Jonathan Irvin

Wait, I'm rambling again...

The War on Fast Food, and Yes, We’re Losing - Part 1

Do you ever wonder how many calories are in that all-new, juicy, tender, mouth-watering deliciousness you just put in your face?  Of course not! This is America.  We want our beef! We wanted it yesterday!

Let’s rewind a bit here.  I’m not some super nutritionist.  Hell, I’m not even a fitness enthusiast.  I’m your everyday, average, overweight American.  I don’t want you to get the idea that I’m trying to establish any type of credibility here.  I’m just a guy speaking his mind.

Now that we have that established, let’s continue.

Think of a restaurant…any restaurant that you go to.  I don’t want you to think about a fast food chain at the moment, I want you to think about some place you’d take your family to sit down and eat.  Now, personally, I love steak.  Give me a 12oz ribeye, some fried okra, and green beans and I’m a happy camper.  Got that restaurant in your mind?  Good.  Think of one of your favorite dishes there.  How many calories are in your meal?  How do you find out?  

My first guess would be to ask our server if they know.  Surely they can at least ask the cook or something.  Nope, server doesn’t have a clue, nor does the cook, or even the manager.  Hell, the owner even doesn’t know how many calories are in that juicy steak.  If you’re at this point in the game, most people would shrug their shoulders and say “To hell with it!” and eat their steak.

America, this is why you’re fat.

Also, this is 2014.  So, you whip out your phone and try to pull up the website for the place you are eating.  Bonus points if it’s a franchise with a corporate backing.  If it’s a mom & pop you’re outta luck.  Luckily for you, it’s a chain.  

So you look up nutritional information.  Was it easy to find?  Or, was it buried under several pages of fluff.  OR, was it even on a separate website.  Bonus points if you have to mail the company a letter (I’ve seen that, too).

My point is this: nutritional information is hard to find, and I think it’s misleading.

Your every average citizen can probably tell you how many calories are in something.  You grab a snack food of your choice and at a quick glance you can see it has about 130 calories per serving.  Not bad.  You grab your favorite snack food and it has 160 calories per serving.  Uh oh, 160 is greater than 130, so I should have more of snack A then snack B, right?  

Both packages will tell you what the serving size is.  It’s up to you to find out how many servings you actually consume.  What the labels don’t mention is that the serving size for your favorite snack is much bigger than the other snack.  Before you know it, you’ve consumed 5 servings.  That’s 650 calories!

America thinks that calories per serving = calories per sitting.

Take the example above, for instance.  Does America really understand the metric system?  We should, but we don’t.  

Don’t worry, I did the math for you.

172 Grams = 6.0671214468 Ounces

There are 16 Ounces in a Pound.  This means that this snack of choice is roughly 0.37 pounds.  A little over a 1/3 of a pound per serving.

This is America.  We don’t weigh our food, we make our own units up.  1 burger, 2 burgers.  1 box of pringles. 1 row of girl scout cookies.


Stay tuned for part 2.  If you liked this, please let me know!

  • Tusk: "Can I ask why you do that?"
  • Frank: "Do what?"
  • Tusk: "Tap your ring like that. I've seen you do it on TV. Two taps every time you get up from a table or leave a lectern."
  • Frank: "Something my father taught me. It's meant to harden your knuckles so you don't break them if you get into a fight. It also has the added benefit of knocking on wood. My father believed that success is a mixture of preparation and luck. Tapping the table kills both birds with one stone."