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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

WSJ Sees the Light of Menu Labeling

You know this is the future when the conservative Wall Street Journal argues in favor of menu labeling.

In the face of a crippling obesity crisis, all of us need to know what it is we're eating. There's no easier way than to simply post the calorie counts up on the menu board!

Let's hope California's legislators and the Governor also see the light and support SB 1420!


The launch of menu labeling in NYC is proving to be a hit. Now it's time for California to lead the nation by being the first to require this statewide.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words...

After a two year visit to the United States, Michelangelo's David is being returned to Italy...

Brought to you by the following sponsors:

Tell me again, who says we don't need restaurant menu labeling?


Friday, July 25, 2008

Trans Fats Down, Time to Address Menu Labeling

Great news! California just passed a trans fat law - the first in the nation. Amazing to think that just a few years ago we were all called a bunch of granola nuts for the crazy idea of banning trans fats -- ah, the times, they are a changing.

Now it's time to move on to menu labeling and making it simple for all of us to make smart decisions when we're running through Burgerworld -- don't believe that doesn't scare the crap out of Ronald McDonald!

California's poised to make this happen, but the Ahnold's got to show some balls and choose between the health of the state and the screams from his restaurant buddies. We'll see where his priorities are.


Here's a statement from one of our favorite clients about this issue:

Dr. Harold Goldstein, Executive Director
California Center for Public Health Advocacy

Governor Schwarzenegger championed the state’s health today by signing the Trans Fat Bill (AB 97, Mendoza). The challenge before him now is to continue to show national leadership and commitment to health by supporting SB 1420 (Padilla), the menu labeling legislation.

Simple, straightforward and actionable, SB 1420 offers Californians exactly what they’ve been asking for – calorie counts on menus and menu boards so they can make healthier choices when eating out. Supported by major health groups like the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society, SB 1420 is good public policy that experts around the nation agree will make a difference in the rising obesity crisis. That’s in direct contrast to the sham alternative bill promoted by the fast food lobbyists (AB 2572), which is opposed by health experts throughout the state.

Knowing the Governor’s commitment to making a real impact on the obesity crisis, we call on him to throw his support behind SB 1420 and not surrender to restaurant interests dedicated to stalling any real effort to help consumers make healthier purchasing decisions.For additional information on SB 1420 visit

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

How Good Food Goes Bad

Well a fast food giant has done it again, taken an otherwise healthy food and made it unhealthy.

McDonald's did it with salads (and just about every other fast food chain followed).

Now Burger King has done it with the Apple! The icon of healthy living (remember, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.)

BK is calling this part of their “new BK Positive Steps Nutrition Program and nutritionally balanced kids meal.” I can’t believe they are saying that with a straight face.

To help hook kids on the new fried apples, BK is pulling a page from the business model of your local crack dealer. They are offering free samples at select Little League games featuring a Burger King Fresh Apple Fries scoreboard.

Burger King goes national with apple fries

Tell me – what’s wrong with just dropping a nice, round, fresh apple in your kids’ meals? Did that thought even occur to anyone at BK?


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What deceptive practice will advertisers think of next?

Years ago I remember being disturbed by a book called Subliminal Seduction that described various insidious ways advertisers secretly delivered their messages. Examples included persuasive pictures hidden in larger photographs and suggestive words briefly flashing in otherwise harmless messages.

Today the tactics are more in our faces. Product placements are big business. While no one seems overly shocked to see Coke cups in front of the judges on American Idol, I think that McDonald's latest ploy is very troubling. In recent weeks McDonald's coffee cups have been appearing on television news anchor desks at the FOX affiliates in Las Vegas (see photo above), Seattle and Chicago, on Univision 41 station in New York City. That's right. Paid product placements are appearing on news segments, not just entertainment shows.

Viewers are being tricked into thinking that paid placements are actually endorsements.

Whatever happened to the separation of editorial
and advertising? The fine line is becoming very blurred. I hope that you are as concerned and skeptical as I am.


Compose Msg

Dialing on the sly

Have you ever needed to tell someone something, but just aren't up for a long cell phone conversation at the moment? This happens to me quite a bit, so I got so excited when I read about the Slydial service this morning.

You can connect directly to another person's cell phone voice mail, without causing their phone to ring, using Slydial. Simply call (267) SLY-DIAL from either a cell phone or a landline. After entering another person's cell phone number and listening to a short advertisement (this makes the service free) you're put directly into that person's voice mail. Recipients should then get a voice mail notification. How cool is that?!

The company founder pointed out that the service works well in the business world. For example, you can leave a message for someone in a different time zone without disturbing them at an odd hour or leave reminder messages that don't necessitate a conversation.

~ Nicole

Monday, July 21, 2008

We all have a little green in us

I'm constantly thinking of new things people can do to incorporate a "greener" lifestyle into their daily routine. At the office, it might be easier than you think. Here's a list I found at The Good Human website. Try to see if there's any adjustments you can make at your workplace. I'll be sure we do the same here.

10 Ways to Green Your Office

1. Start small. By talking with the boss of your company, or the person in charge of such things, maybe it would be possible to at least get recycling bins put around the office to collect all the paper scraps and aluminum or glass containers in the kitchen. If your city does not have recycling pick-up, there are companies out there that specialize in setting up programs where they come to your office on a weekly basis to pick up any and all recycling.

