Monday, November 09, 2009


Our fourth grade class won a pizza party provided by the PTA for having the highest percentage of parents to join their fine organization.

During the party I was talking to Mikalea about all sorts of things and the subject of the fruit roll-up snacks came up.

"Mikaela, look at the ingredients list on the back of the package."

"Mr. W., what's proplylene glycol?"

"Propylene glycol is anti-freeze. Car engines have water that surround them to keep them cool. Propylene glycol is a poisonous chemical used to keep the water from freezing in the winter, and it serves other mechanical purposes."

"Oh. What's corn syrup?"

"Corn syrup is a sweetener that is a liquid. It's made from corn rather than from sugar cane, and so that way the maker of the fruit roll-up can claim that the roll-up doesn't have any sugar. It actually doesn't have sugar. It is sweetened a whole lot with corn syrup."

"OK. What's monostearate and phosphoric acid?"

"I don't know exactly. Some sort of chemicals used to keep the fruit roll-up, which actually has no fruit, from going bad after many months."

"Eww!" Mikaela said with a face full of shock and horror.

"Ewww!" I said with a grimace.

No sooner than this exchange took place, Mikalea took a big bite of her fruit roll-up and said, "Mmm. They're good."

I couldn't bring myself to say it.

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