I am not a big fan of Starbucks. Why? Because I like my coffee to be flavourful. Having tried over a hundred outlets across a few dozen different cities around the world, I have come to conclude that what they hawk by way of coffee is as injurious to taste as tea bags are for tea. CCD is a shade better and Costa can make you good one too but not Starbucks; they would have to sit me down and try really hard to convince me that they make good coffee and I still may not come around to seeing things their way. But that is not the point. In fact, I still go to Starbucks far more often than any other similar joint and it isn’t just for their Green Tea Latte and that fried egg sandwich they have for breakfast.
So recently, while standing around waiting for my order I got observing and happened to notice their serving glasses. Now this isn’t something that I hadn’t noticed before, but this time somehow it resonated as being of something of an industry-wide movement. The smallest size of the glasses at Starbucks is called Tall!
Then it ups to Grande and finally maxes out at Venti. Abroad, they even have a Trenta. Why have such names and why in Italian? Isn’t it enough that they always get our names wrong on the cups (I have been Mahan, Magna, and Magone) that now they disguise these calorie-laden sizes behind seemingly harmless-sounding names? Venti is Italian for twenty, meaning twenty ounces, not centilitres. A 20-ounce glass is roughly 600ml, that’s a good cup’s worth over half a litre of coffee. Anybody injecting that much into his system is buying a business class seat at the coronary clinic. Think of an excited rabbit that’s just made love to a hundred other rabbits and then chances upon a lot of a 100 more to be serviced: that’s how fast your heart must be beating once you have downed a Venti. The rush may kill both bunny and you, but you will go minus any of that awesome action!
And it isn’t just them trying to upsize our lives but mostly our miseries: a KFC/McDonald’s meal incentivises you to buy bigger as the price differential is minimal to upgrade. Movie theatres already serve popcorn in what they shamelessly call buckets and they would upsize it to a bathtub if only they could find a way to wedge it between your seat armrests. The last cola they served me was so high and wide that it obstructed my view of the screen!
Why are we so greedy today? Is this what we mean by the good life? Plenitudes simply because we can? Just because you finish everything served to you doesn't mean you are not wasting a resource. In fact, by over-eating all the wrong food and drinking all that coffee you are wasting away. No psychological issue was ever resolved by over-eating, so stop trying to get over exes by gorging on ice cream. And then society calls me rude for pointing this out to fat people, especially the ones who ate their way to such shapes. Treating people for diseases of affluence costs billions of dollars even in developed nations. Our irresponsible eating habits eventually become a national burden. I don't think big chains really care about such, least of all the health of their customers, so it would be best for us to take charge of our eating habits and try and be more careful when it comes to senseless calorie-intake.
The message of the day is ‘bigger is better’ when in fact it should actually be ‘less is more’. So the next time you walk into a place, do try and be mindful about how much you are giving your system to process, unlike these greedy multinationals with their grubby paws, your body doesn't know how to scale up just because you asked politely.