Hot Dish

Caveat emptor As if mad cow weren't enough worry—now we have to watch out for salty chicken. At first glance, "enhanced chicken" looks just like an ordinary piece of fresh, healthy meat. However, hidden in the fine print is the fact that the chicken is processed in salt water, which drastically increases sodium levels and adds water weight, which can increase the price you pay by as much as 15 percent. Wal-Mart superstores and WinCo supermarkets both sell only "enhanced chicken," while Safeway sells it in the fresh meat case alongside unprocessed chicken. Current law states that a small label must identify the chicken as "enhanced"; it might say "enhanced with chicken broth" or "enhanced in solution." According to Bill Mattos, president of the California Poultry Federation, the trend of "enhancing" chicken is troubling not only because it increases the price, but because, "if you have diabetes or heart problems, you wouldn't want that much sodium in your diet." Burger battle Just when you thought the massive hype surrounding Super Size Me had quieted to a dull roar, filmmaker Soso Whaley is taking on the documentary that took on McDonald's. For those unaware: Super Size Me chronicled director Morgan Spurlock's attempt to eat nothing but McDonald's food for a month to prove just how harmful the restaurant's fare can be. After countless Big Macs, Quarter Pounders With Cheese, and McGriddles, Spurlock found himself battling cold sweats, overwhelming lethargy, sexual malfunction, and the threat of liver failure. While some critics observed that Spurlock threw himself headlong into ill health by rejecting the healthier items on McDonald's menu, Whaley did more than talk: She started working on a counterargument. The result is a film project titled Debunk the Junk: Soso Whaley's McDonald's Adventure, in which Whaley re-creates Spurlock's stunt without the junk-food bias and loses 10 pounds in a month. But even if she found Spurlock's argument spurious, why would Whaley go to bat for the world's largest fast-food chain? In her project diary (,03932.cfm), Whaley claims to be at war with "the doom and gloom, alarmist, anti-everything attitude of certain individuals and organizations who want to control my life, your life, everyone's life with little regard for individual tastes, freedom of choice and personal responsibility." As of this writing, Spurlock's Web site ( has yet to acknowledge Debunk the Junk. Eating in slow mo American food culture changes constantly, yet one factor seems to stay the same: the lack of time Americans allot themselves to eat. Eating faster means over­eating, since your body doesn't have enough time to realize it doesn't need more food. Enter the DDS System (, a "discreet oral appliance" that forces users to take smaller bites, causing the feeling of fullness to kick in sooner. Designed by a Seattle dentist, this weight-loss tool, available for $400–$500 a pop, claims to be safer and easier than most, yet further studies are needed to examine the impact of DDS on weight loss. You could ask your dentist about it . . . or you could just face the task of eating more slowly and fight gluttony, one well-chewed bite at a time. Food and/or beverage news? E-mail Hot Dish at

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