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Archive for the ‘Edible’ Category

Marketing can be downright creepy at times. I’m not talking about internet marketing and click-tracking either, I am talking about coupons and such that they hand me with my receipt at Safeway. I go there, I buy some things over and over again an other things only once. If they track that, well, fine. I do have a club card, so I’ll not be all the shocked, let alone flustered.

Still, when they hand me a coupon for a product I DO actually buy there, it makes me blink a couple of times. Yeah, saving fifty cents on that the next time I come in might be useful, but it’s a little weird to me. Directed marketing helps them, I suppose, or else they wouldn’t do it, so I just shrug and stick the coupon to the fridge with a magnet in the odd hope that Maybe I will remember it use it before it expires.

What really will weird me out though, is when, along with that coupon, the hand me one for another, completely unrelated product that I have NEVER bought in their store. Not even in their chain of stores, anywhere, ever. I have bought that product, and it’s not something like toilet paper or something that it is reasonable to assume most people use, but never anywhere that I would expect it to get back to my grocery store. That weirds me out, and no, I will not be using that coupon, thankyouverymuch.

Seriously.  I can see where for many people this may be ‘convenient’ or ‘useful’ so that they can save money on products they actually want. And that is all well and good, but it creeps me the fuck out. Am I the sort who could see myself living in a cave off of my own organic garden (because buying pesticide and fertilizer would require going into town) and eating only what I kill? Sometimes, sometimes I think I can in fact see myself there.

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The mango and I have a relationship. It’s not always a good one. It can cause me pain. Not sure it hurts the mangoes at all though, other than in that they are eaten, but despite some claims that vegetables (and I will generalize to plants) can, in fact, scream, I cannot feel bad about the act of consuming them in a PETA (Plant Eating Tastes Awesome) sense. Mangoes however, have an undeniable power over me. I love everything about them.

Nutritionally, they are fabulous. Lots of oranginess, which generally means lots of carotenoids that can be converted to vitamin A by humans as needed, potassium, and vitamin C. There’s also lots of healthy dietary fiber to make you feel full and move along, all the while fighting colon cancer. All that for a scant 135 calories, with a hell of a tasty flavor kick in this bad-ass fruit that is a member of the Poison Ivy family. Which is, incidentally, why some people’s lips swell if they scrape the mango skins with their teeth- the oils in the skin are the potentially problematic bit.

I just love mango. Fresh mango, dried mango, mango salsa, mango-flavored bubble tea, etc. I can’t seem to help myself! Which is the problem, unfortunately. I taste mango and I am like a junkie- no self control, I just keep eating until there is no more available for me to eat! Costco has dried mangos for sale, which are like fresh mangoes, but even more concentrated! And they’re chewy, which is just as delicious as them being delicious and juicy fresh! The problem, however, is that they are sold in 30oz bags. That’s just under two pounds of dried mango.

According to one site, fresh mangoes are about 80% water. I found that 1c fresh mango is 107 calories is about 165g. 107 calories of dried mango takes up only 38g, meaning they’re about 13% water. which all translates to that one bag of dried mangoes being the equivalent of  about 17 fresh mangoes. SEVENTEEN. Thats a lot of mango. You would think. Except, you see, I am incapable of stopping.

I would be hard pressed to eat 17 fresh mangoes. The time it takes to cut and eat each one and the effort adds up. I would probably be bloody from accidentally stabbing myself if I tried. But when they’re delicious and prepared in such an easy to eat form? Why would I NOT eat 17 mangoes? So that is what I do. I, with great effort, managed to make a bag of these dried crackgoes last three whole days once. It was a record for me.

But, here, you might begin to see why the mangoes’ power over me might not be entirely, 100% a wonderful thing. Because as much as I love every second of eating those tantilizing, wonderful mango strips, my gastrointestinal system is not generally equipped to deal with the influx of 17 mangoes over, on average, 24 hours. It results in, we’ll say, a bit of a fiber overload. I can and do deal, because I cannot stop myself, and it causes no long term harm. But I do not learn. I do not learn how to self-regulate my mango intake.

I will fight you for that last mango strip. You have been warned.

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Obligatory topical post here: Halloween. When people may or may not be what they seem.

Smarties candy is pretty much my Halloween candy. I even have a comic that I was going to link to, but apparently finding a Halloween 2003 FoxTrot comic is going to take me far longer than anticipated, so I won’t, but it was going to show Jason gluing them to his trousers so he can be a ‘smarty pants.’ So just imagine that for a few moments now. Okay, imagined?

Smarties are pretty much sugar without even really pretending to be anything else. This blog pretty much sums them up: compressed powdered sugar pellets with the bare minimum of food coloring and citric acid for ‘flavor’. Straight sugar to the bloodstream. As a kid though, I always pretended they were medicine. I mean, honestly, they do look like pills. Tasty, delicious, eat them by the bag pills. It’s a wonder I’m not a pill addict the way I hoovered them down. I’d even come up with make-believe scenarios that required regular ‘doses’ of smarties to fix- sometimes they doubled as vitamins in my childhood scenarios (especially the green tablets). If there were any active ingredients in them, I would have overdosed. As it was, I’m pretty sure my parents were too preoccupied with my sugar-fueled buzzing and hopping and singing and bouncing around the house to worry about exactly what the script I was composing and acting out in my head was. I even once tried to swallow them whole, like you do real pills. I suppose I should say ‘did’ rather than ‘try’ since there was approximately zero chance of failure, but I decided eating them really was much tastier and reverted to that.

Smarties may have contributed to my minor obsessive compulsive characteristics from an early age as well. There is not an even color distribution per roll. This has always concerned me. It concerns me with M&Ms and Skittles too, but I don’t remember sorting those candies like I did the smartie-pills as a kid. I would sort them and line them up in rows on their little plastic wrapper like a drug dealer or pharmacist counting doses and calculating prices in my head. If a roll had, say, only one white pill, then that one was obviously more potent. It was reserved for when there was great need … or when all the rest had been eaten and that one rare tablet was my last best hope at a cure for the mysterious disease that ailed me.

I still eat copious amounts of smarties post Halloween. But I cheat and buy them by the bag. Unfortunately or not, this means that I no longer have to ‘ration’ my ‘medicine’ because I (as a fully adult and supposedly mature human being) can just go to the store an get more if I really want to. I don’t though. Just go and buy more I mean. There’s something special about the post-holiday sugar hoard, even if it is from the 50% off sale November 1st rather than trick or treating. I have to try to make it last as long as I can. I wouldn’t want to run out.

I still giggle to myself as I carefully count out and take my holiday ‘medication.’

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