Go to fullsize imageAlanis had nothing on me a couple days ago!  I was driving home from work at “rush hour” (rush hour in Grand Rapids, MI is but an extra minute to get home) yesterday when I got the call.  The call from the hubby asking the ever looming question “What’s for dinner?”.  First of all, I hate that question.  I hear it everyday from someone and I just get so tired of having to be the one to figure out the answer.  Second of all, when I get a call like that on the way home, I know that my fam doesn’t really want anything homemade.  So, why don’t they just say it…”Can we get McDonalds?!”

Well, that was the question and due to a frenzied schedule, I caved.  I pulled into McDonalds, which just happens to be 2 blocks away from my house and ordered up a bunch of Happy Meals and Extra Value Meals.  As I am sitting in line waiting for the underpaid workers to hand over the 3 bags of unnutrious food and vats of soda, I find myself nodding and completely agreeing with the book on tape (cd actually) that I got from the library recently.  The line is long for the food and I become more involved with the content of the audio book, the information I am hearing is utterly fascinating.  Here’s where the irony comes in and I realize it as I am handed my food by a teenager who speaks English as a second language:  the book I am so into at the moment is Schlossers “Fast Food Nation”. 

Here’s part of Amazon’s summary: “On any given day, one out of four Americans opts for a quick and cheap meal at a fast-food restaurant, without giving either its speed or its thriftiness a second thought. Fast food is so ubiquitous that it now seems as American, and harmless, as apple pie. But the industry’s drive for consolidation, homogenization, and speed has radically transformed America’s diet, landscape, economy, and workforce, often in insidiously destructive ways”.

If you can imagine my aha! moment as I realized I was the one in line at McDonalds and I hadn’t even given it a second thought.  Something like 70% of all fast food purchases are unplanned and spontaneous.  The best part was that I was will to pay top dollar for my fast food but not willing to go put gasoline in my car that day because the price of a gallon of gas was 5 cents more than the day before. With my fuel light blaring at me, I continued to sit in line and wait for my fast food.   Maybe if I had fixed something at my house, I wouldn’t be so cheap on the necessary fuel. 

After getting through this book as well as having read “Chew on This” by the same author, I think I am going to have to boycott fast food for a while.  It’s just an easy filler.  There’s nothing to be gained health wise from it.  Plus, after I got my supersized soda, I realized they had switched back to styrofoam cups!  That was the last straw for me…literally.  How am I supposed to recycle styrofoam??  I am challenging myself to see how long I can go without getting fast food.  My kids will be so disappointed.  They almost had all the characters from the Kung Fu Panda Happy Meals.  I guess we all have to sacrifice a little in the present to gain in the future!