Monday, March 24, 2008

Anti-dieting: The American Pasttime?

While I'm on the topic of food, I came across this in the news today:

"A growing trend in all-you-can-eat seating at sports venues is making baseball's summer chorus sound more like "Take Me Out to the Buffet.''

Dozens of arenas, stadiums and tracks are offering tickets that come with unlimited snacks. The seats have been a hit with fans, a money-maker for the venues and a worry for obesity-conscious health officials."

Links to the news are on USAToday and Toronto Star. I personally found the news to be pretty appalling.

I understand that all you can eat can be enticing, especially since the human body is programmed for an environment of scarcity rather than the environment of plenty that we actually live in. But it seems to me that this all you can eat gimmick is a sign of how screwed up the U.S. relationship to food and consumerism is. The sports venues are obviously trying to entice more fans to the game and increase the bottom line, while disregarding the health and well-being of their customers. The consumers on the other hand are falling into the trap of getting a "deal" on cheap food, even though the "food" isn't that great and has a negative health impact.

Now, if there was unlimited whole grain pita chips, hummus, and fresh organic seasonal fruits and veggies, you might see me heading out to the ball park. Alas, that will probably never happen. No one would pay the price for real food, and sadly, a lot of people probably wouldn't even eat healthy, wholesome offerings.

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