The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

16 May 2003

The other side of the cookie

In previous episodes, I've made fun of a California lawyer's war on Oreos. I still think he's a twit, and I still think legal action is ill-advised if not actually insane, but I'm not about to argue that trans fats are actually good for you.

Diane L. goes a little farther. She characterizes them as a "health menace", and expounds:

The problem is not so much that these unhealthy fats are legal and shouldn't be (wrong and impractical liberal point of view) but that there are so few alternatives, unless one is a totally dedicated foodie/health nut. Why do I have to work so hard to keep this crap out of my body? Sometimes I want to pop some prepared food into the oven instead of cooking everything from scratch. But I can't, because most processed food has that poison in it.

And why is that, you ask?

Because it's cheap and doesn't go bad. So, people are getting diabetes, heart disease and getting seriously overweight, because food processors want to save money.

Well, not just because. I'd scorn the Oreo (although frankly, I prefer the late, lamented Hydrox, but that's another religious battle entirely) if it tasted like the hockey pucks it vaguely resembles; if I really wanted a mouthful of such, I'd stock up on rice cakes, which in civilized societies are used to hold up the wobbly fourth leg of the coffee table.

Diane does have a solution of sorts:

Business people must be increasingly aware that there is money to be made from offering an alternative. Even McDonald's is trying to change the formula for the toxic oil it fries its "food" in. As the effects of trans fats become more known to the public, there will be more of a market for healthy fast food and processed food.

Sounds reasonable enough to me. (If, as usual, Blogspot archives are harder to trace than Iraqi artifacts, dial up 12 May and take the 12:01 am posting.)

Posted at 6:06 AM to Worth a Fork

Um. She still has a choice. Sure, processed food does have harmful chemicals in it. So does anything with an artificial sweetener. That is the price you pay.

Frankly, I'm a bit tired of the whining. If she thinks there is a huge demand for a product that isn't being met, she should become an entrepreneur.

Posted by: Ravenwood at 9:32 AM on 16 May 2003

As I get older, I appreciate the wisdom of George Burns: "I don't eat natural foods. At my age, I need all the preservatives I can get."

Posted by: CGHill at 10:13 AM on 16 May 2003

mmmm... Oreo Doublestuffs.


Posted by: susanna at 12:47 PM on 16 May 2003

That line about the rice cakes almost made me choke on my mouthful of Cheetos! :)

Posted by: tea at 2:11 PM on 16 May 2003

They should just go back to making Oreos with lard, which they originally were made with. If we're going to hear whining about "poison in our food" we might as well use natural poison.

In any case, people aren't getting diabetes and heart disease from merely occasionally eating some preservative-filled processed food, but from a combination of things, mostly genetics and eating tons of preservative-filled processed food. One Oreo isn't going to make a formerly healthy person gain fifty pounds, or kill you dead on the spot. One should, of course, avoid evil trans-fats as much as possible, but the hysteria is unjustified. All it makes me want to do is buy a bag of Oreos, a Big Mac and a large fries, and wash them all down with a vanilla shake.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at 9:36 AM on 17 May 2003

Which I may do later on today, just on general principles.

Posted by: CGHill at 12:41 PM on 17 May 2003

I'm on board with you folks. Anyone who bitches about working to keep unhealthy food out of their body is quite simply full of it. If you don't like something, then find something else to eat/watch/read (whatever) and leave the rest of us alone.

Posted by: ronbailey at 5:23 PM on 17 May 2003

They can't do that. It appears that the "I know better what is good for you than you do" is catching.

Posted by: Steve at 10:23 PM on 17 May 2003