R's Journal – Food Warnings


Now, this is an interesting subject that I don’t spend much time thinking about at all.  It’s part of daily life right?  Things have labels on them, the labels tell us what’s in the food.  Normally it’s all above board, and everything is OK right?  So who spends time reading all the labels?

I’ve spent my share of time laughing at the “Caution Hot” label on drive through coffee, and similar “Don’t be a complete idiot” labels on other things.  My favourites are the “Do Not Eat”.  I mean, who puts all this stuff in their mouth in the first place so they have to warn you about it?

Well, I found a label on our last trip to the States that I think should have had more of an impact.  We were doing our own thing, pulling off the freeway to get some lunch, went through this drive through of a well known chain that we’ve eaten at before (I think? or wanted to try again?).  Anyway, so we make our order and while I was sitting at the drive through window, I looked up and happened to see this sign that read:


Chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, or birth defects, or other reproductive harm may be present in foods or beverages sold or served here.


So holy shit right?  This stuff gives you cancer, and the health department knows it gives you cancer, but what do they do?  They’re just like – well whatever, if people want to eat it and kill themselves, we should just let them do it.  No point forcing the restaurant not to serve poison.

Why was this sign not on a big post at the start of the drive through instead of on the drive through window way higher than anyone would normally look?  Or before ordering you have to like confirm that you don’t mind getting cancer.  This small warning sign didn’t seem to be enough for the real Warning it was displaying.

The sign was also somewhat ambiguous about your chances of contracting cancer, or birth defects.  Is it like Russian Roulette, one out of every 6 people dies before they make it home?  Or more like struck by lightning, if you eat this stuff every day it might give you a tummy ache sort of thing?  If I’m taking my life in my own hands, I’d like to know the odds.

Anyway – we didn’t have to wait too long, they came with our food and we drove off.  The food was pretty good, and neither of us died, I think we might stop by again next time we’re down there.