Cassandra’s Tears

Tears of joy, tears of pain, we are reflected in the salt-water pools we create. So let us build a fleet of paper boats and sail them on our ocean of indecision, laughing at the wind-whipped white-crested waves that would wash over us, drowning us in our own despair, yet somehow never vanquishing us in the end.

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Location: Lennoxville, Quebec, Canada

Monday, July 05, 2004

Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we diet.

Food. Such a wonderful thing. Eating is a pleasure, or it should be, since we have to eat to live. But what about those who live to eat?

The other night I viewed Fahrenheit 9/11, and while I don’t want to review it here, I do want to mention something I could not help noticing throughout the film. America is full of fat people. Lots and lots of fat people. It is shocking, but perhaps not wholly unexpected. In the land of plenty where there is too much food available and affordable, people overeat. In a land where one needn’t chase one’s dinner, but can drive up to the take-out window instead, it should not surprise us that people take in more calories than they expend and are, as a result, obese. It appears to be a sickness.

Actually, obesity is the cause of much preventable illness, from diabetes to heart disease, high blood pressure and all their attendant evils. It is so avoidable, just like the ills associated with smoking and drinking, and yet the population continues to balloon outward at an alarming rate. It all comes down to corporate profits.

Food companies keep coming out with new products aimed at different segments of consumer society. Just take a trip to the supermarket to see how we are influenced. Candies in bags at the checkout counter have joined the chocolate bars and breath mints. Snack food comes in ever larger packaging. You cannot buy a bag with one serving of potato chips inside. Instead you get an economy-sized bag that is supposed to feed 20 people. How many people will polish off half of that bag in one sitting? Do any of them actually read the side of the package to find out what a recommended serving is so that they can measure it out very carefully into a bowl, close up the bag and store it away for another time?

The food companies make their products just too damned delicious and irresistable. “Bet you can’t just eat one” is all too true. But the same companies are coming out with products aimed at those fatties who are leaping on the diet band wagons with low-carbohydrate snacks (which are only marginally lower in complex carbs than their regular products). It was the same story when low-fat foods were put on the market. People intent on losing weight just switched to low-fat versions of what they were already snacking on. But because the lower calorie versions didn’t fill them up as much, they ate more. Who gains? The fat people gain more weight, and the food companies gain more profits.

No, my friends, the only way to defeat this cycle of corporate greed and national obesity is to shun all these products. Do not get sucked into eating snack foods. Period. Get used to being hungry between meals. It’s healthy. Eat more fruits and vegetables, less meat, cheese and eggs. Say “Yes” to complex carbohydrates. They are your friends. Say “No” to potatoes and white bread for you will resemble them. And in all things, practise moderation. For life is short, and we have to enjoy ourselves a little bit, after all.


Blogger Sam said...

Then there is the other aspect of moving much less. People would be much less rotund if they walked the 3 blocks to Tim Hortons or biked to work rather than driving. People should get off the couch and do something other than watch TV and collect inches. Thanks for the guitar tips from both you and the guitar czar.

7/06/2004 12:20 AM  

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