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Respected Social Butterfly
Posts: 2,260
Registered: ‎04-07-2015

Re: WHAT WOULD THIS BE WORTH TO YOU????

Message 1 of 5 (286 Views)

Given that I helped take this thread off-topic, I now return us to the original topic, which was that the restaurant discounts as offered via the AARP Rewards for Good program are, um, questionable at best. (Not that this kitchen rat knows about restaurant deals)

 

Apologies, @nctarheel. Take it away! Smiley Happy

 

 

The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical. - Julius Erving
Respected Social Butterfly
Posts: 2,260
Registered: ‎04-07-2015

Re: WHAT WOULD THIS BE WORTH TO YOU????

Message 2 of 5 (296 Views)

WebWiseWoman wrote:

I love your post, but have to disagree.

 

Bought lifetime membership in 2004 and have used the Outback Steakhouse discount enough to pay it forward (and have purchased lifetime memberships for bro & sis).

 

I happen to think their (Outback) menu can be healthy.

 

I would appreciate farmers' market discount; perhaps AARP should contact City of Henderson, NV; they have great farmers' market (tomatoes actually have a taste).

 

 


@WebWiseWoman My apologies for taking so long to respond to this. Agreed! A national farmer's market gift card would be awesome. We'd use those!

 

Here's where I'm coming from on the restaurant thing, so you'll be better able to spot my bias. Smiley Happy

 

I'm a life long health freak, which is to say for as long as I can remember I was interested in nutrition. I trained with chefs so I could cater. I became a certified food producer/food safety manager so I could sell honey, homemade preserves, breads, pies, et cetera, from the farm. I wrote 3 blogs and two food/lifestyle columns. None of this makes me an expert on Outback Steakhouse. It does give me some food bias and some knowledge about commercial kitchens. So here goes ... Smiley Happy

 

I have not been inside an Outback Steak house in over 20 years. I did not take the time to search for their menu online. Still, I think it next to impossible to order something healthy from them. HOW CAN SHE SAY THAT? you may be tempted to yell at your screen .... Smiley Happy

 

First let me tell you what I would call a healthy restaurant meal: a nutritionally balanced, right sized meal served hot. A healthy meal is not full of fat, sugar or salt. (And for me it is also 85% or better organic, but that's me and I'll give you a pass on that.)

 

Why hot? Heat kills pathogens, and commerical kitchens are crawling with pathogens, because they are staffed by humans. Lots of people handle your food between the restaurant refrigerator/cooler and your table. Each one of those people can introduce food borne illness. Items that are not heated will have the most pathogens. So I say skip the salad bar and the fruit cup. 

 

I also say skip the red meat. (you saw that coming) But, surprise: I say skip the chicken too because any meat that is processed through one of America's packing plants has a good chance of being contaminated. Commercially grown meat is raised in such filthy environments that fecal contamination is the norm. OK so we have salad, fruit and meat off the menu. 

 

Don't order anything that was deep fried, because while frying has high heat going for it, uh, well: deep fried. Ew. This must remove most everything but dessert and vegetables from the menu, right?

 

Dessert is out, obvs. Smiley Happy This leaves us with veggies. Steamed veggies are usually cooked to death and have no texture and little nutritional value. Mashed potatoes are filled with starch and the butter, bacon, gravy options don't fit our goal of healthy food, so ... they are off the menu, too. Does Outback have roasted vegertables on the menu? OK: order those.

 

American restaurants typically sell meals that contain two or more healthy 'servings'. That's 2 or 3 times the calories. OK, fine, ask that they bring a doggie bag with the meal. You'll put half of everything in the doggie bag before you take bite one. Let's say it takes 30 minutes for you to eat your vegetables, which, btw, were tepid, because they were kept warm, not hot, under the heat lamp for a good 10 minutes before the server brought them to you. Let's say it takes you another 5 minutes at the register, and another 30 minutes to get home and put your leftovers in the fridge. By then, your veggies have chilled to the temperature in which pathogens begin to grow. This is what is known as time/temperature abuse (not keeping food at the proper temp invites pathogens to grow ... and the consumer to get food borne illness). Of course, you could heat those leftovers to over 250 degrees for your next dinner to kill the pathogens, but you aren't allowed to microwave your food and call it healthy because the super high temps of a microwave kills nutrients. 

 

And then there is this: American food service rules are getting so crazy that many restaurants have become basically heat and serve establishments, meaning most everything was cooked elsewhere in huge commercial operations (read: where chemical additives are chosen over actual food because cost and because chemicals provide shelf life). So those veggies likely came frozen in a plastic bag (which off gassed more chemicals into your food), and were treated with something to keep them color fast and to preserve them.

 

It isn't impossible to get a truly healthy meal from a restaurant, but it is nearly so.

 

This is why I cook something like 99% of our meals at home.  From scratch. Often with ingredients I grew organically (this includes meat). Yes, becoming a certified food producer left me totally tweaked. Smiley Happy At least I can admit it, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical. - Julius Erving
Regular Social Butterfly
Posts: 338
Registered: ‎05-25-2009

Re: WHAT WOULD THIS BE WORTH TO YOU????

Message 3 of 5 (321 Views)

I love your post, but have to disagree.

 

Bought lifetime membership in 2004 and have used the Outback Steakhouse discount enough to pay it forward (and have purchased lifetime memberships for bro & sis).

 

I happen to think their (Outback) menu can be healthy.

 

I would appreciate farmers' market discount; perhaps AARP should contact City of Henderson, NV; they have great farmers' market (tomatoes actually have a taste).

 

 

Phil Harris, actor and showman, to John Fogerty of CCR: “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”
Respected Social Butterfly
Posts: 2,260
Registered: ‎04-07-2015

Re: WHAT WOULD THIS BE WORTH TO YOU????

Message 4 of 5 (343 Views)

A bit off point, I guess, but imho there are very, very, very few (like practically zero) restaurants in which one can eat a healthy meal. Save your energy for cooking at home and be happier, healthier and wealthier.

 

I keep suggesting to AARP that they create a national farmer's market gift card that one could buy via R4G. I'd buy those.  I also keep suggesting that they offer coupons for organic produce rather than packaged foods.

 

 

The key to success is to keep growing in all areas of life - mental, emotional, spiritual, as well as physical. - Julius Erving
Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 4,889
Registered: ‎05-16-2009

WHAT WOULD THIS BE WORTH TO YOU????

Message 5 of 5 (364 Views)

You have a discount dining program where you PAY points and receive COUPONS for discounts but then you discover:

 

There are 277 entries from which to select BUT:

 

(1) Over 40 are either Jack in the Box or Domino's

(2) Over 120 of the 277 are in other towns than your own

(3) Over 10 are in another state than your own.

 

and finally, you discover................

 

These coupons for which you have to pay points, waste printing paper and ink, and take with you to the dining establishment can be gotten from other sources FOR FREE.

 

What a waste of time and resources.

 

AARP should discontinue wasting our membership fees on a worthless program like REWARDS FOR GOOD.