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What's Your "Steak" in Creating Change?

September 18, 2012 by Joanna Drake, Registered Dietitian

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At our house, Friday night is “movie night.”

It’s a nice, relaxing way to start the weekend and the kids absolutely love how special they feel when we make a bowl of popcorn and pick out the movie we’re going to watch together.

Last Friday they chose ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,’ an animated film about an inventor, Flint Lockwood, who wanted to create something to make life better in his home town. The town had been built on sardine fishing, an industry that was now suffering because people everywhere decided that sardines are “super gross.” This left the town in disrepair and the townspeople forced to eat leftover sardines in every possible configuration.

Enter Flint’s invention.

The invention was a machine that he launched into space where it turned rain into food, which then fell from the sky. The first thing he programmed it to make was cheeseburgers and perfect cheeseburgers fell from the sky. The townspeople were ecstatic. The next morning he created bacon, pancakes, toast and eggs – sunny side up. Flint, once a social outcast because his inventions always failed, was now everyone’s best friend. The townspeople quickly became more demanding and Flint felt forced to create more variety of food to keep everyone happy.

Without paying attention to the “dangometer” – the device which told him when the machine was becoming overloaded – he continued to program massive quantities of food until the machine did overload and produced serving sizes of steak that covered the whole dinner table, hot dogs the size of an adult and enough spaghetti to make a tornado. Portion sizes literally became dangerous as they fell from the sky.

To me, this seems an interesting commentary on our food system.

As a consumer, I feel like I have a lot of control over the food choices I make for myself and my family and yet I admit to being distracted by the huge variety of options at the grocery store. We constantly demand ‘different’, ‘better’ and ‘bigger’. As such, new foods, flavours and combinations are constantly being produced to satisfy us, the consumer. So I ask, at what point does a giant steak need to fall on our head before we realize that sometimes more isn’t better? What part do we play in creating change?

Related Posts:
When Size Matters
Feeling Full?

Recommended Resources:
Canada’s Food Guide

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