Food Freedom

Whoopie vs. Blueberry Pie: A Dessert Battle Rages in the Maine Legislature



During a heated legislative debate in the Maine legislature this week, Whoopie pies were correctly described as "frosting delivery vehicles" that "lists lard as its primary ingredient" by state Rep. Donald Pilon (D-Saco). At issue: Maine's official state dessert.

Pilon prefers blueberry pie as the designated dessert. In his argument, he correctly notes that Americans are really very fat. ("At a time when 31.3 percent of Maine's children are considered overweight or obese…") But in preferring blueberry pastry to chocolate minicakes, he falls prey to the classic blunder in evaluating the merits of various foods. 


People, even state reps, are easily confused by the halo effect when it comes to food. The presence of lard and chocolate sets off alarms, endowing the whole dessert with a wicked glow. Whereas blueberries offer a positive halo, making diners forget about all the butter or even—gasp—lard in the crust.

Both treats are, in their best forms, homemade, so nutrition stats vary wildly. But a quick search suggests that a slice of blueberry pie can clock in north of 450 calories, while a Whoopie Pie can be closer to 250. Depending on your recipe, those numbers could easily be reversed, but that's exactly the point. "Bad" ingredients aren't making Maine's kids fat. Say it with me now: Calories in, calories out. 

A slab of blueberry pie is no more or less worthy of the title of official state dessert than a frosting filled cookie, chubby children or not.

Maine's looking to celebrate a dessert rather than ban it, but the same kind of irrational bias (in this case, probably from the very same people) goes into bans as well. 

Via The Agitator.

NEXT: Go Down, Pharaoh

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  1. Fucking busybodies.

    1. Friday is Soylent Blue day!

  2. Glad to see my state in Reason!
    Even if it does show how retarded our legislature is.

  3. This post qualifies as low-cal.

  4. Whoopie pies were correctly described as “frosting delivery vehicles” that “lists lard as its primary ingredient”

    Huh. She says that like it’s a bad thing.

    1. I’m sold.

    2. Let’s see:

      Ketchup is a salt delivery vehicle.
      Beer is an alcohol delivery vehicle.
      Mayonnaise is a fat delivery vehicle.

      What else? Everybody!

      1. chatroulette is a random penis delivery vehicle.

      2. Pleasureable experiences are an endorphin delivery system.

        1. H&R is a crackpot-delivery system.

      3. Chuck Norris roundhouses are justice delivery vehicles.

      4. French fries are ketchup delivery vehicles.

        Pasta is a tomato sauce delivery vehicle.

        And apparently, the Maine legislature is a fucking moron delivery vehicle.

        Unfortunately, it is not unique in that respect.

        Do these legislators have nothing better to do than argue over which pie should be the official state dessert? Jesus wept.

      5. Politicians are a hypertension delivery system.

    3. Everything’s better with lod.

      1. mmmmm….lod


  5. I LIKE PIE!


  6. You will have to pry that pie away from my cold, purple-stained hands.

  7. I reflexively recoiled upon reading the headline, fearing that in some way this controversy involved Whoopi Goldberg.

    1. Thanks for that image – I nearly lost my breakfast. Whoopie’s Pie – ewwwww

      1. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

  8. It’s like Twizzlers being marked as “A Fat Free Food”.

    Well, yeah, but…

  9. I hope they make Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs the official state breakfast cereal.

  10. Whoopie pies are the food of whatever gods may be, and they ain’t whoopie pies unless they have lard.

    1. What about suet?

  11. Now I’m homesick again! Haven’t had a whoopie pie in ages.

    1. That is an awesome euphemism. Intentional or not.

  12. Shouldn’t the Maine dessert be Chocolate Moose?

    I’ll take mine antlerless please.

  13. “Say it with me now: Calories in, calories out. ”

    I use to be a firm believer of that statement but after reading “Good Calories / Bad Calories by Gary Taubes it has become clear to me that it’s actually a fair bit more complicated than that.

