One of the most important pieces of editorial content you will ever read came down the pipe on March 27 in The New York Times. Mark Bittman’s eloquent and learned piece on children and diet in America is a clarion call to action for not only parents but for anyone with half a brain left in their head after being beaten senseless with the “if it isn’t happening to me right now it doesn’t matter” stick. The Constitution does not guarantee the right of a few giant multinational corporations to harm our children. Bittman properly frames the recent brou haha. Advertising aimed at getting children to eat foods that are harmful to them is being labeled as free speech issue by Big Food. Bittman says:
Remember: 17 percent of kids in the United States are obese (many more are nearly so), and though there is an argument that during the boom-and-bust periods of capitalism’s development our genetic code has encouraged us to consume as many calories as possible, nowhere in our DNA is it written that we need to eat Big Macs, drink soda or eat Twizzlers (much as I personally like the last of these). These cravings become habits as they are taught, encouraged and reinforced by the marketing arm of Big Food, and the federal government appears powerless to change this.
Powerless because of the free speech issue, there are plenty of legal scholars and activists who are convinced that this issue can be attacked on the grounds that the advertising itself isn’t truthful, thereby taking away its free speech defense. Anyway, legal wonkiness aside, the real beauty of this piece is that Bittman has embedded a ton of links to show you just where the issues lie. It’s a piece you should pass on to every member of your family who still thinks feeding packaged mass produced junk to kids is acceptable. ALMOST 20 percent of CHILDREN ARE OBESE. This is a national health emergency and if you disagree I want to know why. Last but not least, tell your kids about this, make this a part of your dinner time conversation. Noah didn’t want to go near a fast food joint for a year after I showed him the video about the disease cesspool of the in-store playgrounds offered at some of the convenience food hell-holes.
On a happier note, ANYONE looking for an AMAZING place for a quick and easy family vacation OR couples get away weekend can’t go wrong with the Ritz Carlton in Key Biscayne. And no, I don’t work for them, and I am not affiliated in any way, I just returned from there after a long weekend, spending my own dough . . . and I was blown away. It’s a full-on destination resort that is only a 20-minute ride from Miami’s airport. Why is that important? Because you don’t lose a day on either end traveling to or from the resort. There are enough high quality food service venues on property to make leaving the resort grounds unnecessary for a long weekender. Dune Burger Bar has a lamb burger we loved so much we had it twice. Cantina does some very good Mexican fare including a wicked tasty red snapper Veracruzana that impressed both myself and Donald Link, who I bumped into one afternoon at the beach. Cioppino, its luxe Italian restaurant is a great choice as well; pastas are handmade from scratch and the seafood offerings we tried were impeccable. The braised calves cheek on polenta could stand up to any Italian restaurants in NYC as a barometer dish. Pretty impressive.
The best things about the place are the amazing variety and amount of tennis courts, the two pools (one for adults, one for families), the spa, the gorgeous beach, and most importantly the staff. Service makes and breaks any hotel or hospitality experience for me, and the staff at the RCKB is second to none. I have never seen such polish, top to bottom, at any resort in America. It’s that good.