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Where’s the nutrition talk?

February 22, 2012

Not at FeelGood!

Calorie, carbohydrate, sodium, fat, and protein content are increasingly prevalent in food related contexts.  Many restaurants now display the calories found in each menu item, marketers use front-of-package labels asserting their product’s nutritional benefits to compete for consumers, cropping up on bookstore shelves are cookbooks featuring low calorie/low carbohydrate meals, and eaters discuss the healthfulness, or lack thereof, of  the food they are consuming.  While oftentimes these messages can seem inescapable, there is one location in which they are noticeably absent: the FeelGood kiosk.

Questions or comments about the nutritional value of our ingredients and sandwiches do not come up!  But why?  The other day a friend of mine told me she felt guilty for making a grilled cheese for dinner because it wasn’t healthy; but people make no such comments when eating at FeelGood!  What’s the difference?

What I think makes the difference is the powerful philanthropic implications of purchasing and eating a FeelGood grilled cheese.  As I mentioned in this post about Emma Stone’s quote, “grilled cheese makes me feel beautiful,” a fellow FeelGood officer commented once that grilled cheese makes her feel connected to world hunger.  I postulated that other FeelGood members, and potentially customers too, likely feel the same way when devouring their cheesy sandwich.  To take that one step further, perhaps the feeling of being connected to their brothers and sisters overseas overwhelms any thoughts of the nutritional value of the grilled cheese from its consumers thoughts.  I know that, when it comes down to it, the knowledge that my $4 donation will keep an individual in Africa out of hunger for six months outweighs any qualms I have about the heaps of cheese on my sandwich…and I’m lactose intolerant health food junkie!

Of course, there are alternatives to be considered.  FeelGood may simply not attract a clientele that cares about or considers nutritional information in their food choices.  Such eaters may prefer a location that offers more, and less cheese filled, options.  Or, since we only sell grilled cheese, customers may have already made and accepted the nutritional implications of their lunch choice by the time I take and prepare their order.

But, while these are both definitely possibilities, I’m going to maintain belief in my first explanation: that the powerful feelings of connection and philanthropy associated with the FeelGood grilled cheese erase any thoughts of nutrition from its lucky consumer’s mind.

FN 2/20


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