Thursday, July 01, 2004

Supersize THIS....

I'm never eating fast food again. Seriously. In the space of two weeks I've gone completely off it. This is a result of an impulse buy at Borders, and having gone to see a movie for the first time since Return of the King came out in December. This is going to be hard.... But honest to god! Yeesh.

I picked up Fast Food Nation when I was shopping for father's day presents at Borders. This was a testament to the power of product placement; it was right on the corner of a gondola en route to the cashwrap, faced out in a bulk stack, with a bright colored cover. I didn't plan to buy anything for myself on the way in; on the way out, I was a tool. So I bought it (though I see by my link above that I could have bought it for $8 less used on Amazon....damn) and have been horribly entranced by its sordid tales of the history of fast food culture and the deplorable state of the meatpacking industry in America. While there is a certain amount of sensationalism in its tone, and a lot of bashing of "Republicans in Congress" as if a) they were a homogenous entity, and b) Democrats weren't also responsible for the passage of much of the harmful legislation he details, it's still a frightening, fascinating book. All I can say is, read it. Give it to your friends when you're done with it. And then go out and buy some fresh produce and a new cookbook.

"Supersize Me", if you haven't heard of it, is a documentary film by a guy who went on an All-McDonalds diet for 30 days, in order to disprove the company's assertion that there is no direct link between eating their food and ill health. Of course we all know that fast food isn't great for you, but many Americans still eat it 4-5 times a week. Eating McDonalds 21 times a week for 4 weeks is excessive (some would say nuts, including the filmmaker's vegan girlfriend) but it does demonstrate a very clear link between the food and overall health. He gains 20 lbs. His liver begins to malfunction. His sex drive drops. His moods swing. It's excessive, but hey--so is America.

On that happy note, I'm off to Chicago for the Taste. I plan to gorge myself on all foods not fast; it's worth the 3 hour drive.