Trans-Fats Now, High Fructose Tomorrow, and Fast-Food Forever
I'm a pretty simple guy, I'll wear the same pair of jeans for as long as I can, I like to have a drink before bed, and I loved having a Carl's Jr. at my school.
But what I would love even more is to know who it was that first walked into the cafeteria here at Santa Monica College and thought:
"Well I can eat at the café that seems really proud that its food is 'organic to go.' Or Fresh and Natural where I can buy some fruit, sushi, and even a veggie wrap. And The Bread Factory which considers steamed soy milk a drink and serves up a plethora of salads. But that Carl's Jr. is too unhealthy, you know what should be there instead, a Natural Fresh Organic Factory."
Honestly, who could have possibly thought it was necessary to get rid of the Carl's Jr.? Obviously it was unhealthy, but we are all adults and you have got to be out of your mind if you think that a Western Bacon Cheeseburger tastes like it was made to be a nutrient dense food that you could plan a well balanced diet around.
Even though it is delicious, a patty of what is most likely meat covered with cheese and a couple onion rings before being smothered in barbeque sauce, is not going to be good for you until you get into heaven where they will be served on demand two for the price of one.
Before I got too far off the deep end let me just say that yes, I am a fat guy, in case you couldn't tell by my regard for the WBC, and no I'm probably not healthy, but that's something that I have got to fix for me. Making unhealthy food less available isn't going to change much about my diet, will power and self discipline are probably the only things that will do that.
I'm twenty years old, and I think I can make the decisions as to the kinds of food I want to eat. If it is the middle of finals week and I am running on three hours of sleep and 72 hours of stress, I might just want an Oreo shake as comfort food with a giant load of sugar to keep me up another night, and it would be nice to have that option around.
Now I'm not saying it's wrong to try and encourage healthy habits in people. But I am saying that getting rid of the Carl's Jr. was the complete wrong way to do it. It was not like students were only being offered deep-fried artery bombs; there were still a couple hundred other options in the cafeteria. It was more a matter of treating students like they have the ability to control themselves and if they want to, make the healthy choice of their own free will.
But if SMC doesn't want to participate in the fattening of America then I guess that is their prerogative. Even though students can still walk across the street to Burger King, and order up that flash fried utopia, or stay on campus and chug a coke from the vending machine to wash down a candy bar.
They can take solace in the fact they aren't contributing in any real direct way.
If I may make one suggestion though, just leave the wall that is covering the space where Carl's Jr. was as it is now, because it is probably going to be more useful as a place to lean than it will be as the fourth healthy organic choice within a fifty foot zone.