Finding Non-Petroleum, “Bug Juice” Free Cupcakes

2 years, 11 months. (The day before you turned 3.)

Dear Jack,

It’s equally funny and sad that it’s extremely (!) difficult to find cupcakes that do not contain artificial coloring from either petroleum (labeled as Red 40, for example) or the crushed and boiled bodies of cochineal insects, or as I call it, “bug juice” (labeled as Crimson Lake and/or Carmine.)

Like I would make something like this up…

Mommy and I were determined to buy edible cupcakes for your classmates at school to celebrate your 3rd birthday, which is tomorrow.

But we didn’t have to search far.

We already knew that one of the easiest places to get vegan chocolate cookies is Whole Foods Market, so that’s the first (and only) place we turned.

It’s not even that we were definitely seeking vegan cupcakes for your birthday, but I learned that by the time I sought out cupcakes that didn’t contain petroleum or bug juice, the only grocery store that that had them available could just as easily make them vegan, so that I could try one too. (I’m a vegan; you and Mommy are vegetarians.)

I accept that it may seem a bit extreme that I special-ordered your cupcakes for your classmates to instantly munch down in celebration of your birthday.

But for me, I couldn’t see it any other way.

I would never seek out petroleum to add it to your food, nor would I capture and boil bugs to color what I give you to eat. That’s just ridiculous and absurd.

Yet it’s normal unless someone makes the effort to find the exception to the rule.

So with much pride in the fact that edible cupcakes were actually obtained (ones Mommy didn’t have to make herself) I delivered the dozen vegan (as well as, petroleum and bug juice free) cupcakes to your class, just as you and your friends were all waking up from your afternoon naps.

And with much pride I looked forward to seeing you wolf down your pre-birthday cupcake.

Instead… you were stoic.

That’s how you always are when I drop you off and pick up from school each day.

It’s like you get trapped in this limbo universe where you don’t know how to react to both me and your teacher.

It’s like you get confused by the jurisdiction of it.

Who’s in charge? Daddy or Ms. Lauren?

While your friends (like Sophie, featured up top) didn’t hesistate, you stared at the wall as long as I was there.

Needless to say, I didn’t get to see you actually enjoy your cupcake.

Yep, you waited until I left and Ms. Lauren was officially in charge.

You’re a funny kid.




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  1. [...] contrasting this recipe against any token grocery store cake, or boxed cake mix, made with food dye from petroleum and/or bugs, along with a whole paragraph of unpronounceable [...]