While in Boston we had Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast one day because evidently all restaurants in Boston are Dunkin’ Donuts. That’s one of the funny things about traveling, you start to realize how regional some store chains are. While Boston might be caught in the donut hole center of Dunkin’ Donuts’ stranglehold on early morning pastries, we don’t have any Dunkin’ Donuts in Indianapolis that I know of. Their web site’s store locator confirms there are no stores within a 50 mile radius. Krispy Kreme’s web site only lists one store on the south side, which makes me wonder, where the hell are all our donut stores? The recent obesity statistics makes it sound like the Midwest is populated only by fat-assed people whose body composition is 2% frosting. You’d think there’d be a donut cart on every corner to prevent rioting. (Tangent: Kripsy Kreme now has football doughnuts! I think they’re so cute, and I’m the person who gets stuck in traffic on game days wondering “Is there some sort of event going on?”)
Back in Boston, I decided to have a blueberry muffin, though it turned into one and a half blueberry muffins. No, I’m not Jesus multiplying fish and bread for the masses. (Though how popular would that make me at parties? Who needs a caterer with skills like that?) I just cut the 2nd muffin my brother fetched for us in half. Without having access to nutritional information, it seemed like the best choice.
When I came home I decided to check how many calories were in it, because I evidently never heard that expression “Ignorance is bliss.” The amount of happiness I experienced by discovering Dunkin’ Donuts provided all the information in an easy-to-find location on their web site was nothing compared to the horror I felt when I discovered my 1.5 muffins contained 705 calories. Day-am. I then looked at the info for my real fave, the Chocolate Kreme Filled Donut and discovered I could have had 2.6 of those for the same calorie cost. I know fat and carbohydrates and trans-fats and the serving size etc. also play a part in how good these foods are for you, but I couldn’t help thinking I should have just gotten what I’d really wanted, though the muffin was delicious as well.
Later, at the airport I bought a little bottle of grapefruit juice to drink before I got on the plane since just as all restaurants in Boston are Dunkin’ Donuts, all liquids on planes are now bombs. I usually avoid juices, but when you’re travel-weary and have only the contents of the food court to select from, you can’t be picky. When I looked at the nutritional information for that I was surprised that a little 10 or 12 oz bottle contained 170 calories. Day-am squared.
Isn’t it odd that some foods have a “healthy” connotation associated with them when they can be just as bad for you in some ways as the “junk” food? I know Subway restaurants really capitalize on this. Sure, a veggie sandwich can be very good for you, but if you pile on lots of cheese, mayo, and dressing, you’re probably not doing much better than if you’d ordered off the dollar menu at McDonalds.
It reminds me of my high school days when teachers would usually assume the smart kids with the good grades were also moral pillars of the community, but in reality they were up to the same shit as their peers. Senior year my humanities class went on a camping trip on our teacher’s farm which was educational only because I learned what pot smelled like. It was the site for such debauchery that the trip was cancelled for the next four years, a period of time long enough that everyone at the school who might have heard about it would have graduated. Who was it that brought the booze and the pot? The straight-A kids. One of the main planners actually made it on Teen Jeopardy!
So don’t be fooled by the muffins and juices of the world with their good PR. Read your nutritional information!