March 15, 2007

Junk Food, defined


It is the lent season and I have sworn off desserts. Not for truly religious reasons mind you, but because I think that a little less sugar intake can only be good for me…in the long run. For some weird reason, it seems that the office has become a huge food factory filled with Birthday cakes, donuts, and cookies these past two weeks. Just to tempt me a little better. I can’t believe employees tolerate this flooding of junk food enticing them to eat, eat, and eat some more. Well, maybe I understand it, a little.

But this got me thinking about Junk Food. What is junk food exactly? Reading
article, gave me some good leads.

When I think of junk food, I instantly think Ranch-flavored Doritos, Oreos cookies, Twinkies, MacDonalds, sodas and peeps. I think most people would agree that these are foods that are high in fat, or have a lot of sugar and salt.

But then again, a nice cube of feta cheese
is incredible salty, and yet it’s not junk food is it? Nope, definitely not junk food.

So let’s add that a junk food is something that
doesn’t have enough fiber, or of low nutritional value.

Well foie gras definitely doesn’t have enough fiber; it’s fatty and its nutritional value is dubious. But no one would describe it as junk.

So perhaps junk food is defined by all those adjectives, plus things that are made with cheap ingredients, artificial flavors/food coloring, and mass-produced.

But then I would argue that all these words apply to a nice Black Forest Cake from Giant. In my mind, that is not junk food either.

I can think of perhaps one last word that would define junk food in its entirety:
-Perception (or, as the article calls it “snobbery”)

Sigh. Right about now, I am perceiving those cookies in the kitchen to be pretty healthy.

"What ingredients are in Peeps?
Mostly sugar, corn syrup, and gelatin, same as most other marshmallow candies. They do have trace amounts of flavoring, coloring, wax, unpronounceable preservatives and such."


strudel said...

To know exactly what junk food is the only way is to marry the only son of an Italian mom. She will soon teach you that junk food is what you buy and cook . -

Beaver said...

Hehehe :)

Junk food? What is that?

I think I would pay good money for some burritos right about..... NOW !