We hear a lot about frivolous lawsuits, but we don’t hear nearly enough about the delicious ones, so here’s a tasty bit of gossip: A guy from Kentucky is suing the company that makes Oreo cookies. He asserts that Oreos are slowly killing him. So what’s the problem? This sounds like a fun way to die.
It’s probably not the first-cookie related suit on record. I myself debated legal action against the Girl Scouts in the ’80s when I became addicted to Thin Mints. I’m not saying I bought too many boxes, but one year while I was at work, my wife was selling cookies back to the Girl Scouts at a substantial discount.
The Nabisco company claims that 450 billion of these treats have been eaten in the last 100 years and no autopsy has ever listed the cause of death as Oreo cookies. Now that’s a record Nabisco can be proud of. I’m not sure the Slim Jim people can claim the same. A Slim Jim, by the way, is 98 percent fat, has no nutritional value whatsoever, and makes you want to drink a six-pack of beer. On second thought, let’s cut them some slack, also.
I’ve been eating Oreo cookies for 65 years. I think we all know the ritual. You get a huge glass of cold milk, plus 20 or 30 Oreos, and then you start twisting them apart. Some people eat the side with cream frosting first; some just eat the frosting. Others start with the plain chocolate wafer. Some dip the cookie in milk; some guzzle the milk after the cookie. How can you sue a company that has given you so many wonderful options in your life? It’s un-American.
So, does this guy have a case? Unlike cigarettes, where a warning is clearly emblazoned on the package, there is no cookie admonition anywhere on the package or on the cookie. Considering how people eat Oreos, maybe inside the cookie, right in the vanilla cream, the Kraft people should print in 18-pt. type: “The Surgeon General has determined that eating Oreo cookies over an entire lifetime can raise your triglycerides and affect your cholesterol levels.”
This warning will deter no one, but it would mean they’d have to make the cookie much bigger, which is something I have been advocating for a long time. The Nabisco people said they would vigorously fight the lawsuit. They admit their cookies have trans fats but they claim they are already testing alternatives. Alternatives is a code word for tasteless.
When McDonald’s said they were looking for an alternative to their fat-laden hamburger, they came up with a soy burger. Research showed that two out of three people who ate the burgers loved them. That was the problem. In six months, only three people ate them.
What about those cauliflower and broccoli farmers who have been getting away with murder for years? Do they know that people are taking those veggies, breading and deep-frying them? Then they slather them with a creamy cheese sauce.
Those farmers had better have some pretty good lawyers.
Dick Wolfsie appears weekdays on television sharing his humor, stories and video essays. His column appears weekly in The Paper of Montgomery County. E-mail Dick at Wolfsie@aol.com.