Just a couple of days ago, I discovered that I can’t quit Pop-Tarts. How did I discover this? I bought a box.
But I had a good reason, two good reasons, actually. First, it was a new flavor, Frosted Chocolatey Strawberry. And second, the box was emblazoned with a bright yellow “Limited Edition” label, so I knew I had to act fast and grab one of the many boxes off the shelf, otherwise they’d someday be sold out. You know, long after I’ve stopped caring or even noticed that they’re gone.
I tried to quit Pop-Tarts, I really did.
There was a time when I thought I loved Pop-Tarts, when the very thought of never holding a Pop-Tart in my hand ever again gave me shivers of the hyenas saying ‘Mufasa’ variety. Pop-Tarts were an invaluable staple of mine. They were my go-to food whenever I needed to eat something that I only wanted to believe was healthy.
So what changed?
I took a nutrition class. And the instructor, God bless her unclogged arteries, did an astounding job of teaching me how to look at food in a completely different way. She somehow got me to see varieties of foods as proteins, grains, vegetables, fruits… you know, healthy shit. Sadly, Pop-Tarts were in a category all their own, a category not so favored if you truly want to take care of the one body you have in this life. So per a challenge she issued to everyone in the class, a challenge to remove something unhealthy from our diets, I quit Pop-Tarts.
When the class ended, we each wrote a short response paper to her about how the class affected us. I told her how much I appreciated the class and her instruction. I told her how my life, and diet, had become better since starting the class. I told her I would forever keep with me these important lessons she taught and never again would eat unhealthy foods on a regular basis.
Thank God it was an online class; I wouldn’t have been able to look her in the eye and say all of that with an honest face.
Actually, I did manage to stay away from Pop-Tarts for a good long time, about a year, if I remember correctly. However, since that day I fell off the wagon – or Kellogg’s threw me off with some damn strong marketing – my relationship with Pop-Tarts has been on/off at best.
Sure, there are things about Pop-Tarts that I don’t care for. The overabundance of chocolate flavors, for instance. I once wrote to Kellogg’s, urging them to develop more fruit flavors such as lemon, pineapple, and mango; but considering how much time has passed since I did that, it seems my suggestion fell on chocolate-covered deaf ears.
I also don’t like how sweet they taste. Kellogg’s, I think, would do well to crank down the sugary level just a smidge.
It would also be nice if they put some type of educational fact on each package. Not that I’d read it or anything. You know what? Scratch that. What they should put on each package is some silly-sounding fortune, like fortune cookies, except with a certain self-awareness that, yes, looking to a piece of paper associated with a snack you’re eating to tell you the future is in fact a silly concept. Oh, and they should have unlucky lotto numbers to go along with those silly fortunes. If you play any numbers other than those six, you’re likely to win.
But even with these ideas I have to fix Pop-Tarts in a way that would get me to love them again, I still have my doubts and I feel like those doubts will always linger. Maybe it’s really over. Maybe I’ll never love Pop-Tarts again.
I can’t wait to pick up a box of Frosted PB&J Strawberry Pop-Tarts next week. That should make me feel better.