Monday, September 15, 2008

A difficult question

A few weeks ago, while we were setting up for our big end of summer event at work a puzzled, perhaps somewhat exasperated, co-worker asked me, "What doesn't have corn in it?" This question was prompted by my wearing latex gloves (powder free, of course) to work with normal everyday tape and glue.

It was quite early in the morning and I was wearing gloves because I was doing everything possible to prevent a reaction, since this was an all day event and because I forget that I should not touch things like tape and glue. I haven't had this allergy my whole life and the skin reactions only started a few years ago, so I still do things out of years of habit. I'll get busy and tear a bunch of strips of tape and put them to my hand so I can grab them quickly, just like anyone else. Or, I'll misplace the scissors and use my teeth to tear tape, normal everyday, not so hygienic solution. But then, unlike most people, I'll have a reaction to the corn in the adhesive. Or, just like anyone on would, I'll use a finger to wipe up some glue that oozed out from the bottle. Oops, poisoned myself again. Nice. So gloves seemed like a good idea. Except that wearing hospital type gloves to do normal set-up tasks makes people wonder if you are developing a germ phobia on top of this really annoying allergy.

Her simple question, "What doesn't have corn in it?," took me a moment to respond to -- I was thinking about the number of products that corn is in, the unlabeled corn that is in our meat, dairy, cheese, canned goods, dried fruit, fresh produce, all the GMO corn being marketed as eco-plastic, the corn in makeup, lotions, carpets, fuel, paint, particle board, and so on. What doesn't have corn in it? The first answer in my head was, "@#$% if I know," (I was pre-coffee grumpy) but fortunately my self-censoring was working and the answer that came out was
"Me."

1 comment:

Jennifer B said...

Somehow this post reminded me--did you ever write the author of the cookbook--what was the name, It's Poison to Me? And did you hear back?