Mom instructed me that if you can’t say anything nice, to not say anything at all. But at least one corollary just doesn’t hold up, as exemplified by an ad for cookies that Dr. Yoni Freedhoff highlighted on his blog.
When I saw the tweet a few mornings ago that Taco Bell would offer healthier fare, I RT’ed in a knee-jerk way, celebrating it and even claiming it as progress against the flood of food-like substances.
In a window-dressing sort of way, it was progress. Taco Bell puts sugar in its meat and is the contemptible promoter of “fourth meal,” so even if they're only flapping their gums about healthy food, it acknowledges that not everyone wants to eat total crap.
I used to skewer the brazen flaks at the "Center for Consumer Freedom" a lot more than I do now — or perhaps I just think that's true because of all the times I feel moved to expose their flabby logic, and then allow my cooler self to prevail. How many times can I link to an organ I want to disappear before I realize I'm making them more visible?
Friday, I argued against soda-tax proposals because I don’t see how proponents could win a high-enough tax to affect consumer behavior, which should be their only justification. And while weaker versions that were doomed to failure were being tried, industry would use them as justification to not try other measures.
In my waning days as an editor at the Hartford Courant in 1993, I was invited into the uber-geeky, somehow uber-cool Les Amies du Pomme (that's French, and I'm not, so I'm sure at least part of that is wrong). It was a cabal of nature-loving colleagues who would buy heirloom apples from rural Connecticut roadside stands and bring them to our private sampling table in the break room.
Sorry, but I just don’t believe in them. Not penny-per-ounce soda taxes, not front-of-nutrition labeling, not vague industry pledges to make their food healthier ... at some specified time far enough into the future that everyone will have forgotten.
There’s a saying at the poker table that “cards speak.” Doesn’t matter what anyone thought was there; only the facts matter. I recalled the aphorism while reacting to this tiny tempest on HuffPost Women:
Over at medicaldaily.com, the writer Evan Winchester shows severe gaps in his understanding of the food experience of tens of millions of Americans in his April 22 piece, "Is Food Addiction a Real Eating Disorder?"
I was moved by his piece to offer three points of rebuttal, which I then decided to expand on and share beyond just the readers of his post. I hope the context will be sufficient...
I often score the ugly mouthpieces of Big Food for faulty logic, especially when they recast reasonable positions as absolutes, so they can then “prove” their falsity. (Example: “There is no evidence that sugary soda is the sole cause of obesity, so soda taxes or other curbs are unreasonable.” Except, no one (except them) says it’s the sole cause. Just that it’s an egregious, unredeemable cause, and therefore a good place to begin attacking the obesity problem.)
I'm a little dismayed to say that I don't know how to use the coding provided to embed this graphic, which is why not all of it is viewable. But if you mouse over it, you'll see a button to enlarge it, which you'd want to do to read all the text anyway.