Thursday, June 3, 2010

This is why we're fat.

Today's discussion is about one of my least favorite topics: nutrition. Rachel at The Lifestyle "Diet" might take a particular interest in this because, unlike me, she is a brave vegetarian who is highly educated on and passionate about spreading the word on good food. So you should read her blog for more information if you're interested in that. I'm not an expert on food by any stretch of the imagination (my greatest culinary accomplishment thus far has been guacamole), but sometimes I take some orders horrifyingly awful enough to note - and I don't even work in fast food!

Take today, for example, at the barista counter. I made a couple of absolutely disgusting drinks. First, a girl came to the register and announced that she liked coffee drinks with "lots of cream and less coffee, and very very sweet." She seemed to enjoy sweetened espresso drinks but didn't know anything about coffee (as evidenced by the blank stare at the espresso bar menu), so I explained our flavored lattes to her: double shot of espresso, steamed 2% milk, choice of syrup, whipped cream topping. After she made her changes, the drink order resulted in this: caramel latte with hazelnut syrup, one shot of espresso only, steamed half-and-half (not milk, mind you), and whipped cream on top - the very antithesis to the sugar-free, skim/nonfat lattes popular with our more svelte friends (and those who are trying to be). As I steamed the 10 ounces of cream (most people pour about one or two ounces in their drip coffee, if they take cream at all), my manager asked what I was making and offered to finish the drink for me. I told him not to bother since there were so many changes; it would just be easier if I finished it. His eyes widened slowly as he watched me top off the sugary, syrupy hot cream with more cream and syrup, mouthing,

"Are you kidding me?" I just shrugged, but I was having a hard time not laughing. It was pretty ridiculous, but I couldn't help feeling like an asshole.

Not an hour later, a woman ordered a caramel latte and asked for three extra pumps of syrup on top of what we already put in (which is three). It may not sound like much, but this shit is thick and three pumps is 200 calories by itself, not to mention the original three (200 cal), the milk (100), and whipped cream (another 100) - I'll leave you to do the math. The syrup itself took more than twice as much room as the double shot of espresso. I was absolutely floored. I have my fatass days (hell, I had City BBQ for lunch today!), but wow. Just wow. People might as well add pure lard to their coffee. I try so hard not to pass judgment, but some people make it so difficult.

I'm mostly very libertarian about people and nutrition. I believe people are responsible for what they put in their bodies and they can choose to inhale crap all their lives if they please - I just don't want to hear a sob story in 20 years about their health problems (but that's another highly political issue I really don't want to touch right now). I'm not some health nut. I don't really watch what I eat that carefully. But seriously, if you just purchased two buttery, cheesy, greasy egg souffles, do you REALLY need cream cheese to go on top? (This really happened, by the way. This guy's breakfast alone was over 2,000 calories, with enough saturated fat and sodium to last him the entire week.)

I've been on the other end of this. A few years back, I went to Starbucks to study and ordered a mocha frappuccino and ultra gooey brownie thingy. I hardly thought anything of it until the cashier looked me up and down - slowing at my midsection - and remarked,

"That's a lot of sugar."

What!? Did she seriously just say that? I knew it was really bad for me, and I didn't give a shit - I had a sweet tooth and, oh yeah, I WAS THE FUCKING CUSTOMER AND IT WAS MY BUSINESS WHAT I ORDERED. I vowed to myself then that if I ever worked in food service I would never, ever comment on what a customer ordered unless they specifically asked for nutrition information.

In spite of that experience, I have singled out certain egregiously bad orders on occasion and have even made comments to other co-workers. I don't feel great about it, but sometimes one just can't ignore it. Indulging once in a while is one thing, but deliberately eating the worst shit possible such that even the fat girl goes, "Daaaaaayyyyuuuuuuuuummmm!" is entirely another.

I don't know. I want to wrap this up with some neat little conclusion about humanity and personal responsibility, but I don't have it in me today. 600-calorie lattes are just gross, people. Don't drink them.

1 comment:

  1. Wow thanks for the shoutout!! And you are right, a lot of people have no idea about the nutritional contents of their drinks, and they drastically underestimate what is in their coffee. Or "coffee," as it seems in these cases. And while I agree that people should take personal responsibility for what they eat, I also know that it doesn't even occur to most to do the research. Ignorance is bliss... I just wrote about this last week so I will stop now :)


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