Our own Megnut and my friend Andrew both sent me this article on the supposed unhealthiness of Chinese food written by Libby Quaid, based on a report released yesterday by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (which, by the way has serious detractors). All three of us were incredulous at how ignorant the piece is, the lede being a prime example: "The typical Chinese restaurant menu is a sea of nutritional no-nos, a consumer group has found. A plate of General Tso's chicken, for example, is loaded with about 40 percent more sodium and more than half the calories an average adult needs for an entire day. " Are you kidding me? Did someone just seriously start a piece on Chinese cuisine by holding up a dish invented in New York for the American palate? It doesn't get any better the further you go.
The problem with Quaid's piece is that it so happily sounds alarm bells about Chinese food without ever once taking into account that a) what most people in the US encounter at stripmall hole-in-the-walls would be pretty unrecognizable to what Chinese eat in China, or even in a proper Chinatown, b) people eat family-style, taking only a few spoonfuls from any given dish among many on the table, and c) individual portions of any cuisine in the US are usually twice to thrice the size of what they would be in their country of origin. If Chinese cuisine was really so intrinsically and terribly fattening, you'd think that after millennia of, you know, eating it on a daily basis, the Chinese would be both terribly fat and short-lived, but the truth is the opposite. The Chinese approach to food is all about eating well, but that means eating a wide range of food and eating in moderation, things every healthy eater already knows and follows.
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