Diabetics and PhilFood

Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 19:52:19 -0400 (EDT)
From: Johnlebl@aol.com
Subject: [Philmont]: Diabetics and PhilFood
In a message dated 04/25/2002 10:35:39 AM Central Daylight Time, rcenci@twcny.rr.com writes:
> Hello folks,
> I just received the 2002 Trail Menu from Philmont and wish to share it with
> you.  It really looks drastically different from the 1999 menu.
> You can find it at  http://troop99packmen.homestead.com/index.html  
> Philmont 2002 button. I also have Links to things to do in Colorado and online
> catalogs if you use the Philmont guide button.
> Chip 723G2   Just 89 more days
Amazing! I found that exact site last night, printed it out and calaled Philmont to confirm authenticity today (Thursday). The lady I spoke with confirmed it as accurate. She wa amazed it hit the web so soon. I'm not. I got faith in PhilGoers.

The reason I called Philmont for confirmation was because we have two type II diabetics going on trek and the menu is loaded with sugar. For example, Fruit Loop cereal is out of their range of acceptable sugar content. What we are going to do is suppliment or take substitute items for those people that they are much more tolerant to. We will just about substitute all the breakfast items by using high carbo, low sugar cereal, powdered milk, sugar free lemonade mix and low sugar granola bars for breakfast. For lunch we will add some of the same high carbo, low sugar bars adn drink mix and supper only needs a sugar free snaks type item such as sugar free pudding, candy, etc so they will have similar items as the other youth.

The lunch items and supper items are very compatable to low sugar or sugarless diets.

I think by listing the name brand crackers as Philmont has done has been a benefit so people will know what to expect. Again, Philmon is meeting the needs of their customers as there is quite an increase in type II diabetic patients.

I encourage Philmont to even go a step further adn meet this need directly. They can do it and should do it. Diabetics are people also. Good people.

Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 19:27:04 -0500
From: David <eagle2002@ameritech.net>
Subject: Re: [Philmont]: Diabetics and PhilFood
Type II Diabetes runs in the family here, and neither breakfast or lunch is good for a Diabetic. Way too much sugar in both meals.

For example; Gatorade, cookies, Trail Candy, Granola Bar, Peanut Butter, Jelly, Ice Cream, Honey Turkey Sticks, Rice Crispy Treat, Fruit by the Foot, 3 Berry Cobbler, Apple Sauce....

All those items are a no - no for a Diabetic. Chuck full of cheap sugar. So I would have to say Philmont is NOT accommodating diabetics what so ever.

We will have to bring plenty of our own food to offset the amount of sugar found in all meals. Don't know why we are even buying the Philmont food with all that cheap sugar carbohydrates. Looking at the menu and being one of several in our crew having to watch all that we eat, I can't believe that Philmont has any clue as to what a Diabetic person can or can not eat. They sure could use a registered dietician on staff to enlighten them.

If your not Diabetic, you sure could become Diabetic after eating all the food listed.

Even high carbohydrate meals are not good for a Diabetic. However, you will need some carbs to burn during the hike. Therefore they should be complex carbs that are slow to burn and give you a constant energy output not just a quick fix. For a Diabetic, the sugar would not even get absorbed and would cause your body to fight trying to find any good carb to absorb. So where does it go? Eventually in your fat deposits. That's one of the reasons Diabetic people are prone to heart disease and become obese.

Currently in the United States there is an epidemic of Diabetes. More and more people are becoming Diabetic. The major reason behind it is what they are eating. Studies have shown that people in the US eat way too much food with sugar in it compared to any other culture.


From: Johnlebl@aol.com
To: eagle2002@ameritech.net
Sent: Saturday, April 27, 2002 10:02 PM
Subject: Re: [Philmont]: Diabetics and PhilFood

I pulled my punches in my orriginal post about high sugar dontent of food. I did not want to seem like a whiner or a bitcher. You did an excellent job of carrying that one step further. I really appreciate it.

this would be my reply to your post to the list, but I don't want to harp on the subject, just make the corrections and then try my best to bring Philmont's failings to light with them.

