Apples' Brand Management

I know how to punctuate.  I'm not talking about the computer company.  I'm talking about the fruit.  I didn't think that apples needed brand management, but clearly I am behind the times.  Can you believe these ads I recently ripped out of magazines?  

It's definitely cooler to remove the healthy fiber from the apple, add preservatives, burn a ton of fossil fuels to process and package it, and then toss the packaging into a landfill.  Yup.  Way cooler than crunchy biodegradable old school apples.  And totally equivalent "servings" of fruit. Totally.  

Oh, yes, the "after" is definitely better on this makeover.  Makes the apples appear to be fried in trans fat.  Plus they must douse them in some awesome chemical to keep them from turning brown like old school apples do.  That's what makes them "fresh", because, you know, regular apples aren't "fresh".  

I understand that Capri Sun and BK are employing the best strategies they can to compete with readily available inexpensive healthy apples.  After all, you have to have a compelling reason to buy an apple from these corporations when you can get one from a backyard tree, farmer's market, or grocery store.  So, they've added value by making their form of apples seem "cooler" than the real ones.  

Just what we need is kids who expect and only enjoy apples that have been relieved of their peels, natural texture, and taste (since they are served with caramel dipping sauce).  Or that can be sucked through a straw from a shiny package.  

This reminds me of those anal-leakage inducing Olestra chips they used to have and all of the diet snacks that look and taste like candy bars.  Not to mention diet soda and such.  Way to train the brain to appreciate healthy food!  Eat chocolate bar looking things and chips and drink sweet tasting soda all day so that the only tastes and textures you enjoy are chocolate bars and chips and sweet tasting soda.  That will certainly go a long way toward helping you reduce inappropriate food cravings!  You never learn how to appreciate, enjoy, and even crave fresh veggies and fruits and less sweet foods because you never give body a chance to adjust to them.  It's all ridiculous!

OK, I'll get off my soapbox now.  Especially considering I polished off a diet soda earlier and I just blogged about my recent fast food "binge".  But, please, apples?  Aren't they already pretty cool the way that they are?  


Would You Like Guilt With That?

(I wish it was this kind I was talking about...)

"Hey, Mommy, there's Jack" Turtle yelled during a superbowl commercial today.  Backtire looked at me, "Um, how does he know that?"  "Remember, a few weeks ago when we ate at Jack In The Box and you met us there?  There were pictures of Jack all over the wall and he wanted to know who it was, so..." I explained, feeling crappy that my not quite 3-year old son knew who Jack was.  We returned our attention to the TV only to then witness Jack get run over by a bus.   Turtle had a very concerned and confused look on his face as his newfound loveable character friend was just squashed.  Oh Great!  It was bad enough that we had sunk to Jack In The Box for dinner level.  Now he's been traumatized to top it off!  

After inquiring after Turtle's interpretation of the commercial, I agreed that Jack "fell down because that bus came" and that he simply needed to get up and brush himself off and he would be fine.  All was well with the world, Turtle went back to playing with trains, and I avoided having to talk about the realities of being hit by vehicles.  

The part I didn't mention to Backtire was that the two of us had eaten at McDonald's today for lunch. And another time when we were on our own for dinner a few weeks back.  Oh yeah, and all three of us stopped for fast food over the holidays on a long drive home one night, too. That's at least four times in the past couple months.  

And if I hadn't have blogged previously about eating locally and avoiding sugary birthday celebrations at daycare and generally professed to people my organic-whole-foods-well-balanced-non-processed-water-down-the-juice-he's-never-eaten-candy-we-don't-do-fastfood-except-when-forced-to-on-long-roadtrips-a-few-times-a-year values, I might not feel quite so hypocritical right now.  

On the other hand, I'm sure I'm holding myself to higher standards than anyone else is.  And the plus is that at least I've started to find more balance in terms of not killing myself to try to live up to my crazy high standards without fail.  I've opted for the fast food so that we can stay out and get all the errands I want done and have some fun together instead of feeling housebound, stuck in the kitchen, and frustrated that the to do list is growing.  

Hopefully, I won't resort to fast food often enough for Turtle to start begging for it or refusing to eat other things.  He has always been a great eater, willing to try anything new, and happy to eat raw vegetables and all manner of things good for you. To make myself feel better, though, each time we've done this I've snuck the toy out of the kids' meal and into my purse before he could see it.  I don't need the promise of a new toy each time you eat a meal to hold sway over him.  The food itself is supposed to be the incentive for eating.  

I love that my almost 3-year old son doesn't know what candy is and doesn't expect that you should end up with a toy each time you go out.  Today while grocery shopping he saw a shelf of Valentines Day teddy bears and simply asked if he could hug a few of them.  So, we stopped and took turns hugging a few of them and put them all back on the shelf.  I've never set that precedent that we would actually take toys we see in stores home with us.  I love that when I pour a little juice in the bottom of his cup, he says to me "Mom, now add the water to make it into juice" because that's how he thinks it works.  

I'm going to keep it like this for as long as I can.  But I'll also continue to keep in mind the best advice I've ever been given:  Everything in moderation, including moderation.