"[W]ash away fat and years of age," reads one advertisement for the soap. "No dieting or exercising. Be as slim as you wish. Acts like magic in reducing double chin, abdomen, ungainly ankles, unbecoming wrists, arms and shoulders, large breasts or any superfluous fat on body.... one to three cakes usually accomplish the purpose.... Surprising results."
I don't know what happened to La-Mar Reducing Soap, but I'm willing to bet that unwitting buyers found a morsel of truth amid the soap's tall claims: The results were, in fact, "surprising."
Yes, the history of American hucksterism runs deep and wide, but it seems that no matter how many times we're hosed, we can't resist the siren call of energy-boosting algae or fat-burning grapefruit.
Now come probiotics, bacteria that are said to aid the body's naturally occurring gut flora and encourage overall gut health. These microorganisms have been around for millennia in fermented dairy products like yogurt and kefir, but it is only recently that food producers have begun pumping probiotics into otherwise bacteria-free foods like cookies and candy bars.
Their motto: Eat shit, feel great.
Loath to be left chewing the cud while the world's grain merchants frolic in the greenback garden of gut flora, the dairy world is busily injecting the bacteria into cheeses and sour cream. They are also producing new products like Dannon's Activia and Lifeway Organic's Probugs Organic Whole Milk Kefir Cultured Milk Sublime Slime Lime With Other Natural Flavors that highlight their products' inherent probiotic bona fides.
Sold in packs of four, kid-friendly Probugs Organic Whole Milk Kefir Cultured Milk Sublime Slime Lime With Other Natural Flavors has the wee bellies of the world in its probiotic crosshairs. The folks at Lifeway Organic have packaged their product in a squeezable pouch adorned with an anthropomorphic bug named "Polly," whose salubrious function they describe thusly: "She hangs out in your belly and keeps an eye on what's happening in it. If she sees any bad bugs looking for trouble, she gives them a ‘time out,' and then makes them leave."
So Polly's sort of a microorganic enforcer. That may sound like she wouldn't taste so good, but then you must remember that Polly resides not only in a bag of Probugs Organic Whole Milk Kefir Cultured Milk, but also lives in something called Sublime Slime Lime With Other Natural Flavors other natural flavors such as cane juice and lime juice concentrate.
Ah yes, cane juice, queen of the natural flavors.
But those natural flavors make Probugs Organic Whole Milk Kefir Cultured Milk Sublime Slime Lime With Other Natural Flavors taste great: sweet and tart with a healthy dose of lime. And who knows? Subtract the cane and lime juice, and it might just taste like kefir. (Two additional flavors Orange Creamy Crawler and Goo-Berry Pie are offered.)
Will Probugs Organic Whole Milk Kefir Cultured Milk Sublime Slime Lime With Other Natural Flavors turn your child's gut flora into an intestinal Garden of Eden? Maybe.
But at 130 calories per five-ounce bag that's more than twice the calories in the same amount of Coca-Cola no matter how healthy your little one's gut is, pretty soon you'll have to tame it with a bar of La-Mar Reducing Soap. Seen a foodstuff you're too timid to try? Malcolm will eat it! E-mail particulars to firstname.lastname@example.org