One of the great ironies of my life is that I’m a girl who was raised on a commune in Northern California, forced to eat Soysage and Tofurky for most of my childhood. And today I work for many of the once forbidden fast-food giants, promoting food once only in my dreams – now literally at my fingertips.
Anything mass-manufactured or considered “commercial” was prohibited on the commune. We ate salads of miner’s lettuce, grown wild in the back field. When we weren’t roaming naked, we wore embarrassing eclectic 12th century hand me downs…Our Christmas ornaments were made from popcorn and pinecones, and my wizard costume on Halloween flaunted a rainbow colored sheet-cape and makeshift wand of beeswax crayons.
Essentially, if it wasn’t homemade and organic, it wasn’t allowed. For years we ate raw fruits and vegetables. We couldn’t eat meat, dairy, fish, eggs, sugar, nuts, wheat, rice, corn…. You name it, we couldn’t eat it.
I longed for a standard “straight” life where I could eat dead processed food, VOID of live enzymes. I spent hours at the library after school, with my heart racing, salivating over cookbooks. Bon Appetit was like porn to me. I vowed repeatedly that someday these tasty ‘toxic’ foods would be MINE (as soon as I became a capitalist pig with a polluting-vehicle of my own).
A large part of my childhood was spent rebelliously countering the counter-culture. When people on the commune were fasting, I hid in my room, swallowing Skittles I had secretly smuggled from society; when the doobie was passed around the circle, I passed (well, most of the time); midst a colony of Tai Chi slippers, I was the first to wear pumps…
Normal things of youth like Happy Meals and the Happiest Place on Earth were well beyond my reach…until now.
But strangely enough, I now find myself at the craft service table during most jobs, munching on nuts and berries, and other gluten-free crap, much like I did in the back field, back in the day. Surprisingly, now that I make a living shooting commercials and marketing McNuggets to the masses, I don’t gorge myself on junk food and those carbonated chemicals I once craved.