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Posts Tagged ‘Fast Food’

Food Inc 

This is definitely one of those films that not many people would want to see, but everyone really really should NEEDS to see it.  I’m not just talking for their own good, but also for the good of other people, and even the planet itself.  It cracks me up that the kinds of images shown and points made in the film cause most people to look the other way, perhaps even more than before, or they avoid watching things like this altogether for fear that they will not want to continue to eat what they like. 

What kind of thinking is this??  How could you not want to know where your food comes from?  If someone is worried that they will be grossed out by something in the movie, then really that’s even more reason to see it.  Pretending that all food is produced in a clean and healthy environment does not make it true, and in fact will probably make it further and further from the truth.  Knowing the truth can help make things better, and by making better choices we can influence the type of food production industries that will thrive and actually want to make us healthy, rather than fat and sick.

Contributors/Interviewees of this film include:

Michael Pollan – author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, and the sequal, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.

Eric Schlosser – author of Fast Food Nation.

VERY unfortunately, the movie was not widely released.  Go here to see if it is playing in your area.

A bit about the film from its website:

“In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government’s regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.”

“Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it’s produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.”

You can find a trailer for the movie there, or on a previous post I did.

Take the whole family.  Seriously.  This is a subject people should be talking about and concerned over.

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Flame Body Spray GiftYes.  It’s real.

I suppose it’s some sort of marketing for Valentine’s Day coming up. 

Prepare yourself for the promotion’s website.  It will give you nightmares.  Actually it had me cracking up…      I think the “King” character is hilarious and creepy as hell at the same time.

From the site:

Behold the scent of seduction, with a hint of flame-broiled meat.”

FLAME MEETS DESIRE

Keep clicking through.  It has music, and may not be safe for prude workplaces. 

Go here if you want to buy it!  Enjoy…

Seductive Burger King

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"Are you gonna eat that?"

"Are you gonna eat that?"

NO WAY!!

According to a report by the Center for Science in the Public Interest,

Nearly every possible combination of the children’s meals at Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, Sonic, Jack in the Box, and Chick-fil-A are too high in calories.”

Who’d have thought?

When the study says that the meal choices are “too high in calories”, what they mean is this:

Ninety-three percent of 1,474 possible choices at the 13 chains exceed 430 calories—an amount that is one-third of what the Institute of Medicine recommends that children aged four through eight should consume in a day.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended daily caloric intake for girls aged four to eight is 1,200 to 1,800.  For boys of the same age, 1,400 to 2,000.  A little more than three times 430, but remember: 93% EXCEEDED 430 calories.

Now lets look at some of the really bad combinations at the restaurants included in the study.

Chili’s has 700 possible kids’ meal combinations, but 658, or 94 percent, of those are too high in calories, including one comprised of country-fried chicken crispers, cinnamon apples, and chocolate milk (1,020 calories) and another comprised of cheese pizza, homestyle fries, and lemonade (1,000 calories). Burger King has a “Big Kids” meal with a double cheeseburger, fries, and chocolate milk (910 calories), and Sonic has a “Wacky Pack” with 830 calories worth of grilled cheese, fries, and a slushie.

KFC has a wide variety of side items, but there are few meal combinations that keep a reasonable ceiling on calories, according to the study. One example of a high-cal combo KFC kid’s meal (the chain calls them “Laptop Meals”) has popcorn chicken, baked beans, biscuit, Teddy Grahams, and fruit punch, which has 940 calories. (KFC has since dropped Baked Cheetos from its kids’ meals, and some outlets vary the number of chicken strips or sides.)

Wow!  Those terrible food choices for kids sound a lot like what I talked about in my post: Baby Food to Chicken Fingers: A Disconnect.  The center’s director comments on how these choices continually being offered to kids sets them up for a life of bad habits.

“Parents want to feed their children healthy meals but America’s chain restaurants are setting parents up to fail,” said CSPI nutrition policy director Margo G. Wootan. “McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, and other chains are conditioning kids to expect burgers, fried chicken, pizza, French fries, macaroni and cheese, and soda in various combination at almost every lunch and dinner.”

Besides being almost always too high in calories, 45 percent of the kids’ meals at the 13 chains studied by CSPI are too high in saturated and trans fat, and 86 percent are too high in sodium. That’s alarming, according to CSPI, because a quarter of children between the ages of five and ten show early signs of heart disease, such as high LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) or elevated blood pressure.

“People may not get a heart attack until their 50s or 60s, but arteries begin to clog in childhood,” said Wootan. “Most of these kids’ meals appear to be designed to put America’s children on the fast-track to obesity, disability, heart attack, or diabetes.”

This gives “Happy Meal” a whole new meaning.

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This was a fun little project. 

What they are supposed to look like

What they are supposed to look like

 

If you haven’t heard about these, The Burger King has commissioned a new healthy treat at his “restaurants” that is marketed toward kids as a better alternative to real fries.

Basically these Apple Fries are just an apple cut up into the shape of fries and put into a typical fast food fry container…  so they look almost exactly like fries. 

They’re like french fried training wheels for little kids that hope to grow up and gorge on real fries when their stomachs are ready for “grown up food”.

 

This was my mission:

  1. To drive through at a BK and pick up an order of “Fresh Apple Fries”.
  2. To obtain my own fruit from a grocery store that costs the same amount as the apple fries.
  3. To skin and slice up my own apple at the same time I arrive home with the Fries.
  4. To find out how a real apple sliced up oxidizes, compared to our fast-food fries, and document it.
  5. To do a taste comparison.

