Friday, July 22, 2016

Beer Calorie Count: The Newest Expression of Corporate Greed

Watch this video to get an idea of the hypocrisies of Corporate America: 

Now before I start talking about beer, let's be clear: drinking a lot is not healthy. A lot is many in one sitting or a few in many sittings. Read more here. Okay there's you public health message. Onward!

Listening to NPR yesterday, I heard that big beer companies have decided to "be more transparent" and provide calorie counts on their products. They stated it was good a good Samaritan act so that their imbibers know just how many calories they were consuming. 

I am skeptical to say the least. This is eerily similar to a story I read about in the book True Enough.  After an unsuccessful campaign addressing smokers’ rights, large smoking companies shifted focus to “a larger, more universal scourge”: the government and how it had become too big, invasive and controlling.  The campaign was called Get Government Off Our Backs, or GGOOB and urged a diverse group of people(not just smokers) to stand up what they considered the first step in a long line of actions to take away people’s rights in America. The author concluded that “by turning the battle onto one about big government rather than big tobacco and by hiding its own association with the plan, [cigarette companies] could ride towards its goal upon a wave of anti-regulatory activism.  And the plan worked.” Legislation on tobacco products were halted or at least delayed.

Is beer facing new legislative restrictions? I sure hope not! But the big companies are facing the biggest challenge probably since the prohibition: good tasting alternatives. Meaning craft beers. Quality beers made by individuals who like beer rather than corporations seeking to leech out your money one flavorless beer at a time.

And by no means do I think all craft breweries are altruistic, but I always root for the underdog, and this case it also happens to be the tasty oneJ

So what does this have to do with calories? Well craft beers with their diverse flavors and higher alcohol content also come in at a higher calorie count. If consumers start being exposed to beers that have 2-3x the calories as a Miller Lite, they might think twice before buying it and instead go for the crappy, but “light” beer. Craft beers just won’t be able to compete without undercutting the exact thing that makes them good. 

So stand strong against this newest wave of corporate deception and go enjoy a real beer. Support your local micro-brew. None close by? Well, I just feel sorry for you.

Until next time,


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