Thursday, 28 August 2008

Las Vegas - Supreme Cake Porn and Absurd Food Labelling

The Great Cake Porn Tour
New York - Limited Cake Porn but Plenty of Sugar Pushers
New York Part 2 – Another Sugar Pusher and Cake Security Threat
Las Vegas - Supreme Cake Porn and Absurd Food Labelling
Yosemite National Park - More Blood Sugar Capers
San Francisco Part 1: Stretching the Definitions of Natural and Healthy
San Francisco Part 2 - My Proxy Cheesecake Shame

Vegas was always going to be the Great Cake Porn Tour's finest hour, so I was not surprised to find this set of beauties at the Cheesecake factory in Caesar’s Palace shopping centre. Following the security problems I had with cakes in New York part 2, I was not so surprised to find I had to talk my way past the front-of-house person before getting access to these.

Yesterday at breakfast I discovered a new phenomenon. Mrs Methuselah was adding what I thought was milk to her coffee, when I noticed that the small tubs were actually labelled ‘Non Dairy Product.’ This is about as vague as you can possibly get, suggesting to a literal minded sort like myself that this could be absolutely anything - just not dairy. A quick squint at the ingredients revealed 'Partially hydrogenated soybean oil' to be the top ingredient. When I informed Mrs M she was basically adding trans fat to her drink she adopted a expression of disgust and pushed her cup away. When I had stopped laughing and explained the likely ingredients of the waffles, pancakes, muffins and cream cheese she had been devouring for the past 10 minutes, she realised that she may as well enjoy the coffee to and it was grudgingly allowed to rejoin her dining area.

I am considering releasing a food range myself, called 'Non Engine Oil'. It seems like this would give me even more scope ingredients-wise than the makers of 'Non Dairy Product' have. Imagine the cost savings and flexibility when apparently I can make it out of literally anything that's not engine oil!

I should point out that Mrs Methuselah had always intended to stray from her normally healthy diet for the duration of this holiday. What is interesting to watch is how short-lived the honeymoon period of her binge-fest has been. Yesterday, after the breakfast waffles, pancakes, jam, muffins and (pre-sweetened) coffee she wandered round in a wired haze for a couple of hours, complaining that she should not have eaten what she did.

At lunch, faced once again with a spectacular array of desserts at the buffet counter she was unable to resist, the discomfort of 4 hours previously seeming to be distant dream. She returned with not one, but 3 desserts - creme brulee, apple crumble and some kind of banana pudding which looked a lot like non dairy product to me. Needless to say, she heroically cleared the plate as I looked on, both appalled and envious.

By 7pm I was listening to the same rueful whining of 9 hours before, except this time far more accute. Mrs M's blood sugar had apparently taken a turn for the worst. In the queue for buffet number 3 I found myself needing to prop her up and talk her down from being sick. When we finally got seated she returned with a sparsely populated plate of vegetables and white fish. She ordered water.

I have not encountered any health food stores yet so no more sugar pushers to report.

The Series:
The Great Cake Porn Tour
New York - Limited Cake Porn but Plenty of Sugar Pushers
New York Part 2 – Another Sugar Pusher and Cake Security Threat
Las Vegas - Supreme Cake Porn and Absurd Food Labelling
Yosemite National Park - More Blood Sugar Capers
San Francisco Part 1: Stretching the Definitions of Natural and Healthy
San Francisco Part 2 - My Proxy Cheesecake Shame

See Also:
Why (Refined) Sugar is Bad: Some References
The Worst Sugar Pushers of all: Health Food Stores

4 comments:

Mini said...

I have eaten in that very Cheesecake Factory in Ceasers Palace and I have to say they had an impressive array of refined sugar products. I am impressed also with your ability to eat 3 consecutive Vegas buffets in one day! I could only manage one before feeling like I was going to puke. I found myself eating a breakfast of muffins, pancakes, waffles, bacon and eggs. After putting that away, I then ate several crab legs; some shrimps and lobster, some Chinese dumplings, sweet and sour chicken and then finally had 2 pieces of cake for desert. It was 9.30 am! That was the only meal I ate that day, and to be honest even my stoic digestive system struggled to cope with that lot. I seriously doubt you will find any 'health food' stores in Vegas, it just aint what that place is about. I would recommend a trip downtown to Binions Steakhouse for some dinosaur sized steaks, look out for the Binions cut steak on the menu, its 32 oz of pure pleasure!

I was in my local Coop earlier and found this product from this company on a 'Buy one get one free offer'
http://www.tncc.com.au/sites/tncc/index.php?pageId=13

Having studied the packaging the general gist was that it was natural due to the fact that it used only natural colourings and flavours, however with 43% of the product being derived from refined sugar I fail to see how an organisation can pass off their product as natural, particularly as the confectionary was actually coated in refined white sugar crystals! Perhaps you could write to them to ask their views on this matter, it seems to me they are encouraging parents to buy this product for their children on the basis that it is in some way good for them. Go get em tiger!!

Methuselah said...

Mini - to be fair, it's not possible to tell from this information whether the 42.3g of sugars is actually derived from refined sugar or other forms. Even if they listed the ingredients, this won't tell us how much refined sugar there is, only whether it is the top ingredient, second biggest ingredient (by weight) etc. But instinct tells me it probably is full of the stuff - perhaps you could have a look at the ingredients list next time you are in the shop - my betting is that 'Sugar' will be the top ingredient, or, if perhaps 'Raw Cane Sugar', as often manufacturers use this ingredient to justify calling the product natural. Let me know what you find...

Elaine Vigneault said...

There are plenty of "health food" stores in Vegas. GNC is in every city in America and there are tons of other similar type stores.

But of course, you'd have to get off the Strip a little to see the rest of Vegas.

Aaron said...

"she wandered round in a wired haze for a couple of hours, complaining that she should not have eaten what she did."

Been there, done that, a few hundred times. It takes all the fun out of cheating on your diet when you just end up feeling crappy. I'm gradually learning to pig out on the meat section of a buffet, so by the time the desserts start calling to me, I'm too stuffed to respond.

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