The Irascible ProfessorSM

Irreverent Commentary on the State of Education in America Today

by Dr. Mark H. Shapiro
"Salted snack foods, candy, gum, most sweet desserts, fried fast food and carbonated beverages are some of the major junk foods.  Generally, they offer little in terms of protein, vitamins or minerals and lots of calories from sugar or fat. The term "empty calories" reflects the lack of nutrients."....  ...Joanne Larsen, Ask the Dietitian.

Commentary of the Day - March 3, 2002:  Headlines To Ponder at Krispy Kreme U.

Here at Krispy Kreme U. (aka Cal State Fullerton) the student newspaper goes by the name of The Daily Titan, even though it isn't always exactly a daily newspaper.  However, the students who put the rag together try hard.  The truth be told, they have an uphill battle.  Many of the more cynical campus denizens refer to the Titan as The Daily Error or The Daily Fishwrap, and on some days the amount of "news" in the Titan is so small that that the issue, exclusive of ads, can be read completely in less than a minute.

But, every once in a while they get it right.  One of those moments happened this past Tuesday when the editor juxtaposed two stories on page eight that complemented each other perfectly.  The headline for the story at the top of the page read "Krispy Kreme theory has no holes", while the headline for the second story on the page read "Possible threat to U.S. food supply scares FDA".  The first article was written by Daily Titan staff writer Sabrina Sakaguchi, while the second story had been picked up from the wires and was written by Michael Kilian of the Chicago Tribune.

Sakaguchi's story reported on a visit to campus by  Roger Glickman, who is president of the southern California company (Great Circle Family Foods) that operates the Krispy Kreme donut franchises in this area.  One of Cal State Fullerton's claims to fame is that it was the first university campus in the nation to host a Krispy Kreme donut outlet.  Actually, it is more of a "virtual" Krispy Kreme location than a real Krispy Kreme donut shop.  At the real Krispy Kreme's the donuts are made on the premises, and the aroma of hot Krispy Kremes can be detected for blocks in any direction.  The IP's arteries start to close down at the first whiff of fresh Krispy Kreme original glazed donuts.  Here on campus, the Krispy Kremes are brought in by the truckload, and run through the microwave to heat them up.  (A cold Krispy Kreme is virtually indigestible by anyone over the age of 30.)

The purpose of Glickman's visit was to give a the keynote speech for "Business Week".  Given the present economic climate this probably made more sense than bringing in someone from the local biotech or electronics industries.  While some of their stocks have nose-dived during the last year, at $36.56 (Friday's closing price) KKD is only off its high for the past 12 months by only 22%.  So what if it sells at more than 90 times earnings, and insiders have dumped billions of dollars worth of the stock in the past 12 months.  Glickman, whose picture suggests that he is a frequent consumer of his product as well as an ebullient entrepreneur, shared his formula for success with our business students.  According to Glickman, "Krispy Kreme is the best donut on the planet.  It's an irresistible, affordable indulgence."

Indeed, some campus wags expressed the opinion that the level of the cuisine at Cal State Fullerton actually improved when Krispy Kreme opened for business at the Titan Student Union food court.

That brings us to the second story.  According to the Chicago Trib's Kilian, Claude Allen, who is the deputy secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is quite concerned about the vulnerability of the food supply to tampering  by terrorists.  Apparently, less than three percent of imported food is inspected by federal agents; and, Allen has said that "we need to develop technology that allows food safety inspectors to test the product before it enters this country."  The Irascible Professor would not argue with that, but he has to wonder what all those Krispy Kreme donuts (and the other fast food items that are sold on campus) are doing to the health of Cal State Fullerton students.  Sometimes it seems like the campus food service believes that the four basic food groups are sugar, salt, fat, and cholesterol!

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