Tag Archives: nutrition

Hyppo and Critter: The Great Food Debate



Ronald McDonald is a fugitive of justice

My meat is top choice, I swear! Chicks in New York pay top dollar for my meat! Do you have to cuff me?

BUN Transcript – Tuesday, July 12, 2010



OFFICER BIG MAC, CHIEF OF POLICE, McDONALDLAND PLAYGROUND: Mr. McDonald is a fugitive of justice right now.


ANDROID COOPER: BUN has obtained this police sting footage, recently released by Mayor McCheese, of celebrity fast food motivational speaker and spokesperson Ronald McDonald:

RONALD McDONALD: What you need man? Fries? I can get ’em. Burgers? Fuck that chick, Wendy, bro. Her shit is square. Trust me. You don’t want that. I got the round patties you want.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What about your little criminal friend? I don’t want no problems, man.

RONALD McDONALD: Hamburgler? Ah shit, man. I barely know the motherfucker. Listen, I’m a busy man. How many keys of fries you want? I can get ’em.



That’s just my way of sayin’ I’ve got some happy funland news from the world of McDonalds.

First, did you know that there is an alternative to french fries in a Happy Meal? They are apple slices, or what McDonalds likes to call Apple Dippers. They did a study and it turns out that 93% of the time researchers who ordered a Happy Meal were simply given french fries and not informed about the apple slice option.

Not content to simply serve apple slices, the Apple Dippers product comes with a “low fat caramel sauce.” Nutrition information is 99 calories for a three ounce serving.

Meanwhile a group known as the Center for Science in the Public Interest said it will sue McDonalds for “unfairly and deceptively” marketing toys to children. The group gave McDonalds 30 days to voluntarily stop selling toys. McDonalds, of course, signaled they’ll do no such thing and responded that they “couldn’t disagree more” that they were not guilty of violating any laws and demanded an apology from the group.

Offering a different perspective, Mike Huckabee offered up a “heap of praise and admiration” for McDonalds and called the group’s threatened lawsuit “pin-headed pressure.”

Also involving food and toys, the Santa Clara County board of supervisors recently voted to ban fast food restaurants from giving away toys with “children’s meals that exceed set levels of calories, fat, salt and sugar.”

Poor Ronald McDonald. Even his dog Sundae isn’t on speaking terms with him anymore and the fry guys no longer come over to hang out at his house. If he’s not careful he may end up in the slammer with his known associate the Griddler who is serving hard time for stealing McGriddles.

Please enjoy the musical selection that our chef has paired with this article.

Sodium won’t catch up

Ketchup or catsup? At least as far as my browser’s built-in spellchecker is concerned, it’s definitely the former. It chokes on the latter.

I went to Wal-Mart last night to get a good deal on cat food. I normally avoid Wal-Mart like the plague. I hate that place. While there, however, I remembered we were out of ketchup, so I attempted to traverse my way to the grocery section – without the aid of a map.

I found ketchup and began scanning the various shapes and sizes focusing on cost per ounce. A mysterious empty section of the shelf caught my eye. It was completely empty. A little label said “Heinz Ketchup, 40 ounce, $1.00.” Whoa! What the heck was that all about? At my local grocery store this would have been $3 or more. I bent down and saw four bottles way in the back. They were mine! I watched like a hawk at checkout and sure enough, those bottles were $1 each with no coupon. Wow.

I love ketchup. A lot. It’s by far my favorite condiment. It goes on fries (of course), hash browns, scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese, meat loaf (pre-veggie days) and probably a few other things I’m forgetting. My wife the expert cook doesn’t use it quite as much as me and many times I’ve tried to use it on her cooking and have received the Stare of Death.

The ingredients in Heinz ketchup (per the label) are:

  • Tomato concentrate from red ripe tomatoes
  • Distilled vinegar
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Corn syrup
  • Salt
  • Spice
  • Onion powder
  • Natural flavoring

Wow. High fructose corn syrup! The label says a “serving” of ketchup is 1 tablespoon and contains 15 calories. A tablespoon is three teaspoons and a teaspoon of sugar has 15 calories. So I guess that means that ketchup is made of about the equivalent of one-third sugar. Yikes.

