The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, March 15, 2004  

Useless Information

At the end of the check out process at the neighborhood supermarket, Super Fresh, the cash register spews out not only one’s receipt but typically a coupon or two and sometimes a brief informational item, normally something encouraging customers to eat more fruits and vegetables, advocating a blood-pressure test, or urging pregnant women to take folic acid.

After shopping at Super Fresh the other day I received not a coupon, but an informational ticket that read:

Did you know? Green beans cooked, boiled, drained without sale are only 9.85 net carbs per cup.


And I couldn’t care less.

I understand many people have lost weight relying on the Atkins diet, but, tipping the scales as I do at around 128 to 130 pounds, I don’t exactly fit the profile of the typical Atkins-ite.

And since I know relatively little about the rules governing the cult diet, I’m not sure whether the information provided by Super Fresh is helpful or menacing.

How many grams of carbohydrates are these people allowed to eat anyway? Would 10 extra grams really ruin one’s day?

The voice of moderation in my head suggests that if you’re worried about the carbohydrates in your string beans, you’ve taken things too far.

Besides, all that red meat you’re eating (and don’t worry, I eat it too), may be putting you at high risk for developing gout, according to a new study in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The same article, though, suggest the consumption of dairy products may reduce this risk. But eating too much dairy might put some men at a higher risk of developing prostate cancer.

You can’t win.

Moderation in everything.

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