin for special occasions.’

She laughs some more.

Later we show each other our membership cards. So there’s no doubting it.


The Anti Food Fascism League
Motto: Down with ricecakes!


11 Comments so far
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Wait… there are people out there who still eat ricecakes??? I didn’t even know they made those anymore. You’ve just blown my mind.

I am so glad my little bubbas like to eat food with flavor, even if it’s not on the offical nutrition-nazi menu of approved items. Although, in truth, my boys usually drink soy milk, cranberry juice or water rather than soda pop, so like, I think I may well unwittingly possess a half-membership to the One Of Them club. Am I still allowed into the secret society, anyhow? Because I also like to believe that no child should be robbed of a childhood that includes chocolate and chips and food products that come individually packaged with cartoon characters on the wrappers.

Comment by katiedid

K, I have IBS: I have an intolerance to gluten and the only thing I can eat with my goat’s milk cheese (I’m intolerant to cow’s milk too) is rice cakes. If rice cakes didn’t exist I really don’t know what I would do. I used to like them, now – after eight years of eating them every day – I loathe the very sight of them but there’s nothing else I can replace them with.

I’m now wondering whether all my troubles come from a deprived 50s childhood, during which I never had foods packaged with cartoon characters on the wrappers. LOL!

Comment by Bela

Fighting the fascists one crisp at a time. I like it. There’s nothing wrong with an E-number anyway. Smarties are rubbish now, since they took out the blue ones…

Comment by Hannah

Ohhhh, yes, the food fascists. Isn’t that funny? It’s like you have to feel ashamed about being flexible and adaptable. In an effort to keep our kids from becoming obese, we practically guarantee them eating disorders. Whatever happened to the happy medium?

We have such a desire to “purify” ourselves that we’ll kid ourselves into thinking that organic anything is better than more nutritious, traditionally grown alternatives, or that a square of chocolate is somehow more dangerous than the pancreatic wallop of an entire whole wheat bagel.

I hold an appointment in the nutritional sciences division of my university, and I was talking to the head of the division just yesterday about my baby daughter’s diet. She (the division head) asked about my daughter’s iron intake, and I replied that DD doesn’t like meat of any kind, so I hope she’s getting enough from breads, cereals, and the like (the kind of iron in veggies like spinach isn’t highly absorbable). The division head was doubtful. I walked away fearful for my poor on-the-verge-of-anemic daughter, wondering at my own prejudices about what’s “healthy.” Okay, so my kid eats beans and milk and tofu and whole grain bread and fruits and some veggies and cheese, lots of cheese, but I’d be giving her a healthier diet if I could get her to eat a hamburger? Apparently the answer is yes. Sigh.

(I almost — *almost* — made “healthy” cupcakes for my DD’s first birthday, then came to my senses and ordered a buttercream-iced brown-sugar-oatmeal monstrosity from a local bakery. SHE barely ate any of it, but my guests were mighty glad I went whole hog.)

Comment by WinterWheat

Brilliant! Anti food fascists!

Having circled the sun an awful lot more times than you and (I suspect) your commenters, I can honestly say that fashions and fads in food change with the weather. One decade’s “empty roughage” is the next one’s “healthy fibre”. The trick is to use common sense (that much-derided thing), listen to what granny said, and remember the saying, “A little of what you fancy does you good.”

Our species has lasted for half a million years, without food scientists until the last thirty of those. Lovely post. Hula Hoops!

Comment by Peter

Apparently I am evil for giving my daughters Fruit Shoot – bloody Fruit Shoot – I ask you!!
Anyone would think I’d slipped them 10 Benson & Hedges.

Comment by Anonymous

This anonymous visitor is the one who’s on twitter btw! 🙂

Comment by Anonymous

No sweets all week then all I could eat on a Saturday. Never did me any harm.

Comment by Drama Queen

I never did like Hula Hoops. And my grandkids won’t touch my (world famous) Banoffee Pie. It just seems to depend on what’s in fashion, doesn’t it?

Wasn’t there a film Woody Allen made (when he was still funny) about a time traveller who discovered that in the future, burgers are good for you after all? Well, this is the future and it’s too long since I had a Big Mac.

Comment by Mr Farty

I had to follow a few links there before I knew what you were talking about. But I can see it really resonated!
And no wonder. “Chick balls” – what on earth is she thinking??

I baby-sat recently and unwittingly gave an almost 3 year old his first little chocolate! It was a bribe, of course. You should have seen how he smeared it into his face! The other kid, whose dad is a chef, eats chocolate whenever he feels like it and just looked at me with an expression oon his face that seemed to say, “I know, isn’t he pathetic?”


Comment by Justine

Oh gawd that’s me. A food facist, I mean. My sister in law keeps threatening to slip my almost-one year old a cadbury’s chocolate button.

I worship Annabel Karmel (clicked your link and thought: “ooooh goody I hadn’t realised she had a website”). But then we do Gina, also, so there’s no hope for us.

It took a real effort of will to plan a chocolate birthday cake for my son’s first birthday this weekend, and part of me expects him to burst into high-pitched yelping/start crawling laps of the kitchen island at frantic speed/start foaming at the mouth for MORE at the first mouthful.

This all seemed a little excessive, even to me, when my mother recently revealed she had fed me, from my tenderest youth, on diluted carnation milk.


Comment by Anonymous

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