Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Whatever happened to muffin-sized muffins?

It was the early 1990's and I was working at Fairview Riverside Medical Center in Minneapolis. One of my responsibilities was ordering food for meetings, most of which were breakfast meetings.  I ordered a variety of muffins for the meetings and I clearly recall the first time I saw the tray of muffins that were delivered. They weren't muffins; they were mega-muffins. They were three muffins rolled into one. 

Eventually, they stopped calling them mega muffins as they were adopted into the main stream of muffin culture. Thus our standard muffin portion was destroyed.

I blame capitalism, but I'll come back to that.

I'm not making any earth-shattering pronouncements here, but portion control in this country is completely out of control.  My lunch today was a reminder of that fact.  

I ordered a small portion of Pollo Bianco from Victoria's Express. I ordered small since I was feeling guilty for ordering a white-sauce pasta dish in the first place. They put it in a 5 1/2" square styrofoam container (again more guilt for destroying the environment). They filled the whole, blasted container. Their small portion was something most would have considered as a full portion.

"Would you like a whole wheat or sourdough roll?" they asked. Whole wheat, of course, since I'm all about healthy foods.  I'm thinking dinner roll (you know the three-section ones you get with Thanksgiving dinner?) The "roll" portion was equal to a large kaiser roll. 
So why do I blame capitalism?  It's free market competition: Muffin Vendor A sells regular sized blueberry muffins when along comes Muffin Vendor B (or W for walmart) who wants to destroy, umm... beat the competition. While they could sell the regular muffins cheaper, they figure they could lure more consumers away from Vendor A by charging the same price, but sell a bigger blueberry muffin. Muffin Vendor W puts the information on the nutritional label that the muffin portion is now 3 instead of 1, but who reads that stuff?

Using this thesis, I can now blame the entire problem of obesity and sky-rocketing healthcare costs on capitalism. Oh, sure you could try to convince me that personal responsibility may also play a role, but I'm sticking with blaming capitalism.  

I believe my work is done here...

1 comment:

britta said...

Maybe it comes along with the fact that our muffin tops (aka fat above(or for some in) our pants!) have greatly increased over the years and at much younger ages! I am 22...I just finally reduced my "muffin top"...but some of it is still there! UGH!

Love your funny blog!!!

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