The Washington Post concluded an editorial in Sunday's paper about obesity with the admonition, "People must be responsible to themselves — and, now, it appears, to others around them — to eat healthy and exercise. After all, friends don't let friends eat Oreos." It was a vicious and unwarranted attack on a perfectly respectable sandwich cookie. An Oreo, after all, is trans-fat free and cholesterol free. Certain editors of this newspaper have been eating them for years — covered with dark chocolate, mixed in to ice cream, or washed down with a glass of whole milk — and have managed to remain slender. Used in moderation, as part of a balanced diet, Oreo cookies can be healthier than other snacks, such as, say, a hot fudge sundae or a cheese omelet.
Maybe the Post preferred Hydrox cookies and is bitter over the Oreo's triumph over its longtime competitor, which was for many years distinguished for its use of vegetable shortening instead of the Oreo's lard. Lard is gone from the Oreo, as are Hydrox from American supermarket shelves. What remains, apparently, is a reputation for a cookie whose cream and crunch Americans needn't feel guilty about enjoying. The Post is certainly free to campaign against whatever food it wants to. For our part, if a friend of ours stops by when we are tucking into a dish of ice cream and Oreo cookies, they are welcome to share.