By KEVIN SAWYER
This is amusing (http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700179405/Michelle-Obama-makes-headway-calling-for-healthy-foods.html). Olive Garden and Red Lobster, which specialize in the efficient delivery of empty calories, are pledging to clean up their act. That’s fine. What’s the plan? Refuse to serve french fries to children. From the article:
“Among promised changes for children: no more french fries. A fruit or vegetable side will become standard with kids’ meals.”
Thus beginning a lifelong hatred of vegetables among our nation’s young. Of course, the kiddos are still free to knock back cheesy biscuits and fettuccine alfredo with impunity. But hey ‘A’ for effort, right? Then there’s this.
“One percent milk also will be served, including free refills, unless an alternative drink is ordered.”
Thus more than offsetting any potential health benefits associated with switching out fries. Oh, and…
“The children’s menu will also include at least one 600-calorie or less option with reduced fat and sodium.”
Egads, this wasn’t the case before? Of course, mashed potatoes will still be available, which means the broccoli option will go almost entirely unselected. So a 700-calorie entrée, plus three glasses of (let’s face it) chocolate milk at 160 calories a pop… Add breadsticks and dessert, and this french fry free meal nets kiddo close to 2,000 calories.
Michelle Obama described this inconsequential shell game as a “breakthrough moment”. Really? That’s all it takes to land a major press hook courtesy of the first lady? What we need to fight obesity is education, not symbolism. This sort of grandstanding gets us nowhere, and it’s a shame Mrs. Obama fell for it.
Vilifying french fries may make us feel good, but potatoes aren’t the ones telling us to consistently overindulge of fatty starches. I guarantee you nobody has gotten fat eating Olive Garden french fries, of all things.