First The New York Daily News, and then Slashfood, unfairly blasted Gwyneth Paltrow for reportedly showing disgust and sneering, "Who eats this stuff?" when spotting a box of Lipton’s Cup-a-Soup on the set of "Dealbreakers," a short film she just finished directing.
This is entertainment news? Talk about a ridiculous, uncalled-for non-story! Simply stupid gossip.
Wait, there’s more. Lloyd Grove of the Daily News dished more unnecessary dirt and jumped to an outrageous conclusion, "…it sounds like she can’t resist trying to control the food intake of perfect strangers."
The columnist writes that when a production staffer admitted that his kids love the processed, additives-filled soup, Paltrow — who follows a macrobiotic diet — reportedly retorted, "I would rather die than let my kid eat Cup-a-Soup."
What we don’t hear is the source of this information. So we’re talking silly hearsay.
But let’s say the account was true. Well, maybe the Academy Award-winning actress wasn’t quite empathetic enough to the junk-food-reliant folks around her, but to say the acress gets "irrationally dramatic around convenience foods," as Slashfood put it, is simply overstating it. How absurd!
OK, now let’s take a look at the object of Paltrow’s aversion:
One envelope of the Asian Beef Noodle flavor Cup-a-Soup has 70 calories, 1 gram of fat, 680 grams of sodium, 14 grams of carbs, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 1 gram of sugars and 2 grams of protein.
The list of ingredients gets even more scary. Among others, it contains maltodextrin, modified corn starch, enriched egg noodles, sugar, monosodium glutamate and yeast extract.
Can you blame Paltroow for her "eeww, not-for-my-child" reaction?
Sure, Paltrow’s a little fanatical about food, but it sounds like the columnists themselves are even more fanatical in their defense of junk food such as Cup-a-Soup! (It sounds like she hit a sore spot with them.)
Besides, Paltrow’s annoyed comments make sense to a degree. I’ve been around movie sets (covering stories), and I’m telling you, they are teeming with junk food — it’s rough to find nutritious foods there.
What’s with these junk-food-obsessed columnists?
A few months ago, Paltrow was quoted by another reporter, from London’s Evening Standard as saying that she would understand if her baby Apple (with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin) "doesn’t want to be vegetarian or …wants to eat hydrogenated oils and fairy cakes [cupcakes] at birthday parties, that’s fine. I’m not going to be a controlling, overprotective hippie."
The Paltrow-Cup-a-Soup incident illustrates that those of us who are nutrition savvy like Paltrow need to tread very lightly when we spurn simple carbs and sweets with non-believers, even if we have legitimate reasons to avoid these foods such as being hypoglycemic or diabetic.
We need to be sensitive to the fact that inevitably, many, if not most, people around us are hooked on sweets, processed carbs and some form of junk food.
The best way to educate and get through to people is through compassion and sensitivity — it generally won’t work to take a diehard, I’m-right-you’re-wrong, take-no-prisoners approach — which seems to be the tactic Paltrow used (if the media report is accurate).
Simply put, folks addicted to sugar or other quickie carbs usually do not want to hear their treasured foods badmouthed. (I can attest to this!)
What’s more, we must to be careful about who we approach with this anti-junk food stance.
Finally, we should graciously, carefully educate our kids so they can make informed food decisions that enhance their health instead of harm it.