Hating Fast Food In The Post-Cortese Era

« March 2005 »

Once again, I find myself in a bit of a quandary of who to hate more. Because there's plenty of hate to go around.

For those of you who were wondering about yesterday, it's simple. The combined Schiavo-Jackson beast has consumed so much of the news cycle that what remains is slim pickings indeed. I'll skip a day before I resort to making fun of dead lawyers. Well, it depends on the lawyer, I suppose.

And speaking of useless pieces of meat, why is it that every time some fast food company comes out with their latest lard-laden lipid load, it's a media event? That's my first bit of hate right there. Advertising pretending to be consumer information. "Oh, look how horrible this sandwich is! It's dripping with everything that's bad for you! But people sure do seem to think it's tasty!" Fuck off.

Newspapers should not be running stories that begin "All hail the latest breakfast addition for the drive-through crowd." (Toledo Blade). Especially when the story does briefly cover how some are NOT hailing it. Ergo, all do not hail. And since when is it a journalist's job to ask the populace to cheer for shit? Even in the business section, where normally, at least a bare minimum of objectivity and self-respect is required?

This time, it's Burger King, and their new "Enormous Omelet" sandwich. Three strips of bacon, one giant sausage patty, cheese, and TWO rectangular omelets on a big-ass bun. Costs about three bucks. Sounds incredibly fucking nasty, frankly, but that's just me. It's about half your daily calories, most of your daily fat, and half of your NEXT day's cholesterol. This is because the only two ways you can provide seven hundred and forty calories for three bucks is a couple pounds of rice, or a heaping pile of crappy meat.

On one hand, heaping piles of crappy meat is the medium Burger King works its culinary art in. I understand that. Sure, it'd be nice if they strove for a higher standard than "suet on a bun", but they don't, and that's their right as an evil multinational earth-raping food provider. The world did not really need a nasty breakfast sandwich of coronary doom, but once they made the socially reprehensible decision to provide it, the onus shifts to the rest of us.

Where BK doesn't get off the hook is their desperate, weaselly attempts to justify unleashing this culinary monstrosity upon the world. If the BK spokesliar, Joe Gerbino, is to be believed, the sandwich is "for landscape workers, road crews, guys putting in a hard day's work who need a hearty, satisfying breakfast to get them through the day." Like fuck it is. I've never been to Evil Marketing School, but I know damn well that ROAD CREWS are not enough of a target demographic to warrant their own sandwich. And Burger King knows this too.

Daphny Fraser-King is not a member of a road crew. She's 62, lives in New York City, and is quoted in their Daily News thusly: "My cholesterol is high. So this might kill me even though the price is right." - See, if there's a chance that one thing I eat is gonna kill me, I'd want a better reason for eating it than "Hey, it's only three bucks!". It's like fugu for the thrifty. Russian roulette for people easily startled by loud noises.

I don't want to get on people's backs for eating crap they probably shouldn't. I do it all the time. So do you. But even the most rudimentary cost-benefit analysis should be enough to keep this thing out of your mouth. I've had fast food breakfast sausage before, and that shit is not worth eating in small quantities, much less the porkbrick they slapped on this Breakfast Behemoth. And what, exactly, is that cheese doing there? It's entirely gratuitous. I don't care if you've had your tongue replaced by a gas chromatograph - with the sausage and the bacon, two slices of processed fast food cheese will be completely undetectable between your lips and your aorta.

And to anyone thinking they're rebelling against the "food police" and striking a blow for culinary freedom by eating this thing, please, EAT THEM EVERY DAY. And start before you breed. If the only time you actually question authority in your life is when the authority is a doctor, then we could use a lot less of you and your genes around this place. So supersize that motherfucker until you choke.

Of course, when people talk about the "food police", they also mean groups of pricks like the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the PETA of trans-fats. Sure, I agree with them in principle that these companies are selling incredibly toxic crap in the name of profit, but I can't really stand their methodology, which is to have someone standing by with a snarky quote every time a restaurant adds ranch dressing to a previously unranched food. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"It's a parody of food." - Michael Jacobson, CSPI, whose complete and utter lack of understanding of human nature led him to drive three hundred people to eat the sandwich just from reading this one quote. You can't scare people into behaving until at least their first heart attack. You can't shame companies into being responsible because shareholders speak louder than annoying PR spokesmen. What you are doing is not helping.

So what we're left with are lardbombs, fatheads, and pricks, and the only ones that come out ahead are the people that make Lipitor and stents. I'm so happy.