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My Milky Ways

By Merrill Ogden - | Aug 3, 2022

“Has my life come to this?” That’s what I asked myself a while back as I was preparing a bowl of Grape Nuts cereal to eat. Actually, it wasn’t “real” Grape Nuts. It was some cheapo house brand version of the high fiber cereal called Crunchy Nuggets, I believe.

But most of you wouldn’t know what I was talking about if I said Crunchy Nuggets. Come to think of it, many of you may not be familiar with Grape Nuts either. And, by the way, don’t ask me why a cereal made from barley is called Grape Nuts. I have no clue. As usual, I’m digressing. Let me get to my point.

The thing that motivated my “has my life come to this?” question was the fact that I was pouring soy milk over my cereal. Not only was it soy milk, but it was soy milk with omega 3 oil and who knows what else added into it.

You have to realize that I used to milk cows as a kid. I drank raw, whole, creamy Jersey (and Holstein and Guernsey) cow milk my entire growing up years. I thought it was great to skim off thick, clotty cream and glop that onto my Sugar Smacks cereal.

Back in those “on the farm” days I was also eating eggs like there was no tomorrow. A six-egg omelet? – sure. Toss a couple of raw eggs into the blender with ice cream for a milkshake? – why not?

Ice cream was another staple of life. We froze ice cream at home sometimes. We had the cream. But, more often, my pint (or larger) sized servings came out of a big bucket of Ideal Dairy ice cream. My mouth is watering just thinking of the lemon chiffon flavor.

So, here I am today – pouring soy milk over high fiber cereal. What’s wrong with this picture? Isn’t this the time of my life when I should be enjoying things? Shouldn’t I be able to eat anything I want, when I want?

I guess I have to face facts. Ignorance was bliss in those milky, creamy, eggy, ice creamy days. I wasn’t familiar with the word “cholesterol.” High blood pressure was a mysterious thing that old people worried about. Times have changed.

In spite of changing times, I don’t want my dairy farmer friends to worry. I haven’t given up on cow milk. In fact, we often have multiple varieties of cow milk in the refrigerator. When the kids and grandkids come to visit, we make sure we have red cap whole milk on hand. Otherwise it’s usually 2% and 1% fat content milk for most of our purposes. We seldom buy that watery skim milk.

The answer to my question of “what my life has come to?” is that I’m attempting to live a little more healthfully. (Is that a word?) Creamy milk, eggs and ice cream are still part of my life, but not a huge daily part of it. I’ve replaced the frequent use of those things with the frequent use of chocolate. I’ve heard that chocolate has some blood pressure benefits. Yeah – right.

I had a conversation with one of my friends who is a health food expert of sorts. She gave me some instructions and some mild chastisements. She disagrees with my opinion that Diet Pepsi is the “mother’s milk” of the working man. She told me of the evils of artificial sweeteners, processed foods and white flour. I understand the advice. I’m just not ready to take the advice. I’m not ready to abandon all the comforts of my diet vices.

Writing this column has been a bit depressing to me. But I’m suddenly brightening up. I’m thinking of my grandpa. He was quite healthy up until the last few months of his nearly 95 years.

He was a farmer and a stockman. I don’t remember him eating too many Twinkies. But – I do remember what kind of milk he drank.

— Merrill

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