The Gift of Goldfish


a film of salt. a cheddar cheese bite.  a crunch.  A goldfish.

But where does this perfect specimen of a fish come from if not the sea?  Pepperidge Farm, where fish where sunglasses AND can lindy step.  This wasn’t always so.  Like your average catfish, these nuggets of Pepperidge Farm had a humble beginning.

Margaret Rudkin baked bread for her youngest son Mark who had asthma and was allergic to most commercially processed foods.  And from there, well you know the rest of the story.  Well, I guess you don’t.  And as America’s Favorite Food Fanatic *drumroll* Michael Pollan would point out that is an issue and an issue worth resolving.  And I would agree.  I would like to know more about the practices of Pepperidge Farm, whether happy cows come from Pepperidge Farm and whether the cabin that produces the food was built in Georgian Mahogany or Tudor Oak[1].

As for the manufacturing plants, can we assume they are environmentally friendly?  I will assume for now that isn’t so because Occam’s razor would tell me the simplest explanation is the correct one.  And environmentally friendly despite it’s intuitive connection with nature and simplicity in our day and age seems to never be the easiest or the simplest.

For me, it’s less about Pepperidge Farm and more about being able to use the 600 meal points I’ve accumulated to buy something that I can eat quickly.  Yay for green, organic, healthy…but seriously guys my project isn’t going to code itself.  Yet Pollan is right.  My health should be first, and I can’t abuse it to save marginal amounts of time.  Eating right should be a priority in my life: it’s just very hard to see the value when you are young and grades and friends and that song-you-have-a-solo-in-that-you-still-need-to-practice-for-CalDay exist.

This mid-afternoon munchie notes it’s “made with smiles and…” salt, sugar, onions, milk, flour, cheddar cheese, and sunflower oil.  And then there are the other ingredients.  I begin listing them off to my equally blurry-eyed O-chem floormate who enthusiastically (*perhaps automatically) begins drawing out the structure of the molecules.  That means that goldfish are organic right?  Yes this does weird me out.  But if you are going to look at food this way, apply the same lens to clothing, books or other articles in your life.  Yes you aren’t digesting them, but you still are using them and thus doing something unnatural.  Is the only obligation you have to not digest weird chemicals?  Honestly, I digest many an unknown molecule unquestionably like that teal Zzzquil and  not-chicken chicken your friend cooked.  Do you do too?

I disagree that “unnatural” food should be so easily crossed off your food list.  This food has helped me manage 9 hours in the library next to the girl in the quiet section giggling at her adjacent dark eyed wonder.  Hypocritical as I may be about her talking disturbing my studying/eating in the library, I still thank God ie Pepperidge Farm for the gift of goldfish.

[1] (It’s difficult to tell from the logo.)


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