The Transition Generation

The Magical Deliciousness of Lucky Charms | June 7, 2011

Food is a big part of many cultures. The family meal becomes a central place where you join together to share your day and enjoy your family, no matter how crazy or loud or amazing they might be.

But when you travel to another country, especially to live there, you have to become accustomed to different types of food and their availabilities, and you may have to get used to the absence of certain staples of your former meals until they become imported more regularly. Such was true of my parents. Sure the main staples were there: bread, milk, eggs, etc. But dangers lurked along the aisles of the grocery store too.

Danger . . . by the name of Lucky Charms.

Now let me first say the magical deliciousness of Lucky Charms is not lost on me. As children, my cousins and I ate this cereal quite a bit. But what we, and my parents, did not realize is that marshmallows are made with gelatin, a substance which is made by boiling the bones and connective tissues of animals, which for religious and cultural reasons we should not have eaten. It’s a problem other members of Generation T (my nickname for members of the Transition Generation) have had: unknowingly consuming foods that contradict religious and cultural beliefs. Lucky Charms are just one example, but there are several others out there. I have to admit that these days (as opposed the ‘80s when I was growing up), international food items are much more readily available. Even a small-town grocery store will have an “international aisle” even if it only consists of taco shells and salsa. The bigger cities (and bigger grocery chains) can boast a more robust international aisle, with items for not only your favorite Mexican dish, but also for Middle-Eastern, Asian, and Indian food, among others. So for us who have suffered in Generation T, we will at least take comfort in the fact that it will be easier for our kids to navigate the cereal aisle and pick out an eye-appealing yet very unhealthy box of food and prizes.

So, can eating Lucky Charms lead to eternal damnation for eating a forbidden substance? Who knows. I do know that God forgives, so hopefully these transgressions of our youth will be forgiven. Now if only they made a kosher version of Lucky Charms … we’d almost have it made.

Thanks for reading,

Mehv

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3 Comments »

  1. Another of the things that has changed in general since when I was a kid is that food is much more carefully labeled for a variety of things. Now a lot of that expansion has been aimed at medical rather than religious requirements (I don’t think there are any religious groups that forbid peanuts for example). I wonder if that increased attention to labeling has made it easier to properly Identify which foods contain prohibited ingredients?

    Comment by Patrick — June 9, 2011 @ 12:52 pm

    • That’s so true, Patrick! Food labeling in the US is more thorough than in other countries. I remember when I was overseas, even in Europe, there was very little on a package to let you know what was in it. Did you encounter a similar situation in China?

      And as far a religious group forbidding peanuts – it just might exist. I mean, if there’s a group that dresses up like Ned Flanders in robes and hangs around a Stonehenge-esque monument in England, anything’s possible 🙂

      Thanks for commenting!

      Comment by Mehv — June 9, 2011 @ 5:08 pm

  2. In China we were lucky if we could figure out the main ingredient in a product rather than other additives. Even packaged with English didn’t have US compliant labels.

    Comment by Meredith — June 12, 2011 @ 5:21 pm


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    First generation born and raised American, and member of the Transition Generation © (aka Generation T ©). Join me as I discuss the struggles and joys I have faced as an American. What's your story?

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