Peter Griffin of Family Guy used to work at the news station in Quahog, writing a piece called “What really grinds my gears”, I pay homage to that style with a “Grinds My Gears” post.

Today on the radio one of the co-hosts was talking about a report from 60 Minutes about requiring restaurants in New York City to post nutritional information on the menus.  As if the nutritional board wasn’t enough, or if you really cared, asking the manager somehow failed to get you the information you’ve been seeking.

You know “what really grinds my gears”?  People blaming the fast food industry for making America fatter.  As if people that eat fast food don’t realize that the food isn’t good for them.  Ask anyone on the street, “If I dunk food in a vat of boiling oil (fat), is it healthy for me?”  Of course not!  People know it, but they keep eating it.  What reason does McDonalds have to change the way it makes food?  McDonalds doesn’t have the responsibility to maintain the health of America.  Secondly, if McDonalds doesn’t provide the fat, someone else will.  McDonalds isn’t the problem here, folks.  It’s the people visiting the McDonalds.

Now if the health industry wants to run some type of campaign to make America healthier, and they use stats from the fast food companies for nutritional content (or lack thereof), by all means.  But, in no way should they create legislation that affects the fast food industries business (by directly making them change anything).  I believe anything they want to do to change the business should be indirect.  Make the people want to change.  If the people want McDonalds to change, it will.  Until then, nothing will change.

Hopefully, this isn’t the last “Grinds My Gears” post.

3 Responses to “Grinds My Gears – 60 Minutes Fat Report”

  1. raj Says:

    I agree that it is the consumer’s responsibility to make wise choices about what they eat, but I don’t think that abdicates McDonald’s (or any other restaurant) of all responsibility.

    We have laws about what substances pharmaceutical companies can sell. We tell them that they can’t sell cocaine. There would probably be a huge market for it, even though people know it’s addictive and bad for them.

    If they can’t sell a horribly damaging product and label it as a “medicine,” then why should McDonald’s be allowed to sell a horribly damaging product and call it “food”?

    Obviously there are differences. Cocaine will get you hooked immediately and has no redeeming value (aside from perhaps pain relief), and cheeseburgers will only kill you when consumed in excess.

    Either way, the point is that while it is ultimately the consumer’s responsibility, I don’t know that there’s anything wrong with helping them make better choices.

  2. dave Says:

    Ah, but there’s the rub. The FDA has already deemed the food ‘edible’ (McDonald’s is still open, right?), the issue is not whether the food is ‘edible’ or not, the issue is trying to beat people over the head with the “wrong” decision. And is it the wrong decision to eat McDonald’s? I think it is, which is why I rarely eat there, but I have no right to say it’s the wrong decision for someone else. I understand that McDonald’s has alot of calories and fat, as does alot of fast food. The nutritional facts are posted at the restaurant already, why force the companies to further clutter up the menu with the calories and fat directly on the menu?

    Trying to post _more_ nutritional information won’t accomplish anything. If people ignore it now, why won’t they later?

    I’m just saying. The money could’ve been spent on PSAs (or something) on healthy eating, rather than creating another bureaucratic mess trying to regulate companies on how much nutritional information is on the menu / wrappers.

  3. Jon Says:

    Ah, but if we have a national health care system then I want to outlaw McDonald’s. Or at least put a heavy tax of $2 for each Big Mac sold. Since these people who eat at Mickey-D’s so often will no doubt have higher cholesterol and thus need their Lipitor, they then should have to pay more into the system for their poor eating habits.

    I’m being sarcastic about this, but you see where this could go.

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