Filed Under: Food Police

Punchline Press Conference

You may catch more flies with honey than vinegar, but it takes a box full of cookies to attract the press. Never one to come to a party empty-handed, representatives from the Center for Consumer Freeedom attended a press conference held by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) on Monday and brought snacks to share.To highlight the absurdity of CSPI’s "Warning — food has calories" message, we carefully labeled and passed out chocolate chip cookies with a cautionary sticker reading "contains lots of calories, plenty of fat, and tons of yumminess." And just in case our collective eye-rolling wasn’t enough, a Consumer Freedom spokesman reminded several news outlets (Click here, here, here, and here) to "give consumers some credit. They already know the difference between a banana and a banana split, or a milkshake and a diet soda."The activist group feigned shock over the fact that pizza, burgers, and cheesecake contain more fat, salt, and sugar than soups and salads. And CSPI’s executive director, Michael Jacobson, channeled even more theatrics into a press release:

Burgers, pizzas, and quesadillas were never health foods to begin with, but many restaurants are transmogrifying these foods into ever-more harmful new creations, and then keeping you in the dark about what they contain.

The average person needs little more than common sense to read a menu and order a meal. But even if some Americans have difficulty discerning the fat difference between an order of nachos and a plate of steamed broccoli, they can acquire nutritional information from the very target of CSPI’s wrath: restaurants.The group’s director of nutrition policy, Margo Wootan, failed to see the irony in citing information provided by eateries in order to condemn the same companies for supposedly hiding top-secret ingredient information. The restaurants mentioned in the "X-treme Eating" expose happily provide these details to their customers either on in-store pamphlets or their company websites.

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