Sunday, February 20, 2011

Kosher? Sure. But it Will Still Kill You.

A couple of months back, I wrote a blog post about whether Orthodoxy was inherently unhealthy. (You may be seeing that piece again in the near future. Stay tuned.) My answer was that Orthodoxy itself isn't unhealthy, but that much of today's Orthodox lifestyle is. I concluded by writing,
I call on the OU undertake a study of the collective health of Orthodox people, and especially men between the ages of 35 and 65. The OU's done great work helping Torah Jews put more into our mouths. Now it's time for the O.U. to take the lead in helping us put a little less in as well.
Well, as of Friday, they still hadn't gotten the message.

I opened up the Shabbat Shalom email from last week to read the following headline:
Donuts vs. Cupcakes
Was it an article about the relative health of one dessert over another? An interesting Shabbat contest in which a shul pitted the doughnut lovers against cupcake connoisseurs? Hardly. It was a recipe suggestion. And I quote:
I think I’ve died and gone to “Snack Cake” heaven. My daughter Shani recently came up with the ideal snack cake recipe she found online. A cupcake topped with a donut!
Sorry, but is that really the best that the OU can do to promote kosher food? After eating a meal of carrot "kugel" (er, cake) and cranberry crunch as a side-dish, is one dessert not enough, that we need two desserts, piled on top of each-other? It just seems like a bad rip-off of Paula Deen's famous hamburger sandwiched between two a doughnuts. Really. (See above photo. I heard about it on "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me!")
Truth be told, I posted the original article long before my last doctor's appointment, in which I discovered that my cholesterol had jumped to 250. Not good. I'm trying to cut down, having rid myself of most cheese, my beloved wings on Shabbat, skin on chicken, my cream in my coffee, and other beloved foods. Do we really need the OU promoting an even unhealthier lifestyle?
I suggest that the OU start promoting healthy kosher eating, offering tips on whole-grain recipes, lower fat foods, and healthier cooking options. (You can check out Arlyn Boltax's blog for more ideas.)
We're getting to the point where we've got to ask ourselves whether we're killing ourselves with glatt kosher food.