Fast Food.

30 June 2010
I am not a size 2.  You know this, I know this. When I have my principles about something food related, you know it's big.  Giant.

I wasn't really going to discuss this because it was a decision I made quietly, but my friend Jess wrote a post that I found interesting.  It provoked me to share my thoughts with you all.

For the last few months I have completely written off McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell, Arby's, and all the rest.  Basically anything with a drive-thru window.  I won't even get a high fructose corn syrup laden drink from there.

It wasn't watching Super Size Me or Fast Food Nation.  I still haven't had the nerve.

It was this.  For those of you who don't want to click over {and really you should read the whole thing}, allow me to summerize.  A Happy Meal sits on a shelf for ONE YEAR with zero decomposition.  Oh sure the fries are a little worse for the wear because the water in them has evaporated.  The bun is dry.  Other than that, it looks the same.

Day 1 Photo Courtesy of Baby Bites

Day 365 Photo Courtesy of Baby Bites

So, it took that visual to creep me the fuck out.  I don't want to feed that to my son.  I'm sorry.  I know everything in moderation, yada yada.  A YEAR people.  A whole year and that stuff didn't rot, it didn't smell funky, it just sat there on a shelf in her office.  What the fuck are we feeding our kids?  And why is it ok?

I should also say that I am not judgemental in the least if you chose to eat fast food.  My husband enjoys a double cheeseburger so that is his choice.  He is an adult.  It is your choice.  I did it for years.  I am also not going to be a total freak about it with Finn, but I am not going to take him there and I would hope that extended family who might have him in their care would respect my wishes.  I am not delusional that other kids and their parents go there and that he may in the future eat it. 

I am posting this because I am interested in the discussion. 

Your thoughts?


Meg said...

omg!! i don't know why i'm so shocked, because we all know how bad the stuff is, but i'm totally shocked (i guess it's the visual)! thanks for sharing.

Amy said...

This makes me want to conduct my own experiment, because I don't know that I believe it's real. Part of me isn't too surprised though, given the salt content and other preservatives in fast food. You could probably do the same thing with most other typical restaurant and processed food though.

All Supersize Me did was make me want to go eat at McDonald's. After yesterday's chicken wing competition though, it's going to be awhile before I can be around chicken again.

chiara said...

We're sure this is real? I'm shocked there is no mold. I mean, it was cooked, right? And no mold? That is weird. I mean, I suppose it's possible.

Yeah, we don't eat that stuff. I think as a kid I may have eaten it a few times a year. I haven't had something at McDonalds in about 3 years and it was a taco/wrap of some sort. If I'm eating fast food, which is rare, it's going to be Chipotle or In-n-Out (California fast food staple).

I have a friend who I think relies somewhat heavily on fast food with her husband and kids and it's mostly the husband that influences that choice. I try not to judge but I sometimes want to just unload my thoughts about it. Oh well.

@JessEsco said...

Thank you dear friend!

I honestly did not make my decision till you showed me those pics. Honestly? Super Size Me made me want to go out and get McDonald's. Bad I know. But the funny thing is as I'm distancing myself (not completely I still love my good food), I can feel my tastes changing.

I think it's scary that there is something we'd put in our mouths that doesn't disintegrate, attract flies or smell AFTER A YEAR. I think we really need to step back and have so much more information, for our sake and our kids.

You're right. I'm gonna be a lot more cautious about what I feed Ave--but I won't cut her off either, bc that is just unrealistic. My big concern is also extended family, but that's only an issue when we're in town visiting :)

Nikki said...

That is quite disturbing! I guess I can't say that I won't eat fast food because that would be a lie but I can say that I will be more cautious and really think about it first.
My sister and I watched Food Inc and that completely changed the way I look at food too. We try to do more farmer's market shopping. I think it's a whole thing of just trying to eat better and be healthier overall. And processed food is not the way to go! We have been trying to make a conscious effort to change our eating habits....I will say though that I love me a big mac every once in a while!!!

Bunny @ 86n It said...

I'm totally with you. I saw this last month and it freaked me out. I too haven't watched Supersize Me or Fast Food Nation because I'm afraid it would turn me into a total food nazi.

While I won't say that I will never eat fast food again (we eat fast food maybe once a month or less anyway) it made me wonder if you could do this with processed food from the grocery. I'm so sick of "cheese foods" and "juice cocktails". What is this crap anyway?

We've definitely changed what we eat in the last couple of years. We try to eat REAL food. You know how they say to only shop the perimeter of the grocery? I'm all about that. But even then, did you see the report about pesticides in fruit/veggies even AFTER it was powerwashed? 67 of them in celery! Scary.

But back to the Happy Meal: I agree, it is frightening. I think that what we need is a general awareness of what we put in our bodies. I'm betting you could do this same 'experiment' with Eggos and Lunchables and Crustables and Pringles and TGIFridays frozen jalapeno poppers and ....

Stacy Kaye said...

Wow, that's pretty crazy. Makes me second guess the times we have taken Rusty there. We aren't big fast food people, but we have been known to swing through when life is just too crazy busy to cook. Maybe I will rethink that whole being to busy to cook thing. Yowsa! I can't wait to show that picture to my husband!

MommyLisa said...

My brother thinks its fake - my husband too...
But then my husband told me they had the apple packet from a Happy Meal sitting on someone's desk in his office and it had been there a year and ALSO did not look the worse for wear. Just dried mold, nothing.

I agree.

I also gave you something on my blog today!

Miss Britt said...


Yeah, my general rule about food is that it SHOULD go bad. If it can survive the apocalypse, it's probably not good for my belly.

Claire said...

Thanks for your comment, I am going to need to check out the layout, I had no idea, thank you for telling me.
Anndd..WTF?!?!?!?! If it's not real, it still creeps me out, because I could see it being accurate & true. All the preservatives & additives in food can do some weird things for "shelf life" Another reason I have never eaten a twinkie. It can live for longer than me. And thats just weird.

Jessica @ Sunny Tuesday said...

Luckily, all fast food grosses me out anyway, so this is really a non-issue for me.

But that's nasty.

Alexis said...

All I can say is SO GROSS. Can't wait to show my kids...

Dave said...

Ugh... I read this as I was sitting at my desk and finishing off my quarter pounder with cheese (Royale with cheese for all of you "Pulp Fiction" fans). I must say, I'm rather regretting my lunch choice right now.

Amanda said...

I would love to say that Ill never eat there again.
But that would be a flat out lie.

But this will make me go to panera and get a salad instead most of the time I think.

Unknown said...

I don't like bringing my child to fast food places either. I mainly did it because I didn't want her to yell and pitch a hissy fit everytime we passed a McDonald' her mother used to do. My stepmother, however, had a different thing in mind. I do not believe that my child has ever eaten a home cooked meal from my step mother...EVER and she used to stay over there all the time. I have since stopped letting her spend so much time over there because they were actually offended when I would ask them not to do those things. She's my kid, right?

Stacey said...

Ew if that is real, but I can't believe it wouldn't mold, so I find it hard to believe. But I too do not want my child growing up on fast food, we never did really as kids, just every once & awhile.
And honestly Gav has had it & will again on occasions but he really doesn't eat much of it anyhow.
Like someone else said, I'd be lieing if I said we'd never eat it again.
Seriously I find McDonalds fries to be laced with crack, I love em!!
However, I know all that stuff is horrible for you. I just try to cancel it out by putting in hours at the gym all week ; )

Candace Rae's Life said...

I have a happy meal in my cupboard that has been there for several years, and it looks the same as the day I bought it. I even got condiments and pickles. ICK!

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