You are what you eat

Me, Myself... as Mommy.

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Pulling up to the window at Wendy’s makes me feel guilty.  I’m about to shovel down a greasy burger that was resting under a heat lamp for who knows how long.  It’s probably ground-up sick cow; they're always the first to sell.  I’m well aware this beef sandwich isn’t the healthiest thing to eat, but I’m hungry and it’s cheap. 

It will make me fat because it’s made of fat.  You can ring out the patty like an old dishcloth.  I don’t need a poster plastered up listing the calories to know my arteries are crying out in pain with each swallow.  When I’m walking the aisles at the grocery store, I don’t check the calories on my Swiss Rolls, I know they’re fake chocolate with fake cream on the inside.  They can’t be good for me.  I want ‘em, so I don’t care.  I also know I won’t eat the whole box in one sitting.  It’s called “self-control”( and extreme diarrhea). 

While signing the heath care reform bill, President Barack Obama also enacted a national requirement that mandates chain restaurants post calorie content on all items.  When I give in to a massive latte craving, I can keep track of how much each sip is going to my thighs and calculate how long I’ll need to hit the gym.  The guilt piles on because I know I won’t get within a mile of the Lady Fitness.  Thanks, Mr. President.

I actually think it’s a good idea.  The more information a person can have about what they’re putting into their body, the better.  If you’re sitting down to eat a McDonald’s Big Mac, you’re getting more than you bargain for:

Beef Patty [100% pure USDA inspected beef prepared with grill seasoning (salt, black pepper)], Big Mac Bun [Enriched flour (bleached wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), water, high fructose corn syrup, yeast, soybean oil, canola oil, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, contains 2% or less of each of the following: sesame seed, salt, wheat gluten, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, monocalcium phosphate, ammonium chloride, calcium carbonate, baking soda, soy flour, dough conditioners (may contain one or more of the following: distilled monoglycerides, DATEM, ascorbic acid, azodicarbonamide, enzymes, ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides, sodium stearoyl lactylate, guar gum, mono-and diglycerides, calcium peroxide), calcium propionate & sodium propionate (preservatives), soy lecithin], Pasteurized Process American Cheese [American cheese (pasteurized milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes), water, milkfat, sodium citrate, sodium phosphate, salt, sorbic acid (preservative), acetic acid, artificial color, soy lecithin and/or corn starch (added for slice separation)], Big Mac Sauce [Soybean oil, pickle relish (diced pickles, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, vinegar, corn syrup, salt, calcium chloride, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate (preservative), spice extractives, polysorbate 80), distilled vinegar, water, egg yolks, high fructose corn syrup, onion powder, mustard seed, salt, spices, propylene glycol alginate, sodium benzoate (preservative), mustard bran, sugar, garlic powder, vegetable protein (hydrolyzed corn, soy and wheat), caramel color, extractives of paprika, soy lecithin, turmeric (color), calcium disodium EDTA (protect flavor)], Lettuce, Pickle Slices [Cucumbers, water, distilled vinegar, salt, calcium chloride, alum, potassium sorbate preservative), natural flavors (plant source), polysorbate 80, extractives of turmeric (color)],

 At least we know the beef is actual beef, I thought it was a Betty Crocker batter, poured on a grill like a pancake.

After seeing the documentary “Food Inc.,” I’m constantly yapping about buying local.  No more meat, produce, or eggs from Walmart.  I have, in fact, become a food snob.  I need to know that if something I eat makes me sick, I can drive to the source.  Check my fridge, you find Cream of Weber, Oakdale farm-fresh eggs, and produce from Lee’s Grocery, which guarantees everything is local.  I live next to a farm, so if I want to take this to the extreme, I could start milking cows and stealing eggs.  Sounds like a lot of work.

Utah Congressman Jim Matheson introduced the LEAN act, Labeling Education and Nutrition.  He and the president agree that caloric information may keep consumers from buying fatty foods at chain restaurants.  In turn, they would start offering healthier options.  This may seem intrusive, maybe you flat-out don’t care, but you and your kid are probably overweight.  That means you may not live as long and accomplish all of the things you want.  It's harsh but true.  For the first time in decades, life expectancy has dropped because of the obesity epidemic.  We're willing to cut years off our lives to save time and money.

This isn’t to say you shouldn't enjoy your Wendy’s.  Last night, Brian wolfed down a number one in about five minutes, then played soccer for an hour.  It’s all about balance and knowledge.  After all, you are what you eat.  I don’t want to be polysporbate 80, propylene clycol alginate, or alum…what the heck is all that, anyway?!

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