John LeBlanc

Those of you who are not diabetic might say to Davids post, "bring what you need".

As another type II diabetic, I reviewed the menu and came to the exact same conclucion as David did. I too will be forced to carry my own breakfasts and lunches. Suppers will be OK, not good, but just OK.

There are enough type II diabetics in the population to warrant Philmont doing a much better job nutritionally. You can bet David and I both will write an informative letter of complaint. Nice, thoughtful, but complaint all the same.

As an adult, I have the will power to do what I have to do. Our youth sometimes don't have that power in them. Peer pressure to conform is all too strong. They are the ones who suffer.

Now for those of you who thought "that's someone elses problem, not mine".

The only difference between a diabetic and the rest of the population is a diabetic is forced to eat what the rest of you ought to be eating anyway.

It is so simple to have a nutritional dry cereal with low sugar content instead of sugar loaded Fruit Loops and plain oatmeal which has NO sugar instead of the flavored and sugar loaded oatmeals on the menu. That part is prima facia evidence of what David stated about Philmont not having a clue to nutrition and the need for a diatician on staff. That is sad for Philmont, the crown jewel of the BSA camping program, to be so callused.

So before chunking this aside in your memory, think about it for a while. If Philmont had healthier menus, the Scouts today would not be the diabetics of tomorrow. We learn by example, so why are we teaching the wrong examples tom our youth?

In that way of thinking, we as Scouters are doing a total disservice to our youth by failing to provide them with nourishing meals today. Junk food sugar is NOT a form of energy any more than nicotine in cigarettes is. BSA would never think of issueing cigarettes to youth, so why the sugar laced candy products?

I could quote you chapter and verse on nutrition, but I don't think that is necessary.

My plan is to "leave no trace" and pack out every last drop of sugar loaded junk food issued to me. When I get home I will respectfully send it to the Irving, Texas with a well thought out letter of complaint as to the high sugar content junk food they gave me.

Some might say that I am beign too hard on BSA. I love BSA and Philmont for what they have given to me too much to let this go by unnoticed.

As I once told another teacher, the person that taught me best how to teach was a horrible teacher I once had. She taught me how NOT to teach.

When I was a Scout we learned the basic food groups and cooked accordingly. When I first went to Philmont in 1959, we were issued good food, a cast iton dutch oven in each camp and we cooked good food, not the trashy "eat and run to the program" junk of today. I've said it before and I'll say it again, "we were the program". Somehow I think that is a little bit getter than today.

Time will tell. I plan on writing an extensive article on comparing Philmont in 1959 with Philmont in 2002. Let's see if Boys Life or Scouting magazine wants to publish it. If they don't, I bet Outside Rag will.

I look forward to July big time! I'll be there cheerfully with my PhilIssue food and my "deliver it to me each day" suppliments required by their non nourishing menu.

Bottom line is I'll be in Gods country all the same.

John LeBlanc
Eagle Class of 1959
Phirst Phil Ptrek 1959
Next Phil Ptrek July 2002
My latest adventure was yesterday,
Today is not over yet!

Date: Sun, 28 Apr 2002 10:48:33 -0500
From: David <eagle2002@ameritech.net>
Subject: Re: [Philmont]: Diabetics and PhilFood
John, I did not see your message posted on the Phil list. Perhaps the list is down for the weekend.

My family and I applaud your response. Diabetes is not by choice, poor health, or improperly taking care of oneself. It just happens, like many other diseases out there. Please make sure your reply makes it to the list. In fact I will cc my personal response to the list to make sure. As you and I well know, there are not just thousands of diabetics in this country, but millions. As you stated, Philmont is just contributing to the increase in Diabetics by what they serve. My family and I were totally sicken by what I saw for the menu.

I wish it was 1959 all over again where you get to eat real food. Real food tastes better, its better for you, and brings you around the dinner fire with pride. I hope all those adults out there who think Phil food is okay or good are faced with a crew full of hyped up Scouts full of sugar. Think about how they come down off the sugar high. Not much will get done after that.

