On Dec. 29 I published a satirical essay, "Healthy Eating," about the wonderful advice my colleagues and I receive in the Wellness Weekly, a newsletter that our employer thoughtfully sends to us. The latest issue arrived today and after reading it I realized that to publish funny stuff on this blog I need not cudgel my brains, I need only reprint this newsletter verbatim. I suppose that doing that might cause copyright problems, though, so today I offer just one item from the Weekly, from the article “Top 10 Ways to Control Portions”:5. Keep seconds out of sight: Don’t serve family meals family-style. Keep pots and dishes away from the table where it’s all too easy to go for seconds. If the extra food is right in front of you, you are more likely to continue to eat than if you had to get up from the table to have seconds.
Now perhaps you think I made that up. But I did not. It’s right in front of me in black and white. “Don’t serve family meals family-style.” Someone really wrote that and did not see either humor or irony. And… but I need not go on. Just read it, relish it, and laugh (or cry).
I would like to offer more suggestions to Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc., the publisher of the Wellness Weekly. Why stop at half measures? Here is a revised version:
5. Hide the food. After slaving for hours to prepare a delicious meal, place minuscule portions of each item on tiny plates, then hide the rest in the attic. If any diners are so wicked and greedy as to wish to eat more of your food, tell them to go get it. After climbing a couple of flights of stairs, getting cobwebs in their hair, and banging their heads on the rafters, perhaps the insatiable gluttons will think twice about gorging themselves. After all, what better compliment can there be for a chef than for people not to eat the food? After the meal, go to the attic, get the extra food, and throw it away. That’s the best thing, after all—nasty, evil food. Poison, all of it.
PS – Did you know that “3 oz. of meat is the size of a deck of cards, 1 oz. of meat is the size of a matchbook, and 1 cup of potatoes, rice, or pasta looks like a tennis ball”? That’s item number 9 in this week’s bulletin. Careful diners will of course want to carry a deck of cards, a matchbook, and a tennis ball with them whenever they succumb to the temptation to eat, so they will not accidentally eat 4 oz. of meat or 1½ cups of rice.