If there is one thing we like to do in Kansas, it’s eat.
We will actually drive out of our way to find a place to eat, and we’re not talking “nouvelle cuisine,” either.
As Cookie said in “City Slickers:” “You ain’t gonna get any nouveau, amandine, thin crust, bottled water, sauteed city food. Food’s brown, hot, and plenty of it.”
And that’s the way we like it.
And plenty of it.
We like chicken restaurants that actually impact the population of the species every time we sit down to eat.
When we say we want a slice of cow, we mean a WHOLE slice of cow.
Gravy really IS a food group in this state.
Potatoes are health food, especially when they are fried — for breakfast.
So it is probably not too surprising that Kansas is not at the height of the healthiest Americans list.
According to a recently released health survey, Kansas is paying for the good food. It seems that the percentage of obese people in our state has doubled over the past 15 years. Now 29 percent of Kansans are obese.
In 1995, it was at 13.5 percent and Kansas was 36th in the nation. We are now 16th.
Mississippi actually leads the nation and nine of 10 heaviest states are in the South, which may say something about the chicken, potatoes and gravy.
However, let’s be fair here, these statistics say something about where the poorest Americans are found, also.
It’s been known for at least two generations, since America has turned more and more to high starch, high fat, cheap, processed food that the heaviest people in the culture tend to be those who are also economically less fit.
It’s fine to tell those folks that the answer is more fresh fruit and vegetables, until you try to figure out where the money for a bag of oranges is supposed to come from.
When you can take the same amount it costs to have a day of fresh fruit and vegetables or you can buy a week of starch — well, you do the math.
We tend to blame our state’s waist-line on roast beef, but in our day it’s more likely fast-food burgers, or instant noodles, or processed lunch meat.
There may well be answers short of providing better pay and more effective education, but having a national figurehead slam the working class poor for not eating lean meat and high-dollar produce is not the answer.
— Chuck Smith