I had a bad ice cream experience on Saturday.
Leslie and I were walking home with a hankering for the cold and cream,y so we popped into the local drug store and grabbed a carton of vanilla. It looked good enough and was from a blue-lidded brand we knew so we bought it and came home for a perfectly healthy late night snack of waffles covered in maple syrup and ice cream.
Everything seemed fine until we dug in.
Yes, that’s when we noticed our ice cream was a little strange. It tasted like plastic. It didn’t melt. And it had the consistency of the foamy white stuff you spray into drafty holes in your attic.
A closer inspection of the carton made us realize this wasn’t even ice cream at all! Nope, it was “Frozen Dessert,” something so mutant we can only refer to it by its temperature and the time of day it can be consumed. It sounded sort of like some terrible meal pill from the future.
“One-hot-break-fast-please,” the robot says to the holographic employee. “And-three-fro-zen-des-serts.”
Yes, the name explained a lot, as did the twenty-seven word ingredient list that read like what goes into making a tire.
It made us realize that maybe the days of milk, cream and vanilla are slowly going away. Maybe we’re losing the ice-cream loving of yesterday in favor of oil-infused aspartame air that goes down cheap and doubles as bleach.
Well, to that I say for all the ways our food keeps changing, one thing remains a rare beauty in the grocery store: those one-word ingredient lists. Spot them like endangered snow owls when you spy them on bags of almonds (Ingredients: Almonds), packs of dried plums (Ingredients: Plums), or slapped on the side of orange juice cartons (Ingredients: Oranges).
Because maybe injecting whey protein powder loaded with omega-stuffed vitamins is the way to eat your breakfast cereal.
Or maybe it’s time to go back to oatmeal.
Bonus video: Neil’s talk at TEDx Toronto. If you want to feel more inspired and mindful, watch this.
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- Assistant Ed: Cat Beekmans/Ed: Bryonie Wise
[Phota via Neil Pasricha on 1000 Awesome Things]
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