Monday, November 5, 2007

Not everything good is bad for you

We all start out our lives as children believing that anything that is said to be "good" for you, or more likely just what our parents want us to eat, will taste bad. The classic example of this phenomenon is broccoli, which has been shoved down the throat of children or used as a prerequisite for desert since Martin Luther posted his 99 theses.

However, as we get older, we begin to realize that broccoli is really not so bad tasting after all. Indeed, if cooked and tossed with a touch of Parmesan, it can be quite appetizing. Nevertheless, the thought process remains intact, seemingly disregarding a few solid counterexamples. For a long time now, if something is said to be good for me, my first presupposition is that I will find it impetuously disgusting.

Now that all of that nonsense is aside, I can describe to you the best possible test for proving this theory false once and for all. Anybody that has ever bought a multi-pack of Clif Bars knows that you are lukewarm to the Peanut Butter ones, you worship the Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch ones, and you learn to despise Oatmeal Raisin ones faster than you learn to hate Chris Wilton from Match Point.

So with such a healthy hatred of Oatmeal Raisin, and with such a longing for Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch, one would naturally assume that the latter must be substantially less healthy for you. After all, if it tastes better, it must be worse for you. But this is when you compare the nutritional facts and learn one of the greatest life lessons you will ever learn.

Spoiler alert, dear readers. The nutritional facts for these two bars, which differ so tremendously in taste, are exactly the same. The consequences here are broad-reaching, and are probably beyond the scope of this blog to explore fully. So instead I will leave you with a simple forewarning. In the course of your adventures, gustatory or otherwise, do not assume that everything that good is bad for you. We'll all be better off for it.