Monday, June 12, 2006

Double Bacon Cheeseburger Vs. Twig ...

There, in my mailbox today, was an envelope emblazoned with the message: "10 Foods You Should NEVER Eat." The offenders?

☞ Pepperidge Farm Original Flaky Crust Roasted Chicken Pot Pie
☞ McDonald's Chicken Selects Premium Breast Strips
☞ The Cheesecake Factory's 6 Carb Original Cheesecake
☞ Marie Callender's Herb Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes, Broccoli Florets & Carrots
☞ Mrs. Fields Milk Chocolate & Walnut cookie
☞ Starbucks Venti Strawberries & Cream Frappuccino Blended Creme
☞ Burger King King-Size French Fries
☞ Campbell's red-and-white label condensed soups
☞ Swoops
☞ Haagen-Dazs Mint Chip Dazzler

You don't have to read the reasoning behind all of their choices. ("They" are the folks behind the "Nutrition Action Healthletter: An Independent, Nonprofit Newsletter on Nutrition, Diet, and Food Safety - for Your Better Health.") The message is pretty obvious for each: They're loaded with fat or they're loaded with sodium or they're loaded with calories.

Oh, but what joy! The flyer I was reading proclaimed: "Far better alternatives are available to you. Turn the page for some healthier choices!"

OK!

And? And?! What are the healthier choices?!

☞ Sweet Potatoes.
☞ Grape Tomatoes.
☞ Fat-free (Skim) or 1% Milk (but NOT 2%).
☞ Blueberries (fresh or frozen).
☞ Wild Salmon.
☞ Crispbreads.
☞ Microwaveable or "10-minute" Brown Rice.
☞ Oranges.
☞ Diced Butternut Squash.
☞ Pre-washed, Pre-cut Bags of Greens.

Oh.

Aside from the editorial annoyance of putting periods on words and phrases that shouldn't be so punctuated, I ask: What the hell? Yes, we know these foods are good for us. Ostensibly. Don't get me started about what's in our milk supply. I don't drink the stuff. And our government has done a good job of watering down the meaning of "organic" for our fruits and vegetables, and who knows what our salmon friends are storing in their flesh, thanks to all the contaminated water. But hey, we have to eat *something,* right?

Still, it seems pretty stupid to swat a king-size order of french fries out of someone's hand and say, "That's BAD for you. Here, have some diced butternut squash instead."

I'm all for adopting a healthier lifestyle. But bad habits aren't formed overnight and they're not broken thusly, either. How about educating people about "transitional" foods?

If we're ever going to do anything about the obesity and health epidemics in this country, we have to accept that people don't do the right things just because we tell them they should, and if what we're telling them to do is radical, they're probably not going to do it at all. But we can make shifts in smaller ways. I applaud Bill Clinton for getting the pop machines out of schools. If that means kids are drinking one less soda a day, that's a good start.

I have an acquaintance who drinks WAY too much diet soda. Sheesh. Do you *know* how bad aspartame is for you? I don't expect him to stop drinking it tomorrow and only pick up bottles of water from now on. But if he can cut out one a day, and then another, and then another, and shift the diet soda / water ratio in favor of water over time, that'd be good for his health.

It's like my transition to veganism. I've been eating meat for nearly 36 years. It's hard to flip a switch and never eat meat again. But I can include more and more vegan recipes in my repertoire. I gave my mom my lovely hunk of Parmesan cheese. I don't buy "real" milk. I've stopped eating butter. (Well, as straight butter. I still eat things baked with butter in them. For now.) Cheese is no longer part of my life. And I don't miss it. But change is made slowly. And there need to be steps along the way.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Al Gore said...

Why are all vegans so pompous about being vegans? The rest of obese America doesn't care about vegan transformation.

GENESIS 9:3 “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you.

Also, Bill Clinton could kill Hillary and you liberal women would be running to Chappaqua, New York to suck his dick hoping to be the next Mrs. Clinton. He raped Juanita Broderick and allegedly commited all sorts of other crimes. This list was current as of 1996.
http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/crime2.html

How many more crimes has he perpetrated since then?

Why can't people love me instead?!

10:00 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Wow, Al. I've been reading all sorts of favorable reports about you and "An Inconvenient Truth" that reveal how easy-going and affable you've become. So what's with this rant?

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Al Gore said...

I'm really a bitter sore loser. Why can't they love me!

My website doesn't even work anymore.

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Karl Rove said...

At least you get press!

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The whole Mint Chip DAzzler thing really breaks my heard - is it any worse for you than another giant, $8 sundae?! I usually get it halved down so that I don't kill myself immediately.

I also have a friend who is a diet coke addict. I'm not that into soda and usually only drink it in moderation, so I'm not that worried about aspartame.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

According to the alarmist leaflet, the Mint Chip Dazzler has 1,270 calories and 38 grams of saturated fat. Or, quoting, "Think of it as a portable T-bone steak with Caesar salad and baked potato with sour cream." Sorr to be the bearer of bad news. But getting it halved is a fine idea. You don't wanna keel over as you're eating it. Because that would be a waste of good ice cream!

11:31 AM  
Anonymous My Fat Ass said...

When your time is up, it's up. We're all going to die someday, might as well be happy headed towards death. So I double the "Mint Chip Dazzler." By the way, do you want to help me with my next movie? I have an opening for "person who unbuckles my pants." It's only when I eat a lot, which admittedly is everyday. "Big Macs all around!"

2:48 PM  

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