Your Dunkin Donuts will kill you now

August 24, 2016 Originally published on SFGate

You know what’s delicious? Placing multiple deep-fried spheres of artificially flavored, heavily processed, colon-hating dough into your face at six in the morning, and then following it with a mediocre caffeine chaser, as you wonder why, roughly nine minutes later, you feel sort of oily, and flatulent, and your large intestine is spasming and you think you might be dying, even though you’re not, but you actually sort of are.

Even better? Waiting in line, for many hours at a time, to do it.

So it went in the sleepy, pseudo-hippie coastal commune known as Half Moon Bay this past weekend, as the perky, pastel-colored death machine known as Dunkin Donuts opened another adorable lard cannon next to the pumpkin patches, goat farms and famously foggy, windswept beaches, the ones fewer and fewer humans have the stamina or lack of obesity-related heart conditions to stroll on much anymore.

Did you hear about the new Dunkin Donuts in HMB? As news stories go, it barely registered, something about the “massive” (not really) line that formed in front of the cute little hell-mouth many hours before its first opening – because who needs rest when you can go stand in line at 1AM at the donut outlet in hopes of being one of the first to accelerate your interminable march toward diabetes and prescription medication?

I know, I know – geez, lighten up a little, would you? It’s just donuts. It’s just one of life’s simple, decadent pleasures. What’s the harm?

I totally agree: It’s all just cute and fun and delicious, until it turns depressing, and weird, and points up the entirely of America’s nightmarish health problems – a nation that, despite the popularity of organic this and kale that, is more obese than ever (especially kids), as the average American female now weighs what the average male did in the ‘60s, and the average male weighs as much as a pre-diabetic gorilla.

It’s sort of dizzying, really, this vast, debilitating chasm between clean nutritional integrity and what passes for “food” and “eating” America. It’s not simply garbage food versus healthy. It’s not just “bad” things versus “good,” or calorie input versus calorie output. You do not eat a few salads to “counter-balance” the Oreos and the Diet Dr. Pepper. This is childish thinking, and also deadly.

The truth is more plain: The vast majority of humans in this nation eat thoroughly dreadfully, and way too much, and far too frequently and, because to lack of education coupled to decades of nefarious corporate messaging, don’t even realize it. And if they ever do, they’re often convinced it’s far too difficult to change. Why even try?

Here is the titanic secret you probably already know, but which nearly everyone waiting in line in every Dunkin Donuts in America right now tacitly refuses to believe: Losing weight, staying healthy, eating well, feeling good? It’s actually easy.

This is why you're sad

This is why you’re sad

There are no complex algorithms, no elaborate, expensive diet plans, no pre-made meal deliveries, reward cards or silly point systems. There is only a simple, powerful re-examination of your fundamental relationship to food. There is only a calm re-education of what is truly nourishing, versus what is debilitating and poisonous.

But here’s the rub: If you’re like most Americans, you have, of course, been trained to think otherwise. You have been led to believe by messages both subtle and shameless that true health and enjoyable fitness are extremely difficult and require massive sacrifices, lots of money, horrible diets, flavorless foods and miserable, hateful workouts, with tiny portions of quinoa and tofu where the massive quantities of beer and pizza used to be.

You are taught this nonsense by the usual market forces: junk food makers, addiction zealots, pop psychologists, Big Pharma, not to mention the massive, for-profit diet and healthcare industries that makes billions on all the surgeries, treatments and BS snake-oils they gets to sell to you, over and over again, as most Americans are unwilling/unable to see the connection between how bloated, listless and sick they always feel, and how many cases of Diet Coke and Costco-sized boxes of “fat-free” cookies are in the pantry right now.

It’s just propaganda, of course. Things like portion control, exercise you learn to crave and love, eating lean proteins, organic vegetables and fruits, healthy grains and oils, whole foods and zero chemicals and minimally processed anything? These are not exactly complicated. This is not intellectual snobbery or hippie liberalism. It’s just the fundamental human condition. It’s just reconnecting to source.

It’s simply re-aligning your body with its truest needs, as opposed to your whiny senses’ habituated, depressed cravings for bright pink lard at 6AM in a vain attempt to reach a vague, sugary itch you will enjoy scratching for about three minutes, but which you will die from for the rest of your life.

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Mark Morford

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