2. Try to make it office policy that everyone at least turns off their monitors, if not their computers, before they head out for the day. I know in some offices it is not possible to turn off the computers for network reasons, but there is no reason the monitor has to be on. When I was ready to leave for the day, I used to walk around turning off all the computer monitors. People wondered for years how their monitors were turned off at night and I just kept my mouth shut. Seems having to press the “on” button in the morning was really a bother.

3. A lot of companies provide bottled water to their employees, but often this is in individual bottles that are kept in the refrigerator. Try to talk to the person in charge of buying food and supplies for the office to see if it would be possible to put in a water cooler and some plastic or glass cups that everyone can use. That way, paper cups and plastic water bottles do not have to be put in the trash or recycling bin every day.

4. Make sure that the paper that is used in copiers and printers is 100% post consumer recycled paper. All the big box stores like Staples and Office Max carry this, and there is absolutely no reason that paper should not be of the recycled kind. Offices use fifteen million sheets of office paper every FIVE minutes, so imagine how many trees are being destroyed so you can print out your TPS reports. (If you do not know what a TPS report is, you missed an incredible movie)

5. If possible, change habits in the kitchen. Try to get the company to buy real forks and knives and stop buying plastic ones that are only used once. This can save a landfill from getting filled up with even more plastic then it already is.

6. Sure, it might be a difficult sell, but see if your company would be interested in participating in a mass transit program. Most transit lines in the U.S. offer discounts and other perks to companies that subsidize or pay for their employees to take the bus or subway. Think of the saving not only on your wallet, but also the air we all breathe.

7. Contact the people you lease (yes, most companies lease, they do not own) your copiers and fax machines from to see if they have models that will print on both sides of the paper. Most of them will have them, and presenting the idea to your boss as a money saver and not an environmental move would probably be more influential.

8. If you happen to work in the shipping department, reuse those boxes! Just because it says something on the side of the box does not mean that it is no good. Sure, you might not want to send something to a paying customer in a box with some other company’s name on the side, but there are plenty of times you can reuse boxes no matter what they say on the side!

9. When the need for a meeting comes up that entails travel outside your area, think about if you could accomplish the same goals by teleconferencing. With today’s technology, you can instant message, VOIP, create forums or discussion groups, and even have face to face meetings via web cams. If you don’t NEED to be there in person, save the company some money and the environment some damage by not traveling.

10. If you have windows in your office, be sure to use the free light that is outside! Turn off those overhead lights and work by natural light; its better for your eyes and the environment.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Quote of the Week

I absolutely love quotes! Here's a good one I came across . . .

"If you want people to change, you have to change the way you communicate with them." - TJ Larkin

Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend!

~ Nicole

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Look how far we've come in public health!

These make me laugh every time. Enjoy!

~ Nicole

The 3 Question Sentence

OK - I had to respond to an email the other day and after I wrote the answer I realized that I had written a sentence that had three questions, yet the sentence was not itself a question.

See if you can write a three question sentence that isn't a question?

After there are a few responses I'll write what I wrote.
So keep checking back to see the answer.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Menu Labeling: the info we need!

Look, if I want to know how much an item costs at Starbucks or McDonald's I look up on the menu board. The next thing I care about is how many calories I'm tossing down. Why shouldn't I be able to look up at the same menu board for that info?

For years I've been grabbing the "low-fat" items, which was the closest thing to nutrition information available. With menu labeling, however, we now know how radically different"low-fat" and "low calorie" are. So, to play off of Clara Peller's old Wendy's standard, my question to chain restaurants is: Where's the Calories?!

Hip-hip-horray for New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Santa Clara. Simple, obvious legislation that helps us make wise decisions.

And to the folks who feel "bad" when they see this information -- please don't breed!

What's your opinion? Chime in on this MSNBC poll:



Tuesday, July 15, 2008

When the Hunter becomes the Hunted

I just watched a fascinating documentary, Manufacturing Dissent, that takes a look at Michael Moore's "documentary" integrity.

While I generally appreciate the issues that Moore unveils, I've never cottoned to his style, which seems to take a page right out of Rush's book -- control, manipulate, deceive and, when all else fails, lie.

The documentary's producers really turn the tables on Moore and remind us how dangerous it is to accept any one person's opinion, even if it's wrapped up in a "documentary."

Just a reminder that America can always use a healthy dose of skepticism, especially when watching program's we're predisposed to support.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Fast Food Ads

This ad is one of my favorites.
I only saw it a few times before it was pulled. (I think you’ll see why)
I think it goes right to the heart of what every fast food chain is really all about.

Thank heaven there's a YouTube for these to live on for all to see.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Top Ten Reasons to Avoid Processed/Take Out Food

I came across this list on Write On and couldn't stop laughing. My favorite is #9. What's yours?

Top Ten Reasons to Avoid Processed/Take Out Food

10. You have just paid Pizza Hut $5.99 to kill you.

9. “But it tastes good” is not a meal plan.

8. Unless it’s November 27th, don’t eat like its Thanksgiving.

7. Too much sugar makes your pancreas want to quit being your savior.

6. Sports drinks are for people who do sports.

5. Horses need to lick salt. People do not.

4. Your body is not a chemical processing plant.

3. Unless you’ve been stranded in an avalanche all day, never eat after 7 p.m.

2. Cheap food is cheap. Angioplasty is expensive.

1. And the #1 reason not to eat processed/ take out food is:

Natural foods are colorful, delicious, life affirming, support great hair/skin, deliver permanently stable body weight, create a hostile physical environment against cancer/heart disease/diabetes, AND it’s all you can eat.