Friday, December 2, 2011

You got served !!

From the greatness of Reason magazine, on how to deal with Nanny State legislators who don't know how to find their way out of a sack, but who believe they know what's best for you to eat:

San Francisco's ban on giving away a free toy with a child's meal containing a certain number of calories, salt, and other particulars is set to kick in tomorrow. McDonald's, the clear target of the ban, had a year to figure out a way to change its business practices. Seems like they used the time wisely, reports the SF Examiner.
The San Francisco ban on providing free toys to entice children to eat unhealthy foods goes into effect Thursday, but McDonald’s plans to comply with the law by charging 10 cents a toy for their Happy Meals and donating the money to the nonprofit Ronald McDonald House.
(Catch that nice bit of editorializing about what's "unhealthy" there?)

And from the SF Weekly:

In any event, it appears the fast food chain's sharpie lawyers have McTopped San Francisco's legislators. Count this city's lawmakers as the latest among the billions and billions served.

Good for McDonald's.  They got around the toy ban by charging a dime for the toy. 

 The Aggie grew up eating McDonald's Happy Meals, and has now upgraded to McDonald's Value Meals (or the WhataBurger equivalent) and she now has the body fat of a mop handle and can do enough pull-ups to qualify for Navy Seal training.  Out of 120 people who tried to make it into the YMCA's lifeguard training program, she's one of 12 who qualified, and one of only 7 who finally passed the class.  (Not that I'm proud or anything....)

There's a lot that's unknown about proper diet and health, but this much is clear:

1) The San Francisco City Council doesn't know jack shit about this topic.  The Federal Government knows even less.  Go here for a personal testimony. 

2) Michelle Obama tried to hop on the Food Nazi Bandwagon last year, releasing some guidelines from her throne for all of us who truly love our children to follow.  Go here for the pics of Barack feeding a hot dog into The Teleprompter's orifice a few days later.

3) When I was in the Literary Retail business, I sold every diet and nutrition book that was brought to market.  The new ones couldn't be kept on the shelf, they sold so quickly.  They had totally different content than the old ones published the year before.  The old ones couldn't be given away, mostly because they were old and had different contents than the new ones that were recently featured and slobbered over by Oprah Winfrey.  The only things these books had in common were dietician authors and a short shelf life. 

4) I grew up being told to eat my fruit, eat my fruit, eat my fruit.  But that stuff turns to sugar as soon as it is digested.  I don't eat quite as much fruit now.  I feel better.
5) All laws, rules and regulations have unintended consequences and create different incentives from the ones intended by the prophets who bring them down from the mountain.  As an example, Happy Meal toys are now cloaked in the righteousness of the Ronald McDonald Houses.  Good work, guys !

Here's the great Jonathan Edwards, doing his 1971 mega-hit "Sunshine".  (I especially like the line "Some man's gone, he's tried to run my life, he don't know what he's askin'.  He can't even run his own life, I'll be damned if he'll run mine.") 

One last thing, totally off-topic....Edwards mentions performing this at an anti-war rally.  Are we going to have any more of those rallies, or do we have to elect a Republican president first????

1 comment:

Nick Rowe said...

Yeah, but I wonder what NASA has to say about toys in Happy Meals.