Is this soda serious?

Last week, I caught a few minutes of a news program dedicated to a Coca Cola machine that allows you mix your own flavor through the use of a touch screen (rather than the teenage tradition of just moving your cup around under each fountain nozzle). I thought the machine, called the Coca Cola Freestyle, was brand new but apparently it has been serving up empty calories and cavities since 2009.

Not to be outdone, Pepsi has kept up in the flavor game by offering their own array of unusual flavors that are sure to turn your stomach:

Ice cream flavored Pepsi is available in Russia. White yogurt flavored Pepsi is available in Japan. I can’t believe people are really drinking this stuff. (See more here)

Disappointed in Paula Deen?

Me too.

In case you haven’t heard, Paula Deen, Food Network star and Southern cook, has now confirmed reports that she was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes nearly three years ago. I have to admit that I know very little about Paula Deen apart from the fact that she has been criticized for promoting the type of high-fat and high-sugar diet that leads to weight gain and other ‘western diseases’ and that she chose to keep her diagnosis a secret for years. What I do know is that during her appearance on the Today Show yesterday, she announced her spokesman-ship deal with Victoza, a pharmaceutical company and dodged discussion about diet. Here’s the footage:

Her announcement happened to correspond with Michael Pollan’s talk last night at the Baltimore Speaker Series in which he addressed Paula Deen’s decision to partner with the Victoza. He pointed out the larger “fork in the road” this exemplifies. We could go one direction towards a nation of acceptance and complacency regarding the epidemic of diet-related health problems (Deen’s direction), or another – more active and change-effecting direction – towards reformation of the food system, our understanding of it, roles within, and conscious involvement in its evolution towards something healthier.

Can you imagine the positive impact Paula Deen could have on the American diet if she were to re-frame this?  As disappointed as I am, I’m not going to give up hope. Turn it around, Paula. Sacrifice a little pride for the greater good of your fans and followers.

This Should Be Illegal

Somehow, a hospital-themed restaurant advertising free meals for patrons who weigh more than 350 lbs, milkshakes with the “highest butter content in the world,” and selling 8,000 calorie cheeseburgers with four patties (listed as a “Quadruple Bypass” on the menu) has opened up in Las Vegas, Nevada, despite the fact that the flagship Arizona location closed in May following the death of the grill’s spokesperson, 29-year-old Blair River, pictured in the video above. The owner, Jon Basso, who is also featured in the video above – as “Dr. Jon” – spoke to the Las Vegas Sun last month:

“You’re intelligent if you don’t eat our food,” he said Thursday. “If people pondered what I’m doing, they’d realize I’m creating a mockery of this. When you hop on that scale and you’re 350 pounds and we give you a free burger and people cheer, what’s really going on? We’re singling you out as a freak. On the one hand, I could try to defend myself ethically and call myself a crusader that’s trying to wake up America and conduct an intervention on obesity. That’s half true. The other half is I’m an entrepreneur trying to make a buck, plain and simple.”
Basso stopped, thought for a minute, then added: “The only thing I can say in my defense is: If you compare me to Burger King and McDonald’s, I’m honest and they aren’t. It says right on my door: ‘Caution, bad for your health.’” 

Read more here and here. This can’t possibly be what our country’s founding fathers had in mind. Ugh.