The fact of a brownie


Allow me to start this article with a thought that first came to me about twenty years ago or so…

The fact of a brownie is that you are cheating. The sugar, the chocolate, the sinfully-fudgy-goodness. While it certainly doesn’t qualify as health food by a list of ingredients, the joy of eating one is without question good for you. And the experience is almost exclusively based on it being so good because it is so bad.

I came to this conclusion about brownies because I had begun to be aware of low fat foods appearing in the stores and in commercials. And I didn’t understand. When I ate a brownie, I was most certainly not thinking about a diet. Salads and smaller portions were the important consideration for diets in my childhood mind. The fact of a brownie was its sinfully-fudgy-goodness… take that away, make it low fat, and what’s the point of eating it at all?

That’s where you can find my approach to low fat foods, no sugar added offerings, and almost all diet handbooks. And now a new fad… and yes, it is a fad… nothing more and with little lasting credibility in my mind… has taken over the country. That fad is low carb.

I will admit that my thoughts about brownies became a lasting part of my approach to food back when diets consisted of eating cottage cheese with pineapple chunks, or subsisting solely on carrots or grapefruit for weeks. I am firmly convinced that we have plain cottage cheese and pineapple diets of just three decades ago to thank for all of the flavored cottage cheese, cream cheese, and other assorted items located near the yogurt in the store today. Someone lived on it for a diet, appreciated that the world deserved better, and created it. And, along those same lines, I do appreciate that diet food has improved over the years. Some of it even tastes pretty darn good.

But the fact of a brownie remains…

And here’s what I mean....

I wrote before about how the four food groups of my youth have disappeared. Everything is bad for you now. Without going too deeply into them, here are the four… Diary, breads and grains, meats, and fruits and vegetables.

Dairy – Milk or no milk? Good or bad? Whole, skim, 1% or 2 %? What level is good? What level is bad?

Breads and grains – Bread? You aren’t really going to eat bread are you?

Meats – Red meat isn’t good for you.

Fruits and vegetables – The last of those four basic food groups to fall… but I swear I have seen that as you begin to diet, many fruits are bad for you because they can actually make you feel hungry quite soon after eating them.

In any event, everything that I was told to focus on as a child has, by one organization or another, been declared bad for me. In fact the entire four food groups have been replaced by a pyramid -- and commercials with baseball legend Ozzie Smith telling me to eat just nine… nine… servings of fruits and vegetables a day.


Funny thing, I have never heard anyone debate the old advice of eating right and exercising. What is eating right is open to debate… but still. Smaller portions, not as many desserts, take a walk. Not a bad plan at all.

I admit I’m tired of all the Atkins, South Beach, and so on diets all over the place. Jared has worn more than a bit thin as well. As I have already said… I consider them fads that may have enough merit to be incorporated into future health issues. But certainly as topics they will disappear as time moves on. Cottage cheese replaced by Stairmasters replaced by drinking water replaced by Atkins replaced by South Beach. Fads. In fact, even with the media blitz and ads for these programs in just about every restaurant window, I had overcome my nausea of it all and allowed the entire thing to drift off into the back of my thoughts until I heard about a new product a few weeks ago.

Low carb Coca-Cola.

You have to be kidding me…

Low carb Coca-Cola.

Please, it can’t be… but it was…

Low carb Coca-Cola… with low carb Pepsi on the way.

We’ve officially gone too far. Way, way, way too far.

When I was younger I used to watch The Jetsons on television, and I couldn’t wait to have a system in the house for ordering food. Walk up, tell it what I wanted, and poof, there was dinner. A microwave oven came close to the reality, but it wasn’t the same. To be honest, as things move forward, I’m not so sure that twenty-years from now the healthy people won’t be eating anything but saw dust. Of course, not pressure-treated saw dust. That would be bad. And yet that sure seems like where we are heading. Sawdust and a water… with lemon.

Too much water is bad for you. Read that this past year. And now my carbonated beverages are worried about losing their markets because of the carbs.


It’s all too much for me. Maybe they won’t be eating saw dust in twenty-years, but I can guarantee you of one thing… all these foods people are telling us are good today won’t be part of the approved diets tomorrow.

They’re nothing more than fads.

And now I need a brownie.

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