Alternate Versions

I submitted a short (3 paragraph) writing sample today. The content mill I submitted to wanted a short writing sample but didn’t want a first-person POV. So, of course, instead of working on the paragraphs I needed, I first wrote a first-person POV short essay on the subject. I find the most unique ways to procrastinate, don’t I?

The topic was “food myths” and my actual submission was on myths about Sage (do you know that ancient folks thought it could make you immortal?), but I wrote the first-person version on childhood food myths. Mostly because I’ve had the story about the bread crusts rattling around in my brain lately, but also because I’m drinking a latte today and that reminded me about the whole milk thing.

Childhood Food Myths Mythbusted My Way

Children can be picky eaters. Many adults resort to stories and myths about food to get the child interested in hopes that will get them to taste the food. And the adults in my life definitely tried the myth-method with me…but not with expected results. 

One of my favorite food myths was also my mother’s favorite: that eating carrots will give you curly hair. Everyone I know has heard the one about better vision, but the one my mom learned from her mom was that the curly leaves on carrot bunches meant that eating carrots would curl even perfectly straight hair. Mom ate a lot of carrots in search of curls, and I ate them along with her because I liked the taste — I thought curls were annoying and liked my long straight hair. In case you’re wondering, I still have straight hair, but my Mom gave in later in life and got regular perms to put those curls right where she wanted them.

A family friend tried the “there are starving children in Country X” myth to get me to eat the crusts on my sandwiches. As a result, I saved up all my crusts for a week and gave them to him in a box, ready for him to mail off to the starving kids. Never did find out what he did with them, but I assume my mom took the box back and got rid of the evidence. 

Even teachers tried to myth me into eating what they wanted, especially when it came to drinking milk. I hated the stuff, and they tried to get me to “strengthen my bones” on a regular basis. I hated the taste so much I decided I wanted weak bones and refused to drink. My poor misguided teachers…as I discovered later in life all they really needed to do was offer the milk with a bit of coffee thrown in and I’d have chugged it.  

As a latte-swigging, carrot-eating, and (still) crust-avoiding adult, I have to emphasize that the real way to get kids to eat is to dump the myths and give them something they actually like the taste of.


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