I read McDonalds dishes dirt of fast food film this morning in The Age, how it's just a "happy coincidence" according to Maccas that they've started their "Make Up Your Own Mind" thing when Fast Food Nation (the movie, not the book, natch) is going to be released here in Australia next month, as well as the book's author, Eric Schlosser, being in town.
Making up my own mind about McDonalds, eh?
Okay, okay, so I'm a vegetarian so it seems a bit redundant, but Maccas isn't just about two all-beef patties slapped on a bun any more (or was that Hungry Jacks? Can't remember, don't pay much attention to beef, I guess). There's the "Healthy Options" stuff with salads, a particularly yummy yoghurt (I dread reading the ingredients for it if I ever find it...), that kind of thing. And something with pasta?
Still, I'm not really sold on it at all, because food now days goes quite a long way beyond the "simple" ingredients like potatoes, a bit of ground beef and some salad stuff. Junk food is generally highly processed food, which cuts beneficial elements of the original foods involved, flavours and colours get added, etc. Sure, the beef patties shown on the new Maccas ads might be happily squished and boxed in a cheerfully nice way, but are there additives? What else is in the burger other than beef? And what about additives in other fast food products?
Reading an extract from Fast Food Nation doesn't inspire me with all that much confidence, other than the confidence to seriously read labels on food packaging more regularly and intensively. Plus having seen Super Size Me... No... Also, on a purely aesthetic level, I don't really like the way the yellow blobs ooze out like liposuction yellow fat on the Make Up Your Own Mind website's "front counter" section.
Anyways! Junk food obviously shouldn't be food that people are eating every day, or even more than a couple of times a week. However, we should probably also be avoiding heavily processed and refined foods anyway as much as we possibly can, which don't always come from fast food places, but your local supermarket.
"Fictionalised thriller" or not, Fast Food Nation will probably be a movie that will raise some interesting points, and hopefully get people reading the book. We need to think more about what we're eating, where it's from, how it's processed and so on, and yes, make up our own minds.