The Bastardization of America’s Food

I was at dinner the other night with my cousin and his family. His girlfriend’s son is working on his International baccalaureate degree (he’s a junior in high school), so obviously the conversation would go in a direction of cultural and intellectual enrichment. We started to talk about Oreo Cookies versus Hydrox Cookies.

I pointed out that Oreos are not as good as Hydrox.

“Hydrox are better; the outer shell is crunchier. I don’t like the softness of the Oreo shell. And can we please discuss the bastardization of Oreos? I was outraged when they added the wide-bodied Oreo with double creme, and I was upset again when they began adding things like strawberry to the creamy center. Really? Strawberry in the middle of an Oreo? Bastards!”

Which led to more discussions about the bastardization of American traditions like Peanut M&Ms—not to be confused with the Pretzel M&Ms they have just launched, and which were given to me by mistake at the movie theater recently. I didn’t realize there had been a mistake until the movie had already started. There I was, with the earth-shattering dilemma of whether to leave the movie to trade them in (and thus potentially miss something major), or not enjoy Peanut M&Ms during the movie. Thankfully, the movie was The Bridesmaids, so the concern about missing something was moot.

Fig Newtons. They did the same thing to my beloved childhood Fig Newtons. You can now choose five different ‘flavored’ Fig Newtons, none of which are anything but imitation flavors, which is really sacrilege. And then you have to choose between soft and original. It’s like Original Kentucky Fried Chicken versus whatever else they have come up with to hide the fact that you are shooting oil directly into your veins via chicken thighs.

I could go on and on. I am sure you can add your personal favorites. Should we talk about Coke? Cherry Coke? Diet Coke? Or my personal favorite, Coke Zero? (The name alone should have told them not to do it.) Let’s not forget Caffeine Free Diet Coke. I really hate caffeine-free soda because so many people buy it and don’t realize that I need the extra caffeine to sit through dinner with any sense of alertness. So many Cokes, so little time.

Look, there are too many choices. Just offer me the basics and I will be happy. My brain is exhausted from information overload, and adding twenty-two M&M choices is adding to the chaos. I’m begging here.

By the time we were done with the conversation, I should add, the fabulous son had already left the table to go study.

1 comment to The Bastardization of America’s Food

  • Jody

    For me it’s all about ingredients… less is better – one is best… if you don’t know what it is or can’t pronounce it – don’t eat it. Michael Pollan, Michael Pollan!

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