On a 2,000 calorie per day diet those calories represent about 3.3% of your “daily values” or DV (even though the label doesn’t actually do the DV math on calories).

Then the word “sodium” on the label caught my eye. A serving contains 190mg or 8% of DV. Eight percent of your daily salt limit in a single tablespoon of ketchup? Yikes, that seems high. That must have something to do with the fact that “salt” is the fifth ingredient (by volume). I can only imagine what happens when I use ketchup on my heavily over-salted french fries.

Earlier this month Heinz quietly changed their formula for ketchup. It was the first “significant” change to their recipe in nearly 40 years. A company spokesperson said that the change will not be noted on product packaging except, presumably, in the Nutrition Facts box. The amount of sodium reduction will be about 15 percent or 160mg per serving.

This recipe change pertains to the United States version of Heinz ketchup. In Canada the recipe is already only 140mg of sodium per serving and “tends to have a sweeter taste than the U.S. version.”

The politics of ketchup? We heard a bit about Heinz when John Kerry was running for president. This sodium change, however, is at least in part to the “National Salt Reduction Initiative” spearheaded by New York City and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Heinz is one of 16 major food manufacturers that has voluntarily joined the program.”

So, naturally, web sites like the aptly named Hot Air decry Heinz ketchup a “casualty of the liberal doctrine.” Yeah, whatever.

I personally believe the average American diet contains way too much salt. I salt very few things like steak (which I don’t eat any more) and corn on the cob. I believe that most processed foods we eat already contain so much salt it would be nuts to add more.

Sorry, Jamie Oliver – America will send your show back

Jamie Oliver. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Jamie Oliver is cute. He has charisma. Apparently he knows something about food and cooking. I mean, he’s on the Food Network, right? Of course, that doesn’t always mean that much. For example, Rachael Ray is not a chef. Oliver, who started as a pastry chef, at least has earned the title.

Oliver also has some good intentions mixed, no doubt, with a fair amount of desire for a hit TV show and the scrilla that would result.

Reading his Wikipedia page this morning I also see that he’s been on about a zillion TV shows. Wow.

His latest project is called “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution” and premiers on ABC on March 26th. The premise of the show is essentially improving the eating habits of Americans.

The premier episode features Oliver visiting the city of Huntington, W. Va., which a CDC report called the unhealthiest city in America. (Report: 2008 Centers of Disease Control and Prevention report.) Apparently over 50 percent of the population is reported as “obese.”

In a television commercial, an outraged Oliver toys with a plate of fried potatoes while he indignantly exclaims, “French fries are not a vegetable!”

Why The Show Will Fail

My prediction is that the show won’t play well here in the U.S. First, Oliver is a Brit. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But Americans don’t take kindly to being told what to do, and certainly not by someone with an accent. Secondly, Americans don’t like being told what to do. By anyone. And lastly, Americans are doubly hooked and are not about to change. They are hooked on their eating habits and they are hooked on their sedentary lifestyle.

By the way, some are saying Oliver’s “revolution” may not be so revolutionary. According to NBCPhiladelphia.com, “there are already hints behind the scenes that Oliver’s efforts may not have been as well-received as you may be led to believe.”

In my experience, real, genuine life-alerting change is a very, very, very, very, very, very, very rare thing.

I seriously doubt that a TV show, even one with a cute and lively limey at the helm, will accomplish serious change, and, I think it’s likely it won’t even bring in the ratings to be considered a “hit.” (You heard it here first.)

In the off chance that I’m wrong, I’ll add this: If the show does do some good, I’d attribute that to the growing awareness about food and health in our country that was already well underway long before Oliver arrived to save the day. But that certainly doesn’t mean he can’t come loping in like Rambo without a jock strap, take credit for it and cash in all at the same time. 🙂