It’s time for another Rotten Apple Award, kids. The Impulsive Buy blog – which puts the “ew” in product review – covers everything from the new mint flavored Tylenol to McDonald’s new cinnamon bites, or bits, or buns, or something. The Rotten Apple is not being bestowed upon Impulsive Buy, however – it’s Mickey D that deserves all the glory on this one.
We try not to pick on McDonald’s too much. After all, there’s the Cheesecake Factory, where you can gain a pound by eating a single slice of cake. And to its credit, McDonald’s does make nutrition and calorie information available, something which the Cheesecake Factory evidently has a lot of trouble doing. But I feel McDonald’s is being blatantly disingenuous when there’s all this talk about premium chicken, premium coffee, and premium salads going on yet surreptitiously the G.A. (that’s Golden Arches) still pushes new sugary, fattening products with more speed and consistency than their employee turnover rate.
Isn’t it rather hypocritical to advertise those happy mommy-n-me commercials featuring salads, apple slices and sweet smiles, or to make a big public announcements about eliminating trans fat from french fries, while simultaneously introducing this 460-calorie dessert of glorified sugar biscuits? I know McDonald’s isn’t trying to position itself as Mecca for health nuts, but they’ve also done heavy (elephantine, really) marketing in the last few years to play up their healthier options and apparent concern for people’s hearts and waistlines.
Now that’s just rotten.
Like red wine and grass-fed steak, good-quality chocolate is one of those decadent treats that miraculously manages to be healthy (within reason, of course). Leave it to the food producers of America to mess up a good thing.
I just happened upon a terrific food processing news blog run by one Dean Best. He reports that Guittard, a fine chocolate maker, is trying to get consumers inspired to fight new regs that would allow milk substitutes and cheap vegetable oils in chocolate. The reason? African cocoa production is down, so rather than let profits suffer for a few quarters, food producers would rather give you a lesser product.
You see this all the time – toilet paper is famous for getting thinner and lower in quality as the prices continue to rise. There are hundreds of examples, but in general, sleazy companies desperate to keep profits up will either pass on the expense to the customer or reduce the product’s quality – or both – rather than finding other ways to cut costs. “Sleazy” might seem like a strong word, but it’s deserved.
Here’s an idea: make a product that’s so good, you can’t help but succeed. (Or, just keep blaming the marketing department.)
You loyal readers know I almost never mention my own supplement company, Primal Nutrition. For one thing, I believe the products speak for themselves. For another, the purpose of this blog is to provide an insightful, enjoyable health community, whether you’ve ever been a customer or not. But this time, I do have to say something about this entire issue of short-changing the consumer, because I’ve proven a company can be an ethical exception to the rule of sleaze. There’s just no excuse – period – for short-changing customers. In ten years, I’ve never raised prices on my signature product, the Damage Control Master Formula, despite major production cost increases. I regularly update the formula based on new research, and over the years, I’ve continuously increased the quality and value. I make less money, but the funny thing is, by putting customers first, Primal has continued to flourish – more than ever.
Don’t be messin’ with my chocolate!
I don’t know whether to laugh or cringe at the bizarre-but-true existence of the Heart Attack Grill. Call it vulgar, call it wasteful, call it offensive – but someone’s eating there. A lot of someones. And I guarantee you they’re not healthy.
The Heart Attack Grill: the restaurant that so prides itself on inducing heart problems, the burgers have names such as “Double Bypass”. Of course, as John Stossel points out, no idiotic unhealthy venture would be complete without scantily-clad “nurse” waitresses. (Because if you’re going to infuriate the health experts, you might as well offend the better-smelling half of the population, too. The bizarre American intersection of fast food meat and female objectification – didn’t these guys learn anything in college? Did they go to college?). Everyone knows I’m no big fan of the food police. Also, I fully admit to a love affair with salad rivaled only by Popeye. But, considering the fact that millions of people every year are tragically affected by easily-prevented heart attacks (and the fact that a half-million die), this kind of gloating stupidity concerns me, if only because these men may be reproducing.
Did you know?
Bakeries and confectioners’ shops often pipe fake aromas into the air because the scent of sugar is so emotionally powerful. (In fact, sugar is addictive.)
Supermarkets select that cheesy music for a reason: marketers have figured out which tunes reduce our blink rates, causing a “somnolent” state. In other words, Celine really will turn you into a food-famished zombie.
Food producers make about 3,900 calories for every man, woman, and child. That’s up from 3,300 in the 80s, with no end in sight. To handle this surplus food, food producers just make the portions bigger. (Maybe they don’t know about Africa?)
You can read more by checking out this clickativity right here.
It’s Prohibition all over again. What do you all think about major cities banning certain fattening foods? Is this blatantly unconstitutional, or simply in the interest of public health? In recent months Chicago has attempted to ban foie gras (French for greasy grease) and New York has now rumbled to restaurants about frying foods in trans fat oils. Even Killing Folks Covertly (KFC) is hopping in the anti-trans fryer.
While I don’t know that foie gras tops most people’s dietary vice lists, food manufacturers’ stubborn use of trans fat is utterly irresponsible and flagrantly unethical. (Yes, I said it.)
But here’s the real question: Just like the too-skinny models (perhaps a redundancy) banned in Spain, is banning trans fat in restaurants the right step? Might we think about going to the source by sending a message to Congressional lobbyists working for Big Agra instead?
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