    Speaking from experience, for the past six months I’ve drastically reduced my carb intake and have lost 34 LBS, while eating until satiated at every meal. I’ve never been hungry and eat fat by the bucket load, yet my triglycerides have fallen by half.

    Both whoopie pies and blue berry pies make you fat, not because of the lard or butter used in their making, but because of the vast amount of sugar and carbohydrates.


    Joe Dokes

      1. I read his food diaries and he didn’t eat much food. I would call it a semi-starvation diet. Good for him if he can stick with that but I would go insane eating like that.

        1. That guy: Well, time to have my two twinkies, totaling 300-ish calories.

          Me: Time to have a 6 oz. steak, totaling 300-ish calories.

          1. Exactly. I’ve convinced a few of my friends to eat a cheese omelet for breakfast, instead of cereal or pop tarts, and they all marvel at how they are not hungry until lunch time, or even later, when they make that switch.

            1. vat pathetic veaklings

    1. Wrong–they make you fat because the vast amount of sugar and carbohydrates contains lots of calories, calories that don’t satiate long enough for you not to go grab another nasty, calorie-laden meal in a few hours.

      1. And therein lies the problem. Carbs esp. refined ones don’t satiate as long as protein and fat. The increased insulin and unstable blood sugar caused by all the carbs is what drives hunger. It’s true that fat people are fat because they eat too many calories, but that is like saying alcoholics are alcoholic because they drink too much. Of course they do, but why, and how do we change that cycle?

        1. It is still the amount of calories making you fat!

          I think macronutrients have a huge effect on the amount of calories you eat though.

          1. It’s not the amount of calories. I eat more calories from fat and protein than I did from carb. My body processes them differently.

            Also, eating carbs releases insulin to break down the sugar. But if you avoid carbs (and go into ketosis) then your body needs to release far less insulin. Insulin is bad because it locks up fat cells and prevents weight less. Going into ketosis is great precisely because it allows your body to forgo a lot of insulin. And with much lower insulin levels, your fat cells are no longer inhibited from shrinking.

    2. It didnt change calories in/calories out at all.

      By changing the type of intake, you changed the output, but the fundamental thermodynamics didnt change.

      1. You can’t convince any legislator anywhere that he/she can’t change the laws of thermodynamics by fiat.

        1. They can repeal the law of supply and demand, too.

        2. State Legislator: “I hearby vote to overturn the first law of thermodynamics. Finally, our families will be free from the oppressive hand of the science-food industry complex.”

          1. *Hereby

          2. The laws of thermodynamics have no more to say about why people gain or lose weight than Newton’s laws of motion or Einstein’s laws of relativity.

            People get fat because of a hormonal problem, and the hormone is insulin.

            Carbohydrates drive insulin drives fat accumulation.

            Less carbs -> less insulin -> less fat.

            1. I do believe you have missed Marlok’s point (and mine).

              TBS, you are wrong when you imply that the laws of thermodynamics have nothing to say about it. If you don’t believe me, try living on less than 1,000 calories per day while maintaining an active lifestyle. It really won’t matter if it’s carbs or protein. Alternatively, try doing the Tour de France on an average diet.

              1. No, I fully understand yours and Marlok’s point; I just disagree with it.

      2. Exactly. Your financial state is defined as money in minus money out. If somebody writes a book pointing out that certain expenditures (e.g. extended warranties, undercoating for your car, etc.) give you very little bang for your buck, it doesn’t change the fact that your bottom line is money in minus money out.

    3. It is epically simple. Eat less, move more. Burn more than you take in to lose and burn what you take in to sustain.

      1. Want to sleep less? It is epically simple. Go to bed an hour later and get up an hour earlier.

          1. Do you really not get it?

            However, it should be easier to figure out eating than sleeping. We don’t know what causes animals to desire amounts of either, but at least we know what eating is for, which we don’t know about sleeping.

