It didn’t take long for the other shoe to drop. Within hours of a report that a customer suffered a coronary while devouring a 6,000-calorie burger at a restaurant that unabashedly specializes in artery-clogging fare, an anti-meat health advocacy group dashed off a letter advising the restaurant’s owner to “shut it down.”
The letter, by Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., appears on the website of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a self-appointed watchdog organization whose policies make Michelle Obama “Let’s Move” campaign seem laissez-faire by comparison. One of the PCRM’s handouts outlines “the four new food groups,” viz., fruit, legumes, whole grains, and vegetables.
The letter, to John Basso, owner of the Heart Attack Grill, begins:
I won’t sugarcoat this: Shut it down. As a dietitian who has worked with people suffering from diabetes and heart disease, I’m writing to ask you to declare moral bankruptcy and close the Heart Attack Grill.
PCRM president, Neal Barnard, M.D., adds his own two cents on a separate page of the website, in a “news release” that quotes him as saying:
Bypass surgery is no joke to anyone who has lost a loved one to heart disease…. This latest emergency should be a wake-up call for the Heart Attack Grill. The restaurant should end its bizarre attempts to capitalize on obesity and clogged arteries and reopen with a new name and a new menu featuring heart-healthy vegan options.
Basso’s reply to the PCRM came as quickly as their letter followed the news story about the customer who experienced chest pains. The restaurant owner appeared on FOX News Channel’s FOX & Friends. Clad in a doctor’s white coat, with a stethoscope dangling around his neck, he declared:
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