Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Fruit’s Gone Bad…

Here's an fantastic blog post by my good friend and colleague Sean Croxton, CMTA - owner & founder of Underground Wellness (San Diego, CA), as he explains the reality of the fast food industry and how they undermine our health. If we're on quest for optimal health, then we as a consumer must to our part. One way we can achieve this is by 'refusing to waste our breath on fast food menu options'.

I’ve been spending my Sunday lying on the couch re-reading 'Appetite for Profit' by Michele Simon and half-watching Favre and Brady battle it out (never mind, it’s Jackson and Brady now). My intention was to blog about the underhanded public relations games the food industry plays in order to bolster its image and dodge legislation. But that will have to wait until tomorrow. Instead, I feel the need to get something off my chest.

I pride myself on being a realist. I guess you can say I swallowed the red pill, choosing to see the world for what it really is. I know that there will never come a day when the aisles of my local grocery store are lined with whole organic foods. I am more than certain that regardless of how many times that “McDonald’s French Fries Don’t Decompose” article comes across my Facebook News Feed, people are still going to order them. Let’s just keep it real.

Several years back when I first read 'Appetite', I was beside myself with the lack of healthy options the food giants were offering up. And don’t get me wrong, I’m still more than unhappy with the industry status quo. However, what really chaps my hide is the idealist who complains but is never satisfied, the kind of person who somehow believes that our fast food nation will one day wake up and order baked chicken, quinoa, and steamed broccoli with a 16-ounce kombucha through a drive-thru window. Nonsense.

As shady as the fast food industry is, we must admit that they have responded to public outcry and introduced healthier options to their customers. Almost all offer salads. Some have experimented with fresh fruit. The problem is that no one goes to a fast food restaurant to order a salad. That’s kinda like going to a vegan spot and ordering chicken.

The food idealists of the world need to take a few courses in business. If anyone thinks Ronald McDonald is ever going to voluntarily stop the aggressive marketing, drop the pretentious health and physical activity campaigns, or halt all sales of food and beverage items that people obviously want to buy, you’re kidding yourself. I’m not sure what kind of business you run, but would you continue to offer a product that won’t sell? Should Ronald, Jack, and Wendy continue to waste food just to please you? An unsold salad is an unHappy Meal.

Before this blog gets misinterpreted as support for fast food, allow me to voice my disgust for their unfulfilled promises, shameless marketing, and use of celebrity endorsements to keep the Big Mac assembly lines moving. But let’s not kid ourselves about healthy menu options knowing darn well no one is ordering them. When I want a salad or an apple, Burger King is the last place I’m thinking of.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. I am a proud member of Foodie Nation, but I refuse to waste my breath on fast food menu options. At this very moment, there are hundreds of thousands of people biting into double cheeseburgers. None are foolish enough to consider it a healthy choice. They’re fully aware of what they’re eating.

Meanwhile, the salad is wilting and the fruit’s gone bad.

Just like those people who are addicted to drugs, fast food will contribute the same effects as hundreds if not thousands of people make their daily trips to these establishments - they can't kick the habit in order to get their fix. Whether their food choices are based on their finances (eating what they can afford), the premise of education and comprehending how these products wreak havoc to your total health is vital. Don't let money be an excuse for not making smarter & healthier food choices.

Afterall, I'd rather spend my hard earned cash on food that nourishes my body rather than killing it with stuff that never spoils.


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