Oct 13th, 2005
So it's practically a cliche at this point to fulminate about the nutritional soundness (or lack thereof) of the typical American diet in the year 2005. The sugar lobby has Congress on a short leash and giant conglomerates spend millions of ad dollars pushing candy and junk food. Meanwhile the fruit and vegetable lobby is, well, less than formidable. Enter PearBear. PearBear is a cartoon bear character who just loves pears! Oh yes he does! And he wants your kids to love pears as much as he does! He even has Pear Buddies, Angoulina, Perry, and Bosco who have "joined the USA Pear team to help us teach kids about the benefits of delicious fresh pears."
PearBear himself visited Jay's kindergarten class earlier this week, handing out free PearBear pearaphernalia (hee) including books about the adventures of PearBear, reusable PearPackers (pretty cool, I brought a pear to work in one today), and little nutritional pamphlets full of healthy, wholesome pear recipes. Like PearBear's Secret Surprise Cake which includes a package of chocolate cake mix, margarine, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and pears! I never thought of adding pears to my cake mix, why that makes it nutritional! And extra sugar too, how lovely! Or what about the Bunny Hop Salad where you decorate pear halves with raisins for eyes and mini marshmallows for nose and tail! Sounds almost as good as the pear slices dipped in melted chocolate, or the pear bowls filled with sherbet!!
I'm floored, I really am. I'm as cynical as your next embittered consumer, but I honestly cannot believe that the public schools are letting this crap into their buildings and touting it as solid nutritional advice. Yes kids need to eat more fruits and vegetables, but hiding them in cake, chocolate, marshmallows, and icecream doesn't do a damn bit of good. If they actually wanted them to eat healthy food maybe they could, oh I don't know, not serve the kids chicken nuggets, cheeseburgers, and pizza for school lunches. But that's crazy talk. I'm sure a man in a bear suit handing out instructions for how to add pears to your cake mix is really what we need to get this country back on track nutritionally. After all, how could it fail? It's truly the American way.