Friday, October 17, 2014

This Is What "Journalists" Are Paid For In 2014

By Chris Rossini

The Atlantic is really cranking out some "watchdog journalism" with its piece: The Exercise Cost of Soda and Juice.

You know the drill. Those big, bad soda companies are trying to poison everyone. If you're not drinking the nectar from a turnip, someone has to jump in and save you.

One of the go-to moves for the meddlers is labels. If they can just force those bad companies to put the perfect phrasing on labels, then consumers would see the light! They would know the truth! And since everyone places health as their top priority, at the pinnacle of their value scales, soda sales would plummet!

Of course, it's total nonsense. Everyone has their own personalized place for 'health' on their own value scales. I drink soda on occasion (mostly when I'm eating out) and I understand the health implications. However that's my call, and I don't care what Coca-Cola is forced to put on their labels. I'm going to continue to drink it because I place a higher value on taste and enjoyment at the time that I order it. Someday, I may change mind, or maybe not.

Here's the latest idea that The Atlantic has concocted to convince people like me otherwise:
What if nutrition labels told people exactly what calories meant, in practical terms? A bottle of Coke could dole out specific exercise requirements. The calories herein, it might say, are the equivalent of a 50-minute jog.
This is what the marketplace has decayed to in America, the idea that companies should be forced to tell you how much exercise you need to burn off their if there were such thing as a one-size-fits-all exercise recommendation to begin with.

Think about the sphere in which such asinine ideas are being proposed. A person has a choice as to whether or not they're going to drink a soda. In my entire life, I've never seen someone strapped-down against their will, with a tube pouring Sprite down their gullet.

Anyone, at anytime, can make a decision never to drink another drop of soda again, and be free to live out that decision. Apparently that's not good enough for Journalism 2014.

Things would be much different if I were Editor of The Atlantic.

Don't get me wrong, I'd play the label game too. However, my focus would be on the non-voluntary area of life. I'd zero-in like a laser beam on the area where people are forced against their will to act a certain way.

Here's an example label that I'd call for....Every year, when it's time to file income taxes, there should be a big fat label that says: "IN ORDER TO PAY OFF THESE TAXES, THE AVERAGE AMERICAN MUST WORK UNTIL APRIL 21st."

And that's just income taxes. I'd need an industrial-strength label maker to tackle the rest.

Needless to say, I never expect a call for a job at The Atlantic.


  1. It's just part of the complete nonsense notion of calories in - calories out; see Gary Taubes' excellent work in Good Calories, Bad Calories, and his numerous articles.

    But I'd expect nothing different from the mainstream than the old, worn out, and completely wrong, conventional wisdom. Them and Michelle Obama.

  2. My recollection is that when they added calorie counts to the menu boards at fast food restaurants, the number of calories actually consumed went UP not down. Obviously, people don't really care what the labels say - they choose what they eat or drink based on their own personal preferences, which is exactly how it should be.