Michael's blog

McDonald's: We're not as bad as arsenic! And we create (pretty lousy) jobs!

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Faced with fresh assaults on fast food from politicians and anti- obesity activists, the restaurant industry is gearing up to fight back, emphasizing the role fast-food businesses have played in providing jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.


That's the lead paragraph from a story in the Los Angeles Times yesterday, and I just have to laugh at the attempt to misdirect.

From the Rudd Center

I don't know how far I'll get with it, but this is the first in a series of data gathered and interpreted by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. The center released its extensive f.a.c.t.s. report this week. The acronym stands for Food Advertising to Children and Teens Score.

The fast food industry spent more than $4.2 billion in 2009 on TV advertising, radio, magazines, outdoor advertising, and other media.

The complications of food addiction

Today's headline has multiple meanings: Food addicts often experience medical complications as the result of their actions, for which they (we) are responsible. But that's not what I meant with the headline.

For multiple reasons (more complication!), a problem eater could have several reasons for their problem. Notice that my organizing principle is "problem eaters," not "food addicts." All food addicts are problem eaters, but not all problem eaters are food addicts.

Anyone can see this is wrong, right?

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Anyone who gives thought to food politics knows that it is supremely fugged up.

* We subsidize corn to the point that no bushel grown in the US would make a profit if not for Uncle Sam's contribution.

* Through the subsidies, we urge our fellow citizens to eat processed food at the expense of fresh. 

* Even nuttier, we never intended that outcome, but the chance of changing it is all but nil, because the situation is locked in by lobbyists.

Are these the only choices?

CBS has a stupid little poll up right now (no link, deliberately), springing off San Francisco's move to ban the use of toys as a food-sales come-on. These are the two options: 

Yes. Parents are responsible for feeding their children and teaching them healthy habits - not the government.

No. It's hard enough to parent without being targeted by greedy corporations. Government should reign them in.


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