Sunday, December 16, 2007

16 Secrets Of Bad Eating

I thought that 16 secrets the restaurant industry doesn't want you to know was going to be about unsanitary kitchen conditions and the added bonuses - dust bunnies and worse - that unhappy customers get in their sent-back entrées. But, no, it was just about how various restaurants don't give accurate nutritional information about their food. I know it's important, but don't we kind of know that already? Would it be awful if I said that's really not a burning issue to me?...until I read the entire thing!!!

OMG! I knew there was reason I didn't go to Arby's or Chevy's or Outback. Now, I know what it is. The food will actually kill you. 3 examples:

An order of Outback's Aussie Cheese Fries
has 2,900 calories.

IHOP's Omelette Feast has 1,335 calories and
35 grams of saturated fat.

Chevy's Fresh Mex very helpfully gives you all the nutritional content for its tortillas on its website. All you want to know...except it leaves out the tortilla shell itself!!!

I always felt that if, at any given time, I'm so psycho about the calories and fat that go into my food, I'll cook for myself that week. The truth is the number one thing we can do to make restaurant food healthier IS TO EAT LESS OF IT! I don't just mean going out to eat less often, I mean eating less of what's on our plates.

No one needs the amount that's normally served in restaurants these days. If you only eat a fistful of any given food, how bad can it be for you? BUT, many people, for many reasons, are eating the majority of their meals at these places. And if they saw the shocking numbers of a particular entrée in black and white, it might make them think twice before ordering it.

Chain and formula restaurants should have no problem whatsoever listing calories and fat, etc. Their food is made from recipes given from above and from pre-made mixes or pre-packaged individual components. The spaghetti sauce or apple pie doesn't vary from day to day. A cooked-to-order type of menu in a "better" restaurant would be much more difficult to nutritionally quantify, because the actual amounts and ingredients differ from meal to meal.

I wish that restaurants of all types would cut the sizes of their portions (and the prices!). The easiest way to cut calories and fat is by cutting the amount of food we eat and then, perhaps, we could eat what we want...just a lot less of it.


Dhanggit said...

a week ago i saw a documentary on the "unsanitary practices" in the kitchen even for restaurants that are quite really shocked me!!i knew it existed coz my sister who used to work in a restaurant told me but to see it with your own eyes is another thing.. well i agree with you that we should promote more on eating at home. its not only its more healthy, more economical its more convivial too :-)

Tracy said...

teeth whitening

Even Subway who claim to be good for you can be a calorie punch. The sandwiches are getting more elaborate and calorie packed. Also people think they are eating "healthy" and add on a couple of cookies as a treat, compounding the situation.

Sue said...

Hi Dhanggit,
Welcome! That's something we all should see...although it might be hard to watch.

I still like going to restaurants...even if it's only to have something to complain about.

Hi Tracy,

You're right. I think I read that they don't include the mayo in their calorie counts. That's just crazy.

Emiline said...

Good lord, how do you get that many calories in a food item? I hear girls complain at work, about their weight, and I also hear them talk about where they've been eating at. Taco Bell seems to be popular. I hardly ever eat out. I'm too cheap...and I like my food prepared a certain way. Why go out, when you can make it better yourself?

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Restaurants won't reduce portion sizes because too many people are fooled by the idea that bigger=better value. For the restaurants mentioned in this article, overhead costs way more than the food, so they can cheaply fill up the plate and the customer thinks, "What a great value."

You ever talk to someone accustomed to chain restaurants who goes into a really nice place where the food is high quality and expensive? The first thing they complain about is how little food they get for so much money. It's impossible to explain to people, "Well, it's higher quality food, that took more skill to prepare, and therefore there will be less of it on your plate because it cost more for the restaurant to put it there. You dont' really NEED a platter-sized seriving anyway." You just can't convince people of that.

Sue said...

Hi Em,

I go out because I like to be served. I like to be catered to, but that happens less and less. But mostly, I wanna get me some of those ROLLS!!!

Hi Short-One,
I know, I know. People think they get stiffed if they can't get half a week's meals out of their Saturday night dinner.

When we want leftovers, we go to our favorite Indian restaurant and just order an obscene amount of food. THAT'S the way to do it, not to expect one serving to feed 4 people. But people think that's true "value".