Forty-Five Million Americans Uninsured–Health Warning On French Fries Urged

 Okay so maybe we’re cynical, and not quite seeing the forest for the trees, but California Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s recent move to add health warnings to French fries and potato chips leaves us wondering if this idea came from an episode of the Simpson’s.

What,” we imagine Homer exclaiming in shock “French fries ARE vegetables.  How come they’re not good for you?”

McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Pepsico’s Frito Lay and P&G’s Pringles are just some of the big shots in the processed food world that would be required to add warnings if Lockyer’s plan goes into effect.

Acrylamide, a potential, and in our opinion, likely carcinogen, is a chemical produced when starchy foods are cooked at a high heat.  And while we don’t normally take what might be seen as the side of those big companies working to create food that is mostly processed pseudo-food,in order to maximize the holy grail of profits, NBN wants to know if this law really makes sense.

If the effort is to create healthier foods we don’t think it will work?  Do most people ordering fries or buying chips with a six pack think about nutrition?  Is anyone so blinded by the glare of Ronald McDonald’s red nose that they don’t realize Mickey D’s isn’t healthful?

But more importantly what really leaves us shaking our head is that once again, politicians tinker at the margins, pretending to care about public health yet ignoring the real crisis in America, the HUGE number of uninsured.

So how about asking or demanding that our politicians do something to impact public health beyond warning people with the shocking news that potato chips and French fries aren’t good for you.

Despite the fact that these days government seems like a for fee service, bought and paid for at so many fundraising dinners by so many corporate lobbyists, we still believe in government, but one that really creates solutions, not one that tinkers at the sidelines.

An article by Malcolm Gladwell in the August 29th edition of The New Yorker Magazine is a must read for anyone who is interested in understanding why public healthcare in America leaves so many uncared for and why this creates such a huge problem.  It’s not available online but go buy a copy or borrow one from your dentist’s office.  Or email me and I can fax it to you.

If you’re someone who thinks that making Americans smoke less or eat less meat is the best way to impact public health, please read this article.  Otherwise you won’t be able to see the French fries from the deep fryer and our politicians will still be making decent hearted laws with as much impact as pissing in the ocean.

So let’s make big food something better than nutrition-less junk, junk that makes America’s biggest corporations pocketbooks fatter than fat.  But put first things first.  Let’s make access to health care a basic human right.  And after that, we can tackle issues like food, nutrition and maybe even big business’ lock on the White House and Congress too.


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