Needless to say, yes we will be spending more money bringing our own food. We do not get reimbursed for what we spent for not eating the sugar food. It just makes the trip that much more difficult to plan and prepare for.

Unfortunately most people who read our thread will go "yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever."

My response will be "told you so". Try to forget that some young Scout was right and you were wrong. It will echo in your head like a bad memory.

Well time to get off the soap box and move on. Thanks again Mr. LeBlanc.

48 days and counting.


"Ignorance is bliss,
until it kills you."

Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 13:41:35 -0400 (EDT)
From: Johnlebl@aol.com
Subject: [Philmont]: Trail Food For Diabetics
<<I wish it was 1959 all over again where you get to eat real food (at 
Philmont on the trail again). Real food tastes better, its better for you, 
and brings you around the dinner fire with pride.>>   
<<Think about how they come down off the sugar high.>> 

<<We do not get reimbursed for what we spent for not eating the sugar food. It just makes the trip that much more difficult to plan and prepare for.>>

<<Unfortunately most people who read our thread will go "yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever." My response will be "told you so". >>

Dear PhilPhrends,

With the above thoughts in mind, most are probably saying the "yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever" so I thought I would give a little more on why all the hoopla over the high sugar content in the PhilFood. Of course I feel like I am preaching to the choir as the generation of adult leaders today was raised on Pop Tarts for breakfast.

First of all, I used to conduct a two week science based field trip for 7th and 8th graders with a couple of fellow teachers. It was a science class on wheels.

When left to their choice, those kids hit the candy bar rack and soda machine at every gas station we stopped at and with the vans we traveled in back then it was every two hours. They were so hyped up during the day that attention span and the ability to relax while on the road was impossible. They bounced off every ceiling they could find and some they couldn't find. Meal appetite was poor and we had some trouble with dehydration.

Enter a dietician. She tweaked the menu slightly, but the main thing she did was to change the behavior of the students. She went along one summer.

She flatly refused to allow any candy bar or soda pop consumption during the day. She let the kids decide on a dessert they would make for the evening to be eaten only IF and WHEN the student ate a well balanced and sufficient amount of supper.

Behavior was soon back to normal and the hyped up problem behavior was a thing of the past.

That was in 1979. That school district is still doing those trips and children of the first students are now attending. The sugar avoidance rules still stand. They work.

Enough said.

Youth will consume sugar laced food as displacement behavior. They do it when they don't know what else to do. They will do it so long as it is available. It is a vicious cycle just like the use of nicotine, so why make it available?

OK, let me state that there is no such thing as a diabetic diet. Diabetics just have to do what all the others should do anyway.

Take a look at the following article that appeared in Bacpacking magazine in the April 2001 issue. It says the same thing. So why all the thunder about PhilTrailMeals?

Well, the PhilTrailFood is laced with sugar that cannot be separated or removed such as Fruit Loops, Gatorade, Hot Cocoa. Had they used cereal WITHOUT sugar added, fruit drink mix WITHOUT sugar added, Hot Cocoa WITHOUT sugar added all would be fine. It would have been so easy and so much more healthy for everyone to do it right the fist time.

That is what all the hoopla is all about. It is a simple shame that the real needs of 18,000 youth are being ignored over their desires even though they are counterproductive to their health.

While you read the article below, keep in mind the PhilTrailMenu. See how similar it is to the one below with two exceptions. The fist being the PhilMenu is totally void of high fiber and secondly it is thoroughly laced with cheap refined sugars.

Such a pity today in an informed society. And I think national BSA probably does have access to a dietician.

John LeBlanc
Eagle Class of 1959
Phirst Phil Ptrek 1959
Next Phil Ptrek July 2002
My latest adventure was yesterday,
Today is not over yet!

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The content of this Web page was provided by John LeBlanc and David. Please contact them at <Johnlebl@aol.com> and <eagle2002@ameritech.net> respectively for more information.

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