Sunday, April 19, 2009

Veganic

Ever since I committed myself to becoming a professional body builder, I have been paying a lot closer attention to the food I eat. I don’t just mean I stare at it really hard. I mean I have been reading the labels, looking at the ingredients, and trying to understand exactly what it is I am consuming.

And it’s terrifying. The ingredient list in most of the food we eat is damn near impossible to comprehend. But if you read enough labels, not only do you get really paranoid, you will probably will start noticing some buzz words.

For a moment lets ignore the ingredients we can’t pronounce, because I don’t know what the hell they are. They might be putting nuclear waste in my granola bar, but as long as it disguised as a word with 5 syllables I’ll never know.

But the first buzz word that is flying all around is “Organic.” I am a fan of organic; I want all of my things to be organic.

If I had my druthers, I would sleep in bamboo sheets sustainably harvested from a combine in Vietnam and wear clothes made of hemp that were woven by a bunch of tree hugging hippies living in the San Fernando valley, all the while eating eggs laid by cage free chickens that spend their days lightly jogging around the 500 square miles of roaming meadows deep in the Canadian countryside.

But the organic craze has gone too far. I recently went to an art show where the free promotional beverage being served was “Organic Water.”

Now I know that I got like... a C- in chemistry, but I am pretty sure that all water is organic. I don’t recall anybody inventing water. The cave men weren’t drinking from flowing rivers of Sunny Delight.

The funny thing about this organic water was the fact that it had 16 GRAMS OF SUGAR!

Are you kidding me? That’s not water, that’s what you add to rum to make a mojito!

I was having a major thirst not too long ago so I ran into a supermarket to grab an impulse beverage from near the cash register. I picked one that looked like one of those flavored water types. It was orange, and that is my favorite color so I thought good things.

I took a swig and BLEAH. It tasted like… well I didn’t really know. So I took a look at the ingredients to see.

Organic extracts of orange peels and flowers.

Ok, not really my first choice for a beverage. I have never said in times of thirst, “Somebody bring me a frosty beverage that tastes of fruit rinds and plants.” But I let it be; I moved on to the next ingredient and found the culprit.

Organic Extracts of cinnamon bark.


Mmmm bark. Just like mom used to make.

Cinnamon bark? Are you kidding me? BARK?! What brain genius came up with the idea to make a drink out of the piece of the fruit we don’t eat, flowers which nobody eats, and bark? Bring him to me so I can force feed him his own putrid devil nectar

I recently watched a non-vegan friend of mine take one bite of a vegan brownie. One. She did not take another bite because she could not bring herself to punish herself like that.

Now according to the dictionary vegan is defined as a strict vegetarian; someone who eats no animal or dairy products at all. And if that’s you, bless you my child. Good for you. I am not opposed to that lifestyle by any means.

However the vegans who made this brownie cheated. I wondered what would make my friend retch in such a way after eating one bite of the brownie. Looking at the ingredients I realized why. One of them was;

Vegan Chocolate Chips

Chocolate, as I understand it, is cocoa powder, sugar and MILK. So if there is no MILK, then something has been substituted. But the marketing department for this brownie probably had a conversation like this,

Gary: Oh crap I don’t know what’s in these chocolate chips
Louis: Well then we can’t write anything on the ingredient list
Gary: No we will just call them… umm.. Vegan Chocolate Chips.
Louis: Good idea because by the time they realize it will be too late.
Gary: Muahahaha we are so evil and smart.
Louis: Let’s go kick a puppy.

So wizards Gary and Louis have essentially created a product and informed us of it by explaining what is NOT in it. These chocolate chips have no milk.

Ok great, so what the hell is in them? By their rationale I could create a candy bar with an ingredient list that looks like this.

Does not include, uranium, zebras, or pieces of Mike Tyson’s face.

But I realized it’s all marketing. It doesn’t have anything to do with the actual product any more. It is only about what you think the product is. Nothing is not twisted.

Like the package of Moth Balls I recently saw. The front of it said:


Old Fashioned moth balls.

Forgive my ignorance, but have there been any major developments in moth balls since... ever? Did I miss the advent of the moth ball that came with cable television and an automatic transmission?

Is the word old fashioned really necessary? Or is this company just trying to appeal to the customer who seeks the kind of reminiscence that brings back fond memories of a plastic covered couch and Brylcream.


These words, Vegan, Organic, Old Fashioned, these are all words meant to make us feel something about a product regardless of what it actually is. But if you think about how you feel while you real those words, you'll lose your damn mind.

And that is why I refuse to read any more labels. I will go back to my life of ignorance. and continue eating nuclear waste granola bars. In fact, if you need me, I’ll be over here eating a Mike Tyson free brownie.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chocolate is chocolate and is naturally vegan (i.e. contains no animal flesh or bodily secretions). A mixture of cocoa powder, sugar and milk is called, appropriately, “milk chocolate.” Milk chocolate was invented by a man named Hershey. Because it has more sugar and fat than regular chocolate, it has become rather popular among people who are addicted to sugary and fatty foods and hence many Americans associate all chocolate with milk chocolate. Studies have shown that chocolate is filled with antioxidants and can be very healthy in moderate amounts – as long as you don’t ruin the healthy parts by adding in unhealthy sugar and fat secreted from cows’ tits. You can still purchase many chocolate products that do not contain milk, and some that don’t even contain added sugar. Just read the labels. If the label says vegan, then you can be sure that it doesn’t have milk in it. It might have sugar though. If it says dark chocolate, it may or may not have milk and sugar in it. I highly recommend reading labels, but as importantly, I recommend learning as much as you can about the things you put in your mouth. Otherwise you might end up thinking that chocolate has milk in it.

Caro said...

The other day I bought pre-packed snack-sized baby carrots because LORD knows I have to watch my carrot consumption these days...but the little baggies said the following:

INGREDIENTS: CARROTS.

I lolersk8ed on a lolercoaster

IS CARROTS AN INGREDIENT IN CARROTS???? THINK ABOUT IT!!!

Ann said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Fishy Fish said...

Ok I read this and immediatly remembered one time I went to Chili's for dinner and saw my Pro-Vegan doctor chowing down on a ribeye steak with loaded mashed potatoes..i politely walked passed his table and smiled since then he has limited the lecture for me to start eating organic and vegan foods.....lol

Plus I refuse to ingest anything that I can clean the floors with as well as full my stomach...YUCK!!!

Lover of Life said...

My veggie daughter is threatening vegan. Like it's easy to cook for her now.