The Fattest Food

This one is a hoot.  The fattest foods in America?  Are we Californians supposed to feel superior because we do not eat these things? I think something else is going on. If I told you that I have a great diet and the only thing you cannot eat is French pastry, I suspect you would immediately start craving French pastry, planning downtown walks so that you could look at French pastry shop windows, and perhaps most dramatic (and in my opinion, uncalled for) you could start disliking the French and switching to “freedom fries.”
KFC Double Down

The Notorious KFC Double Down

“Forbidden fruit” has become forbidden meat. At least, I think, in California.  I remember when my husband and I first came here, I heard some people call it the “Granola State.”

KFC’s “Double Down” is already out there. Sounds like the nutritional pundits are weighing in on this one.  I never would have believed, in my earlier lifetime, that anyone from Yale would have anything to say about KFC.

There is something going on, really.  The Double Down was meant to be a limited time offer, but once people started driving across state lines, it sounds like it is going to be around for a bit.

Maybe this thing is compatible with any kind of reasonable nutrition ideas if it is the only thing you eat in a day. That would be a strange practice.

I was an overweight — very overweight — sixth grader when my primary physician handed me a teency mass produced 1000 calorie a day diet book.  My mother told him that I loved ice cream sundaes and was not going to stop eating them.  I thought engaging him in conversation was fruitless, even then.  I remember what he said. “Great.  Then she doesn’t have to eat anything else all day.”  Sounded fine to me.

Actually, I could not remember the last time my mother had taken me out for an ice cream sundae.  I was starting to wonder if I could get any out of this deal, and expected, correctly, that I would not. Later, in private, my mother told me that she thought diets were oppressive things that should not be visited upon children.  She was not going to get a fight from me on that one.

Now I do not think my then-doctor was in command of even the relatively low level of dietetic knowledge that existed back then.  He tried, he was a decent guy. As for my mother, it was not the first time she attributed things to me I had not said or thought and caused me not a little shame.  It also was not the first time that any kind of a discussion between her and the family doctor was so far from any reality we lived that it could not have found its way back, but that was another issue.

The real issue here, is that nobody likes rules, and adolescents hate them more than anybody.  KFC said they were going for the 18-24 market.  Nobody’s brain is fully myelinated (transmitting nerve impulses in cells with maximum speed and efficiency) until they hit about 28. I rest my case.

I am not going to blame fast foods for making people eat fat. Companies make profits. People make decisions.  When they are adolescent males, either chronologically or phenomenologically, they make rotten ones. They often go for “forbidden fruit” of some kind.  If they have not been trained about the consequences of their actions, they may really mess things up.

Ah, how I remember the Passover when my brother, told not to put his nose near the Mahtzoh (ritual unleavened cracker-like bread) did just that and inhaled some of it, which had to be removed that very evening at the Massachusetts Eye, Ear, Nose, and Throat Infirmary.  He was nowhere near adolescence then, though.

The only walls in France where I have seen urine stains are those which have been painted dutifully with the admonition “Defense d’ Uriner,’ which obviously means “urination prohibited.”  The only person I ever saw “in flagrante delicto” was indeed past adolescence. He was unlikely to be old enough to have a prostate that was really that bad.

I do not think one go at some kind of a “belly buster” burger is going to screw up anybody for life. I do not think anybody is going to follow a diet for life, except maybe some obsessive compulsive types.  I think people can take it each day as it comes, without self destruction. Me and my triglycerides, I probably should not sniff that kind of fat, but that is me.

What we need to do is to stop vilifying things.  Stop giving people rules that invite breaking.  Does common sense exist?

Have the 18th century utililitarian philosophers been forgotten? Probably, by all except for a couple of academic types like me.  They believed the idea of life was to make the most people as happy as possible.

Maybe this flies in the face of making money. Maybe if we make people conflicted, they stay tuned.  They dream. They spend money, which the people who sell the conflicting stuff can use to do anything from pay the rent to send their kids to college. I am not going to tell them they cannot do that.

I can decide that if my husband and I accidentally end up near a place that sells super fat bombs, I would not eat more than a mouthful.  I would not even tell myself I could not eat it at all, although I may, because of my ancient medical history, have more reason than most.

I would love for people to be reasonable.  To give into some relatively harmless obsessions, in order to keep life fun and varied, and steer around even minor reasons and ways toward self destruction.

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