Advice Goddess Blog
« Previous | Home | Next »

Stupid? Go Ahead And Sue
Gregg flew to Memphis on Saturday, drove to meet me in Little Rock, and took me to Hot Springs, Arkansas on Sunday, where we went to the gorgeous Arlington Hotel for brunch, passing lots of the baths Hot Springs is known for on the way.




Brunch was an all-you-can eat deal, and I did just that: took a half slice of French toast, a couple strips of bacon, a small piece of chicken Kiev, a thin strip of BBQ beef, three baby carrots, half a roll, and some salad, and a few bits of German chocolate cake. Period. No, I didn't eat myself sick...but maybe I should have, since stuffing yourself to the gills may be lucrative.

Get a load -- a wide load -- of what could be the latest really dumb lawsuit. Abha Bhattarai writes for Reuters that the Center For Science In The Public Idiots, uh...Interest may be planning to sue Starbucks because...consumers are too dumb to understand that consuming huge, sugary drinks filled with whipped cream may make their lardasses even lard-assier!

"Regular consumers of Starbucks products could face Venti-sized health problems," Jacobson said, referring to Starbucks' use of the 'Venti' designation for 'large.'

The group is primarily funded by newsletter subscribers and individual donors. It has support in the campaign from the small IWW Starbucks Workers Union, which has members in three stores, all in New York.

They would like Starbucks to list nutrition information -- which is currently available online and in store brochures -- on its menu boards.

"Customers can ask for nutrition information, but when you're talking about a transparent business in a busy world, that's not enough," union organizer and Starbucks "barista" staff member Daniel Gross said in an interview.

Come it really that easy to mistake a near-liter of liquid caramel banana cream pie for a shot of wheat grass juice?

He said the company should use healthier shortenings without trans fat, and publicize its smallest size, "short," which is available but does not appear on the menu.

Or, people could think with their brains and do what I do -- order a small black coffee and eat only part of a pastry and...take the rest home or throw it away!

Posted by aalkon at June 19, 2006 11:58 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry:


You didn't stay for Bill Clinton's speech? God, I wanted to go so bad, but my editor wouldn't let me.
Budget schmudget.

Posted by: rebecca at June 19, 2006 9:04 AM

Of course I stayed for Clinton's speech! Will blog about that after my deadline. With photos!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at June 19, 2006 9:08 AM

"do what I do -- order a small black coffee"

But not everybody likes black coffee. There's no arguing with preferences, shug.

I'm always amused to see "Nutritional information available upon request" on the menu board at Starbucks. Would it be financial suicide for them to openly display information on calories and fat? Or would people perhaps buy fewer frappacinos at first, but then gravitate back toward the venti-sized trough over time?

Only a randomized field trial would tell us for sure.

Posted by: Lena at June 19, 2006 9:14 AM

Posted health inf. (which we've seen work less-than-well for cigarettes) or no, people will continue to order what they like, which is the high-fat/high-sugar stuff, which at Starbucks is just gross. Now, the hi-fat/hi-sugar cream cheese flan with caramel I made last night was not; it was great. But I make and eat it only, oh, every 45 years or so.
As for portion size: I grew up in NYC, and very often bought and ate hot pretzels from street carts. They were, back in the 1970s, a little bigger than a deck of cards. These days, they have the circumference of a soccer ball. Who needs this much pretzel?

Posted by: Nancy Rommelmann at June 19, 2006 10:02 AM

They say a Starbucks scone has more fat than a pork chop.

Posted by: Crid at June 19, 2006 10:41 AM

Oh the poor fat people of the world...How were they to know a monstrous size latte with an extra shot of carmel would lead to them not being able to fit through the doors!! This rates right up there with the man who is suing (or wants to sue, I can't remember which)KFC because of the oil they use to fry their chicken is loaded with "bad fat" (saturated I think)...please!! Own up to the fact you can't control yourself and stop pissing and moaning that it's everyone elses fault you're fat! Did people honestly thing that by putting the nutritional info on things it would have stopped people from eating like a bunch of hogs.

Posted by: Amanda at June 19, 2006 12:01 PM

"Posted health inf. (which we've seen work less-than-well for cigarettes)"

Although too many people are still smoking cigarettes, it's entirely possible that smoking would be even more widespread were it not for the Surgeon General's warning on cigarette packages. Of course, we have no way of determining that at this point -- which is why I suggested the randomized field trial in my first posting. There sure as hell are enough Starbucks outlets to study.

Posted by: Lena at June 19, 2006 12:29 PM

Here's the story about the bozo suing KFC that Amanda mentioned above -,2933,199292,00.html

Why do I get the irresistable urge to knee this clown in the crackers?

Posted by: Todd Fletcher at June 19, 2006 1:35 PM

Why would a staff member want to do this? The more money people spend in the place, the better the job can be. I never understand people who sabotage their place of employment. If you hate Starbucks, don't work there.

Posted by: KateCoe at June 19, 2006 2:55 PM

I consider Starbucks a category of "recreational food", like pretzels,beer,etc, occasional delights, I'll drink ground chickory at home,if I have to,not a coffee snob.If you need to keep track of all of the nutrients and fats in such little treats,then you have a problem in my book.Like I need to know the calories in a tic-tac fer chrissakes!!

Posted by: mbruce at June 19, 2006 4:29 PM

"Oh the poor fat people of the world..."

You are ON FIRE, Amanda! What are you drinking, by the way? Sounds like something a lot stronger that a latte.

Posted by: Lena at June 19, 2006 4:32 PM

I have been to Hot Springs, AK many times, and it is a delightful place to visit. I'm not a horse racing or 'bathing' fan, but I have enjoyed many good restaurants and other 'passive' activities as I like kicking back and feeling no pressures.

Posted by: Inkpad at June 19, 2006 8:25 PM

Some stats for Lena:
# Nine out of ten smokers say they want to quit.
# The number of Americans who have quit smoking is rising steadily. To date, 36 million Americans have quit smoking.
# More than 48 million Americans currently smoke.
I think it's verifiable that the warnings have worked to some good effect. There's also some concurrent trickle-down: if you don't see mom smoking, you might not, either.
The bad news is, many moms no longer cook. Have you seen the ads on TV where mom yells, "Dinner's ready!" and the kids run out to the car? The money-line is, have dinner at home tonight--with take-out from KFC!
But I digress: we've had nutritional information on every can of Coke and box of HoHos for twenty years, and are as a nation fatter than ever. By choice.

Posted by: Nancy Rommelmann at June 19, 2006 9:54 PM

"Some stats for Lena:"
"I think it's verifiable that the warnings have worked to some good effect."

How do those numbers indicate an effect to you? Do you have any estimate of what those numbers would be if the warnings had never been issued? The "warning effect" would be the difference between the two sets of numbers.

Posted by: Lena at June 20, 2006 5:25 PM

Leave a comment