Lost among last week’s brouhaha over Great Nanny of New York Michael Bloomberg’s edict banning large-ish restaurant sodas was another of the tiresome stunts by the misleadingly named—only 10 percent of its members are claimed to be M.D.s—Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). The group put out a list of what it called the “five worst ‘healthy’ kids’ meals.”
You see, restaurants have responded to changes in public demand and reduced calories in their offerings for children. For a person concerned with nutrition, this is a good thing. For a thinly veiled animal rights group that tried to convince prosecutors to take medical schools to criminal court to advance its PETA-like agenda, it’s an opportunity to take potshots at the elephant—maybe the steer is a more apt image—in the room.
There’s one thing that all PCRM’s so-called “worst” meals have in common: They all serve some form of animal product. Three are burger meals, one offers chicken, and the last might have survived (without the bacon, sausage, egg and yogurt options) but for a dollop of dairy-based butter for toast and pancakes. These meals are all apparently “child abuse” in PCRM-speak. (No, really.)
Just as surely as PCRM found the continued consumption of cheeseburgers by children condemnable, the group wants burgers and hot dogs tossed out of the “toxic food environment.” (Where have we heard that phrase before? Maybe the food police exchange talking points at the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Food Day.)
That struck a nerve with at least one person who wrote, “[PCRM] made me wonder if soon the only foods we will be allowed to eat will be leafy greens and bean sprouts.” That reader is closer than she probably knows to PCRM’s actual agenda. Given PCRM’s history of hysterically bashing lean chicken, cribbing the PETA playbook to trash cheese (“dairy crack” to PCRM), and trying to have it both ways on animal research to allege a dubious link from meat to cancer, we don’t think that animal rights agenda can hide much longer.