Monday 26 Sep 2016

Food Police
Jennifer Flaten

Hmm, my greasy, salty fast food fries are missing something. After sampling a few more I determine the missing elements, it is both the grease and the salt. My arteries are clogging, fast.

Without the grease and the salt, my fries are borderline healthy. Almost healthy, mind you, not actually healthy after all, they are still deep-fried.

Unfortunately, without the salt and grease they are completely devoid of any personality. I could insert a joke about some celebrity here, but I won‘t. This won’t stop me from eating them, but still, I am disappointed.

Where, oh where, did my hot, greasy fries go? Ah, the food police strike again. They are nothing if not persistent.

Recently, the food police convinced McDonald’s to give every kid apples with their Happy Meal and reduce the number of French fries in each Happy Meal to a paltry 20, not that I counted or anything.

This time it is the French fries, next time the world.

The food police are constantly attempting to save me from myself. Well, let me share a little something with you if I wanted healthy food I wouldn’t be at a fast food place. Even children, or at least mine, know that a fast food restaurant is not healthy. It is somewhere fun to eat occasionally.

Contrary to what the food police think, I am well aware that potatoes deep-fried in hot oil are not, I repeat not, healthy. I just don’t care. I don’t them every day, unlike cupcakes, but even if I did, that is my business.

Nor am I going to mistake this cuisine for gourmet, no matter how hard the restaurant tries to convince me otherwise.

Trust me, no one, I mean no one, is going to mistake the average fast food burger for excellent cuisine. No matter how many fireplaces and Wi-Fi hot spots the restaurant offers.

When I want fast food, I want it in all its unhealthy glory. If I want healthy food, I will cook at home or splurge and eat at a restaurant that has a least a passing familiarity with vegetables.

While we are on the topic of food police, I would also like to tell the food snobs to back off.

We watch an inordinate amount of Food Network in this house and if I see one more recipe that “reinvents” a classic food, I am going to do some serious harm with a frying pan.

Yes, that’s right sometimes a grilled cheese sandwich is just a grilled cheese sandwich. The old classic made with store bought white bread and some sort of cheese or imitation cheese product, is just fine. In fact, it is better than fine, it is affordable.

A grilled cheese sandwich made with artesian bread and some bizarre cheese only found in one small shop in France may delight the palates of food snobs, but it certainly doesn’t interest my wallet or me.

It is hard enough to get the kids to eat, let alone trying to persuade them that a hamburger made with blue cheese, avocado and truffle oil is “what’s for dinner.”

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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