One of my biggest food vices is McDonald’s. I own that. Those French fries have me in a trance just like everyone else. I didn’t used to care. I ate it rarely enough that when I did I figured the difference was made with workouts and healthy meals.
About two years ago, I literally had to wean myself away. I’d drive by and mentally debate myself over whether to pull in or keep going. I usually convinced myself to keep going when I’d conjure up the memory of the unrelenting headache I’d get within a few bites of my combo. Up until about two months ago, I hadn’t eaten there in six months.
One day, I’d failed to eat breakfast or anything else. I found myself running errands at about 2 in the afternoon when the shakes and a blinding hunger struck. The only thing in my vicinity was a McDonald’s. I didn’t have a choice. I inhaled the food, and sure enough, the headache hit me like a brick wall. When I returned to my office, I had to leave a short time later. I was so wrecked with nausea, shakes, and sweating that it wasn’t doing any of us any good for me to stick around. I’ll never eat there again.
There’s something very wrong with that food. I have a really hard time even calling it food because it’s what Jillian Michaels would refer to as a Frankenfood. It’s so pumped full of chemicals, so processed, and so far from resembling what that same food would look like if you prepared it yourself you have to wonder how it’s even legal.
I always wonder how culinary professionals who train for such a delicious career end up as the chief chef at fast food companies. I also wonder how people, like the senior director of culinary innovation at McDonald’s, sleep at night. For the fast food giant, that would be Chef Daniel Coudreaut.
He recently made this bold statement that has my head spinning as badly as it did from the sodium-buffet-in-a-bag I fed myself earlier this spring.
“I don’t see anything on that menu that’s unhealthy,” he said, according to Lisa Abraham in her article at Ohio.com.
He can’t be serious, right?
And then, Coudreaut, who TIME calls the most influential cook in America, admitted that his kids eat at the restaurant weekly, including the chicken nuggets. It took one episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution to turn me off of those mystery meat chunks forever. And Coudreaut said he feeds them to his kids. I positively cannot imagine letting my child have one of those. It’s not an exaggeration when I say it horrifies me. I’m proud to say that my two-year-old doesn’t even know what a McDonald’s is and has never consumed a morsel of their food.
The chief Mickey D’s chef also admits he eats a Big Mac weekly. At least he’s eating it himself if he’s going to promote it to the masses.
We, like Coudreaut, don’t think McDonald’s is exclusively responsible for the very real, very dangerous obesity epidemic that is plaguing this country. I’d argue that they are a contributor. This horrible food exists on the menu of big and small fast food restaurants the nation over. That doesn’t make it right, and it certainly doesn’t make the food he is creating and selling any better than anyone else’s.
Sure, there are health-ier foods on the menu (order the grilled chicken instead of the fried), but it’s no better for you. It’s still not “healthy.” Often their salads are a worse choice than the burger. Saturated in chemicals, sodium, fats, most of that menu leaves a lot to be desired. When something as simple and wholesome as oatmeal is made to be questionable, you surely can’t be trying to defend that there’s nothing wrong with your menu.
June 14th, 2012