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The debasement of food: Do you still feel like saying, 'Super-size' me?

By       Message Mary MacElveen     Permalink
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A while ago an email was sent to me to pass onto others which basically said to be thankful for the food we have to eat as opposed to those starving in regions around the world.  Places like The Congo, The Sudan, Darfur and so many more.  I wish there were a way of embedding it within this piece.  In viewing those images, they were disturbing at best and heinous at worst.  Should you wish to view this feed too horrific to describe, please email me and I will send it to you.  Just trust me that the images are so heinous in which children are crawling and begging for food and often will drink the urine from cows in order to survive.


In this day an age where fast food restaurants like McDonalds have ‘Super Size’ meals, just doing so only shows our lack of respect for food itself.  I do not believe that Mother Nature intended us to gorge food in great quantities, but to respect what comes from the bounty she provides us.

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In 2005 a documentary was made called Super Size Me in which a man by the name of Morgan Spurlock ate nothing but McDonalds for a month.  Having seen the piece, it truly disgusted me.  But, this is what the doctor monitoring him had to say: “Prior to his experiment, Morgan Spurlock was highly fit and athletic, weighing 185 pounds. After going on a McDonald's "diet," Spurlock gained 25 pounds and looked absolutely terrible. In fact, he appeared to be suffering from many of the same health complaints I see in my patients: fatigue, headaches and indigestion. And, his cholesterol levels were high and he suffered from uric acid and mild chemical hepatitis.” While no one can force us to eat fast food, the choice is up to us.

Last month and reported by CNN, “Hardee's on Monday rolled out its new Country Breakfast Burrito -- two egg omelets filled with bacon, sausage, diced ham, cheddar cheese, hash browns and sausage gravy, all wrapped inside a flour tortilla. The burrito contains 920 calories and 60 grams of fat.” By the way, this is the same restaurant that offers the ‘Monster Thickburger’ which is a 1,420-calorie meal.


In describing this ‘Monster Thickburger’ the “Center for Science in the Public Interest, has labeled it “food porn” Leave it to corporations like this to debase the food supply.


I suppose that some Americans will purchase these items and that too shows a lack of respect for food.  And we wonder why obesity is on the rise within the United States and restaurants offering these items only add to this health care crisis.

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It is no wonder that new products like Promise Activ are hitting the market.  This product is “Saccharin-sweet with a watered-down kefir consistency, the "promise" in a three-ounce bottle of Promise activ Peach SuperShots is that the yogurt-like drink will "actively remove cholesterol." Here is a neat idea.  Why don’t we as Americans start eating healthier foods which contain less cholesterol such as grains which contain fiber and fruits?


If taking this super-shot is not for you, One-A-Day offers a vitamin called ‘Cholesterol Plus’. This vitamin helps maintain healthy Cholesterol. To be honest, given my family history with elevated Cholesterol levels, I have started taking this vitamin as well as watching the foods that I eat and more importantly respecting it.


Each year Nathans Restaurant holds a hot dog eating contest and I cannot bear to watch these contestants.  That is if you can call them such.  I think that is the utter perversity of food.  I just think of the starving people in those remote countries and even some within our own.  Go ahead, contestants, stuff your face with one more hot dog.


At times, I like to watch Spike TV since it has repeats of CBS’s ‘CSI’ and a while ago they aired a show in which contestants wolfed down as much food as they could.  It was utterly disgusting to watch and as each commercial came on, I had to turn away.


On that channel they previously aired a show called “Major League Eating” and in viewing just a portion of it, one gastric contestant calls this sport if you can call it that as an “all out war” That is disgusting if you ask me.  According to one of the commentators states that this competition will have, “The most food will be consumed in Vegas history” We have all heard of the movie “The Terminator” which starred now Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, well this group of contestants are also called “gurgitators” According to them it is the “Fastest growing sport in the world” Oh gee, they feel the need to mix in this sport (I use that term loosely and sarcastically) with the “hottest girls ever”


Feel free to view this feed, but I could not watch it in its entirety since it sickens me knowing how millions upon millions are going hungry and starving to death and yet this station can produce a show like this?

Back in May of 2003, I wrote the following piece called “Freedom from Foodwhich was published on several web sites and while these gurgitators will consume massive amounts of food, I reported, “12 million American families last year worried that they couldn't afford to buy food" I even cited a report which, "estimated that 3.8 million families were hungry last year to the point where someone in the household skipped meals because they couldn't afford them"

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According to FRAC (Food Research and Action Center), 35.1 million people lived in households considered to be food insecure.” Here we are thought of as the world’s wealthiest country and one that provides for its citizens yet, 35.1 million live with food insecurity.

As Rep. Pete Stark raged against congressional Republicans for turning their backs on America's children in favor of funding the war in Iraq back in October, as reported by FRAC, "Of those 35.1 million, 22.7 million are adults (10.4 percent of all adults) and 12.4 million are children (16.9 percent of all children)." Just imagine if you will 12 million children within this country starving as congressional Republicans turn their back.  Do you still feel like going out to your local McDonalds and saying, "Super Size" me?

In reading FRAC’s site, I was struck by this, those who are going hungry are feeling “painful sensation caused by lack of food.” But, yes, we must fund that war in Iraq and possibly fund the one in which many believe President Bush wants to do the same with Iran.  Meanwhile Americans are starving.  When I see the amounts of moneys being raised by those running for president, I think of how those millions upon millions of dollars could be better used and that is feeding not only America’s most needy but those in remote countries like the ones mentioned in the beginning of this piece.  What a perverse system.

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I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog I have been published by, and I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)

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