I was sitting at a small cafe the other day, reading a book and eating a vegan muffin when I overheard a disturbing conversation. A little girl, probably 8 to 10 years old (I could be totally off, I’m not a very good age estimator), ran up to her father - she wasn’t sitting with her father, or even within her father’s view - and promptly begged him to take her to Chick-fil-a for dinner. You could tell he liked the idea, from his hesitation to respond, but he told the girl that her mother wouldn’t approve of such a dinner. Anticipating this response she listed several items on the menu that her mother would (and apparently has before) approve of. These items consisted primarily of salads and soups. In a mocking tone she finished her argument with a comment about how she would drink regular milk because it’s “much healthier”. Her father gave in. I’m curious about the actual turning point in this argument. A huge part of me thinks it was the fact that the girl mocked her mother and the father found this amusing. Obviously I didn’t interview him afterwards, but I was staring and eavesdropping an inappropriate amount, so I feel I have accurate insight.
The girl was by no means obese, maybe a little pudgy, but nothing unhealthy for a young girl. Obesity is not the subject of this essay, my hatred of fast food in general is. It was 5 p and the sun was still out and it was 65 degrees in JANUARY, why the heck is this girl sitting inside a coffee shop in the first place (please don’t ask why I was sitting inside on a 65 degree day in January, I don’t have a good answer)!
I took the liberty of looking up nutrition facts for some of the salads and soups at Chick-fil-a and was not as disturbed as I was prepared to be. The chicken soup is relatively low in calories, and has a lot of veggies and protein, but it’s swimming in sodium. Admittedly this isn’t a horrible choice, she obviously doesn’t need to be watching her blood pressure. The salads aren’t horrible either. It’s the dressing that gets you. The grilled chicken is going to be healthier than the fried chicken, yada yada. These salads have 40 grams of protein each (see my previous rant on protein). I’ll spare you the math, but saying that we need 15% of our daily calorie intake from protein, that’s only 75 grams of protein a day! So you’re getting over half of it in one meal!
I could go on forever, but I already feel better so I can stop now.