“In these modern days,” sings my musician friend, Roesy, “…a troubled mind is all the rage.” Perhaps the even more troubling event happening in America right now is the diet of the average American. If you travel around to any of the bustling fast food locations in Los Angeles (or anywhere else in America) you are immediately confronted with the rather startling question: What constitutes a meal these days? These modern days are probably different from just about any other time in history as our knowledge has grown exponentially and there is far healthier food available, but with the education and subsequent “dumbing down” of our meal choices, the question remains; what constitutes a meal?
Subway: Subway used to mean healthy; remember Jared? However, Subway began to pile it high with the “Five Dollar Footlong” campaign. People were trying to save a couple of bucks and Subway did offer a few “healthy-ish” options. Far easier was the footlong meatball, steak and cheese, or cold cut combo, slathered with mayonnaise, oil & vinegar, salt & pepper, and piled high with all the rest. Then Subway pulled a move where they began offering their six inch (or footlong) with the catchphrase, “chips & a soda make it a meal!” granted Subway does offer juice, milk, fruit cups, and veggies for the kids. But which kid wants to have fruits & veggies when they’re eating out?!? instead what Subway has given us is a reason to categorize a meatball sub with cheese, Coke, and Doritos as a meal.
KFC: Kentucky Fried Chicken has just begun offering their “grilled” option. While this is a little bit more positive than the fried counterpart, this “meal” that KFC is selling is a little shocking indeed. Buttermilk biscuits, mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw, more mashed potatoes and gravy, and CAKE! For twenty bucks you too can feed your family with the KFC “10 piece meal with cake.” I will let the mind ponder the caloric intake and artery clogging reality of this meal, dear friends. Yummy!
Dominos: I am no better than anyone else and it was with some chagrin that my wife and I ordered Domino’s the other night. They are doing this “five ninety-nine, 1 topping, large with extra cheese,” thing. The wife had worked late, and I didn’t feel like cooking. So we got it. It is carryout only so as I waited for our pizza to be made, I saw a sign which was most alarming. Apparently Dominos feels like they can do what Subway does; slap a drink and chips with something and call it a meal! This sign was actually what was being advertised! At least with Subway you can fool yourself with lettuce, tomatoes, and some semblance of “healthy;” but pizza, chips, and a soda sounds like a teenage fantasy! No meal!
I don’t have the health stats for any of these, but you can just imagine that it can’t be any good, generally. While fast food is the wedge which is driving down the health of our kids and kids all over the world, at least Southern California hasn’t adopted the 50 Piece Chicken McNugget family meal from McDonald’s that I’ve seen…yet.