Sunday, April 5, 2009

Warning Label Warnings

    I am over the stupid warning labels that are on every damn thing that we eat or use these days. Everywhere. Everything. There's always a little box or a 237 page instruction booklet, half of which contain warnings about the various ways that the product that you just bought can injure you, maim you, blind you, decapitate you, sterilize you or just plain old kill you.

    Things like a manufactured fireplace log which bears the label: "Caution - Risk of Fire” OK, it's a fireplace log. I don't want a "risk" of a fire, I want a guaranteed fire! That's why I bought the log! Or a smoke detector label reading: “Do not use the 'Silence' feature in emergency situations. It will not extinguish a fire." It won't? Not even if it's a loud fire? Which brand of smoke detector will extinguish a fire via it's 'Silence' feature? Oh, none of them? That's right...because it's stupid. I got it.

    My guess is that the majority of these labels are the result of some genius out there (most likely from Flori-duh) actually using the product for the very reason that it now has to warn against. Things like the label on hair dryers that reads: "Never use hair dryer while sleeping." See, now I disagree with that. I would love to see someone use their hair dryer while they are sleeping! Actually, I think it's more that I'd like to see what kind of person would think that would work and in what situation where they'd actually try to do it. THAT would be entertaining, you have to admit. Or what about the labels on irons that read: "Never iron clothes while they are being worn” They put that there just in case you're the hurried, wrinkled type who never seems to find enough time to iron his clothes before putting them on. Good Lord.....

    Here's the latest attempt at someone trying to warn and save the public from something that they really didn't need to be warned about nor saved from. Over there at Yahoo! News we learn of a minor league baseball team, the West Michigan Whitecaps, that is offering up a new menu item this year over there at the Fifth Third Ballpark. The item is a burger, but it's not your ordinary burger. That is, it's not your ordinary burger only if you're unaccustomed to eating a hamburger that weighs in at four pounds. Wait. What?

    Correct. The burger, dubbed the Fifth Third Burger (after the ballpark of the same name and approximately the same size) consists of five, 1/3 lb. hamburger patties which are topped with a cup of chili, five slices of American cheese, salsa, nacho cheese, lettuce, tomato, sour cream and Fritos corn chips and served on an 8-inch sesame seed bun. I feel a little sick just reading about it. The behemoth burger will run you $20, but it can feed a family of four, so you do the math. (Why can't it feed a family of 5? There are 5 hamburger patties on it, so why only 4? Actually, the thing is so huge, why not 10?) Regardless of how many it can feed, you know that it's mainly going to be consumed by dudes who "know they can eat the whole thing before the game is over".

    The Whitecaps are no strangers to having "interesting" menu items. In the past, they've sold deep-fried Twinkies and deep-fried Pepsi ("cola-flavored batter dunked in hot oil and drizzled with Pepsi syrup.). A one Scott Lane, the president of the Whitecaps, said that they will "deep-fry just about anything" and that he's currently experimenting with Spam sandwiches. Joy!

    And here's where the part that makes me insane comes in. According to the AP, some soft headed dietician at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine named Susan Levin, sent a letter to the team asking that it be labeled "a "dietary disaster" that increases the risk of cancer and heart disease." Really?!!? I hadn't considered that aspect. Oh, please pipe down!

    Who, who, WHO is that "warning" supposed to be for? Look again at the burger and tell me who would be questioning it's nutritional value? Isn't it assumed that anything that is larger than your head is a) unfit for human consumption and b) inherently unhealthy if you should decide to eat it anyway, despite the food item to head ratio.

    Does she think that people are going to be standing there at the ballpark, holding up the line while they agonize over whether or not to order the four pound burger because they can't quite get a grip on whether or not it would be bad for them?! I don't think those people exist. Who is going to look at that burger and think that it fits in with their daily servings of Jenny Craig?! No one! It doesn't need a label! Look at it! Does she advocate for a similar label on bottles of cooking oil? "Warning: Drinking the entire contents of this bottle may cause you to keel over dead or just not leave the bathroom for a week and a half."

    Apparently, aside from getting bragging rights for the rest of your life if you do manage to eat the entire burger, you also get a T-shirt. On the front is the burger and on the back is the Nutritional Data box. It's not pretty, but it's just another reason why it doesn't need a warning label! The burger contains:
    • 4889 calories
    • 299.5 grams of fat, 460% of the daily value (DV) (119.2 grams of saturated fat, 597% DV)
    • 744.6 grams of cholesterol, 248% DV
    • 10887.9 mg of sodium (Holy crap! I mean, 454% DV)
    • 354.9 grams of carbohydrates, 118% DV
    • 198.7 grams of protein, 105% DV
    • 1000% Total Flavor!

    Fortunately for society in general "Whitecaps spokesman Mickey Graham says the burger is a gimmick that's being promoted as a very unhealthy menu item." There is currently no plan to label the burger. ::::sigh::::: My hero!

    So, what have we learned? Plenty! Let's review! People are generally gluttons who will eat just about anything and the bigger it is, the more likely the chance someone will eat it. If something is bigger than your head and served at a ballpark, it could kill you before the ninth inning. Dieticians have too much time on their hands and are generally seen as a pain in the ass to everyone under all circumstances. You should not eat the four pound burger if you are wanting to eat something healthy. You should also not eat the burger while sleeping, nor should you wear the burger before eating it.

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    grannyann said...

    You have a definite point there on warnings. It kills me when I have to sit and watch a commercial about a medicine BUT if you have heart disease, stomach ulcers, high blood pressure, itch a lot, have 3 bandaids on, get the hiccups easily, sneeze at least three times a day, have a limp, get red spots from taking white pills, ask your doctor before taking it. There are so many "ifs" attached you won't dare take it!!!

    La Belle Canadienne said...

    Mare, Mare, Mare...

    While the doorknob dietician is, indeed, stating something that only a moron would need pointed out, you forget the subtitle of your blog darlin'...

    "Never underestimate America's capacity to ignore the blatantly obvious"

    So even if the burger is bigger than the human head, it seems she has taken YOUR words to heart... :)

    Sorry couldn't resist..hehehe

    Mare said...

    And the whole thing about "ask your doctor before taking it"...shouldn't my doctor be the one giving it to me? Shouldn't HE know if I am going to keel over from it?

    La Belle, my friend to the North, you have a point. Touche. Now I have to figure out how to get out of this one...let's see..hmmm....

    I know! When it seemed like I forgot that America has an immense capacity to ignore that which is blatantly obvious, really what I was doing was offering hope that the "doorknob dietician" (hilarious, by the way) really wasn't that much of a moron.

    Yeah, that's it! Hope! I spread hope! (And there's a lot more than just hope being spread around here!)

    ~ Mare

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