Food Chosen in No Choice

Often times, people in the food and nutrition realm are talking about food deserts–particular places where you can’t reach healthy, fresh food but only fast food. Those are places we are hoping to change, by gov investment and policy support along with merchants’ involvements.

Well, last night I come across a similar but a little bit different situation when I found myself couldn’t foods to eat. I was on a bus from Boston to NYC and the bus driver stopped at a small town and kindly gave us a dinner break (10 mins!) to grab some foods. He stopped right next to an Arby’s where there is no other restaurant or grocery store in 1 km. No choice–hearing my belly yelling I have to walk into a place in where I rarely was. Facing the unfarmiliar and full of nice sandwiche pictures broad, I chose sth $6.37 without noticing it’s a combo with ham, cheese, and curvy fries–of course a “small” cup of coke. Yep, I confess to some extend I enjoyed the food for the reason I think because it was the first time I ate fast food in 2 years–but my knowledge kept making me feel super guilty for the irresponsibility for my own health. Damn, I want to find out how evil they are:

Beyond my imagination, the sandwich and fries contain almost 1500 mg sodium–which means this meal filled up the low sodium recommendation for a whole day. I found this information on Arby’s website but what I can’t stand is that they don’t provide the DV% (daily value %: how much nutrients does the particular food supply as a porportion of how much that nutrient should a healthy person eat a day)–which means even though many people know there is 1500 mg sodium, they just can’t figure out that’s really a lot!


Now I totally understand how the people live in “food desert” feel when buying their foods–even though they gain nutrition knowledge from media everyday, even though they care about their health and their children’s, it is a shame of lacking a simple choice for them.

OK, stop complaining–stick back to my baby carrot and celery stick from this morning 🙂


4 thoughts on “Food Chosen in No Choice

  1. Great post! We are just starting our blog but I want to write up ways to balance out sodium and potassium in the diet. 🙂

  2. I’ve been in that situation before on group road trips and I know it can be super frustrating. One of the tricks I’ve learned – come prepared. If you don’t know what you’re going to be able to get, be sure you have something with you that you would choose to eat, be it an apple, a protein bar, or a peanut butter sandwich. That gives you options. You can choose to snack on your healthy stuff and eat later or make a meal out of a combination of your healthy stuff and something not too awful from the fast food menu. Good nutrition is often a matter of good planning.

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