Is it the corporations or our personal laxity?
But we should be careful in heaping praise on corporations for simply reducing the scope of the problem they continue to create, said Kelle Louaillier, executive director of Corporate Accountability International, in an Associated Press article in the July 27 American News.
Seems the media praised the McDonald's Corp. because it has broadened its menu to include apple slices in its Happy Meals. Louaillier claimed that McDonald's was just trying to get ahead of the regulations that will restrict the marketing of junk food to kids and require restaurants to post nutrition information on menus, etc.
McDonald's spokeswoman Cindy Goody (a wonderful name for a restaurant rep) said the new directives are absolutely not related to the possibility of new regulations.
The notion that the fast food industry is causing obesity among the folks is popular fare for many in our nation who want to blame someone, anyone, other than himself or herself, for an apparent lack of dietary discipline. Google obesity, fast food, and you'll get 14 million hits.
Commenting on the nuances of the aforementioned statements could go off in a number of directions. Here's my take: This article brought back memories of my mother.
Your mother? Come on, Perk.
Indeed it did! My mother lived on a farm near Webster and, because of blood irregularities, had to come to Aberdeen to get transfusions during her later years. This went on for a number of years and involved my brothers and me having to get her to Aberdeen and back again because she did not drive. She knew how to get around with a horse team and hayrack but not cars.
Anyway, back then McDonald's was a new kid on the block. She took a liking to Big Macs. She loved them. In addition, those French fries, aren't they just the best! At any rate, before leaving Aberdeen during a number of these trips, we would take a break and have a Big Mac, fries and a shake.
I now wonder what Mother would have said if someone at McDonald's or any other fast-food place suggested that eating apple slices was healthier than eating fries. My guess: embarrassed, she would've said, I eat lots of fruit; however, today it's fries, and the next two weeks it's home cooking. She might have added, What I eat is none of your business.
God knows she would have spoken her mind. She was like that.
My mother spent a lifetime preparing food. At this time of year, the coal/wood-burning stove would be going full blast. We canned, cooked, baked, simmered, stewed, braised, fried, roasted or toasted from morning to night.
My brothers and I were always a part of it, not always to our liking. Our hands were small enough to get inside the jars to thoroughly clean them before the apples, peaches, pears, plums, apricots, cherries, rhubarb, jams and jellies, tomatoes, carrots, beets, pickles, peas, string beans, corn, horseradish (take a breath, Perk), chicken, sausage, pheasant, beef cubes, liver, etc., were put in them. They then went into the canner kettle, then into the basement. Winter will come. We must be prepared.
Now, cometh the food police telling us we are victims of those big fast-food corporations. Before buying into these contrivances, please consider our being victims of our own laxity of setting dietary boundaries more than anything else. By the way, I was joking about canning liver.
My accordion beckons ...
Perk Washenberger, Aberdeen, a retired real estate broker and business owner, now musically entertains people in senior living and care centers and at community events. Write to him at email@example.com.