Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Taint

"Just 45 cents for a three course meal?
Sounds to me like that's a deal!
That's all it takes to eat here every day...
At McDonald's..." - Early 60's radio jingle


Cheap. Fast. Food. An irresistible combination, a three course meal of marketing. The death of American cuisine. The poisoning of the planet by corporate ruthlessness.

Wait a minute...it is food, after all, and it could be worse, right?

Well, maybe so, maybe no. There is some protein in the burgers, they have salads now, and you can even get orange juice if you ask for it separately. But there is a lot of tasty but worthless, or- in the long term- harmful stuff in almost everything they serve under the golden arches. None of this is news. The real tragedy is that the success of this enterprise (and others like it) has corrupted our sense of what food is, limited our outlook and helped turn us soft, like the worthless bread in their sandwiches. It is a taint, a moral stain, that has affected three generations and will continue to do so, as long as it remains profitable.

But it is so convenient, so tasty, it is a cultural icon.

The American Way.

There has to be a better way.

I'm going out to lunch now- I'll just grab a burger, a Coke and fries and be right back...you want anything?




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