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Posted at 4:00 PM ET, 01/21/2011

Walmart health food, Michelle Obama, and the dessert war

By Alexandra Petri

First, it was the Dessert War.

Now it's the Wal-Mart War. Where is this battle against junk food going to stop?

Wal-Mmart used to be my bastion. When I heard it was coming to my area, I was elated! According to some studies, you will gain weight just by having a Wal-Mart move into your neighborhood! I couldn't wait! But I can't count on that any more.

It's one thing if Michelle Obama plants small vegetable gardens near the White House, where, by right, Kobe beef cattle ought to graze, or lie in vats, or do whatever it is they do. It's another thing if she invades the largest grocery chain on this side of the planet and demands that they make things healthy. If I wanted to eat healthy, I wouldn't go to every chain restaurant in the United States today!

As it is, I frequently demand that restaurants take my food back and make the sodium content higher. "Where are the trans fats?" I ask, wheeling myself slowly over to the food counter. "This tastes as though my kidneys aren't going to ache for hours afterward."

My understanding about how food works has always been somewhat similar to Garfield's. Asked once if there is a measure for how good food tastes, Garfield says. "It's called a calorie."

So I hate all this health stuff. Who needs health?

The thing that makes me proudest of my country is the fact that we have managed to bring back gout. They haven't needed to run commercials with anthropomorphic jars of uric acid since the days of the founding fathers! In fact, my one life ambition is to get gout, because John Hancock had it, and he knew how things worked!

I would exercise, but it interferes with my passion: standing around being winded and sweaty. Some people have china collections. I have a chin collection. I once saw my feet, but that was years ago.

Sure, Wal-Mart can change the sugar and the sodium and make fresh food cheaper. But can it take the Wal-Mart out of the Wal-Mart? Look at McDonald's. It faced similar criticism and now serves healthy entrees. If you had just landed from an alien planet and found yourself watching fast food commercials, you would think that it specialized entirely in healthful wraps and grapes lovingly packaged in individual leaves of lettuce.

But that won't stop us from ordering Big Macs.

Wal-Mart's philosophy has always been to give us whatever we want, lots of it, and for cheap. And they won't stop doing that.

Sure, Wal-Mart is now removing sodium and sugars, especially in lunchmeats. These, they say, are hidden sodium and sugars that consumers don't realize we're consuming! It can take care of them with no problem. But I will still sense millions of flavors suddenly crying out in terror, then being suddenly silenced.

But they aren't targeting total fat. They're just aiming at trans fats. And much as I regret it, Trans Fats are like cowboy boots -- on their way out already. It's just sodium and sugar. So maybe they'll leave a little in for me.

If not, I'll have to throw my weight around -- or at least lug it somewhere while panting.

By Alexandra Petri  | January 21, 2011; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Petri, Seems Suspect, Worst Things Ever  | Tags:  Michelle Obama, carrot sticks, celery, dessert, parody  
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Next: Justice Scalia and the Tea Party


I use "123 Get Samples" to find free samples of major brands online. Please note they update their samples every day but I just pick what ever available at that time and use them.

Posted by: esternelson22 | January 22, 2011 1:39 AM | Report abuse

I wondered when I saw the picture of Michelle standing in the produce section of Wal-Mart what other grocers thought about the publicity. Grocery stores work on low profits yet hire alot of people. Wal-Mart has taken over alot of the grocery business. I shop at and like Wal-Mart. However, I do not think Michelle should give them so much free publicity. I know they have contributed to her cause. However, she should be above this advertising one company over another. The Obamas do not belong in the WH. Maybe they should have gone back to China with Hu.

Posted by: annnort | January 22, 2011 7:32 AM | Report abuse

Michelle Obama and Walmart are wasting their time. This is really just publicity and will produce a ZERO affect on Obesity.

What is more intersting is where the Doctors are blamed for the Diabetes Obesity crisis see here

Posted by: healing1 | January 22, 2011 10:19 AM | Report abuse

There is nothing but good (a wide range of personal, societal and economic benefits) that will come out of this endeavor. The folks who don't understand it (see below) are, to be frank, unhealthy and stupid.

Posted by: bcs2k | January 22, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

There is nothing but good (a wide range of personal, societal and economic benefits) that will come out of this endeavor. The folks who don't understand it (see healing1, annnort and other dissenters) are, to be frank, unhealthy and stupid.

Posted by: bcs2k | January 22, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

annnort, what is an "alot?"

Posted by: purpledrank | January 23, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

"But that won't stop us from ordering Big Macs."

If Alexandra Petri can prove she's eaten a Big Mac in the last twelve months, I'll give her a hundred dollars.

I'm sure she's pigging out on fast food and hanging at Wal-Mart in between articles for the Post, the Harvard Crimson, and appearing on stage. Not.

Posted by: getjiggly2 | January 24, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

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