A Foreign Reaction to a Foreign Substance: American Junk Food

Whether we are aware of the dangers of eating excessive amounts of corn syrup, dyes and a slough of other corn-derived “food stuffs” or not, it is likely that we each have our own context for iconic junk foods, often related to our youth. Ho-Ho’s may remind us of trips to the corner store after school, a tootsie pop: that strangely edited commercial where the cartoon owl bites into the emblematic candy, and so on. But these are advertising tricks, all typically targeting kids, and hiding the truth about what the product really is. As the antidote for this sordid portion of our health crisis, we may sometimes need to be reminded that our compulsion to want to eat these snacks is culturally influenced by the companies that make these products, and not necessarily an inherent part of being young.

Tastes like the color gray

My one tastes like a doctor’s office

It’s more jelly than flavor

It looks like poo. It looks like poo!

Its just a dark activity to while away the hours and keep going on until death

It’s weird because you do want more."

These lines are not an attempt at writing poetry. They are, in fact, quotes from a video of young people in Ireland in the process of tasting American junk food for the first time. Kristina Bravo of Take Part recently wrote a post on this video, created by a Dublin-based production agency who filmed these brave souls while they took their first venture into the strange world of Twinkies, Tootsie Rolls, Twizzlers, and few other “food-like” items. Their reactions are as dramatic as you might expect, and it's refreshing and sobering to see American junk food exposed for what it really is—downright gross.

At 1:25 minutes into the video, see what the two young women say when they take a bite of Froot Loops. It says it all.

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Read all articles by Damon Cory-Watson

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