Thursday, July 17, 2008

Calorie Sticker Shock: Yey Ignorance!

New York is the first city to implement a law which forces chain restaurants to post calorie counts in the same size and font as that item's name for every food they serve. This has caused a situation, regretfully referred to as "sticker shock", in which consumers are now aware of the calorie counts of the foods they consume at chain restaurants.

Now, you have to be wondering where I'm going with this. Am I going to bitch about counting calories? Am I going to rant about passing legislation to more easily provide people with information that is already available? Am I going to hunt and peck through the article to find stupid quotes and so lash out at Nora Cara and her "But you pick up a little muffin with your coffee, and it has 630 calories in it? That’s a bit extreme!" idiocy? Nope! I'm going to rage about this:

“Some people actually tell us we should take off the labels, because it discourages them from ordering what they want."
What's the phrase used to indicate an intentional avoidance of information in order to avoid guilt, liability, reality? Oh yeah, it's called willful ignorance. And it is stupid.

Calorie information is everywhere. Moreover, foods objectively exist independent of the information provided about them. So that 510 calorie muffin is 510 calories regardless of whether or not someone knows it. The only thing which changes with these new labels is the degree to which people are informed.

How would removing the labels at this point solve the "problem"? How could a person even maintain that veil of ignorance? Once an individual learns that their corn muffin is 510 calories (zomg!) how the fuck will removing that information from the nametag remove that information from one's mind, from one's awareness? Have New Yorkers finally reached the mental status of goldfish, with a short-term memory of 15 seconds? Hell, maybe this even indicates that New Yorkers have lost their concept of object permanence. If upon removing the 510 calorie label that information is gone what happens if they leave the restaurant? Does the restaurant still exist when they aren't directly looking at it? If the muffin ceased to be 510 calories when the label was removed maybe the restaurant ceased to exist when they left!

If we assume that New Yorkers do, in fact, have long and short term memory and this "remove the sticker mentality" is meant to only enable consumption of foods yet to be seen how the fuck is "I don't want to know" a sensible mentality? Whence the problem with an awareness of calorie counts? Is it guilt? Do they think that weight gain is a cognitive process, that awareness of calories makes one fat? Maybe staring at the numbers just makes them feel fat; they've lost their ability to manifest their Will To Power and as stupid, lambish, drones they're subject to fuck if I know what and that somehow makes them feel bad. For whatever reason they would rather bury their heads in their own ignorance than be confronted by the reality of the situation.

What's most infuriating to me is that grasping at ignorance; willfully deluding one's self and avoiding information.
But then Fowler noticed that the waiter had handed her friend an old menu, which didn’t have calorie counts on it.

“You got a menu without anything on it?” she asked her friend. “Can I have yours?”
A corn muffin is 510 calories regardless of whether or not you know that. If you want to eat a corn muffin eat a fucking corn muffin. If you want to avoid 510 calorie muffins then don't eat a corn muffin. If you, in your idiotic, delusional, confused little pissant mind want to eat a corn muffin and think it healthy despite reality? If you are grasping for uninformed ignorance? If you are trying to trade for that menu without the calorie counts so you can order whatever you want and NOT THINK ABOUT IT? Crawl into a hole and die. Or, at the very least, do not recoil and act offended when they come to sheer you.

Pull your head out of your ass. Shut the fuck up. Objectively assess the world in which you live. ACT ACCORDINGLY! Eat healthy if you want to be healthy. Ignore nutritional information if you do not care. But don't piss around exchanging menus so that you can maintain your uninformed ignorance and convince yourself that your super-brownie-fudge-vein-splosion is healthy just because it has milk in it.

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