Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Doin' The Math

Today we had lunch at Farmer Boys Hamburgers here in California. We've been to this place once before and had a pretty good burger. But last time we were here, things were a bit different. Last time, they didn't list the calories next to each menu item.

The new law just went into effect this January 1st. Do you see The Farmer's Burger? TWELVE HUNDRED calories! TWELVE HUNDRED. That's the amount of calories you're supposed to have in a whole entire DAY if you're watching what you eat. This was just lunch.

OK, so even if I don't get The Farmer's Burger, which is their specialty, a Bacon Cheeseburger is still EIGHT HUNDRED calories. Add a large order of onion rings, at EIGHT HUNDRED and FIFTY calories and my lunch is now on the high end of an entire day's worth of calories. It would be fine if I were an athlete, participating in an Iron Man Competition. Or pulling a sled in the Iditarod. But I wasn't. I'm just a truck driver who will likely be sitting on my ass for eight to ten hours after I eat.

Holy mother of burgers with guacamole! I was having a heart attack just reading what I was planning to eat for lunch. Maybe if I ordered it without the guacamole? I was almost (but not quite enough) embarrassed to order. I should have been embarrassed, but I was there and I was extremely hungry. And they just sprung this whole calorie posting thing on me. I couldn't veer off course now. I knew I should have gone to El Pollo Loco. But here I was, getting ready to order La Hamburguesa Loca when I know I should have been walking right out La Puerta.

But I stayed. And I have to tell you, although I didn't practice any restraint this time, I truly believe that posting the calories like this will give pause to a lot of people. We're a bunch of fatasses. And eating a twelve-hundred calorie burger isn't helping. Standing there, with caloric information at your fingertips, it'll be a a lot harder to convince yourself it's "not that bad" when you're ordering something you really shouldn't be having. And it'll be a lot easier keeping track of what you do eat if you feel the urge for fast food. I think it'll help with making better choices.

I know they've been doing this in New York City, but I think this is the first time I've actually seen the menu boards with the calories right there, next to the menu item I'm eyeballing. And I am aware that the calories are printed on the packaging from McDonald's already, but by the time you have them in your hand, it's too late; it's easy to unwrap that Filet O' Fish and crumple the wrapper. I'm sure in some cases it won't matter, and I know that many of us are aware of the high calories in fast food already, but I really think when it's staring us in the face it will help.

"Farmer" Brothers should be figuring out how to sell delicious farm fresh veggies (OK, they do serve a mean fried zucchini) instead of pushing burgers that break the calorie bank. I think I'm pretty safe from this point forward because the thing I have on my side that helps?


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Well, Butter My Butt And Call Me A Biscuit
I Even Have Time To Go On Strike
Teaching Them Young
You Gotta Be In It To Win It
Cinema Stupido


all things bradbury said...

omg!! and i love farmer boys!! there is one just up from our yard on riverside in colton & i love to go there. no wonder my butt looks like the broadside of a barn!! must be the

Marlaina said...

I think the calorie posting is a fantastic idea. It helps me make decisions - how hungry am I? how much have I eaten today? how much am i prepared to stuff into myself? I can only hope that it is rolled out across the country - it's necessary consumer information.

One of the interesting things I learned is that if you have to have a fast food breakfast and all there is is McDonald's, the Egg McMuffin is the best choice at 300 calories - now if we could just get Ronald to add a little spinach in the thing, slice of tomato maybe...

A grilled chicken sandwich is about a 100 calories less than the crispy chicken and it doesn't affect the taste at all, it's still waaaaay too salty.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I like these too.

The additional 1200 calories looks better on the burger than it does on the consumer.

Common sense [literal] consumer information, and no wonder it's in short supply. Could hurt the bottom line (while trimming up the consumer's.)