Eggs vs. Eggs

As my frittata breakfast settles in my stomach, I thought I’d write about my most recent experience at an IHOP in Texas. I don’t go to IHOPs, or any national chain restaurant, if I can help it, or am going through a particular bit of insanity. This is mostly because that in Seattle, you have unending choices of delicious food that is from local businesses (including local ingredients!) I’m still on a path of weight-loss, so Texas is a challenge no matter what. I thought that I could navigate breakfast rather simply, even when the family chose IHOP, but it turns out I was wrong.

The order was simple – 2 eggs over medium, 2 strips of bacon, whole-wheat toast.

What I received was all that, PLUS hash browns and an extra slice of toast, both drenched in butter.

I left one slice of toast and hash browns to the side. I planned only to eat one of the eggs, but ended up eating both. During the entire meal, I was stunned with the fact that the texture of eggs and bacon was there, but the flavor wasn’t. It wasn’t for lack of salt, as I sprinkled more than my usual on it. It wasn’t for lack of hot sauce, either, as I slathered my eggs in Tabasco and Cholula. My brain even raised the question, “Are these eggs sweet?” It seemed like I couldn’t escape a syrupiness, even on my eggs.

I’m a fan of bacon and eggs. It’s something I eat on a semi-regular basis, usually being a piece of bacon and a single egg. This combo breakfast usually sustains me for 4-5 hours before I remember that it’s time to eat. This is much longer than my usual high-fiber breakfast cereal gets me. I have found that the key to being satisfied and not overeating is limiting my simple carbohydrate intake, or ensuring that I pair all simple carbs with protein or fat. I hoped that my order at IHOP would net me the same fortitude as my experience with bacon and eggs at home. I was horribly, horribly wrong.

One reason this happened could be that I ate toast (and a bite of pancake) along with my protein and fat rich breakfast. It was whole-wheat, and naked except for butter, so I don’t imagine it had much of a glycemic impact as naked toast alone. The other reason, and I don’t have a scientific basis to believe this, is that perhaps the IHOP eggs and bacon and our eggs and bacon at home (which come from the farmer’s market) are actually different, nutritionally. IHOPs sources are likely from CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations), where our sources come from a short ways out into Washington, where allegedly, the animals lead happy lives up until their deaths. The feed itself, perhaps, makes a difference.

All I know is that in a short 2-3 hours, I was really, really hungry. Unreasonably hungry.

Maybe, instead of obscenely stacked burgers and plumped up milkshakes, THIS IS WHY WE’RE FAT. Food, in the greater parts of America, is so bland and tasteless it requires monumental amounts of salt and sugar to make it taste like anything, and when you’re done eating, you’re hungry in short order. Your tastebuds are constantly deprived, deprivation leads to overeating, almost as if you keep on eating, somehow taste will appear. Maybe this bite will be tasty?!

Corn syrup has taken a hit as the culprit of the obesity epidemic. Maybe corn syrup is just another symptom. Maybe the CAFO meats and dairy and fake-food (ie. artificial sweetners, flavors, and artificially low-fat foods) being devoid of flavor, REQUIRING more of ANYTHING to give it flavor are to blame for obesity.

After my excursion into the Heart of Darkness America, I can note that it will be very, very hard for me to ever leave the Pacific Northwest.