recess radio program

05/30/05
Eat Dessert First Month
    by Kachina and Chris

Kachina: Imagine biting into a chocolate chip peanut butter cookie. But the peanut butter is unsweetened, and grainy, and oily, even after being baked. And the chocolate chips aren't chocolate, they're carob, a mildly chalky less sweet version that isn't bad unless you are expecting chocolate. Now imagine there is no sugar in this cookie, only honey and applesauce, there are no eggs, and the flour is whole grain. This is the cookie of our childhoods. It's not really dessert, it's not really sweet, but it was the health food dessert of the 70's and 80's.

Chris: I was born and raised in New York in the 1970s. My mother would have resented being called a hippie, but everything that I ate had "to be given freely by nature."

Kachina: I was born in Hawaii in the early 1980s to two hippie parents. My mother would haul bags of brown rice up the mountain to our tepee, and when we moved to the mainland we still didn't eat animal products or processed food.

Chris: We both had to brown bag it at school. We always knew this wasn't how everyone else ate. We saw their school lunches filled with untouchable foods like Jell-O, American cheese, lunch meat, soda and, worst of all, white bread. With only a few exceptions, we longed for that normalcy, we wanted to be like everyone else, to stand in line in the cafeteria and get a tray and choose what we wanted to eat that day. Unlike our peers with their memories of marshmallow peeps at Easter, gooey birthday cakes thick with real frosting, fluff (another mysterious marshmallow product), and pixie sticks. We had carob chips, dehydrated banana chips, sulphate-free dried pineapple rings, sesame honey hard candies and the chewy green seaweed candy. All sugar free and preservative free, of course. Some weren't bad, but we hold a permanent grudge against carob; it's not just that it's bitter and chalky, it's acrid and when all you want is chocolate, it's such a disappointment.

Kachina: We're grown up now, and can eat whatever we like, but our childhood experiences have left us with odd consequences. And strangely enough, our parents were right about some things.

Chris: White bread isn't very good, and processed American cheese food and marshmallow products are just weird. We applaud the new health food sections in grocery stores, and soymilk isn't looking so bad either. In retrospect, our parent's decisions were mostly good, and maybe we're healthier for it.

Kachina: But it would have been nice to do what the other kids did, and have a real chocolate chip cookie every once in a while.

 

Copyright 2005 Kachina and Chris

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Wednesday, 27-Apr-2005 12:42:39 EDT


"Recess!" is a co-production of the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture and WUFT-FM, "Classic 89."