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« Salame Strolghino | Main | New! Italian Food Blogs. »

March 31, 2005



Go for it! I want to see Ghiselli's reaction (and Repubclica's) when they hear that someone actually tested the assertion. A - I am sure you will not suffer as much as if you ate McPiggy's food B. - I am sure you will discover many more than 30 recipes just looking at Italy (let alone the rest of the world!)C. I am sure I can track some relative in Cyprus who is older than 70 who has already performed the experiment (and not because they wanted to prove a point!) :-)


Who knows... if I would find a sponsor maybe ;-)


I completely agree with Ronald -- I don't think that homemade anything can damage one's health as much as that low-quality mass produced stuff McDonald's serves. One of the reasons why there's so much sugar, fat, and sodium in their food is because it's of such poor quality, they must mask it with these additives. I believe there's just no way you could do half as much damage to yourself eating (tasty, homemade, cooked with love and care) pasta e fagioli for a month.


The other point that is importnat that he is missing is that it is NOT just the fat. McDonalds uses VAST quantities of additives and possibly more important, highly processed foods. It is well understood at last that trans-fats are much worse for you than any other kind - these are the ones that they artificially hydrogenate with alkalis and catalysts. I always wondered if it was the residue of these highly toxic chemicals (even if in tiny parts per million) that were at least as much at fault. Same with sugars - highly processed sugars are also worse. It isn't just how much, it is what kind.

I can't eat at places like McDonalds not because I am some kind of holier-than-thou high falutin' kind of person but because it tastes more like chemicals than food! I like hamburgers. I'll happily eat at In'n'Out - a fast food chain here - because they make their food out of real food. Fresh meat, fresh potatoes, vegetable oil for frying. It actually tastes good...Incidentally, if you ever read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser you'll get to find out a lot more about why you wouldn't want to eat at McDonalds! I personally don't like feces in my food. And Fast Food Nation in its investigation gave In'n'Out a clean bill of health.

I'm more surprised that people treat this stuff like it is a surprise. It seems inherently obvious to me that eating pasta e fagioli for a month would be boring but not unhealthy. Note that in SuperSize me although you see him eating burgers mostly, he is allowed to order anything off the menu - that includes salads and egg dishes and so forth.

The one thing missing from Supersize me was caloric intake data - I would have liked to know what his caloric intake averaged. Mostly it just achieved its purpose for me of horrifying my kids - not that either of them eat mcDonalds ever anyway - I am happy to say that they hate the stuff.


What I personally find quite interesting about Ghiselli's attitude is the typical protetionistic attitude specilist have of their own field of expertise. As soon as some outsider comes out with a book/documentary/TV show that manages to move pubblic opinion much more than they ever could it is time to take action and dismiss the newest smartass. It's a pity that envy and competitiveness stops experts like Ghiselli from looking at things a bit more objectively. Supersize me is certainly a populistic documentary which can be attacked because of the many questions it leaves open, by answering them only superficially or not at all. Yet dismissing the movie alltogether is at least as supeficial as Spurlock is according to his detractors.


Part of Spurlock's premise was that "heavy users" of McDs eat there once or twice a day or sometimes more...so I don't think the pasta i fagioli translates, because people who are sane enough to eat pasta i fagioli regularly are also sane enough to eat a lot of other foods, too.

Part of the problem with American-style fast foods is the extreme lack of fiber. A low-fiber diet is problematic on several fronts. One, your body needs fiber for proper digestion and two, fiber provides filling bulk without a lot of calories. So a low fiber diet is going to be more calorie-dense - just the thing we sedentary fat-ass Americans don't need.


Right on, Suebob! That's exactly the point Spurlock was trying to make and Ghiselli didn't get. I guess living in a country with sane and healthy eating habits it must be hard for him to understand why someone would go to such extremes to make a point. He probably doesn't know that there is an epidemic of preteens with type II diabetes and teenagers with high blood preassure in the US. To millions of Americans "variety" means McD for lunch and Wendy's for dinner. If Spurlock reached just a fraction of those pseudo-food adicts, then the movie was worth the effort - I hope he thinks so, too, considering what his experiment did to his health.
Alberto, how about giving us your favorite pasta e fagioli recipe ?


What a rude way to ask, I appologize... What I meant was: Alberto, would you please share your favorite p+f recipe with us ? After all, if you're considering risking your health in the name of scientific research :), then at least your fans should know what you'll be eating.


I think the other point worth considering is that there isn't a company out there that pushes pasta e fagioli in the way the McDonald's pushes its food.


Suebob, dana and katie, thanks for the hindsight. Living in Europe I had no clue the situation across the ocean is so drammatic, I actually thought Spurlock was pushing things a bit.

Dana a pasta e fagioli recipe, actually make that two will be coming up soon, though I have a backlog of posts and a week from hell at work, so you might have to wait a bit. BTW no need to apologize, your request was direct, not rude ;-).

Katie, you're absolutely right, marketing plays a big role in this. I actually find it sad, that italian youngsters are so charmed by McDo and ignore our delicious street food. I have the feeling that luckily they see the error in their ways once they turn 18 :-).


il forno.

ghiselli's comment is nonsense... there's no preservatives and other pre-fabbed synthetic crap in pasta e fagiole! balance is key... spurlock's splurge was not balanced...


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