Assertion, unsupported by fact, is nugatory. Surmise and general abuse, in however elegant language, ought not to pass for truth. Junius

2006/12/06

Tim Horton's on the Dustheap of History, or, The Maple Dip Is Better for You. Really.

I'm feeling ugly today. I was going to rant, really just a little, about the fetishization of December 6 as the day of mourning for women, but another national sacred cow has infinite more appeal: Tim Horton's.

Is anyone else getting just a tad irritated with Tim Horton's or am I alone in this?

We can talk about the metastasis of Tim Horton coffeshops on virtually every street corner of the land, their contribution to car culture and uglification of our neighbourhoods; we can talk about the appropriateness of a national icon being foreign owned; we can talk about the slightly sinister, Orwellian overtones of their latest advertising slogan ("Always Fresh. Always There."); we can talk about how we're beeing branded and blanded to death by the sheer ubiquitousness of Tim's; we can talk about how true community is really created in small family-owned and run restaurants and cafes, not in a prepackaged plastic-and-laminate soulless franchise operations staffed by the surly and the underpaid; we can talk of the silly public relations stunt of shipping a Tim's to Afganistan, complete, it seems, with the aforementioned surly employees.

Or we can talk about the "Always Fresh" food.

The fact is, Tim Horton's isn't really that healthy, being loaded with salt and simple sugars and fat. The twisted cruel irony is that Tim's core product --- doughnuts --- the food associated with overweight cops and Homer Simpson, is actually healthier for you than, say, a bagel or a muffin.

Consider this:

A maple dip doughnut contains 210 calories, 8g of fat and 190 mg of sodium.

A flaxseed bagel (marketed for the anti-carcinogenic properties of flaxseed) has 310 calories, 5 g of fat and 580 mg of sodium. Add the cream cheese --- and you would have to have a heart of stone not too --- and you're adding 144 calories, 18 g of fat and 190 mg of sodium. Total: 454 calories, 23 g of fat and 770 mg of sodium. Don't even think about getting that bagel buttered too.

12 grain bagel --- well, that should be healthier. It's got grains! 12 of them! Sadly, no. 310 calories, 6 g of fat, and 600 mg of salt. With cream cheese: 454 calories, 24 g of fat and 790 mg of sodium.

Then we come to the wasteland of muffins. Take the wheat carrot muffin, for example, which somehow conjures up visions of happy glossy eyed vegans: you get grain and vegetables all together! Except that is has 400 calories, an astonishing 19 g of fat, and 660 mg of sodium, albeit in a tasty little package. All you need is a side order of blood thinners, 'cause that fat is going straight to your arteries.

So much for the food. In Tim's defence, I have to say the crap you get at McDonald's or Burger King is probably worse by an order of magnitude, but that, unfortunately, isn't saying much.

The funny thing is, I like Tim's coffee. I drink it by the gallon. I'd take it intravenously if were possible. So when a faceless corporation starts to irritate the likes of me, it's probably time for them to watch out. We're a fickle lot, us consumers. Any hint of criticism, a whiff of ennui, the slightest nuance of negativity and we're gone. Just ask Mother's Restaurants. Or Eaton's. Or K-Mart.


Blogging note: Posts have been a little scarce the last week or so, owing to work and personal committments on both our parts. And the season of joy and frantic consumerism is upon us. Well, we'll do what we can.

2 Comments:

Blogger Kyle said...

just a quick note...

Tim's core product isn't the donut or any other solid product. Their core product is coffee. Coffee makes up the majority of its sales and profits. In some stores it outsells all other products combined by a 2-1 margin.

I do get your point though about how donuts are arguably healthier than their bagels or muffins. Their muffins are terrible for the individual. Even their low-fat muffins aren't all that great for you and are part of a larger quick service corporate promotional trickery. All the major food corporations sell 'healthy' alternatives which aren't really that healthier for you. McDonald's salads can be just as bad as a big mac. Subway promotes their 'under 6' subs but tries to give the impression that all their subs are healthy in-store, etc., etc.

Isn't marketting grande?!!

Wednesday, 06 December, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, needed a late night snack/dinner and just had the 12 grain bagel with light cream cheese, and went online to get the values... Gosh darnit that bagel with a healthy sounding name has more fat and calories than their yummy cinamon-raison bagel. And more fat and calories than the yummy Boston Creme donut. Before adding the light cream cheese. Ouch...

Wednesday, 13 August, 2008  

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