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Food Scars

April 16, 2013

kraft singles

My darling friend Mariel suggested we write a guest blog for each other. She provided me with a topic: cheese. How random is that? Cheese? I tried to think about cheese and how it relates to my writing because my blog is generally about my writing career (or lack thereof).

When I was a kid, the only kind of cheese I wanted was Kraft Singles. The yellow squares of deliciousness were what I thought of as the perfect food. They were neatly wrapped, edible on their own, and marvelous in a grilled cheese sandwich. Why oh why couldn’t I just have Kraft Singles? You see, the only kind of cheese that existed at our house was what my mom and stepdad called ‘real’ cheese. It was horrible. It came in a block that they had sliced at the deli and inevitably the slices were uneven. You had to peel them off one another. They didn’t look like Kraft Singles, nor did they taste like them. It was just another hardship my sister, brother and I had to endure.

Our parents were ‘hippies’. They were also ‘foodies’, a term we didn’t use back then. We didn’t have soda in our house (water or milk only), we never had white bread, and we certainly weren’t allowed any sugared cereals. And, horror upon horrors, we had to eat natural peanut butter. This was beyond imagination. What could be worse than natural peanut butter when there was Skippy? I don’t think my mom ever bought Twinkies, Ding Dongs, or anything of that nature. Needless to say, there was never anyone who wanted to trade lunches with me. I felt extremely unlucky.

At the time, we thought we had it rough. My stepdad would cook elaborate meals, but all I wanted was Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. I used to spit my food into my napkin and flush it down the toilet.

Well, guess what? Now I have a daughter of my own. She eats wheat bread, real cheese, natural peanut butter, and no sugared cereals. I grew up to be a food scientist and now know how to decipher a food label. I have a greater appreciation for the values my parents instilled in me, particularly in regards to eating ‘real’ food, and respecting the world around me.

How does this relate to The Energy Crusades? Well, the Crusaders in my book must understand the nutritional value of food. They eat based on what their body needs for optimal performance. I wish I was as good about doing the same.

  1. Mike noble permalink

    “Cheese” sounds good to me.

  2. Matthew Heinlein permalink

    It could have been worse, Val — on the flipside, you could have been subjected by your parents to eating Velveeta, “the Cheese that Will Not Die”. I ascribe my love of “real” cheese to a wholesale rejection of that abomination. 😉

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