Thursday, January 5, 2017

How many calories was that forbidden fruit?




     Not to put you on the spot or anything.
     But do you remember why God banishes Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden?
     Yes, Eve gave Adam a bite of the forbidden fruit—we're not sure what that fruit was, maybe a pomegranate, maybe a fig, maybe an apple.
     But where was that fruit from? 
     Right, the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (There is a theory that medieval artists settled on an apple for the forbidden fruit because evil in Latin is "malus" and apple tree in Latin is, well, also "malus.") 
     As to why God didn't want people to have knowledge, well, that's religion for you. Some things never change.
      Although, the first thing, the very first thing that eating from the tree causes Adam to do is to be ashamed of being naked, so he fashions clothing for himself, which spills the beans to the Lord about what he's been up to. Small wonder our society is so massively screwed up.
     But I digress.
     The focus on health being what it is, many restaurants, such as the Au Bon Pain Bakery pictured above, have taken to posting the calories of the items they offer. Helpful to those watching their weight, which is just about everybody nowadays. 
     Though it led me to a puzzlement. The pecan rolls above are 740 calories, about a third of the entire daily caloric intake an average-sized man, such as myself, should eat. Who, I wonder, would ever order and consume a pecan roll, knowing they're ingesting 740 calories worth of butter and glaze and pecans? I sure couldn't. 
     Then again, the world is not me. Notice that most of the pecan rolls are gone. If posting the calories of the things killed sales, then businesses wouldn't do it. 
     A few theories:
    1) People don't notice. The numeral is, you will note, in a different, thinner, lighter font.
    2) People don't care. Some blessed portion of the population is thin, no matter what they eat. 
    3) They do portion control. You could of course buy the roll, eat half, and save the other half for a treat the next day. Or if it constitute your entire breakfast write the thing off as a spree.
     The human mind has an infinite capacity for tuning out information that contradicts its desires—obviously, since we elected Donald Trump—and what is a tiny clutch of numbers compared to the deep satisfaction of snarfing up a pecan roll? Although some people do perceive information and act on it. Fifty years ago about half of Americans smoked than then decades of information campaigns had their effect, and now the number is less than a quarter. Which is both heartening and depressing, in equal measures, both true progress and, well, that lingering 20 percent who'll happily buy a burst of cheap contentment now for the risk of painful, prolonged expensive death later. That's people for you.

14 comments:

  1. To answer your question I'll type with one hand while I eat the one on top. I didn't notice the calorie amount because I don't care. I am a blessed portion of the population that is fat and is OK with that. However, you are right on about the portion control. You'll have to excuse me as I have to go buy that last one, so I have something for a snack later. Yum!!

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  2. some folks are willing to spend an hour at the gym everyday so they can remain fit while eating things they don't need or really even want.

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  3. The rhubarb mini cake behind it is more preferable anyway.

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  4. The reason restaurants post nutritional information for each menu item is government regulation. As Nancy Pelosi said we need to pass the Affordable Care Act to find out what's in it. The why of its presence is trial lawyers were granted a free hand in helping to write the legislation. Any errors in calculating calorie counts means an excuse for a lawsuit. If only there was someone in Washington who could put things to rights for the American people.
    The story of Eden is an interesting analogy to the theory of evolution. In the beginning Man was a part of nature, in harmony with animals and plants. By eating of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, or as atheists believe we evolved a higher order intelligence, it set us apart from nature. Today's wish is TE can post a relevant quote from JM's Paradise Lost.

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  5. Nothing Miltonian comes to mind, except perhaps the comforting thought in regard to our recent political debacle that it is not Paradise we have lost, but only an election. And about our new top dog, one gets the impression that Mr. Trump would subscribe to a certain fallen angel's notion that "It is better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven."

    On the matter of caloric intake, I can offer, by the well known Anonymous, some "Lines Written (with apologies to Edward Arlington Robinson) in Envy of a born Ectomorph"

    "He was, like Richard Cory,
    Clean favored and imperially slim.
    And everybody knows
    What happened to him."

    Tom Evans

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    1. Thank you, my wish has been granted.

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  6. The first time I made icing for a cake, I realized that the mixture of heaping cups of sugar and gobs and gobs of butter with a smidgeon of vanilla extract was not as desirable as I'd been led to believe. So I've done my best to forget that experience.

    john

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  7. As a blessed portion of the population (covet not --- my metabolism runneth over because anxiety, I think.) when I first beheld those numbers I just burst out laughing, because... Yeah. There's not even any cheese on that thing. Maybe the trace allergens contain some trace protein? But in this country with its ever expanding love of cupcakes and beer that tastes like cupcakes, consider all the things with added sugars that don't even include caloric info -- like most beers. Bottoms Up! And out! Or those that do -- like sodas. The... liguid of our lives. A decade ago I looked at a yogurt container, "This isn't strawberry flavored, it's sugar flavored! This has more sugar than fruit! This tiny little container has my entire daily allowance in it! I've been duped!" Maybe 19 or 23 grams in a petite, deceptively portion-controlled dannon cup. In what was supposed to be "natural" or "healthy" or some likewise meaningless jargon. Despite everything. So. Yep. That's people for ya! Indubitably so. And as grandma used to say, "Over the lips and through the gums, watch out stomach, here it comes!" If she'd have lived to see the day... Really, any depression era survivor, surely their eyes would pop if it weren't for diabetes or that fine faint font. Such is life?

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  8. Yes, and watch for the high fructose in everything too. Artificial sweeteners are just as bad if not worse.

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  9. Option 4: It's an entire breakfast. If 2500 kcal is what you need to keep your weight stable (rough average for moderately active men according to the usda) that's only 1/3rd of what you need in a day.

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  10. Just wondering if the date on this post is going to throw off your EGGD record. Also, how can they give an accurate calorie count for those? Does someone count each nut to make sure the exact same goes on each? No sugar sticks to the pan, each has the same? Highly doubt it. Too many variables.

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    1. Oh, look at that. Coding error -- fixed now. Thanks. I assume the calorie counts are approximations.

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  11. you need to check out yest. post jan. 6th/ 2017 at 9:49 pm

    someone is libeling you there

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    1. Nah, that's pretty weak tea stuff. Not worth the wrist flick to delete.

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