Thursday, January 13, 2011

Well-Being and Tastykake

I was invited by a friend on Facebook to join a cause to Save Tastykake so that it does not go under.  As a kid, I totally loved Tastykake snacks.  Their Butterscotch Krimpets were wonderful.  Their cupcakes were also some of the best.   They made Kandy Kakes.  They were a fun snack.  They were local to where I grew up.  They were advertised on the baseball game programming that I watched and listened to as a kid.

But now, I am on the faculty at a school of public health.  I have done research on some of the negative effects of obesity.  I am a father who buys organic toaster treats (i.e., things like Pop-Tarts).  I am someone who bakes the majority of bread my family eats from scratch--often using organic ingredients.  I care intensely about nutrition and health and how it relates to what I and my family members eat.

Could I support a cause to Save Tastykake?

There are, as with most things in life, tradeoffs and they focus on different aspects of well-being.  I am generally for local businesses.  There are many people employed by Tastykake.  If a person has just one every once in a while, a person will not end up obese because of Tastykakes.  But, there is honestly little nutritional value.  Should the last fact matter if a person keeps them to a minimal fraction of total caloric intake?  As an economist, I also teach how people can make their own choices about things that affect their nutrition, their weight, their health, and their well-being.  What happens to the fun of eating and the fun of life in general?

In the end, I don't think that I can support a cause to save a company that produces something that I would not likely allow my own kids to eat.  I do hope, however, that a company that employs a large number of individuas and provides a snack that helps to make life fun--as long as it is used in moderation--is able to continue in operation.

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