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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Sweet goodness goes bad

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My world has been turned upside down and now I don't know what to do. The other day when I woke up I was positive the sun rose in the east and two plus two equaled four. Now I have no idea what to think.

It began when I saw the headline "Fruit Roll-Ups dangerous to your health?" At first I thought it had to be a joke but then I continued to read and was even more disturbed.

According to the story, a New York woman is suing General Mills Inc. for misleading consumers about the nutritional and health qualities of Fruit Roll-Ups and some other fruit snacks because they contain partially hydrogenated oil. It seems that using oil and telling consumers that the fruit snacks were "nutritious" and "healthy to consume" is misleading.

It was like finding out there is no Santa Claus. I felt like someone just reached in and took my heart out, and apparently it would be easy to find since it is enlarged from eating so many Fruit Roll-Ups as a kid.

Growing up I was told they were nutritious and good for me. I mean they have "Fruit" right there in the name, so how can they not be good for me? What's next, are strawberry Pop Tarts not good for me either?

I still find it hard to believe that a high quality snack such as Fruit Roll-Ups are not nutritious. I can remember peeling the plastic off the flat pieces of sweet rubber and eating them in pairs. And afterward I would have that pasty, film all in my mouth that wouldn't completely go away until I had brushed my teeth a dozen times.

Maybe that filmy stuff was that partially hydrogenated oil. I don't know what partially hydrogenated oil is, but it sounds pretty bad and there is no telling how many years of my life I lost to the dangerous stuff.

I think the thing that irritates me the most is while I was eating that filmy, fruity goodness I was being told that chocolate was bad for me. Now as an adult they have come out with studies that say chocolate can help relax blood pressure and help reduce heart disease.

My wife tells me all the time that I have high blood pressure and if I have that I can assume that I will have something wrong with my heart too. All the while I could have been improving my health by eating chocolate instead of those Fruit Roll-Ups.

So now I wonder what else I missed growing up. Should I really have been smoking a couple packs of cigarettes a day? Is chewing tobacco better for me than chewing gum? I am just all confused.

I should have known something was wrong with Fruit Roll-Ups from the start. How did they make the fruit so flat? I used to think they rolled over the fruit with a steamroller and then put childish designs in it. Then I got to high school and realized they just smashed the fruit at the factory.

Come to think of it, the sweet taste of Fruit Roll-Ups didn't taste anything like any other fruit I had ever tasted. Now I find out why -- the devilish hydrogenated oil.

The woman in New York is apparently a visionary. A modern day Albert Einstein if you will. While the rest of us went oblivious to the fact that a sugary, fruity treat aimed at children might not be good for us, this woman went against the grain. She questioned when nobody else would and apparently for the first time since the snacks debuted in 1983, she looked at the ingredients and there it was -- hydrogenated oil.

Now my world is turned upside down and I question if the sun even rises in the east. One thing I am sure of is that the New York woman is owed something by General Mills. And it shouldn't be measured in dollars, just sense.

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David Jenkins
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