Not vomiting in my mouth will be difficult during this post.  While at work, I saw something that damaged me irrevocably.  The author of Drink This, not That (the link to this site says it all) was asked the question of which beer to drink that was low calorie but still tasted good.  Answer: Bud Select 55.  My God!  Are you kidding me?  He went on to say that it’s the lowest calorie beer on the market.

Houston, we have a problem.  I think some wires got crossed.  First of all, he ignored the second concern of the question-asker. The implication was that there were beers that were low in calories but tasted like licking an extremely obese man’s armpit. Undeterred, the author answered with simple qualification of utility, which I’ve attacked most recently on a post about Epicures. Obviously, he hasn’t tasted the beer or he ignored the point of the question.

Other things were said.  Forget about fried food, etc.  Lose up to 20 pounds a year by changing what you drink.  First of all (obviously this is simplistic), drinks were painted as the real enemy.  Second, the surface implied that food had nothing to do with it.  I’m sure he doesn’t think that, but it was implied.  No one will deny that Coke after Coke or beer after beer will pack on the pounds.  But while watching the program I thought, “Why are people not talking about the real issue?”  Excess is the real issue in our culture.  How many really obese Czech people have I met?  Let me count: none that I know (not that I’m meeting them every day).  Yet Czech drinkers are consuming more beer than anyone, but they are not continuously packing on the pounds. America’s weight problems are usually connected with excessive refined sugars, fast food, high fat content and highly processed foods.  Put those things in tandem with a resolutely sedentary lifestyle and you get fatties.

Another implication is that people are either drinking multiple servings of beer or that the beer itself can’t be built into the meals or daily caloric intake.  Personally, beer is a life enhancer for me.  It makes a great meal stellar.  It makes a hot summer day cool off.  It makes a time of hanging out joyously cohesive.  Vapid brews accomplish nothing.  They enhance nothing…except a low calorie state of copping a buzz.  Let’s be honest, who really drinks Select 55 because of the taste profile or flavor enhancement that it brings to a meal?  It seems to me it offers nothing in the way of quality.

So, I look at this one of two ways.  Either Select 55 could have artificial and calorie free flavor enhancers or we can bite the bullet and drink a good beer.  What’s the matter with figuring your beer into the daily caloric intake, taking a jog, or not worrying about having the six pack abs that we are programmed to desire?  The answer, for me at least, is to not worry so much and enjoy quality of life filled with meaningful experiences.  Sure, people won’t ogle my rock hard abs… but who has their shirt off that much anyway?

I will drink this, not that…but certainly not the way that the author expects.