Does flipping the Pringles can to the nutritional information side make you place it back on the shelf, despite the siren song of pure pleasure that is Exxxxtreme Buffalo Chicken?
What about the mocha-choca latte from the coffee chain. Maybe just a small light roast instead?
Think an extra seven squirts of butter on that movie popcorn is the only way to watch Silver Linings Playbook?
Like it, love it or hate it, you're probably going to be doing some more thinking about what goes into your gullet around this time next year when the Food and Drug Administration requires that all restaurants with at least 20 locations post calorie counts. And it ain't just Pizza Hut and Subway either-- the rules will apply to convenience stores, coffee shops, bakeries, and even grocery stores that sell prepared food at any kind (though those later categories will have two years to comply).
Even that post-work brewski is not safe from a harrowing angel-devil on the shoulder moment: Beverages served in food establishments, if they're listed on a menu, will be included in the requirement. Perhaps drink yourself into denial with a Jack and Coke instead-- mixed drinks get a pass.
Naturally, the plan has its advocates, as well as its fierce detractors. Some of the usual suspects (Libertarian types, the National Grocers Association, and vending machine operators) are calling foul but other (some of them surprising) entities are behind the plan:
7-11, which sells deliciously horrible for you selections with dubious names such as the Big Gulp, Taquitos, Spicy Wing Zings, and Corn Dog Rollers commented through a mouth full of mini-tacos:
"While these regulations will add a lot of complexity at our stores, we believe our customers want to know the information menu-labeling provides, and we will comply."
So, what say you? Still going to have your morning Gingersnap Cookie Mocha (700 calories)?
An informal office poll of CP staff yielded these thoughtful responses:
"Eating healthy should be about common sense, not crunching numbers. I'll take my junk food without a side of federally-mandated guilt."
"Sometimes I'm trying to be reasonable and a calorie counts might make me change my mind-- especially if it's a sheep in wolves clothing like a turkey sandwich that's got no cause to be 1200 calories. But if I'm reaching for a bucket o' cheese fries with a side of ranch, I know what I'm getting into and don't really give a shit in that moment. 'Bring it'-- I'd likely say."
"I think it could be useful information for some people, but I'd probably ignore the calorie counts in favor of eating and drinking what I want -- there's no point in going out and spending money on food that makes you sad."
"Eh. People who are already good at/care about cal counts will love it. People who DGAF (Don't Give A Fuck) will ignore it, most likely. Personally, I've always wanted cal counts on alcohol, though that's pretty easy to tabulate on your own."
"I'm happy about this for others, since it's important to people. But as a big, fat pig myself, I'll likely still be disinclined to read food labels, lest I turn into a supermodel and people start pestering me for diet tips."
Let the comments begin!
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