Positive Brainwashing

Growing up in the 80’s we traded Fruit Roll Ups, we debated over spoons vs. forks when we ate Chunky Soup from BPA lined cans, we used red BPA sticks to spread chemically formed ‘cheese’ onto crackers, we drank pure corn syrup juice from BPA coated boxes and we were often rewarded with McDonalds’ happy meals. Basically- we ate a shit load of chemical laden, processed foods because they were convenient and new! and fuck- all of the other kids were eating them too.

Fast forward to 2006- I became a mom and like every other Gen X’er, I started to pay a little more attention to my own consumerism. What was I buying, where it was from and how it was made. In my moment of post-partum-new-earth-mother-hippie-madness, I decided that we would only allow non toxic, wood toys in our home- preferably not made in China.

That got all thrown out the window when I totally gave into giving Julien the Fisher Price Barn as a throwback to my childhood. Only difference is that it WAS wood when I played with it back in 1978 for fuck sakes! Julien and I spent hours playing with that made-in-China-probably-by-child-laborers-toxic-plastic-toy. Good times. Real mom and son bonding moments.

Since I failed miserably on my wood toy rule- I adopted food rules instead. I stopped shopping at Publix. Publix sells products that sustain and support large agri-businesses that produce ‘food’ from money from kickbacks the by-products of monster Monsanto. Agri-businesses operate not on providing wholesome quality food to the people- but rather, on a ‘more bang for your buck’ principle. (If you don’t know what Monsanto is- stop reading this blog now.)

I started to read about GMO’s and about ‘natural sugars’ and about ‘cleaner’ eating and it also helped that one of my clients was an Integrative Holistic Nutritionist. She taught me a lot. Then began the mommy brainwashing. I basically taught Julien that processed and fast food was poison. Candy was as poisonous as toilet bowl cleaner and that if he ate too much sugar he would have to get dentures by the age of 10. And that your head can fall off if you don’t eat vegetables. Yes, I actually told him these things. And no, I don’t feel shameful for lying because technically these crazy claims could be true.

Nine years later, I hear him saying himself that, “juice is the devil”, “bread from fast food restaurants is made with rubber mats”, “non-organic apples have lead in them” and that, “anything that looks delicious is probably loaded with GMO’s”. He also (incredibly) sat through the whole screening of OMG GMO the other night. Seeing his growing brain processing and understanding all of mommy’s insanity the factual information this movie provides  made me feel like a proud mother hen. All of the brainwashing I did was now justified!

So though it’s too late to wash my own body of the McDonald’s orange drink myself and my fellow Gen X’ers guzzled religiously through the 80’s- at least I can wash the brains of my own offspring to make them a little more mindful of what foods they choose to eat.

(Oh, and what music to listen to…next post.)

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