Sunday, March 23, 2008

Butter Buds

So, I'm with my mom and dad at home (meaning the house I grew up in) Friday night, and we decide, around 10, to have a snack. I have some cold cereal while mom decides to live it up with some oatmeal.

After she makes the oatmeal, she pulls out her condiments: fat free half and half and a shaker of something called "Butter Buds." I sat there trying, not that hard, not to let my jaw drop. Fat free half and half? I ask you: What is the point of half and half without half that fat? Where's the flavor??? Then there's the butter buds. They're yellow, you shake them on stuff, apparently the taste will remind you of butter. I was like, "Ma! Have some butter!" She laughs and says, yeah, you're right, and pulls out a tub of something called "Earth Balance," which is some kind of butter product. Mind you, she has butter in the fridge, but she still goes for the substitutes. Why? Because, as she puts it, "that's what I call a diet."

Now, my mom loves food. She loves to think about it, shop for it, cook it, share it, eat it. She loves good food. She's a really good cook. Really good. But for her, a diet remains substituting real food -- like butter and half and half with all the glorious fat and none of the chemicals -- for food products with "20 calories per serving." Of course, it's not the pat of butter on her oatmeal that's getting in the way of the weight loss she'd like to happen. It's those $@%&*! butter buds!

If I were legislator for a day and had to go after some food conglomerate for contributing to the weight problems so many people struggle with, I wouldn't go after McDonalds, I'd go after the fake food people. Butter buds, Earth Balance, No fat Mayo, sour cream, half-and-half, unless you have to eat that stuff for a food allergy, it just tricks you into thinking you're eating "well" because you've cut back on calories somewhere. Meanwhile, you don't cut back on your portions, and you keep eating because the flavors are less than satisfying. And it's fake and full of chemicals and who knows how the heck it's made. OK. I'm done. Really done. So over the butter buds. Ma! Are you reading this? Throw! Them! Away!


Anonymous said...

Robin, YOU ARE SO RIGHT! Especially about how the unsatisfying taste/texture of "diet" foods makes us want to keep eating. That stuff drives me nuts!

Robin Aronson said...

Nuts! It's awful, isn't it? But my mom STILL hasn't thrown those butter buds away. But then again, she never throws anything away.

ceridwen said...

I totally agree! That crap is so annoying and represents this whole way of eating that's based on trying to trick yourself. Which is so depressing: Oh, I'm really going to pull one over on... myself.