Archive for September, 2011

A Very Large Small At Wendy’s

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

I stopped at a Wendy’s for lunch today.  Hadn’t planned on it, but circumstances necessitated it.  I don’t normally get combos if I’m eating at such a restaurant, but the chain has been touting their new fries so much, i figured–what the heck, I’ll get a combo.

Small, medium, or large? the order-taker asked me.

How big’s a small drink? I asked her.

20 oz, came the reply.

Say what?!  How big’s a large?

40 oz.

Are you kidding me?  They ought to rename the sizes extra large, mammoth, and ridiculously huge.  And they ought to offer a small, medium, and large to go along with them.  I don’t know about you, but I find 8 oz. of soda to be just right, 12 oz. to be slightly excessive, and 16 oz. to be too much.  To just jump right into the deep end and label a 20 oz drink as ’small’ is mind-boggling, annoying, and just plain rude.

I don’t know if you’ve looked at a soda nutrition facts label lately, but the caloric and sugar information is given based on an 8 oz. portion.  For the root beer I wound up getting today because it would have cost me more not to get it, 8 oz of soda is worth 110 calories and 30g of sugar.  Doing the math, a 20 oz. ’small’ if fully consumed provides 275 calories and 75g of sugar; a 40 oz. ‘large’ is 550 calories and 150g of sugar.

Why is the average American fat and either diabetic or pre-diabetic?  In part because they can save money by consuming more sugar and more empty calories.

I’m sure Wendy’s isn’t alone in trying to pass off 2.5 x the suggested serving size as being ’small,’ but I’d allege that every corporation that has policies in place that push such ridiculousness on the public is culpable for the related health problems that accompany them.  I’d also allege that trying to advertise their way into being perceived as a healthful choice on the basis of offering fresh fruit on the menu is akin to taking one straw off the camel’s back and claiming to have lightened the load.

Deity-smitten, maternal-intercoursing, smug, nonsensical fast food corporations can stick their healthy images in their rectum so long as they participate in such undeniable and insulting foolishness.  I’d go so far as to allege that they were born out of wedlock and deserve to dine on fecal matter and decease.

I’m just saying.

Sandwich-less, Nut-less Lunch Ideas

Saturday, September 3rd, 2011

Corduroy– My pseudo-granddaughter’s school lunch options consist of less-than appetizing processed foods.  She’s not a big sandwich eater.  One sandwich she does like is peanut butter and jelly–but nuts and nut butters are banned from the class due to allergy concerns.  Any ideas for what a 5-year old might enjoy at lunch that would travel well? –CLS

Depends on the five-year-old, I suppose.  Here’s a list of ten ideas.  Anyone else can free to leave a comment and start at number 11.  I bet we can come up with at least 25 ideas all told.

1) Hard boiled eggs.  Perhaps with a little packet of salt and a little packet of pepper.  Aurora would say forget the salt and pepper and give her a packet of mustard.  Greg would say a jar of hot sauce and a beer, but you’ll probably want to ignore his advice.  I’d say it’s fun to crack ‘em on your head.  Ramona would say watch out, your mom might have gotten distracted and put a raw egg in your lunch instead.

2) Whole Fruit.  such as grapes, apples, plums, peaches (in a small plastic container to reduce bruising), etc.  Bananas also tend to bruise.  Cut fruit tends not to travel well.

3) Vegetables.  Carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber sticks are some of the more obvious ones.  Depending on the kid, you might want to try broccoli florettes, leftover corn on the cob, cherry tomatoes, leftover roasted sweet potatoes, and so on.

4) Yogurt.  Hold on a second while I climb up onto a soap box. And please, please, please, buy your children real yogurt, and if they want flavors in it, mix it up with actual fruit, or even jams containing actual fruit, or real maple syrup or something like that.  I look around the grocery store at the crap that is marketed to kids and I think it’s (pardon me while I curse for added emphasis to show how strongly I feel) fornicatingly wrong to sell artificial colors and flavors to children who are too young and inexperienced to know what it is that they’re actually eating.  Kids get poisoned every year because they drink the green or the blue or the yellow dish detergent hat has a picture of fruit on the outside of it because they’re used to being fed food that has those shockingly false colors included in them. Beautiful, interesting, and flavorful natural colors can be added with inclusions such as blueberries, cherries, strawberries, peaches, and so on. Encourage and guide your children to eating food that is actually food.

5) Muffins. And think beyond blueberry, banana, etc. How about carrot; zucchini; bacon and cheddar; or ham, scallion, and goat cheese?

6) Bagels. I like cream cheese on mine. I’ve seen people eat them with peanut butter. You can’t do that. How about sunflower seed butter? I’ve also seen hemp seed butter, which I understand is actually nutrient-dense and a legitimate food, as opposed to something you’d spread on one of Alice’s brownies.

7) Lunch meat rolls. Spread a piece of ham or turkey with mustard. Top with a slice or two of real cheese (not that individually-wrapped plastic crap), roll, and hold in place with a toothpick. Also tasty is mortadella wrapped with cheese and a spear of dill pickle.

8 ) Cheese and crackers. See above rant on using real, actual cheese as opposed to something called ‘pasteurized process cheese food product.’ You might also use small pieces of lunch meat. You could portion each up in its own small tupperware and house those in a larger tupperware for a ‘lunchables’ style lunch that would actually be worth eating. (do you catch my drift on the level of absolute feces that gets slung toward our children by large corporations?)

9) Sardines. I know, it depends on the kid. And the kid’s classmates. But I totally take sardines in to work for my lunch and I think it’s grand. A tin of fish, a sleeve of crackers, sume mustard and/or hot sauce. Okay, so this is probably more a tip for moms and dads who take their lunches to work than grade schoolers who compare lunches and trade things and ridicule each other mercilessly.

10) Cookies. Preferably homemade so that you can control what goes in them. And can even do things like add oatmeal into the chocolate chip cookies in place of the forbidden walnuts. And spice them with a touch of cinnamon and some allspice. And use real butter instead of hydrogenated vegetable oils. That’s a good cookie. And because it’s made with real ingredients instead of false ones it’s the kind of sweet treat that kids ought to eat.