Ronald McDonald is not feeling the love in California as lawmakers attempt to change the happiness of the Happy Meal. The new ordinance in San Francisco will ban the burger giant from adding enticing toys in the long time successful kid’s meal. Requiring instead, that the heavy calorie meals to add fruits and vegetable to the box menu. What is the goal of the new regulations? It is an effort for the government to fight childhood obesity.
Americans in general have a love/hate relationship with food. We tend to like what is bad for us while disdaining what is good. Though, some of the population has started to buy into the marketing push that only organic food is healthy; while there is a growing vegetarian population that has garnered its spots on the local menus. For the moment, let’s wait on these small segment of the population and focus on the greasy food loving, processed meat-eating, good ole’ American dinner.
Even as a child, I remember going out to eat was a treat that was rarely given. It just wasn’t something that was done frequently because of the cost of feeding a family of six. Then somewhere in the mid-eighties, drive through restaurants started popping up at every corner of town. If you could think of a type of food, it probably had a five-minute, stay in the car menu serving high calories in a non-biodegradable container. It became the norm in family outings for the lazy and ill-fated generation. Family dinners around a home cooked meal became a thing of the past as it was easier to dial-up delivery than to turn on the stove. This generation grew up and passed this unhealthy diet on to the next.
As bad as this all might seem, is this the cause of the growing weight issue in our country, probably not. Burgers don’t make you fat, eating those does. Just because these meals are served up in small, medium and “I can feed a family of four” extra large doesn’t mean that we have to consume them for every meal. However, to create legislation that prohibits the adding of cheap toys to a meal to entice children to become obese is like saying the scantily clad women at Hooters is causing alcoholism. Once again the question is posed as to who the parents are in this situation? I don’t know of many children under the age of twelve that has the money to sneak off to the local fast food burger barn to get their Happy Meal toy fix. We can only infer that it is the parents that are purchasing the food. And I am not sure if a ban on toys is going to stop that from happening. Once again it comes down to the just because you added some of your genes to the pool does not constitute being a parent. It is our jobs to police what our children eat, not the government.
In closing, let’s get back to the “organic” consumers out there. You are applauded for the being health conscious and selective in what goes in your body. You have your own section in the local grocery store, but do you really believe that mass-produced food that sits on a shelf for months on end is completely organic? If you are wanting to true organic food, then get your shovel and hoe out next spring and start your own garden.
Until next time…