Monday, May 16, 2011

Heart Attack Grill

Interesting! I've heard from Yahoo! News that Heart Attack Grill is going to open up a location in Dallas, my county. I'm interested in going, admittedly. Yes, it's still unhealthy when considering the whole nutritional context, but from the Paleo perspective it'd still be a more palatable dietary cheat than most given the emphasis on fat, not sugar, though this is an oversimplification given the different kinds of fats. Still, I think even partially hydrogenated lard is better than canola or soybean oil as frying grease. Regardless, I'm pretty strict with my Paleo nutritional regiment and other acceptable foods (e.g. butter) and cheat almost solely with chocolate, so I think I'll definitely visit this place at some point in the future. I can't even remember the last time I had a piece of bread, so I think it'd be okay to have a breaded burger after this long.

Though, I am bothered by the prospect of protests against this restaurant. Yes, I support free speech and all, but still am annoyed that such people are concerned with the restaurant in such a fashion, and while rights are being respected, I think it's a display of nanny-like behavior to object in such a way. These people may be voicing their judgment of the health matters at stake, but why can't they just explain their views and rest easy that it's an entirely voluntary institution?

I see people eat terrible foods almost everyday. Alcohol, wheat, prepackaged meals, low-fat selections . . . and none of it bothers me. I nutritionally object to such foods and abstain from them, but it doesn't irk me at all to see other people eat that way, except for maybe children. I'll explain the reasoning behind my dietary choices and feel fine at respectful disagreements, and won't be bothered by a person's continued dietary destruction. I'm an adult, and these people are adults: They're old enough to make their own choices without being nagged at, and I respect that enough that it doesn't bother me to see someone make bad choices so long as it isn't infringing on me. I might offer my input to the person on what I perceive to be a better course, but largely I live my own life and let other people live theirs. Even if, in a Paleo diet dominated world, someone defiantly opened up a sugary bakery called "The Insulin Spike Cafe" I wouldn't be bothered: Make your own decisions, for the consequences are yours alone.

This protest is evidence that there still exists a mentality where people just can't leave alone certain lifestyle choices they find disagreeable, even though it doesn't infringe on their rights and isn't destructive culturally (e.g. spreading evil ideas). They see someone making a choice they perceive as bad and HAVE to say something about it, even if it amounts to nagging in the end. This is not only annoying, but also ineffective and impotent as a method of changing people's minds and the culture at large. People with signs and slogans don't change the world; civil arguments and well-constructed thoughts do. (And by "civil" I'm being very broad here, focusing on mannerisms. An argument can be vicious and evasive, but in a certain way I could still consider it civil. A book, for instance, doesn't have the ability to conduct violence, raise its voice, or slam its fists on the table.)

So while, yes, the people eating at this restaurant may be making a destructive choice by drinking the sugary shakes or eating the wheat burger buns, I think society should allow them to make that choice without sneering or thumbing their nose. These are people with the capability of thinking for themselves: Let them employ that capacity.  I'm entirely polite and civil when witnessing someone eat pasta, and expect the same when I eat my food.

Then again, a cultural change is needed before people can tend to themselves like this. We live in an age where people believe it is their duty to promote the common good of their fellow man as a matter of moral obligation, which at the rights respecting level can result in a constant urge on someone's part to keep pestering someone on how "wrong" they're acting. I've had people obsess over my dietary choices before. It didn't make me change my choices; it made me lose respect for that person and avoid them so I could make my dietary decisions without irritation.

To close with Eric Hoffer: "A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business."

1 comment:

  1. The Heart Attack Grill made big headlines in San Francisco not too long ago -- a lot of folks wanted the restaurant sued or put out of business, pulling heart strings to the tune of public safety and proper nutrition. You make a great case for why they are wrong.

    Great article.


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