Based on my title you might think this is a story about a sandwich whose ingredients can technically cause an immediate heart attack to susceptible customers. Well, I'll get to that. But first, this is a story about the rights of a famous New York City deli to advertise not one, but two over-the-top caloric, fat laden sandwiches. Because a hamburger restaurant called the Heart Attack Grill, which specializes in fatty food worth "dying for," felt infringement of trademark was occurring. Where do I start???
As do most experts, I support free will and free choice. I realize that regardless of how much we talk about nutrition and health, most people want the right to make personal food choices. So the idea of eliminating foods that can impact your health in a negative way is a slippery slope. I do struggle with knowing that a father of four, or mother of two can, decide to eat a meal that has enough cholesterol, saturated fat, sodium, sugar and frankly calories to put them at risk of a sudden cardiac event. The decision they make to eat that selection impacts other family members. So is it OK if you are single or have no dependents to eat this way? Well, one can argue that if you don't have adequate insurance you'll now be sick on my tax payer dollars. Again, I'm just raising the issues - not offering a personal commentary.
So back to the deli discussion. The sandwich, Instant Heart Attack Sandwich, has half a pound of pastrami (which has significant saturated fat), Russian dressing (a creamy, high fat dressing made with mayonnaise), mustard and two potato pancakes (the "bread" and which are made from grated potatoes and flour deep fried). The hamburger restaurant that specializes in food you can die for offers a Triple Bypass Burger that contains three half pound beef patties, bacon, cheddar cheese, red onions, tomatoes, gourmet sauce and a white bun. These kinds of sandwiches can, just by themselves, instigate an inflammatory response in a susceptible person's body, that can result in soft arterial plaque breaking off and then lodging in a small artery that leads to the heart (or brain). There is then a liklihood that the person will have a heart attack or stroke. On a lesser level, consumption of this meal can add to your weight burden, your risk of certain chronic conditions or simply upset your stomach. Health issues to at least think about before you open your mouth. And the fact that you need to eat some or all of this meal, or other worrisome caloric atomic bombs, speaks volumes to the possibility that despite your sensibilities, you choose to eat it. Are you an emotional eater? Do you need to feel rewards from your food? Is your palate addicted to this kind of food? Do you have food issues?
You'll be delighted to know that the New York deli won the lawsuit and can offer the Heart Attack sandwich as well as some other worthy counterparts. I suppose if people didn't buy it on a regular basis, they wouldn't offer it. Just saying.......
Published On: September 12, 2011