    4. I thought as you did and had the same experience when I went low carb.
      When you think about it, it shouldn’t really surprise us – modern carbs are pretty unnatural in both quantity and quality of the resulting sugars that result from ingesting them. The homeostatic mehcanism of insulin regulation being thrown off by these types of calories pretty much follows.

      1. There’s got to be more to it than that, or we’d have obese bees.

    5. The whole problem with “calories in, calories out” is treating it as primary causation rather than behavior resulting from feelings that come from…we don’t know where. How is it that without any conscious effort, even people with poor weight control don’t have the enormous swings in weight you’d expect if eating were a response to random whim?

    6. Seriously. When are Reason staffers going to read this book already? I’m tired of them regurgitating old, incorrect information when Taubes has written an incredibly libertarian history of food yet not one staffer seems to have read it.

    1. Everyone wants to tell you how!

  14. I am so hungry

  15. At a time when 31.3 percent of Maine’s children are considered overweight or obese…

    His use of the possessive is really refreshing. Is there actually any doubt that legislators consider the citizenry wards of the state?

    And whoopie pies are awesine.

    1. awesine

      Which is apparently a portmanteau of awesome and fine.

      1. Or perhaps awesome and asinine?

  16. I defy you to make a proper pie crust without lard.

    Butter is a close second choice.

    Anyone who bakes with Crisco ought to be beaten with painsticks.

    1. I second this.

    2. Is it cool if I use it to doctor up a baseball?

      1. Sure!

  17. At issue: Maine’s official state dessert.

    Speaking of “issues”, what is Maine’s official state sexual position?

    1. Daisy chain.

    2. All the women are too fat to be on top, they’ll crush you.

      They’re too ugly to look in the face, so missionary is out.

      Their hairy Franco backs are disgusting to look at, making doggie decidingly unpleasant.

      What’s left?

      1. Glory holes.

        1. Isn’t that what they’re looking for on that Gold Rush Alaska show?

          A glory hole?

          Yeah, that would work. Dig up a bunch of gold and I could afford to leave this God forsaken state for one where the womens are worth fucking.

          Or I could jug a bottle of Allen’s.

          With enough alcohol even fatty Franco women with moustaches look good.

          1. Really, it sounds like you are spending too much time in the nasty armpit that is lewiston.

            1. Lewiston ain’t no armpit.

              It’s a boil on the ass of society where life is like a shadow on an overcast day.

              And no, I ain’t in Lewiston. I’m not into black muslim women with a dozen kids in tow.

              Ain’t my thang.

              1. It’s truly like little mogadishu there now.

        2. Frank: This slot defeats the purpose. I can see your eyes! We might as well get married.
          Dennis: It’s the safest way, Frank.
          Frank: Dennis, if I was looking for safe I wouldn’t be sticking my dick through a wall.

      2. Yikes dude, you may be living in the wrong part of the state. At least in portland there are plenty of hot girls.

        1. Here in The County murders go unsolved because nobody’s got any teeth and everyone’s got the same DNA. Can’t identify the body.

          1. I will be using that joke.

          2. You win the prize for most revealing (and disgusting) indication of actually knowing about Maine north of Freeport.

      3. Knee pads and paper bags.

  18. That pie crust looks terrible. Look how thick it is. Whoever made it should be deep-fried to death in a vat of lard.

  19. This reminds me of National Watermelon Month courtesy of the U.S. congress in 2008.

    If only they could concern themselves with meaningless crap all the time, we would be much better off as a nation.

    1. Just because it’s meaningless doesn’t mean it can’t be expensive.

  20. Questions come:

    1. This is important state business worthy of tying up the time of state legislators? Aside: keeps them from other more objectionable activity i suppose.

    2. Why, exactly, does a state need an official dessert?

    3. Does establishing an official state dessert mandate regular, and excessive, consumption of said dessert?

    1. 1) You answered yourself.

      2) To appease some lobbying group or special interest.

      3) The lobbying group/special interest referred to in answer 2) would like you to think so. They are hoping to get a SWAT team on it soon.

