Thursday, October 10, 2013

I'm going to make a fast food fortune!!

If you know me well, you know I'm weird---I suspect in a number ways---but for sure in the way I eat. I really really like mint chocolate chip ice cream cake. I like my steaks with lots of fat around the edges, they taste better that way. I love my eggs sunnyside up so I can dunk my heavily buttered toast in their yokes. Oh man, I love super-thick french toast topped with loads of butter and maple syrup. I drool over that chocolate cake thing with the warm fudge oozing out, à la mode. Swear to God, I'm drooling (well, salivating) bigtime right now! But, you know, there are things I love even more: I love to play basketball for hours on end with my 24 year-old son and his buddies. I love being able to climb in and out of my kayak. I love to scale small mountains to reach secluded trout streams. I love to easily button my pants. I love the fantasy of being 78 years old and playing basketball with my 51 year-old son (if he can still hang), and my 20-something year-old grandkids. Therefore, I virtually never partake, save for the occasional ice cream cake at a family birthday party, of those items I'm still salivating over.

One of my best friends turned 76 this year. He and I share a common love for fishing, and, in fact, looking up at my food list, we share a love for the same types of food as well. The difference being that my buddy Dan, without regret, has a warm loving relationship with his taste buds. He's not at all into basketball, although you might think so upon meeting him; for, at first glance, it appears as though he's carrying one under his shirt. When we eat out at the local diner of whatever small fishing community we happen to be visiting, upon the arrival of his final course, typically the pie of the day (à la mode), he likes to motion to my oatmeal (yes, oatmeal), pat his basketball tummy, and say "Marty, food is my greatest pleasure." And, you know, even if I could, I wouldn't dream of robbing my good friend of his delight.

Now, if you happen to be Mark Bittman of the NY Times, you might say to me "what about Dan's life? How can you sit back and watch him kill himself with his awful diet?" Well, for starters, Dan's doing pretty good for his age, but aside from that, he's a free man, who has a physician, and who can read nutrition labels, and who can kill himself if he damn well pleases! His earthly pleasures are entirely his business!

Yesterday's column by Mr. Bittman is titled Why Won't McDonald's Really Lead? He means, lead in the war against Dan-style food. And from what I gather from his article, McDonald's has been trying mightily to appease the world's Mr. Bittmans. But not nearly, not nearly nearly, enough to please the valiant do-gooders. 

Now, I can't tell you precisely the last time I sipped a soda or nibbled a french fry. But I know it's been decades. I will tell you this, however, if the likes of Bittman can really turn the tide on fast food quality, if they can truly get McDonald's to lead Burger King, Wendy's, Jack in the Box, etc., down the path of food righteousness, I'm going to be investing bigtime in the fast food industry. But not in the above names mind you, I'm opening my own. I'll call it Fat Boy's American Fast Food Joint. Our spiel will be "we treat our adult customers like adults, and our kid customers like they have adult parents. With us, flavor comes first. We're here for the adult, and the kid with adult parents, who doesn't need us to dictate to them what's good for them. Come to us when you're ready to spoil your taste buds."

Here's Bittman's close:
If McDonald’s wanted to be on the right side of history, it would announce something like this: “Starting tomorrow, we’re not offering soda with Happy Meals except by specific request. And starting Jan. 1, at every McDonald’s, we’ll be offering a small burger with a big salad for the price of a burger and fries to anyone who asks for it; we’re also adding a chopped salad McWrap. We challenge our competitors to follow us in making fast food as healthful as it is affordable, and we dare our critics to say we’re not changing.”

That ain’t gonna happen. But if it did, I’d be the first in line to applaud.

Well, perhaps that ain't gonna happen, but make no mistake, if the likes of Bittman could pass a law requiring all of the above, and keep me from making my fast food fortune, they'd do it in a heartbeat. "No way!", you say? Read my letter to the authors of the Journal of Nature article, The Toxic Truth About Sugar...

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