Big news re “weiner wars.” Which hot dog is best? Who cares?

We all know that all of them are bad for our health.

Which is best? Who cares?

Did you see the big news about the two major hot dog brands going to Federal court as the “weiner wars begin?” This was the lead paragraph in a USA Today article on 8-16-11.

CHICAGO — The nation’s two largest hot dog makers took their legal beefs to federal court Monday, where a judge will determine whether Oscar Mayer or Ball Park franks broke false-advertising laws in their efforts to become top dog…Thousands of pages of filings in three years of pretrial litigation by both food-industry giants demonstrate that the stakes are high…”There’s never been anything of this scope . . . in the entire history of hot dogs,” said Sara Lee’s attorney, Richard Leighton.

It is really sad to see how much time, money, and energy is being put into a battle where almost everyone knows that ALL of the products involved are among the least-healthy foods we can put in our mouth. Yet, while their lack of nutritional value is widely known, the almighty hot dog is one of the most ubiquitous items on our kids menus all across the nation. Like sausage, no one really wants to know what’s in it or how it is made. But the lawsuit is all about truth in advertising and whether or not the respective products are 100 percent beef or not — as if beef were some health food that we should be consuming in great quantities. From the article:

The lawsuit contends that while Oscar Mayer touted its Jumbo Beef Franks as “100 percent pure beef,” that claim is untrue, it cast aspersions on Ball Park franks and damaged their sales.

Kraft defends the “100 percent pure beef” tag, saying its intent was to state that the only meat used is beef. Some hot dogs include a mix of turkey, pork, chicken or other meats. Kraft further argues that the “pure beef” label is justified because surveys show a perception among some consumers that hot dogs contain “mystery meats.”

Unfortunately, the hot dog has become a cherished piece of Americana even though we know it’s not good for our health. I think it’s time for America to adopt a new national food — something very healthy from the plant kingdom. How about the apple, the potato or the watermelon? Anything but a hot dog.

How about the apple for America's new favorite food? It's already known for keeping the doctor away, it's the nickname for our most cosmopolitan city and it's the logo for the best computer company in the world. It also graces the cover of our book.

Out of curiosity, I went to today and looked up the nutritional facts for both Oscar Mayer and Ball Park all beef franks. As expected, they are both bad, and are examples of the kinds of “food” that I would never feed to anyone I loved — especially my own children. Here’s the scorecard for our two weiner giants:

  • Calories from fat per serving: 123 and 150
  • Percent fat per serving: 84% and 79%
  • Saturated fat per serving: 6 gr. and 7 gr.
  • Cholesterol per serving: 25 mg. and 35 mg.
  • Sodium per serving: 461 mg. and 550 mg.
  • Added sugar per serving: 1 gr. and 2 gr.
So which one is which? Who cares? Do you think that the healthier one would kill your children more slowly or give them a slightly less chance of developing type 2 diabetes before they finish high school. When are we going to wake up and stop supporting industries that are poisoning our children? 

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

The entire article was ludicrous, so much so that I couldn’t even justify reading the entire piece. But just in case you’re interested, I have provided the USA Today link below.

If you like what you see here, you may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4-Leaf page. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at

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Judge takes Ball Park-Oscar Mayer hot dog fight  relish –

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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1 Response to Big news re “weiner wars.” Which hot dog is best? Who cares?

  1. Greg Kaler says:

    “How about the apple, the potato or the watermelon?”

    As much as I love watermelon and apples, I vote for the potato because of its nutrition. McDougall is a big potato fan, Fuhrman not so much. Agreeing with McDougall, it makes sense to plan meals around a starch- replaces planning a meal around a meat! I think looking at it this way would help those contemplating a transition to a plant based diet. Dr. McDougall emailed me that the reason we should plan our meals around starches- rice, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and non-processed whole grains- is that they are high in much needed healthy calories.

    I am a solar cooker. A potato baked in infrared heat for 45 minutes to an hour- at about 250 degrees in a small dutch oven placed on our parabola cooker tastes wonderful. When it’s cooked at such a low temp there is less nutrient loss- more flavor! The parabola looks kind of like a satellite dish. It is MAGIC! It concentrates an intense beam of sunlight- can boil a few cups of water in 15 minutes.
    Our favorite rice -also wonderfully baked in our solar Sunn oven- is called “Gold Rice” from South Carolina. It has such a fluffy texture and great taste. It is white with little burgundy splotches. It is expensive.

    We have 4 heirloom “Blacktail Mountain” medium size watermelons growing in our garden, 5 different apple trees, and 50 hills of 3 types of potatoes. There’s much satisfaction/a feeling of self reliance and accomplishment that comes from being able to walk out into our backyard and harvest our own food. There’s NOTHING like the taste of fresh garden food! Gardening does not come without a cost- it takes a lot of time and effort. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Great exercise/sunshine/fresh Minnesota air.

    Yes it is incredibly sad that so much time and money has to be spent on a hotdog battle in court- on something so unhealthy that exploits animals. All we can do is continue to fight the good fight, try to improve ourselves, and set a good example/educate others. Even though soy hotdogs are processed, they’re not from an animal. My wife Bev and I eat them occasionally. We use a healthier bun, a healthier catsup, mustard and relish. It tastes great with a salad plus steamed veggies or a soup.

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