Tim Belford: Short Takes On Life
Tim Belford
Tim Belford
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Tim Belford is host of Quebec A.M. -- CBC Radio's popular English- language morning show (91.7 FM, 6-9, Mon.-Fri). He also is said to know a thing or three about wine.

Posted 12.30.01
Quebec City


You do not want fries with that, right?

I'm a little worried about MP Tom Wappel.

Actually, I worry about almost all MPs but right now Wappel is top of the list.

You see, the Liberal member for Scarborough West, Ontario, is sponsoring a private member's bill.

It's called Bill C-398. And if it's passed restaurants will have to include caloric information on their menus right next to the prices.

And frankly, I'm not too sure we're ready for that much information.

Wappel is somehow worried that the average Canadian doesn't realize that your average "super deluxe, half pound supreme burger with bacon and double cheese" is bad for us.

So he wants the facts right up front.

Hey, maybe he's right. Maybe it's time someone points out that the cheese curd and french fries in a poutine don't fulfill the daily requirement for dairy and vegetable in Health Canada's food guide.

Maybe Quebecers should be told that a potato is not merely the underground portion of a leafy green vegetable.

But imagine this scenario.

"Good evening, I'm Tim and I'll be your waiter tonight. How can I help you?"

"Well, Tim, I'll have the Admiral's Feast with fried shrimp, scallops, clams, fries and coleslaw with the 2020 calories, 97 grams of fat, including the 26 grams of saturated fat and the 22 grams of trans fat."

Good gracious, what would happen if we actually knew that the 12-inch subway club on whole wheat with one chocolate chip cookie meant adding 925 calories to our daily diet?

And we won't even get into saturated or trans fats here.

I actually went to a web site to compare calories and fats in various snack and fast foods.

It's not a pretty picture.

Pizza Hut would have to point out that three slices of hand-tossed supreme pizza with an order of breadsticks and dipping sauce would add 970 calories and probably turn your arteries into nothing more than conduits for lard.

Even more frightening is the alternative.

The web site had suggestions for "free foods." These are foods that contain less than 20 calories per serving and that you can eat with impunity.

They include broth without fat, club soda, unsweetened cranberries, chinese cabbage, mustard, and non-stick cooking spray.

Great! I can just see myself spraying a piece of whole wheat melba toast with Pam!

Nope. I appreciate Tom Wappel's concern but on the whole, I'd just rather not know.