Do you ever find yourself getting irrationally angry about something that shouldn’t be a big deal?

I have and recently it has been about food. Let me preface that it is not about moms dealing with food allergies, even when it takes me out of my usual routines. I understand where they are coming from, that it is a life or death situation some days when a kid comes into contact with an allergen.

It is about this war on obesity. I understand the big deal about teaching people to eat right. I understand that the president’s wife wants us to move more and eat healthy, that kids need to learn that lesson as well.

But what gets me sick are these food nazis who decide we have to follow their rules. Therefore, McDonald’s Happy Meals now have both, french fries and apple slices, in them. What a waste. Little kids have space for only so much food and fries will be eaten first. Then the kid is going to say “I’m full” with the apple bag going straight to the garbage.

You want to know the worst part? Caramel is not handed out with the apple slices. This last week when the kids had a day off from school (teacher conferences), the husband made the trip for lunch. The kids received their apple slices and employees checked to see if there was any caramel packets hanging around.

Image from AmericanSweets.co.uk

You know what is going to happen. Mom is going to stop at the store, buy some caramel sauce and bring it home for the kids. The amount that will be poured out – especially by the kids – will be more than the small container we used to be able to get from McDonald’s. I am sure that is what those ‘nutritional’ experts were looking to happen.

Another thing that got me going about these food police idiots (hey, it is my blog and I get to put down people as I see fit) are the ones who have decided that they want to tax each ounce of sugared-added drinks sold in the state of Illinois. The radio interview I listened to really set me off when this woman would not answer a question about what brand of juice exactly might this tax refer. Then she talked about how diet and lite drinks would be excluded from this tax.

So drinks using artificial sugar are better for us than drinks with real sugar? And is she aware that apple juice has the same amount of sugar as most sodas?  This make me wonder if we should not just tax those bags of sugar they sell in the baking aisle. I mean, you can’t make unsweetened kool-aid without them and who wants to face their morning oatmeal without brown sugar.

But seriously, when is enough, quite simply, enough? When are we going to learn that we cannot - or perhaps should not – legislate food choices. It is one thing when we tax cigarettes and alcohol to the nth degree because the proof is undeniable that these two items are a direct link to death. The Marlboro Man and MADD have proven that.

There are many, many books out there telling those of us who diet that soda is liquid Satan. There are tons of articles telling us to eat our fruit, don’t drink our fruit. We have the First Lady planting a garden in the White House lawn, showing how to get your own fresh veggies in your back yard. There are the milk ads and the new dietary symbol and Dr. Oz telling us all of the good food options.

However, until a two liter soda costs much more than a 2-quart bottle of apple juice, people won’t care.  The cheap brand of soda in my store costs .79. The cheap apple juice costs $2.00. Bag of apples run between $2.99 (cheapest) to $4.99. Ore Ida frozen french fried potatoes stick around $3.19.

Price does matter but so do other factors. Such as those artificial sweeteners are not good for you either. Such as carbonation is not good on a daily basis. Such as it would be better to drink Snapple or Arizona teas any day rather than soda. That you cannot control everything that people in this world will eat or drink.

Food is such a basic visceral need. Why we eat what we eat has so many reasons behind it. Some foods are comforting, some foods bring back family memories. Some just taste good and we enjoy them. No one has an ice cream binge for the joy of it, that is always a way to chase away sadness.

Image by Clarita

When groups start to try to regulate consumption by taxation, you make people surly and angry. One of them might decide to follow you around to see what you eat and drink all day. I wonder what we would see…