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.