January 6, 2015
It’s the time of year for making resolutions. It’s the time of year we all start to think seriously about getting in shape and eating right. At least for a few weeks, anyway. If you’re in search of a resolution, but aren’t sure what to do, look no further. Stop eating waffles. Right now. Do it for your health. Do it for the planet. Do it for your soul.
Reason #1: Waffles are bad for your waistline
It should come as no surprise that eating waffles (carbs, carbs, carbs!) can tip your scale in a troubling direction. But the risk may be greater than we think. In 2013, researchers at Auburn University combined geographical census data with franchise maps for 24 major restaurant chains, including McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell. Using a series of random samples of 250 census tracts at a time (a census tract is a geographical area containing about 10,000 people), they compared rates of obesity to the geographic density of the different restaurants. Of all 24 chains in the study, Waffle House showed the highest correlation with an obese population.
(Interestingly, Arby’s showed an usually high correlation to diagnoses of lupus, but the researchers were confident it was a statistical anomaly.)
Reason #2: Waffles are bad for your blood
It’s the syrup pockets that get ya. That wonderfully waffle-y structure of a waffle that makes it oh-so-perfect for capturing syrup (or butter, or whipped cream, or Nerds candies) also makes it a perfect trap for airborne toxins and pollutants. A waffle’s high surface-area-to-volume ratio means it will readily absorb whatever airborne micro-particles might be around, much more so than, say, a pancake would. This doesn’t necessarily mean dioxin or tabun – if those are floating around your kitchen, get out of the house immediately! – but it will pick up cigarette smoke like a sponge, as well as chlorofluorocarbons, sodium benzoate, BHA, … While flat and boring, you just don’t have this problem with a pancake.
Reason #3: Waffles are bad for the environment
Pictured at left is the birch-boring Huber bug. A scourge of Quebec’s provincial tree, the Yellow Birch, this pest has wreaked renewed havoc over the last few years. Naturalists have attributed this rise in Huber activity to a shift in practices in the maple syrup industry. Originally intended as a conservation measure, syrup collectors expanded their territories, collecting sap from a more dispersed set of source trees. While this may have lessened the localized damage to the maples, it proved devastating to the Yellow Birch. Hubers were hitching rides with the syrup collectors (Huber Ubers, perhaps?), who unwittingly spread them across much greater territories than they had before. While the industry has recently taken steps to address the problem, it may prove to be impossible to undo the damage already done to the Yellow Birch.
Reason #4: Waffles are bad for the Belgian Diaspora
According to Theo Francken, president of the Belgian Anti-Defamation Association (BADA):
“Belgian immigrants brought waffles to America in the 18th century, where they became beloved delicacies, in Boston and Baltimore in particular. But what began as a symbol of cultural inclusion and a point of pride for the Belgian-American community has become a flashpoint in a seething cauldron of racial intolerance.”
Francken goes on to describe several recent incidents of crimes, large and small, against the Belgian-American community. Particularly hard hit, he explains, was the small but highly visible neighborhood of New Flanders on the north side of Chicago:
“The community has been subject to a vicious campaign of Belgian-baiting. During the fall Onzin Festival (onzin is the Dutch word for waffle), a small group of anti-Belgites caused a disturbance, casting epithets at the assembled crowd, including ‘waffle-biters’ and ‘syrup-slurpers’. When they tired of hurling slurs, they began throwing frozen waffles instead – mostly Eggos – until they were escorted away by police. Thankfully, no one was injured, although several attendees did complain that their berets were knocked to the ground by the delicious projectiles.”
In these racially charged times, any decent person would practice waffle abstinence, in solidarity with the oppressed Belgian community.
Reason #5: Waffles are bad for your soul
From Revelations 6:6-8 (KJV):
“And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.
Form these same into a flattened cake, and pick out sweet crumbs to lure the innocent and the foolish alike into our midst.
We shall tease out their own souls as they draw nigh; these we will tuck away in the pockets made by the very crumbs that so enticed them to lose their way.”
And thus it is revealed that waffles were not made to trap syrup – although they excel at that – but to ensnare our very souls. It is common knowledge that St. Agnes of Brittany called them “the Devil’s cakes” in the 13th century. Less well know is that St. Josef of Warsaw led a crusade to Belgium in 1798, burning down cafe after cafe, and executing more than a dozen Flemish bakers. The Catholic Church has worked to cover that incident up and would rather it be lost to history. The Church’s official stance since the first Vatican Council in 1870, however, has been that waffles are morally neutral and eating waffles or not eating waffles has no bearing on the eternal fate of one’s soul. But really, do you want to risk it?