Idol Chatter

Nobody seems to know where it came from, or when it started. But today, like every July 21st, is National Junk Food Day, a chance, according to tradition, to gorge on foods that are bad for you without a bit of guilt. Enjoy it while you can. Or make that, if you can.
In the United States–where New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg pushed through rules requiring fast-food joints to display just how bad their fare is for you–and elsewhere–in Britain, teachers have begun treating empty-calorie snacks like contraband. And it’s not just what junk food does to your body, but to the planet, that you’re taking responsibility for when you bite into that Big Mac.

We’ve come a long way since Mackenzie Phillips innocently warbled “Junk Food Junkie” on “The Jackson’s” variety show in the late ’70s. Chocoate chips? Where was the cocoa grown, and who was exploited? Pizza? Who’s going to pay for your coronary by-pass–somebody else’s Medicare taxes? Some critics with a libertarian streak see Big Brother invading our private lives. Others defend this trend toward public oversight of indiviidual choices as a recognition that we’re all connected, even by our burgers.
It’s tempting to say that as faith in God has waned in First World nations, morality has simply sought out other sources of authority: morality has been globalized and monetized. What we used to call the sin of gluttony is now an insult to the Earth and the overall economy
Can National Junk Food Day survive in such a moral environment? Even the Church saw fit to support Mardi Gras, and perhaps the calorie counters will look the other way if you belly up to a fast-food counter near you and just this one day pick a Value Meal over a values meal.

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