The Restaurant Dieter saw a lot of contemptible food at the National Restaurant Association’s recent annual show at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
But no exhibitor earned this dieter’s contempt like J&J Snack Foods Corp. of Pennsauken, N.J did. Its large booth offered super-pretzel poppers filled with cheddar or cream cheese; funnel cakes; churros; burritos; cookies; fried pies and pizza sticks. Nutritionally bankrupt pretzels are its specialty.
More healthy food from J&J
Incredibly disgusting was a 24-ounce pretzel served with some kind of liquid cheese.
On the company’s website, a giant American flag waves emblazoned with the words, “stand strong,” and then a quote from President Gerald Shreiber that says, “Hardly a day goes by that I don’t look at this banner of freedom that flies outside our plants and feel both fortunate and proud to be a part of the American dream.”
Is he kidding? This is a nightmare. It’s disgusting that this company waves the flag of freedom while undermining its citizens so thoroughly. Ain’t America grand?
J&J makes the worst possible foods, the kind that are turning obesity into this nation’s most pressing problem. They focus on refined carbs, fat, salt and sugar. That addictive combination generated $55.1 million in net income on $744.1 revenues in fiscal 2011.
Like any conglomerate, of course, J&J also has a healthier food line aimed at the school food service market, where — fortunately — government regulation is there to protect kids. Those products were featured at a separate booth that was one of 14 in the Healthier Kids Fare area.
They included frozen juice cups and mini-fiber bars. But the kids brochure also concentrated on items like nutritionally bankrupt pretzels, churros and even funnel cakes. The brochure indicated that a funnel cake with 280 calories, 9 grams of fat and 1 gram of fiber was perfect for lunch and breakfast. Why the column marked “after school snack” was left unchecked is anyone’s guess.
If you own stock in this company — it’s been trading at about $54 a share recently — I can only hope you have enough moral rectitude to organize a shareholder revolt.