Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Fast Way to a Healthy Life

Remember when fast food was fast food and not expected to help you live to see your 100th birthday?

McDonald’s, that bastion of better living through caloric intake, is the latest to suffer an identity crisis, and has declared that its Egg McMuffin will no longer include eggs containing yolks.

From now on, Ronald’s version of the breakfast burger is going to be yolkless, which means it drops from 300 calories to 250, and contains less cholesterol.

This is just the latest brain fart from boobs who are operating under the delusion that fast food should somehow be healthy.

And that just ain’t the way it’s supposed to be.

If you’ve ever driven about 10 miles in any direction, you’re certain to have discovered a vast array of restaurants, from greasy spoons to silver spoons, any number of places to attach the feed bag whether you’re clad in cut-off jeans or an Armani tux. And in your travels, when you choose to park your butt in a fast-food nook, you know what’s on the menu. And it isn’t Duckling a L’Orange, red-skinned potatoes and baby limas.

It’s called fast food because it’s delivered relatively quickly at a price that even folks working in the local bowling alley can afford. And from Day One of the emergence of the fast-food restaurant no one considered the cut of meat they were getting or the amount of animal fat it was cooked in. Like bovines to the trough, the public dug in and was grateful it could chow down without the formality of a dinner table (if so desired), and at a cost that would not require a second mortgage.

And everyone waddled home happily.

Ah, but then came the age of the dual-provider household, when both dad and mom were required to work in order to make ends meet and where once-commonplace activities such as family meals had become as rare as cathedral bell-ringers.

The last thing either mom and dad wanted to do after a day’s work was cook a meal, so little Bobby and little Mary were carted off to the fast-food restaurant for dinner, or whatever meal fit the time of day.

And because fast-food items such as French fries and chicken fingers turned out to be such kids pleasers, little Bobby and Mary not only didn’t complain about fast food, they clamored for more of it.

It didn’t take long before kids were willingly gorging themselves on food items that no one ever proclaimed would guarantee health and long life. And before you could say, “Oprah Winfrey,” 200-pound seventh-graders were the norm and threatening the support beams beneath school hallways.

“How horrible,” the parents, suddenly rationalized, refusing to look in the mirror.

But still not willing to take the time to actually prepare healthy alternatives to the fast-food circuit, parents decided to do a reenactment of the temperance movement and toss their guilt-ridden darts at the restaurants themselves.

“The food we’re forcing our kids to eat must be healthy,” they screamed. And so, armed with all sorts of dietary facts and figures yanked off the internet, they began their assault on the fast-food troughs.

As a result, perfectly good Chicken McNuggets, once consisting of both white and dark meat, became “improved” and morphed into tasteless, all-white meat substitutes for cotton balls that flat-out required flavored sauces to be remotely edible, while salads and low-fat, fill-in-the-blanks became fast-foot menu staples.

At no point did the critics of fast food consider suggesting that parents actually cook healthy meals for their children or at the very least suggest taking them to restaurants that don’t include a 911 number as part of its dinner menu.  And under no circumstances will they encourage parents to, perhaps, deny their kids trips to Burger King.

No, they’ve decided to fight this disease of their own making by disinfecting the hospital.

And so those of us who enjoy eating the slop and grease of the fast food we grew up knowing and loving, with no concern about caloric content or percentage of fat within, get stuck eating bland crap that’s good for your heart but that has all the appeal of moldy cheese.

If I want to eat healthy, I know where to go, and it ain’t to McDonald’s.

Perhaps, instead of insisting that restaurants that never proclaimed to cook healthy begin cooking healthy, they might insist that people who proclaim to be parents begin acting like parents.

In the meantime, pass me another yolkless egg, or a piece of all-white chicken or a burger that is made with all-lean beef.

I feel like eating healthy today.