Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

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Food Trends or Fads ?

F and V

Restaurants are in trouble but will this trend last?  The food culture of America may be changing but little is known if it will improve our health habits. Eating food away from home tends to increase our intake of calories, sugar, fat and salt. Will home cooking ever return?



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Numeric, Traffic-lights and Calories?


McDonald’s 4 oz. Cheeseburger has 300 calories

As of May, 2017, calories will be displayed on menus as mandated by the U.S. FDA. This will apply to restaurants, movie theaters, vending machines and food delivery services. Will they be effective?


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Food Facts and Fads in History – The First Fast Food


FYI: Enjoy a little bit of food history.

The first fast food restaurants were the Horn and Hardart Automats. The Swiss had invented a “waiterless restaurant” which had rectangular glass doors that opened by a knob. The customer would walk by the windows and select an item, insert a nickel and remove the cold food. Behind the doors, women would replenish the food when needed. Diners chose hot foods at buffet-style steam tables.

Often these windows were adorned with lavish decor. “Beautifully ornate with its mirrors, marble and marquetry, a 35-foot piece of Philadelphia’s 1902 Horn & Hardart is in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.”

“In huge rectangular halls filled with shiny, lacquered tables, women with rubber tips on their fingers—”nickel throwers,” as they became known, in glass booths gave customers the desired five-cent pieces required to operate the food machines in exchange for larger coins and paper money. ”

For diners who were really in such a rush, the company provided stand-up counters similar to those that banks provide for writing deposit slips. These people ate what became known as “perpendicular meals.”

The last Automat closed in New York City in 1991;  they had the reputation of serving clean, fresh food at a low cost and tipping was not required.

Meet Me At the Automat

By Carolyn Hughes Crowley

Smithsonian Magazine August 2001

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Panera’s No-No List?

English: The McDouble, a cheeseburger from McD...

English: The McDouble, a cheeseburger from McDonald’s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It seems that the restaurant industry is trying to outdo themselves in order to tell the public that their food is healthier than the other guys.  But they still don’t cut the calories on many of their menu items or cut down portion sizes to a reasonable level. And what will McDonald’s do next to entice back customers?  It will be interesting to watch.


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Where are the Calories?

The Burger King "BK Stacker" sandwic...


They add up before you realize it.  2000 calories comes very close to most people’s daily requirement.   For males, aged 31-50 years old, the estimated number is 2400-2600.  For females, 2000.  After 51 years of age, males = 2200-2400 and females only 1800.