By Lori Okami
Check out this story: http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/dennys-sodium-47072402
That’s right! Denny’s restaurant chain faces a lawsuit because a New Jersey man has finally realized that many (in fact most) of the meals served at this fast food joint contain more sodium than an individual should get in a whole day. Surprise! 1) Where has this guy been for the past twenty years? 2) Buyer beware… or maybe be aware.
I am all for encouraging business to exercise some corporate responsibility to its patrons but let’s not forget that we as consumers also have to be accountable for our own actions and purchases as well. I’m telling you right now. Unless it is disclosed otherwise, assume the worst. Businesses aren’t dumb. If they had food that tasted good and was healthy, they’d tout it.
And so that you aren’t like Mr. New Jersey who recently woke up to this alarming fact, fast food typically contains an exorbitant amount of sodium and fat is not a preferred source of fiber or other nutrients. Moreover, the meals frequently come in portions beyond what most of us require in one serving. Okay! So don’t be surprised if you eat at places like Denny’s and your blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes go out of control.
Now back to the more important point about business versus personal responsibility. Like I keep saying, we need to and are fully capable of holding businesses responsible (and not necessarily by filing lawsuits). It is much simpler. Spread the word and stop buying these unhealthy foods. Denny’s would change their menu in a flash if everyone stopped buying the unhealthy edibles. They’re in the business of selling food. If food stopped selling, they’d change to something that does sell. It’s the law of supply and demand again. If we demand healthy food, they’d supply it or go out of business. I’m waiting for the day that restaurants have at least half of their menu items that could actually be considered “good for you.” Wouldn’t that be great?! We’ll get there. We just need to take a stand and let our purchases do the talking.
If you’re going to spend your money eating out, patronize the businesses that have healthy offerings and order those items. That communicates to business what we want. As sales plummet for unhealthy items, they’ll be removed or replaced on the menu. That’s one way to demand healthier options.
*** MAHALO to all of you who have completed the general health survey. Thanks to all of you, we have more than 400 responses and still welcome more! For those who haven’t, I invite you to participate, tell your friends and help Build a Healthy Hawaii. Please visit my website www.lifefitnet.com. It is a short 12-question online survey that should take only 2-3 minutes to complete. Mahalo for your support! Lori