Veggie burgers a healthier option

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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Connor Jay gets ready to chow down on a "savoury lady" hamburger in the Maple Grille in Charlottetown recently. The burger is part of the P.E.I Burger Love campaign to promote Island beef. 

Letter of the Day

Editor: In what has become an annual event to promote Island food products, April was designated “Burger Love” month in P.E.I. By all accounts it was a resounding success  with over 92,000 burgers sold, a big increase over previous years, including the campaign’s first year when approximately 5,500 burgers were sold by  participating restaurants.

In a news release, the Chair of P.E.I. Cattle Producers organization said: “We couldn’t be happier to have the focus on P.E.I. beef and other local ingredients.” Even The Guardian newspaper editorialized on what a great success it was. All well and good, but the same day’s edition included an article about the alarming rise in health care costs here on the Island (and everywhere else in Canada for that matter).

According to what we read and hear in the media these days, unhealthy diet is a major contributing factor to serious ailments such as heart  disease, diabetes and cancer. The popularity of “fast food” outlets  along with the convenience of prepared foods available in super markets, most of which are considered unhealthy choices,  has led to what has been described as an epidemic in obesity and other health problems. You can see where I’m going with this. The average hamburger is laden with saturated fat. When french fries, condiments and  a soft drink are included, you have additional fat, sodium and  sugar (not to mention a significant amount of calories).

 As far as the ‘Burger Love’ versions are concerned, individual restaurants  add just about everything edible they can pile on in an attempt to make their offering unique. So  we’re talking  here about a hefty overload of all the bad stuff , including a week’s worth of calories in one fell swoop!! At this point I have to confess that, after suspending my better judgment, I have partaken in a couple of those Burger Love specials. One not so good. The other was pretty tasty I must admit.

 But when the health and cost implications of all this are considered, maybe the powers that be could come up with healthier alternatives to promote next year. Veggie burgers, anyone? Not likely.

David MacCallum,

Charlottetown

Organizations: P.E.I. Cattle Producers

Geographic location: P.E.I., Canada, Charlottetown

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