I was only deciphering the Nutrition Facts because I needed the
cereal box in front of me to discourage my children from carrying on
inane conversations with me before my senses had become functional.
If not for the cereal box, my son would have interpreted an
all-clear for conversations that included black holes, naked moles,
rats, time warp continuums and other stimulating topics that were
undesirable at a time when I, most emphatically, did not want to be
So it was that I was able to make out the gibberish on
the cereal box and concluded that I would probably need to take a
multivitamin because this cereal only had, at the most, 35 percent
of the recommended daily value of any particular vitamin. Can't they
invent a cereal that has 100 percent of the recommended values of
everything so that I wouldn't have to think about it the rest of the
day? Since the recommended daily value was not met with breakfast,
what are the chances that I'd cover all my nutritional values before
I went to sleep tonight?
I'd probably find myself ransacking my cupboards at midnight
trying to find a food that contained the other 80 percent of the
folic acid I needed to fulfill my daily nutritional requirements.
"Honey, what has a lot of folic acid in it?"
"I don't know. Laundry detergent? Go back to sleep!"
What if I don't get that 80 percent that I was lacking? Would
that mean that I am not as healthy as I could be? I would go to bed
worrying, "Oh, if only I had eaten enough folic acid."
I want to be healthy -- as healthy as I can be. Where is the menu
that was made up by the guys who made up the impossible rules for
daily requirements? You know -- that menu that actually gives you
100 percent of the recommended daily values without going over the
limit for fat, cholesterol and sodium. Where is that?
[to top of second column]
What? You mean they never wrote one? They just wrote the rules and
we are supposed to figure out how to obey them? What rot!
thought I had a daily menu worked out using the food pyramid (which
apparently isn't a pyramid anymore), the recommended daily values
and foods that I would actually eat.
Unfortunately, it had too much asparagus, which makes your urine
stink, and not enough chocolate. Also, because I needed more protein
and didn't have room for more fat, I had to substitute my husband's
leather work boots for a pork chop for the dinner course. That could
get expensive. Alas, since it took me three weeks to figure out one
day's menu, I would have to eat the same thing every day of my life.
My husband doesn't have that many pairs of work boots.
I think those guys who make up the rules for daily nutritional
requirements are a bunch of quacks anyway. My reasoning is simple:
There is no daily requirement for chocolate. What kind of messed-up
rule is that? Yes, we need our vitamins and minerals. Yes, we need
fiber, even if it makes us backfire like a Model T. But I, for one,
cannot function without chocolate!
Just once, I'd like to pick up a 3 Musketeers bar and know that
yes, I am getting 100 percent of my daily requirement of chocolate.
But instead, I embark on a major guilt trip even though my 3
Musketeers is within the daily requirements for fat, cholesterol and
sodium ... provided that I don't eat anything else all day. Fair
enough! I could do that!
[By LAURA SNYDER]
You can reach the writer at
Or visit www.lauraonlife.com
for more columns and info about her books.