So, on one hand, you have a site called “politicalblindspot.com” introducing the story of McDonald’s meat changes as them finally capitulating to Jamie Oliver’s claims that it is unfit for human consumption (I believe it, mostly because of had their burgers in the past and they were disgusting).
But just because I believe it doesn’t make it true. As the story itself points out, “mainstream” media coverage of this is, well, non-existent.
You go fishing around say HuffPost for Oliver, pink slime, McDonald’s and you’ll find stories like this:
You hit up Jamie Oliver on a Google News search and the only hits you get are from “Medical Daily” and “Latin Times.”
Doesn’t really speak to the credibility of what is being reported, if you are going by the Cracked.com test.
And hell, even Cracked.com isn’t really “helping” the cause. Sure, it is appropriate to point out that “Super Size Me” is BS… but I don’t know if saying that one study of the affects of a $6,000 calorie meal on really healthy college students is enough to completely invalidate the premise that a steady diet of McDonald’s will cause your cholesterol to jack up and your metabolism to go to hell. Considering the fact that we all seem to recognize that one’s early 20s is still a magical time when most people’s bodies still function in that magical way where no matter how many calories are consumed, the body just burns it off and stores it, such a study is marginally useful at best.
So while I can appreciate and fully endorse trying to really delve into double checking informational sources for bullshit (as Cracked.com has suggested in the past), I have a tendency to err on the side of the crazy conspiracy theory lover when it comes to fast food.
In other words, just because neither Fox News nor MSNBC are trying to push an anti-McDonald’s agenda doesn’t mean that the “agenda” itself is wrong. Just because one guy pretty much lied in a documentary, through obviously overstating something, to make a point on how bad McDonald’s is doesn’t negate that McDonald’s is bad.
In other words, is great to call BULLSHIT but in doing so, in debunking the “debunkers”, you end up supporting McDonald’s.
You can easily find personal claims by people who have bought a hamburger and who have watched it FAIL TO DECAY. And you can easily find statistics on the CDC website that link fast food and obesity (which is worth noting even though the same governmental websites promote skewed and outdated systems of losing weight, via caloric reduction, and determining ideal weight, via BMI… but that is natural because these are “tried and true” – yes, a number of studies have shown that starvation, otherwise known as a “reduction in calories” causes weight loss, but many of these studies also reveal long-term detrimental effects from such a shifting of weight).
But why go to the trouble when, pretty much, the reasons for not eating any fast food should be logical and immediate: It is all fried. It is all heavily processed, and the average value meal is heavy on carbs, fatty meats, fried starches, and sugar. There is ample science that correlates fried foods with higher amounts of cholesterol, and the ingestion of refined sugars with diabetes.
Once again, weight forces the real issue to take a back seat, which is that thin or fat, young or old, NOBODY SHOULD BE EATING FAST FOOD. IT IS BAD FOR YOU.
If you look up fast food and cholesterol, and finally weed your way through the Niaspan advertisements, Daily Mail links, etc., you find this:
One problem with a generic lower fat diet is that it prompts most people to stop eating fats that are good for the heart along with those that are bad for it. Another problem is that when people cut back on fat, they often switch to foods full of easily digested carbohydrates—white bread, white rice, potatoes, sugary drinks, and the like—or to fat-free products that replace healthful fats with sugar and refined carbohydrates. The body digests these carbohydrates very quickly, causing blood sugar and insulin levels to spike. Over time, eating lots of “fast carbs” can raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes as much as—or more than—eating too much saturated fat. (16–18) That’s why it’s important to replace foods high in bad fats with foods high in good fats—not with refined carbohydrates. (Harvard School of Public Health, Fats)
It’s sad that you have to wade through “10 foods that will cause your bad cholesterol to go up” before you find something worth reading. And while the Harvard site does mention “weight gain” I appreciate the fact that it talks about foods and nutrition in a real way, one which all people can relate to, without the “weight gain” scare tactics used by so many other sources, especially our own government.
Trying to scare people into changing their diet by saying that they will “gain weight” is counterproductive, it stigmatizes those who have gained weight, and its unrealistic because, as we get older, the vast majority of us put on weight. Bodies change. The expectation that a person will maintain the body they had in high school disregards the reality of nature: We will gain weight, our skin will wrinkle and sag, it will be harder to maintain a feeling of energy and fitness, and our ability to eat certain foods will change. We will either find that we develop indigestion, or that we are no longer able to eat whatever we want, at liberty, without weight gain.
When nutritionists don’t talk about nutrition in conjunction with things that are a part of the natural aging process, they miss the point. There are many who honestly believe there is no reason why they personally shouldn’t eat crap because they are “thin”. Because of this “thinness” I have seen individuals, men I worked with in the past while I was a reporter, proudly pack away hamburgers with patties that are made up of like 3/4 of a pound of meat for lunch, and then do it over again the next day. And the next day. And the next day.
The suggestion that weight is a marker of unhealthy eating is causing individuals to fall through the cracks. Because they don’t “look” unhealthy to themselves, in the obvious fatty way, they don’t think what they are doing is bad for their bodies.
When looked at this way, whether McDonald’s uses ammonia or not, best just to say no to the clown because it is a given that what McDonald’s WONT stop doing is frying their burgers, deep fat frying French fries, and selling over-priced sugar water for drinks.
My real diet, not what others perceive my diet to be, reflects my actual health. I eat whole grains, white cheeses and other lower-fat dairy items, fruits, vegetables, fish and chicken. I try to balance everything, eat foods that are rich in nutrients, and eat more but smaller meals, so ensure that I don’t reach a point where I am so hungry I end up eating more than I should. My main “sin” is daily coffee with Half & Half, which I refuse to give up. My dad will insist that if I gain weight, it’s the Half & Half, but I know the reality. I gain weight because of compulsive eating due to stress, or boredom or heart break. Worrying about my weight, gaining weight, or how “bad” foods are before I eat them not only doesn’t help me lose weight, it doesn’t help my depression, my low self-esteem, my compulsive behaviors, or my stress.
In fact, worrying about food makes everything worse. In my ideal world, the only time I would ever think about food is when I am hungry. The rest of the time, I wouldn’t think of it at all. I wouldn’t have to see it, smell it, hear others discussing it, heard advertisements about it, etc. In a perfect, healthy world, food would be something that we enjoy momentarily, eat to nourish our bodies, and then just move on from.
In a society where each meal is so easily accessible, that is all food should be. We are not like our ancestors, who probably thought about food constantly… because they never knew when they were going to eat again. It’s one thing to obsess over food when you are a starving person. It’s another to obsess over food when you can easily get to it.
So, because of my diet, I am diabetes and have high good cholesterol and low bad cholesterol. What else can a person ask for?
Nothing more. So why eat McDonald’s?