Thursday, June 9, 2011

On Health Food

I have a rather neutral position when it comes to Koreans talking about how healthy Korean food is. I'll agree that Korean food is healthy. Kimchi is a healthy thing to eat. It won't make you immortal or somehow make you impervious to all sicknesses, but eating a few bites of Kimchi is probably better for you than eating a bag of cheetoes. Also when I compare my diet prior to coming to Korea, with an all Korean food diet prepared by my mother in law, I'd have to say that the later is probably a better bet for living past the age of sixty.

What I think is funny, though, is how Korean marketers market unhealthy food as being healthy. Take Don Ggass, for example. There is a Don Ggass delivery place near my house that calls its self "Well Being," food. A deep fried pork chop is not well being food. The only thing healthy about a don ggass meal the little cabbage salad that you get with it. Korean Don Ggass is probably a little bit healthier than it's American counter part - the country fried steak with sausage gravy, eggs, and hash browns - but taking breaded pork and dipping it in hot grease isn't a good preventative measure against a triple bypass.

My meal tonight though really took the cake. In the South Gyeongsang region of Korea, there is a wonderful chain of small grocery stores called Top Mart. Top Mart doesn't have all of the great imported things like E-mart or Homeplus, but they do have some nice vegetables and meats, that consistently beat the prices of E-mart and Homeplus by about ten to twenty percent. These days top mart has also been selling hot food items like baby back ribs, tang soo yook, or bits of sushi. (I had the ribs, they tasted about the same as outback ribs for only 5000 won.)

Recently, Top Mart started selling gigantic pizzas for 11,900 won. These pizzas are freaking huge 48 cm wide. The box was about two feet across. Another striking detail about he box was a drawing of a thin and sexy woman wearing hot pants. The message on the box said something to the extent that because some of the pizza dough incorporated 100% Korean rice, the pizza was actually healthy and could contribute to your "S" line....uh no.

Fact, eating a 2 foot in diameter pizza will not make you healthy. It will make you full. It might make you tired, the way that exercise makes you tired, but make no mistake, eating a two foot pizza is no replacement for exercise.

The last time I went to pizza hut, I puked because of pizza hut pizza grease. I also have exercise induced asthma. Sometimes if I run too fast, I puke. That doesn't mean that running is bad for me, but it also doesn't mean that pizza is good for me. Just remember that.

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