Sunday, May 8, 2011

What language are you eating?

If you've ordered a beverage that might be referred to as tall, grande or venti lately you've probably stood next to these little snackeroos while you waited for your steaming morning cup.

I preface this comment by saying that one of my comestible particularities is that I don't eat sugar. While this dietary guideline is open to the same kind of gymnastic interpretations as the US Constitution, it generally means I abstain from desserts and refined sugar. It's definitely not a moral thing, and I can't even say it's strictly about health -  a burger, fries and a beer is a square meal in my book. I like to think of it as avoiding sugar where it's not needed. And this brings me to the point.

What is labeled here as "Simply Nuts & Fruit" is simply not that at all. Turn to the label and It is a blend of salted nuts with vegetable oil, and sugar coated dried fruit. Fairly common practices, sure. But when and how does that qualify as simply fruit? Dictionaries explain the word simply with things like merely, just, only; altogether, absolutely; in a plain, unadorned way; in an unambiguous or clear manner. Is this that?

I also asked a barista at another coffee chain if their soymilk was sweetened, and she said "No" while I was reading the words natural cane sweetener on the label. That was a confusing exchange.

Which is all to say it's an odd world we're speaking in. I aim to be present to the joy and wonder of whatever it is I'm eating or drinking. I mean, you really are what you eat, and arguably, you're also how you speak about the experience. I'm just glad that my apple a day provides more sustenance than it does reading material.

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