Thursday, December 13, 2007

Eating Bad And Bad Journalism

In the Today section of MSNBC's site, there's an article that drew my attention, only because I'm not as young as I used to be, and like to pay at least a little lip service into watching what I eat now a days.

The article, entitled: "16 secrets the restaurant industry doesn't want you to know", and written by David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding, with additional research by Lauren Murrow, leads the reader to believe that something of major importance is about to be imparted, some pearls of wisdom that none of the rest of us are aware, that may someday save our lives.

Instead, what we are treated to is a hit list of restaurants that the writers obviously don't care much for, with almost no information on the actual food content, cleanliness factors, or any other truly health related information. Let's take apart their hit list piece by piece, and examine what's passing for journalism these days.

First though, this is the byline to the 'story' that draws you in and makes you think you're about to get the inside dirt: "Men's Health scrambled behind the counters, dug under the drive-thrus, and plunged into the deep fryers to find out what's really going into our meals "

The article itself gives absolutely no information as to why these restaurants are bad for our health, but lists sixteen restaurants that are not noted for their dedication to healthy eating in the first place. In this day and age of consumer awareness, it should be obvious to a second grader that Burger King, home of the Double Whopper with cheese, would not be considered a first pick for the vegetarian minded among us. They complain about Burger King's food without going into numbers that may have been, oh you know, maybe analyzed in a lab, with a report, or something of that nature.

They also don't like Outback Steak House, Applebee's, Red Robin, Hooter's, TGI Friday's, Maggiano's Little Italy, or any of the other chain restaurants. Hmmm, I personally think that TGI Friday's flank steak is awesome, and could care less that it's red meat, or that the company only has three dishes that are under 500 calories on it's menu. The same goes for all of the other restaurants. I eat steak, many millions of Americans eat steak, wings, Italian food by the truckload, and those deep fried onion things make my toes curl in ecstasy.

The funniest one on the hit list is IHOP. The article whines about the fact that IHOP's Omelette Feast has 1,335 calories and blah blah blah. Ok, Mommy and Daddy, listen up. If I wanted a veggie burger with some soy milk, I'm sure that I'm old enough to go find it in either a restaurant or my local grocery store. I go to IHOP or Denny's because I'm starving and WANT to eat a humongous breakfast, not caring about the fat content. I'll drink a V-8 later on today and all will balance out with the universe.

Also included in this hated food parade are favorites of many of us, such as Baskin Robbins, Papa John's, Fuddruckers, Dunkin Donuts, Arby's and a couple of restaurants that I've never visited, but will now just to show that I can. Are they serious? Is there any one of you who are reading this and actually saying to yourself that any of the just mentioned restaurants are health food joints? Or do you truly buy this new line that these establishments need to be regulated to the point that they have to TELL you before you eat there that their food is probably going to clog your arteries some day? We're talking about places whose main staples are ice cream, pizza, big fat hamburgers, feel good sandwiches, delicious donuts, and other nefarious fare.

This wasn't an article designed to inform us of anything that we didn't already know. Or, in the case of those still watching the Simpsons on a nightly basis, maybe you didn't know, but could care less any way. Can't these health food elitists leave the rest of us in peace, and just lament our eating habits over their chi tea and scones?

If we, as a nation are so concerned with these restaurants and the content of the food that they serve, don't you think we'd stop eating there? Most of us are more worried about an out of control President with his itchy finger on the Iranian nuclear trigger that what McDonald's is serving in it's Happy Meals. Maybe if the elitists would join the real world, and the rest of us down here in the trenches, using their talents to do some good, rather than whining about what the rest of us are eating, we could actually get someone in D.C. to realize just how unhappy the nation truly is.

Instead, they want to take our comfort foods away and really make us miserable. Thanks. This was a yellow hit piece if there ever was one, and just to spite them, I'm off to Runza's to get a double bacon cheeseburger, with a side of cooked in CORN oil fries, Biggie sized please, with a LARGE chocolate shake. And for desert, a nice, relaxing Camel Wide. So there..............Batmanchester

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