Of/By/4 in 18 minutes By Lawrence Lessig
copyright © 2010 Betsy L. Angert. BeThink.org
Dearest Mommy and my natural father . . .
I apologize. My belly, my bloated body, only belatedly do I understand. It never was in the genes. The abundant meat that weighed heavily on my bones was not caused by my chromosomal structure; it was piled on by Congressional and corporately funded campaigns. Mommy and the husband who helped make me, much to my embarrassment, today I acknowledge my error. I was spoon-fed, and not by the two of you. Legislators, Lobbyists, and big businesses that place misleading labels on chemically cooked up cuisines put corn fillers on my every plate. I chowed down. My little body bulged out. From the inside out, I grew bigger and wider.
I am so sorry. I did not realize. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup made me other than pleasingly plump. I thought it was you, the givers of my DNA, Deoxyribonucleic acid. I believed that genetic material was my doom. Oh my parents, trans fats and trans fatty acids made me do it, blow up like a balloon.
I know I blamed you. Now I understand. Only your votes could have prevented my childhood obesity.
Perhaps, the chemicals that clung to the frozen foods we were all fed persuaded you as well. I remember the ample advertisements that tempted us to indulge. TV dinners. Yum! Soda to sip on. Sensational. Potpies and popped corn all cooked in a jiffy. Delicious! It seems, in retrospect, our preferred diet did us in. Fast foods, we thought, bought us time. Indeed, these processed products only purchased candidates and ensured greater corporate profits.
Oh yes; the junk we ate also added pounds, advanced poor health, and did I mention, help promote people whose claim to fame was the desire for absolute power. We were appeased and deceived, Corporations and Congressional candidates achieved.
My dear parents, today, I accept what I was unaware of for the many years I gluttonously gulped on boosted beverages, or swallowed all the overly salty, starchy, sweetened fare. My fat was not yours or mine. It was theirs. Big businesses gained on my back and yours.
Your apologetic, loving and lumpy daughter . . .
References for reflection, food for thought . . .
- Sourball. Editorial. Washington Post. March 22, 2010
- Sweet But Not So Innocent, By Sally Squires. Washington Post. March 11, 2003
- Obesity Rates Keep Rising, Troubling Health Officials, By Denise Grady. The New York Times. August 4, 2010
- Ad Rules Stall, Keeping Cereal a Cartoon Staple, By William Neuman. The New York Times. July 23, 2010
- What We Know, and Don’t, About Children and Junk Food, By James McWilliams. The New York Times. July 22, 2010
- Unsafe At Any Meal. By Eric Schlosser. The New York Times. July 24, 2010
- Study: Too Much Sugar Increases Heart Risks, By Alice Park. Time. April 21, 2010
- Junk Food Nation, By Gary Ruskin and Juliet Schor. originally published in The Nation. August 12, 2005
- Sugar Is Back on Food Labels, This Time as a Selling Point, By Kim Severson. The New York Times. March 20, 2009