While shopping for Passover food this week I noticed there are so many more options to choose from than when I was a kid.
Growing up, the week of Passover consisted of matzah with tomato sauce and cheese (regular pizza) or matzah with tomato sauce and EXTRA cheese ( Chicago Deep Dish).
For the entire week we put away our pasta and our corn flakes and instead opted for jelly rings and string cheese.
Nowadays, the kosher food market has become a multimillion dollar empire with artificial ” Kosher for Passover” products ranging from “spaghetti” (the main ingredients are potato starch and high fructose corn syrup) to “oatmeal ” (same ingredients as the spaghetti just 3 dollars more).
You can practically find anything that is kosher for Passover, including fake “BREAD”, but three times the price and ten times the sugar.
When I was a kid, sugar was such a staple in my house…. Back then the food pyramid actually had the top triangle as sugars and oils with the explanation to “use sparingly”….yup. My favorite food group.
I would sprinkle it on everything from cut up grapefruit to frosted flakes.
My friend would eat the plain packets while sitting in a diner waiting for her coffee to put the rest in.
We baked with it, we poured it on everything without flinching. I’m not even talking abut junk food that has sugar as the Main Ingredient….. I’m referring to plain simple sugar. I compare myself to the father in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” who poured Windex on everything. That was me and Sugar.
Then came the “Diet Coke Years” and Aspartame as a sugar substitute. The reality was that the substitutes were much sweeter than the real thing that our taste buds became accustomed to SUPER SWEET taste ….eventually just one sugar packet wasn’t enough …..we had to have more.
…..And so, a generation of SWEET TOOTH dependents evolved.
…..As did the sugar industry….. We were ADDICTED.
I suppose if I were a manufacturer of Kosher For Passover products I too would take advantage of the national sugar addiction and put it in every approved product.
For some reason even though we’ve known for years that sugar leads to all kinds of health problems such as obesity and diabetes it has only recently come under fire as a culprit for a plethora of OTHER HEALTH concerns, ranging from CANCER and now…..HEART DISEASE .
As a nation, sugar usage exceeds 9 MILLION TONS a year.
This week researchers at the University of California reported that an excess consumption of high fructose corn syrup, a popular SUGAR source, is linked to an increased risk of HEART DISEASE and CHOLESTEROL problems.
Crazy thing about that is I was raised to believe that my genetically high cholesterol was caused by red meat and butter. I haven’t had more than one egg yolk per day in 20 years.
Now researchers hypothesize, that the liver when faced with a surplus of sugar converts some of it into fat which then enters the blood stream as LDL cholesterol which can result in HEART ATTACK or STROKE.
Additional studies have identified links between SODA consumption and metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cancer, and even osteoporosis.
My GOSH FOLKS!!! Do we really need it spelled out for us?????
So this entire sugar saga made me wonder…..why break the bank paying for all these artificial kosher for passover food products when we can take this opportunity – yes opportunity – to eat CLEAN for an entire week, save some cash, save some ER visits and just feel GOOD.
Wow, I know my body would certainly BENEFIT from a lean eating week of just fish, chicken, cheese, fruits, vegetables, avocados, olive oil, and nuts. KEEP IT SIMPLE.
Cut out the soda, the fake spaghetti and go back to plain matzah and tomato sauce with cheese – or splurge for the DEEP DISH……you may just be surprised by just how GOOD you feel!
And now for some Nostalgia…..