    2. See “Random Dude @ 11:57”

  21. “Whoo-pie”? What kind of name is “Whoo-pie”?

  22. Do you have any fruit I could eat?

    1. This donut has purple in it. Purple is a fruit.

  23. You know who else fell prey to a classic blunder?

    1. Oedipus?

    2. The Dread Pirate Roberts?

  24. Mmmmmmm – pie.

  25. And there is NOTHING on this earth as good as my mom’s pumpkin pie. NOTHING. It should be the state dessert of all 57 states. And the Canadian Territories.

    1. Pumpkin pie?


      Couldn’t get me to eat that sugared paste with a gallon of ice cream on it.

      1. Mmmmmmmm – special with Dark Caro Syrup added – makes it dark and crunchy on top. MMMMMMMMMMMMM!!

      2. I think he meant to type “bumpkin” pie.

        1. Or perhaps blumpkin pie?

    2. I’d say the same thing about my Mom’s carrot cake. She makes it from scratch, including the cream cheese icing.

      I normally keep my carbs low but will make an exception when she whips up one of those delights.

  26. “Anyone who bakes with Crisco ought to be beaten with painsticks.”

    “Whoever made it should be deep-fried to death in a vat of lard.”

    Nothing like a food thread to bring out the violence fantasies. Tell me, what’s better: thin crust or deep dish pizza?

    1. *runs out of room*

      1. Chicken!

    2. That could start a bigger brawl than an abortion thread.

      1. Dead baby pizza – and the argument would be about the crust.

        1. Dead Baby may be delicious in a deep-dish crust, but don’t call it pizza!

  27. That Chicago abomination is not pizza. It is a deep dish upside-down casserole. There, I said it.

  28. Forget pizza, what’s the right way to dress a hot dog ? Is ketchup OK ?

    1. saliva

  29. You know, once you give birth, you never get your figure back. It’s time to declare war on motherhood and apple pie before they destroy America.

    1. u mean like even fatter than before?

    2. Plenty of women used to before it became acceptable to let your body go to shit because now if your husband tries to divorce your ugly ass you’ll get half (or more) of his money.

  30. The problem with “calories in, calories out” is that it doesn’t really work that way. ‘Calories’ is a concept created in the 19th century based on how much heat the food item would generate when burned in an oven. It’s not really clear that this measure says anything about the consistency of metabolisms between different humans. There’s good evidence, in fact, that a lot of people have trouble processing carbohydrates while others process them very well.

    Of course, calories also aren’t equal because Krebs cycle and Ketosis are fundamentally different ways to metabolize food. Most people are getting most of their energy from the krebs cycle, which is only made possible by a certain level of carb intake. But if you fail to eat carbs, the body eventually switches gears and goes into ketosis. It’s a different way of processing food and has different consequences.

    The upside is that, as somebody who is “allergic” to carbs, I gain weight eating mostly carbs. But then I actually INCREASED the amount of calories I took in, coming almost entirely from fat and protein. I absolutely do not restrict the number of calories I eat, I just only eat low-carb foods. I lost ~100 pounds within 6 months on this diet, and a little more after that.

    “Calories in, calories out” is catchy, but it’s wrong. Not all calories are the same, and not all people have the same metabolic capacity.

    1. I give up!

      1. Unless your body is a closed system (mine does not seem to be) the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics isn’t really applicable here.

    2. In all things, moderation.

      1. including moderation

        1. But not gasoline.

      2. “Moderation is for monks.” Lazarus Long

    3. And then there are the cases like me and others I’ve heard of who tried Atkins induction (

  31. And the war on drugs continues to expand…

  32. Yeah, but…BLUEBERRY PIE!!

  33. i was a proponent of the “calories in, calories out” philosophy, until i saw this presentation:

    how do you weigh “calories in = calories out” when this physician’s case is that glucose, sucrose, fructose, and ethanol aren’t all processed the same by the body? in particular, how calories from each of those sugars are metabolized differently?

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