Monday, May 3, 2010

Jenny: Fast Food

I, as a rule, avoid eating fast food. There are notable exceptions to this. I won't AbsTru them.

1. I ate certain things from Arby's because eating makes me less cranky at work. I never ate anything from Arby's unless I was working. I ordered two pizzas from Sbarros in the mall for the same reason.
2. Joseph and I go to 5 Guys Burgers and Fries about twice a month when we don't have a lot of time. We eat their fries because they appear to be nothing but grease and potatoes. We eat a hamburger from there about twice every 2 months.
3. We order pizza (and salad and chicken) from local pizza places. I "never" order pizza from Pizza Hut or Domino's. I love supporting local businesses (not national franchises).
4. I have a weakness for a steak salad from Chipotle. I get lettuce, steak, and the mild salsa.

With that aside, I've been eating an abnormal amount of fast food in the last couple days. While traveling with an overpacked car, a dehydrated and hyperactive cat, a heavy trailer and hills too steep for our transmission and 100 degree heat pounding on our heads, fast food has been a life saver.

The truth about life and food is that you can't have one without the other. If you dont eat long enough, you'll waste away and die. Wasting is a medical condition, not a euphemism for hunger. Hunger protects us from wasting. Our brains start fantasizing about food. There are two options: eat or get cranky. The crankiness is the aggression we need to kill something to eat, or kill someone to steal their food. Aggression, the hills, the cat, the trailer: it's a dangerous cocktail. You don't want to be distracted while towing.

Arguing with a woman who is preparing to kill would definitely qualify as a distraction.

In comes McDonald's. I don't know why, but I will eat McDonald's. I won't eat Wendy's or Burger King. I won't eat Taco Bell or Long John Silver's. I have an obsession with doing things "the right way." I guess my brain just accepts McDonald's as the "right way" to do fast food.

I've had McDonald's twice in the last two days: #9, 3 pieces, large combo with the sweet tea and barbecue sauce. I was tempted the second time to find out how many calories I was eating. Then I stopped myself. I'm stressed enough. I know my meal is 1400 calories, approx. If its more, I'd feel bad.

At night we've been ordering Domino's. Domino's must have some sort of deal with hotels because their ads are all over the room. My pizza last night was the Deluxe Feast: pepperoni, sausage, onions, green peppers and mushrooms. I've been eating it slice by slice today for all-day sustenance. Microwaved. If you know me, you know I avoid microwaving food at all costs.

My situation with traveling and fast food is proving my belief about food manufacturing, fast food and food technology. When getting fresh food is beyond difficult, you're in an emergency situation (like long distance travel, war, environmental crisis, poverty) mechanically produced, chemically preserved food is manna from heaven. If you made a mistake and didn't plan properly: fast food is a solution to avoid making your situation more dire.

But it's not for everyday. Everyday we should be perusing gardens to dig up potatoes, snap off corn and peas, cut lettuce and the like. When I get to my destination I know that I'm going to go back to my old habit of avoiding fast food, microwaves, and most of the center aisles of  the grocery store.

Until then: 5 Guys.

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