First off, I’m in the drive-through.  I don’t usually carry cash, so I’ve got a handful of change to pay at the window.  I’m holding about a dollar because I can’t imagine them costing much more than that.  It turns out, they are $1.50.  You’ll come to understand how expensive this is in a minute.

I then went straight to the grocery store to see what fruit I could get for $1.50.  Here’s what I came up with:

 

How about that? 

  • A medium sized “Red Delicious” apple
  • Two small oranges
  • And FOUR BANANAS!!! 

For the grand total of…   $1.56.  All of this fruit… for $1.56!!!!  Need proof?

 

Well, I can’t wait to check these things out.  So, let’s take a look at the unveiling!!

 

How lovely!  A little plastic package stuffed inside a cardboard french fry container!   

Should I dare open the package?

 

Immediately, I cut up the Red Delicious apple I got at the grocery store.

 

Have you noticed yet that there seems to be a big difference in the amount of apple between the two?  Guess what, I weighed them both in grams:

Hmm... looks like over twice as much for the real apple.

 

Now, lets see how fast they each oxidize:

 

Click to Enlarge

 

It makes me feel all warm and cozy inside to see the BK apple fries stay a refreshing yellowish/green color, days after opening, while the grocery store apple turns brown like it’s supposed to.

Lucky for us, our fluorescent fast-food apple comes with a tasty caramel sauce packet to make sure that this is truly a TREAT, because we get to squeeze a dessert gel onto our fruit! 

Let’s take a look at the ingredients of the Low-Fat Caramel Sauce: (in order)

  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • nonfat milk
  • polydextrose
  • modified corn starch
  • butter
  • sugar
  • phosphates, hydrogenated oils, flavors, etc…

Yummy!

I tasted a small piece of the BK Apple Fry immediately after opening the package, followed by a piece of the home cut apple. 

The apple fry did not taste like any apple I have ever had.  It’s apple flavor was very mild, and the outside had a noticeable odor and taste of something odd.  I came to find out that this was probably the Calcium Ascorbate that coats the apple slices to help preserve them.  THIS is what kept the “fries” the lovely crispy greenish color the entire time.  I don’t want to say it was a chemical taste, but it was noticeably unnatural. 

Calcium Ascorbate is Calcium and Ascorbic Acid (also known as Vitamin C).  There is nothing particularly wrong with this form of it, except check out this warning on a dietary supplement:

Ascorbic acid is the acidic form of vitamin C, and even when encapsulated can cause gastric upset or diarrhea for some people. This can often be alleviated by consuming it with meals. Start with a low dose then gradually increase.
If you have a stomach ulcer, use of an antacid, buffering agent, or a buffered form of vitamin C. Calcium carbonate and magnesium oxide are effective antacids. Unbuffered ascorbic acid in the mouth may be harmful to tooth enamel.

Sounds like something everyone would want to feed their kids even when they don’t have to.  But hey, it’s Vitamin C, right?  Yes.  Manufactured Vitamin C.  Do we know what vitamin that most fruits are rich in?       You guessed it.

Comparatively, the real apple had vibrant, fresh flavors.  It was sweet and tart, and crunchy and juicy, all at the same time.  It won’t give you gastric upset, and it didn’t cost $1.50.

This kind of product falls under the completely unnecessary food ideas that exist only because people actually buy them. 

 

People – actually – buy – them!  Remember Uncrustables

 

When parents spend three times too much for an unnatural preservative coated fruit that is served in a plastic bag, at a fast food restaurant, rather than get a real, simple apple at the grocery store, then we’re most certainly headed for a WALL-E type of future.

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I wanted to talk about a study I read a while back that I thought was awesome.  It said they found that when overweight people went to eat at a fast-food place that advertises itself as having “Healthier” slop food than your average joint, or if they made an attempt to get the healthiest thing on the menu at a restaurant, they usually ended up eating more food, and more calories overall in a day!  They would ultimately become fatter!

This post is just an extension of a recent one: Health Food – Do you know what it is?   in which I talked about Fat people choosing food products that brag about having “reduced fat” or “low carb” labels on their packaging.  Choosing the low fat version, as opposed to the regular version, is only the lesser of two evils.

A good example of a fast-food place that tubbies would very easily over-eat at is Subway.Jared  People don’t realize that the sandwiches that are advertised to have only 6 grams of fat, and only so many calories, must be ordered in a six-inch size, with plain bread, no cheese, and NO MAYO!  If you get mayonnaise, you’re probably at least doubling the fat and caloric content of the sandwich.  This same idea was noticed when people would order a salad at any of the fast-food places.  Because Salad=Healthy to everyone on the planet, these fatso’s would apply the entire packet of dressing to the salad, not realizing that after doing so, it would have been an arguably better choice to eat a Big Mac!

So, first off we have the mistake of people not ordering correctly in order to follow the idea of eating healthy fast-food (oxymoron).   Then what the people in the study would do, is add on more sides and desserts, as well as more sweet drinks like soda, than they normally would.  Because your average overweight person severely underestimates how many calories contained in “healthy” choices when eating out, they think it’s ok to get some extra stuff.  This is how attempting to not eat badly at a restaurant can end up putting more calories down your gullet.  They said that on average subjects ended up eating about 130% as many calories as they would have if they didn’t try to eat healthier than they were used to.

My favorite thing that the study also pointed out, is that despite all fast-food places, and many restaurants now offering some “better” options, there has been no evidence that people are losing weight.  “It has not led to the expected reduction in total calorie intake and in obesity rates”

Ahh  fatties…….   you can always count on them to let you down.

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