This afternoon, my dear friend sent me a text message. He had left a cookie on the kitchen counter and wanted me to have it. I was working from home so I could immediately go to the kitchen to see what kind of cookie it was. Second to my love of pizza, is my adoration for soft, delicious cookies — preferably chocolate chip. I vaguely remembered seeing the cookie the first time I went into the kitchen this morning yet I chose to ignore it since it wasn’t mine. With phone in hand, I snatched it from the counter then re-read the message:
Hi KALALEA! I left a crumbled tasty treat for u on the kitchen counter this morning – Happy Halloween!
I flipped it over to see if there was a list of ingredients since that’s the first thing I do whenever I’m grocery shopping. (A good habit to adopt by the way.) The ingredients were: Flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, potassium bromate, thiamin, mononitrate, Folic acid, riboflavin, iron) Sugar, Butter, Eggs, Dry Egg White Powder, Cornstarch,Water, and FD&C Red #40, Yellow#5, Blue#1.
The melodramatic side of me questioned, Why would someone that loves me give me a cookie like this — with poison in it? Of course, I know that 1) he most likely didn’t read the ingredient list 2) he probably re-gifted it and wouldn’t purposefully purchase this type of cookie for me (having known me for over fifteen years), and 3) the poison part never crossed his mind. I placed the cookie on the counter then responded to his text:
Thanks !! Although I most likely won’t eat it. Do u want me to save it for you? … But let’s agree to never eat food that contains dyes (i.e. chemicals)! It will be trashed as it is garbage already. I appreciate the gesture though. We love our bodies (smiley face).
That was the most sincere yet diplomatic response I could muster. I didn’t take it so seriously but it inspired me to write. I wish to encourage folks to shower their loved ones with treats that are healthier and as close to whole as possible. I’ll say it again, I LOVE COOKIES; however, I’m not going to eat ANY old cookie. Ingredients most certainly matter.
If your Aunty loves Oreo cookies, help save her life by purchasing homemade desserts from a farmer’s market or holiday fair. If your Mom dreams about red velvet cake, bake her one and use beet juice or natural food coloring instead of Red#40 which has been banned in Canada and many European countries. For Halloween, pass out sugar-free lollipops, boxes of raisins, or mini-bags of popcorn instead of highly processed, sugary, colorful candy.
My message this holiday season is: Give the Ones You Love, Whole, Healthy, and Yummy Treats and Sustainable Gifts.
Better yet, GIVE THE GIFT OF KALE! You can juice it, eat it raw, sauté it, steam it, add to soups or stews, or even bake it.