I sometimes wonder if free is really as good as it sounds. Most people under most circumstances see the word “free” when it’s posted in social media as “proceed with caution,” For instance, if the headline said, “click here for a free trip to Hawaii!” We know in that situation it’s probably too good to be true. That to really earn a free trip would mean probably jumping through many time-consuming hoops to be worth it.
But what about a free donut? What’s the harm in that? Well, that may be a little tougher to convince people that free isn’t always better…that maybe the idea of free is what people like.
The cost – After a quick internet search, I discovered the cost of one donut at Dunkin’ Donuts is around $0.89, which is what they are giving away on free donut day. Wow, the savings there is just mind-blowing. ETA: I was told you had to buy a cup of coffee to get a free donut, but I think at other places you just get one free donut.
The time – I once went to free cone day at Ben & Jerry’s and waited in line about an hour. Luckily it was right across the street from were I worked, but was a free cone worth waiting in line that long? No. If you are a freelancer, that hour could be spent making a lot more per hour than $0.89, and I’m guessing Krispy Kreme might have the same line problems as B&J’s.
What it costs you – Let’s face it, no one will probably rush to Whole Foods if they advertised “free kale samples!” And hey, one donut never killed anyone right? But to me it’s more along the lines of what is free and cheap in this country, and what it’s doing to our health in the long run.
According to Livestrong.com, one donut is approximately 300-350 calories. I mean, not the WORST calorie count ever, but it’s also completely devoid of any nutrients whatsoever. It’s loaded with fat, sugar, and is a simple carbohydrate, meaning while a donut may fill you up quickly, about an hour later you’ll probably be hungry again, and in a sugar-induced coma. Wow I’m a real party pooper huh? 🙂
Again, for a once in a great while treat, no problem. But one look around lower income neighborhoods, at least in LA, and you will see that the only food options they have around them are donut shops and fast food, and very little in the way of stores with fresh produce. Meanwhile, marketers take advantage of this by advertising to that very demographic. This is what is widely known as “food deserts.” People in lower income neighborhoods are being “nutritionally” starved.
Meanwhile, their health care, and in turn OUR health care costs, continue to rise. In a documentary I once watched on the subject, there was a man interviewed who said he couldn’t afford broccoli, but then proceeded to show us all the medication he was on because of obesity. I’m guessing that ain’t cheap.
So, should you partake in free donut day? By all means! For me, I’m actually using a donut as a prop in my new video skit, but I’m going to go a couple blocks away to a donut shop and shell out the $1.00, mainly because I’m too lazy to deal with lines.
But just consider that perhaps supporting these free “crap food” days might be telling businesses and marketers in a subtle way that THIS is the kind of food we want for ourselves and future generations.
It’s just food for thought…
Will you be participating in free donut day? Did this post make you drool? What are your thoughts about this subject?