Columns and stories of life from the Fredericksburg area.
WRY TOAST: Brain and eye blend—it’s what’s for breakfast
BY EDIE GROSS
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
M Y HUSBAND and I were watching TV a few weeks back when a commercial for baby formula came on.
The brand touted an ingredient list that included its “exclusive brain and eye blend.”
Quite a few of my friends have made their own baby food over the years, usually blenderizing fresh fruits, veggies and the occasional dash of NyQuil to help Junior relax. But I honestly can’t recall any of them adding brains or eyes to the mix.
Maybe because like peanut butter, brains and eyes are something you shouldn’t expose your kids to until they’re a little older?
Or maybe it’s because none of my friends are zombie moms—who probably prefer to be called mombies, something I’d know if I ever widened my social circle.
In reality, this was probably Similac’s way of telling consumers its formula is good for brain and eye development in infants. But rather than just say that, the company’s savvy PR department concocted an “exclusive blend” narrative that, no doubt, has moms—and mombies—duking it out in the grocery aisles for the last container of Similac.
After watching the commercial, even I’m willing to try this stuff. I’m hoping it’ll counteract the long-term effects of the “exclusive grain and rye blend” I imbibed in college.
I am constantly amused by the creative way brands try to set themselves apart from their competitors. My favorite is when products boast supernatural powers from mythological substances only they possess the magic to create.
Does anyone remember when the label on Scope proudly noted that it was the only mouthwash “with T25”? As a kid, I had no idea what T25 was, but I was certain that rinsing your mouth without it was about as effective as rinsing your mouth with used motor oil.
After all, it was the mysterious T25—probably developed in a super-secret bunker by NASA scientists using cavity-fighting lunar crystals—that did all the work.
At some point, T25 must’ve become a banned substance because Scope now freshens your breath with what it calls “ground-breaking outlast technology,” which is perhaps more explanatory but considerably less magical than T25.
As a kid I was also a fan of “Retsyn flavor crystals,” which made Certs better than all the other breath mints combined. I imagined Retsyn to be the rarest of all elements, found deep in a Mongolian mine reachable only via a narrow mountain pass guarded by hired guns of the Halitosis Lobby.
So imagine my surprise when, in the seventh grade, I discovered that Retsyn was nowhere on the periodic table because it is not a thing found in nature—which, now that I think about it, was probably a huge relief to the Halitosis Lobby.
Another thing you should not go digging for is “Nutrium,” the key pretend ingredient in Dove soap responsible for moisturizing your skin.
Same goes for “Hydresia,” which pretty much does the same thing as Nutrium, only in Kiss My Face sunscreen.
I’m actually kind of relieved that those two substances are not readily available outside of the imaginations of a few corporate wordsmiths.
Can you imagine what would happen if they fell into the wrong hands? The combined moisturizing power of Hydresia and Nutrium—Hydresium, of course—could cause a widespread dampness, the likes of which the world has never known.
Then again, there’s a solution to that: Bounty paper towels “with trap and lock technology.”
They don’t just soak up spills like regular paper towels. They lure them into a darkened, dead-end alley, where they ambush them, beat them senseless and imprison them in a high-tech paper towel weave from which no spill has ever escaped.
If that harrowing tale upsets your stomach, you could try Activia yogurt, “made with exclusive probiotic culture, Bifidus Regularis,” which I’m pretty sure is Latin for “same healthy bacteria found in every other yogurt.”
No word yet on whether that stuff is good for brains and eyes. But I’m sure the exclusive ingredient has been great for sales.
Edie Gross: 540/374-5428