Oreo Cookies: Breaker of Diet and Mother of Sandwich Cookies?

Today, Oreos made an exciting announcement with much fanfare. (Ok, not much fanfare, just a press release that generated news stories that had to be pushed aside because of all the depressing, troubling news out there (If you’re not aware, I’m referring to the fact that K-Pop boyband BTS performed this morning in central park and the “BTS Army” camped out all week to get good seats).

So there are going to be four new flavors of oreos coming out in the next few months including S’mores, latte, and Marshmallow Mooon, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Generally speaking, we do not eat Oreos in my house. I did recently break that rule when they came out with commemorative Game of Thrones cookies, which I photographed as soon as we got them, because I knew they wouldn’t last long.

GOT Oreos.jpg

Much like the Night King (spoiler alert!) they did not. Actually, the Oreos people has a much cooler image on their twitter.

We started the no Oreo rule, ostensibly, because we didn’t want the kids eating something so full of chemicals or some kind of thing new parents say. I do remember that when I was pregnant with the twins (which was back when we could still have a secret stash of stuff we wouldn’t feed any kids, because the older two were under 5 at the time. Really under 4 until the last part of my pregnancy, which may explain why I thought it was OK to eat junk while pregnant but not give it to my kids. But I digress) that I could only really not be hungry before bed if I ate 4 oreos and a glass of milk.

As the years went by, I first banned all Oreos. It happened because I was doing Weight Watchers, and I had a theory. I could follow the plan and eat healthy things, but putting Oreo cookies in my reach was like Ghandi when he supposedly slept with naked virgins to strengthen his will to reject sexual desire. Well, if the oreos are the virgins and the desire is to eat a delicious snack, I’m no Ghandi.

So we stopped getting Oreos. But then the kids got older and we started having real sweets in the house they could eat. And they came out with Newman-Os. Which are basically the same idea as oreos, but made by Paul Newman without chemicals and stuff — “clean” enough that even the most idealistic young parents could not reject them. No partially hydrogenated oils! No high fructose corn syrup! And, as some friends reported their kids told them, no taste!

Well, my kids were happy enough to get Newman-Os for an occasional treat and I went through various phases of not caring about Newman Os and eating four of them with a glass of milk at night, swearing off of them, and slowly then becoming able to have one for an occasional treat. With some cycle-restarting hiccups over the years.

But lately, Newman-Os have become a staple in the house. I’m not sure what happened. I think it was really about the kids going grocery shopping on their own (this also brings a surprising number of sugary cereal boxes into our house, a tool I’ve only ever used to get my kids to be quiet in church. )

However, a schism has appeared. Some in the family swear Newman-Os are the best chocolate wafer sandwich cookie. Others have developed a preference for the Whole Foods brand version, which I once purchased when the Newman-Os were our of stock (Damn you, Bezos!) There’s also a vanilla cookie sandwich faction, though those are only good after they have been left out of the package a few days to soften.

It was becoming a war of attrition, and by attrition I mean we just kept having more and more cookies in the cabinet. We’d already moved the once verboten snacks from their high shelf to prevent crumbs all over the place as short kids swept their palms around, hoping for a stray cookie. Now, it’s an eye level smorgasbord of temptation for me. I thought I could bring everyone together when I noticed there is an Amy’s Organic brand of Oreo-like cookie. Alas, everyone else in the family finally agreed — that they hated this version of the cookie. I had to eat the whole box by myself!

It’s enough to get one to turn back to regular old oreos. So what if they have all those bad ingredients? Maybe that will be enough to make me the Ghandi I always should have done the work to become.

(Spoiler alert — and I really wish I didn’t know this — Oreos no longer have partially hydrogenated soybean oil.)