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Adventures With Ami: The Scent of Sugar


While shopping for groceries last week, I took a wrong turn into the candy aisle.  Not an aisle I frequent these days.  It was a long cart ride to get to the end of it. Somewhere in the middle of the jumbo sized bags I noticed it. The unmistakable scent of sugar. Like a bag of Halloween loot dumped on the kitchen table to be sorted and exchanged with your sister after a night of trick or treating, the chocolate intermingled with the licorice and bubble gum. I could smell it. Through the individual wrappers, boxes and bags, there it was.  I wondered if I could always smell it and just never noticed, or if this was a newly acquired superpower that I was gifted since giving up sugar? Other than a dab of maple syrup now and then, I have given up added sugar in general, and frankly I don’t really miss it. Nor do I think about it much.

A little disturbed at this intrusion, I rolled on toward healthier fare in the rice aisle.  Making the turn, there on the end cap was limited edition candy corn cream filled cookies. I rolled my eyes at this, do we really need that combo? The same brand of cookies were the subject of a recent study showing that they are as addictive as cocaine. There were more than a dozen candy corn flavored items strategically located throughout the store all the way to the check out line.  Isn’t it enough that 20 MILLION pounds of candy corn is sold each year?  On my drive home from the grocery store I thought about the multitude of junk available now.  Don’t get me wrong, plenty of junk was available when I was a kid too.  Back then, we just had plain old candy corn and most of the kids I knew, didn’t really like the stuff. It was always the stale candy corn getting dumped in the trash around Thanksgiving at our house.  So who is consuming all of these randomly flavored treats?  When researching the origin of candy corn I discovered that it dates back to the 1880′s in Pennsylvania – which just figures, it’s my home state. Also home to marshmallow peeps – which I might add, were only available at Easter when I was a kid – not all holidays.  Peeps ghosts and pumpkins? You betcha!  I even came across limited edition candy corn flavored milk from a dairy in the Midwest.  How did we get here?  America’s lust for sugar has reached an astounding level.

I pondered how difficult it is to make healthy choices in a world wading in artificially flavored, super amplified sweetened, fat laden processed junk.  Extricating yourself and your family from the clutches of marketing gurus targeting you at every turn with this stuff can be overwhelming.  I am grateful that I found Engine 2.  I have learned so much since reading about plant-strong living, I am blessed for knowing there is another way of doing things that not only is better for my family, but also pretty untainted by the marketing machine that turns out limited edition flavored anything. I am glad I don’t have to worry about stumbling across candy corn flavored sweet potatoes or limited edition candy corn colored grapes.  It’s not the GMO’s I am worried about.  Candy Corn may be the bigger enemy ;)

If you find yourself mired down with all the pumpkin and candy corn flavored goods this year, check out our upcoming Engine 2 Extra Holiday Challenge!http://engine2extra.com


About the author

Ami Mackey
Ami Mackey is a food coach at Engine 2 Extra and has been plant-strong since 2011. She is also the Program Director at St Louis All City Boxing a nonprofit youth program. She earned certificates from eCornell in Plant-Based Nutrition & Fitness Nutrition from NASM.

5 Responses to “Adventures With Ami: The Scent of Sugar”

  1. Dawn Martin says:

    SUGAR Is the enemy for sure. Highly addictive and so hard to break the habit… especially if you’re an emotional eater!

  2. Pauline says:

    I can smell OIL!!

  3. Deb Hollimon says:

    I felt the same way walking down the baking isle – as I turned into the row, I was assaulted by the odor of sugar – it doesn’t need to have flavorings to be smelled.

  4. kalesmom says:

    Especially if your family is not on board and it comes into your house.

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