Wednesday Sports with Chips

What says Olympic sports to you?

McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Cadbury, obviously.

From the Chef on a Mission: 50 Reasons to Avoid McDonalds

John Robbins asks How Bad Is McDonald’s Food? and reminds us about Super Size Me:

For 30 days, Spurlock ate only McDonald’s food. All of us involved in the film, including Spurlock’s doctors, were shocked at the amount that his health deteriorated in such a short time. Before the 30 days started, we each predicted what changes we expected to see in his weight, cholesterol levels, liver enzymes and other biomarkers, but every one of us substantially underestimated how severely his health would be jeopardized. It turned out that in the 30 days, the then 32-year-old man gained 25 pounds, his cholesterol levels rose dangerously as did fatty accumulations in his liver, and he experienced mood swings, depression, heart palpitations and sexual dysfunction.

What Happens To Your Body Within An Hour Of Drinking A Coke?

How Drinking Cola Can Make Your Body Fall Apart

Vitamins belong in foods. Coke sued for marketing Vitaminwater


Actually, it’s possible that a little bit of chocolate may be good for you. Dark chocolate has antioxidants that may prevent damage due to free radicals. Chocolate also has some positive impact on the function of blood vessels, but unfortunately, it appears chocolate doesn’t lower high blood pressure as much as some people had hoped.

You don’t need much chocolate to get the antioxidant benefit. You only need about one and one-half ounces of dark chocolate per day, and dark chocolate has more of the antioxidants than milk chocolate. Remember that chocolate treats and candy typically have lots of sugar and fat that can add extra calories you probably don’t need and undo all the good that might be done by the antioxidants.

But Cadbury’s products are not sold in quality or quantity for health benefits. To benefit from the chocolate antioxidants you don’t want to eat more than about 6.7 grams of chocolate a day – maybe “one small square of chocolate two or three times a week“:

Keep in mind, too, that chocolate really needs to be high quality and minimally processed to be healthy. Look for varieties that use the least destructive processing techniques and preserve the highest levels of the beneficial polyphenolic bioflavanoids that are naturally present in cocoa.

Generally speaking, dark, organic chocolate contains the most flavonols, but the best choice would be raw cacao, which is relatively bitter because it doesn’t have sugar in it.

If you opt for most commercial, processed chocolate (much of which has added soybean oils, sugar and other unsavory ingredients), don’t expect it to be healthy.

Human rights? McDonalds isn’t so hot there either. Nor is Coca-Cola. At least Cadbury’s is FairTrade certified? And of course none of them are as bad as Dow Chemicals but then Bhopal remains a standout as worst industrial disaster ever, and now the worst industrial disaster ever directly associated with the Olympics.

These are, according to the Olympics Charter, the first two fundamental principles of Olympism:

  1. Olympism is a philosophy of life, exalting and combining in a balanced whole the qualities of body, will and mind. Blending sport with culture and education, Olympism seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example, social responsibility and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.
  2. The goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious developmentof humankind, with a view to promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity.

But hey. McDonalds has got to sell chips, and sponsors mustn’t be upset: that’s the overriding principle of Olympism.

This note has been circulating today:

Due to sponsorship obligations with McDonalds, LOCOG have instructed the Catering team that they are no longer able to serve chips on their own anywhere with Olympic Park.

The only loop hole to this is if it is served with fish.

Please understand that this is not the decision of the staff serving up your meals, who given the choice would gladly give it to you however they are not allowed to.

This is being escalated through to the directors of L2012C, LOCOG, and the IOC.

Please do not give the staff grief, this will only lead to us removing fish and chips completely.

Everyone has the right to work in a non-abusive environment.

Looks like a hoax, doesn’t it? Tom Chivers rightly observed

if it’s real, and I think it is, then can we remember this as the moment that corporate sponsorship finally lost its mind? I nominate “sponsored the chips” as a modern-day replacement for “jumped the shark” or “nuked the fridge”.

But it is perfectly real. The Guardian reported in May:

In an attempt to promote Britain’s eclectic culinary culture alongside the dominant Olympic sponsors – McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Cadbury – the organisers are preparing to lay on meals and snacks for the holders of almost 9m tickets, including pasties from Cornwall, yorkshire pudding, bacon butties and “butchers’ bangers”, as well as more modern British and international tastes from sushi to salt beef.

To sell fish and chips, the London organising committee (Locog) had to get a special dispensation from McDonald’s, the official restaurant sponsor, which is expected to provide 10% of meals served at the Games. Under its deal with the International Olympic Committee, t he fast-food chain had the sole rights to sell chips or french fries. It allows Locog’s caterers to sell fish and chips, but not chips on their own.

The LOCOG chips note

Does this beat the cable car that belongs to Dubai (the Emirates Air Line over the Thames)? Is this as nakedly “you’re not giving us lots of money we’re not interested” as LOCOG’s rejection of Woolsack UK?

Boris Johnson in the Dubai cable car

Instead, let’s talk about how fat female athletes are. How could anyone admire a woman who doesn’t look emaciated?

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Filed under About Food, Olympics

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