Seniors: To Taco Bell or Not Taco Bell

Feb 16th, 2011 | By | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Where ever the current conflict comes out raging around “where’s the beef,” there will continue to be questions about the products major food firms are shoveling onto styrofoam and paper plates to keep us fed.  The new labeling program, introduced by the FDA, is also undergoing criticism.  What we need here is more light and less heat.  The food products sold to senior citizens today are under increasing suspicion.  What is in the food we eat?   How does what we eat affect our overall health?  Are we being fed too many chemicals and fillers that may make us full, but do not contribute to the nutrition we really need? 

Unfortunately, many senior citizens rely on fast food as their primary diet.  If that diet has questionable content integrity, what does that do to the overall health of a senior who relies on such fare day after day?  I stopped one day at a drive thru at a local fast food eatery in my hometown.  For some reason, an old man, in a car of almost antique vintage and in not so good repair, seemed to be taking an inordinate amount of time getting his order.  When finally he was served, he carefully pulled away into the traffic.  I inquired of the wait person what seemed to be the delay.  Her reply: “Oh, he comes in everyday at the same time and we try to have his two burgers ready for him.  Today, they weren’t quite ready so he had to wait.” The old man was older than his car and he appeared not to be in much better repair.  If that is the diet he is on every day, likely his nutrition needs are not being met nor served well. 

On another occasion, I stood in a check out lane of a grocery store.  This time an older man emptied the contents of his cart.  It was all dog food of one low priced brand.  When he left, the clerk allowed that that comprised his weekly grocery shopping, not for his dog, but for himself.   Canned dog food. 

There is something wrong with this picture.  Why does a human being have to buy dog food to survive?  Where is the concern for nutritional needs of senior citizens, including seniors who live in poverty?  I hope the food giants, manufacturers, producers, are not looking at their bottom lines, ignoring the nutritional needs of poorer and poorer Americans.  

What I learn on the evening news and the Internet is that the aged are less healthy, the young more obese… and health costs are soaring higher and higher.  Cause and effect. 

Whether Taco Bell is guilty or not, I have no idea.  What is clear is that much of our food needs better inspections and we senior citizens need to feel comfortable that the food we buy is not only fit to eat, but good for us.

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