The finishing moment of many pleasant restaurant meals is having a fortune cookie. Dropped off with the cheque, fortune cookies are a final treat, and usually a source of optimistic wisdom. So it surprised me when I opened my fortune cookie to find this message: “You may be hungry soon: order a takeout now.”
At first I thought that the cookie writer was expanding upon an old joke about Chinese food burning off quickly, but then I read it again.
Yes, I would be hungry soon — not “may be hungry soon”. I would want something to eat, and I would get something to eat. It might not be takeout food from this restaurant that I would eat, but I would definitely be eating again, and soon.
The marketing machine of North America knows full well [even though they are always hungry] that eating is a major source of profit in the world.
With the triple power-house of sugar, fat and salt, the food industries tempt our tongues with textures and our eyes with scenes of happy, shared moments — much to the detriment of our stomachs and our health. In an entertainment-focused society it is not surprising that the marketing machine would be churning out food as a source of pleasure and spending.
Most people can’t even say they actually experience hunger, because hunger has an element of duration. We are never hungry for long here in the land of enormous meals and endless snack food.
Like most people, I love eating, and I love sharing meals with family and friends. But what I don’t like is the continuous eating pressure beamed at us via TV, radio, print ads and now fortune cookies.
We all know that food is essential for our health, and good food in good quantities can help us be healthy.
I think the writer of this fortune cookie inadvertently crossed a line and opened a Pandora’s box of awareness for me. He helped me see just how relentless and widespread eating pressure is in our society.
It has made me aware, and I will be watching food ads now with more care and attention.