Don't ever step in the way of a senior and his/her doughnut. Just don't. 'Cuz it could get ugly.
The owners of a senior center outside New York City found this out the hard way. The government of Putnam County, NY, decided that too many doughnuts were being donated and then consumed at their senior center. Concerned about the health and well-being of their residents and visitors, they banned all pastries from the center.
"Officials were concerned that the county was setting a bad nutritional precedent by providing mounds of doughnuts and other sweets to seniors," says the Associated Press article.
Some residents didn't really care, some approved of it, while yet others took matters into their own hands.
They are now protesting outside the front doors of the facility with placards and sandwich boards.*
One reads, "They're carbs, not contraband."
Another: "We're old enough to choose."
There was, of course, a little more to the issue than just the calories/carbs/fat issue that is immediately associated with a trip to Dunkin'. Reports said that as many as 16 cases of donuts were being delivered to the center each day, and that some had been sitting in car trunks overnight, or showed up with a sprinkling of mold.
The easy, obvious solution would be to limit the number of doughnut donations, and once the limit had been reached, to go visit another community group in need of free pastries. As for the mold issue, maybe you could just have potential donors eat a little of their donation before they leave. I guarantee that the number of moldy sweets will plummet.
There are several ironies involved in this, namely that people would be so up in arms about weight gain in a population where studies have proven, again and again, that weight loss is horrifically unhealthy. 'Overweight' is actually even more protective in the elderly than in the rest of the population. The county government also thought that seniors eating doughnuts was setting a bad example for the rest of the community. Um, sorry. If I make it to 80 and I want to gum down half a dozen doughnuts every morning, I've earned that right. If swearing off pastries means an extra year of life, that might not be a year worth living.
Truth be told, I'm not a huge doughnut fan. I gravitate more towards good bread and other sweets. This doughnut shop is doing a very good job at converting me, however. But what happened to the right to decide for yourself what your body needs?
This article on Junkfood Science about kids earning an "A" in business for selling contraband treats reminds me a bit of what some business-savvy seniors might do. Black market donuts. Never thought I'd see the day.
The article ends with one of the more amusing points: a description of a bag lunch at one Bronx, New York senior center. Roast beef sandwich, cranberry juice, and carrot sticks.
Carrot sticks? For an 80-year-old? How do they chew those? They'll probably wreck a tooth and then be on a soft foods diet for a while and will wind up eating doughnuts anyway.
Thanks, but no thanks.
*Since most sandwiches contain bread, wouldn't that be, like, double the infringement? I'm not sure the residents were thinking of it in that form, but it's a nice thought.
I was reading the Baltimore City Paper the other day, and found this cartoon. It's not the easiest to read, but it's so worth your time. And so relevant to this article.