Maine Food Fight: Vote for Good or for Gluttony?

Maressa Brown

The state legislature in Maine seems to have a lot less to worry about than our national Congress. Instead of duking it out over health care reform and education, they're worrying about ... pie. Yup. What kind of pie should be their official state dessert? The nostalgic whoopie pie or the healthier (err, relatively!) wild blueberry pie?

Apparently, in order for either dessert to become official, lawmakers have to spend time and tax dollars on an actual BILL. L.D. 71 is on the table to make the whoopie pie the winner, but suddenly, some health-conscious folks are screaming, "DON'T DO IT!"

According to an article in the Kennebec Journal, one representative asked:

At a time when 31.3 percent of Maine's children are considered overweight or obese, do we want to glorify a dessert that lists lard as its primary ingredient? 

I know what it is. They're afraid of Michelle Obama! They're totally freaked out that if the state acts shamelessly proud of their "frosting delivery vehicles," the First Lady is gonna fly to Maine and raise some hell. But, uh, guys ... I think she has some bigger fish to fry, don't you?

Anyway, the Fat Factor has Team Whoopie Pie coming to the dessert's defense. They actually enlisted their own nutritionist, some retired chick from the University of Maine, who came in and attested that whoopie pies can be healthy too! You just have to make sure they're baked with genuine chocolate (you know, as opposed to that of the Hershey's variety -- the real stuff has antioxidants that are good for blood pressure) or with better-for-you add-ins like pumpkin or peanut butter.

But, above all, they argue that the whoopie pie represents "pure, edible nostalgia."

I may drink green juice and be experimenting with going vegan, but I'm not opposed to the concept of "edible nostalgia." Sometimes I crave Spaghetti-Os, because my mom gave them to me as a kid. And whenever I see Blue Moon ice cream, I have to have a scoop. It instantly takes me back to summers in South Haven, Michigan (similar to Maine, but in the Midwest) and makes me sentimental for my childhood.

That said, I'm on Team Wild Blueberry Pie. It would be a boon for the state's blueberry farmers (who are apprehensive to take on the whoopie pie supporters), and it would celebrate a dessert that is innately healthier, because it's made with real fruit and can be baked using stevia, less sugar, whole wheat crust, etc.

However, it doesn't sound like the majority of Maine-ians are concerned enough about that or really all that afraid of the First Lady. My bet is on the whoopie pie win. Guess we'll see what happens when the committee resumes on February 9 -- right in time for Maine lovebirds to decide what to bake their sweetie for Valentine's Day.

Are you on Team Whoopie Pie or Team Wild Blueberry Pie?

Image via Joyosity/Flickr

Read More