For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
More people than ever before are adopting vegetarian, vegan, or at the very least plant-based diets; trans fats are slowly being phased out of our food supply; companies are feeling pressured to reduce the sodium in their products; and school cafeterias are coming under fire for the quality of food delivered to students every day. All of these actions are moving us toward a more healthful society and way of life.
The flipside of this gravitation toward healthier fare is the growing trend of over-the-top culinary creations from our nation’s most infamous food suppliers; maple and bacon milkshakes, fried chicken sandwiches that use meat patties instead of buns, multi-decker burgers that dare you to eat the whole thing in a single sitting. It seems as though for each step we take toward adopting a more healthy way of life in terms of our diet, the food industry tempts us backward with the most ridiculous junk food concoctions they can muster.
Just recently, for example, Pizza Hut announced its newest option: cheeseburger stuffed crust pizza. Cheese stuffed crusts weren’t enough; hot dog stuffed crusts weren’t enough; they need to go even further and really push the limits of how over-the-top they could be with their offerings. A tongue-in-cheek article written in response to this announcement ventures to guess what other out-there creations are in our food’s future: chicken pot pie stuffed crust pizza? The Turbaconducken stuffed crust pizza? You might laugh at the ludicrousness of some of the suggestions, but under all those humorous layers of fat, sodium, and calories lies a frightening truth.
One woman just recently became the arguable “victim” of this fatal truth when she became the second customer at the Heart Attack Grill to collapse on site. One minute, she was enjoying her “Double Bypass Burger” with a margarita and cigarette on the side, and the next, she was on the floor.
Are we, as citizens, victims of these cruel culinary jokes, or is the food industry simply responding to a demand for something – anything – to resist the change moving us to a more healthful way of eating? I have to wonder if we’ve created a monster in our attempts to become healthier as a country – and then, if so, if that’s even a legitimate excuse for some of the products on the market today.
And where, then, do we draw the line in our mantra to promote “everything in moderation?” Will one quadruple bypass burger at the Heart Attack Grill kill us? Is it the principle of the matter, or the actual matter itself that’s most worrisome?
Would you ever order a cheeseburger stuffed crust pizza?