Burger King: Have it? No Way.
Happy Friday! In lieu of this week’s nibbles, I bring to you far more exciting content. Read on as Matt details his experience with fast food. It’s not pretty, let me tell you. As you’ll see, I too dabbled in fast food and quickly felt like crap. I seriously cannot believe that THIS “food” is what the majority of our country (including children, yikes!) is living on. Can you imagine a world where everyone had access to affordable, whole, unprocessed food? Imagine the possibilities!
And let it be known for the record that I ultimately ordered a Morningstar veggie burger, not the chicken sandwich. It was impossible for me to do after seeing Food Inc. After wiping off gobs of mayo, the veggie burger was actually pretty good. AND…I couldn’t resist french fries, so I ate those too. AND…half of Matt’s diet coke (I can’t remember the last time I had a diet coke or ketchup, or a hamburger bun). So did it taste good? Actually, yeah, it was pretty satisfying. But the way my body felt afterwards was definitely not worth it. Read on for Matt’s story!
There’s a scene in the movie Super Size Me when Morgan Spurlock, on his first venture to McDonald’s, goes through the drive-thru and orders, like a kid in a candy store, a value meal, and then proceeds to super-size it. The look of glee on his face is uncanny. It’s hard to see the unbridled enthusiasm at a chance to eat something you just know is really, truly, not good for you. But you do it anyway. For him, it was because he was making a documentary. For me, it was because I had just hiked (not even the right word, mountaineered) for 3 days and 30 miles by foot across some of the most treacherous hiking on the Appalachian Trail, and damnit, I deserved to eat whatever the hell I wanted.
So it was with great glee that I ordered a double bacon cheeseburger with fries and a diet coke. Enter video.
See the look of happiness?
Later in the movie, as Morgan Spurlock is going to the drive-thru for yet another Mickey D’s run, he gets sick and vomits out his car window. Man, can I relate.
The purpose of this post is to give a first hand account of what my body went through for the 24 hours following my burger king attack. (I went to BK b/c since reading Fast Food Nation, I can’t bring myself to patron a McDonald’s).
I’ll admit, eating a Burger King burger made me feel good. Pretty damn good. The meat was tasty, the cheese and bacon tasted extraordinarily good, especially after 3 days of eating less than high quality food at the various huts we stayed in. I drank my first diet coke in over 2 months, plus salty fries and ketchup. I took satisfaction in knowing it wasn’t even that bad for me considering all the calories I had burned up over the previous few days.
All was well. Then I hit the plane ride. A quick 45-minute trek from Portland, Maine back to La Guardia.
I started to feel ill. Like really ill. Like the kind of ill where you don’t know if you have to vomit or poop, but all you do know is you need a toilet and fast. My body had a seriously violent reaction to the food. I started to sweat, head spun…I tried drinking water and green tea to calm my system down. Nothing worked.
We got home from our trip and as Amanda unpacked, I laid on the couch, feeling sick to my stomach. I barely ate dinner. The only thing that helped was sleep. I went to bed at 9:30.
The next morning I woke up, still feeling a little nauseous, but definitely a little bit better. Then I got to work, and all the nausea I had been feeling over the past day caught up with me. I know this is gross…but I spent the better part of the day in the bathroom. I thought I had caught a stomach bug because of the non-stop cramping and unpleasantness. I broke out in sweats and drank almost a gallon of water to keep from dehydrating. It took about a day before my system started to right itself.
Let’s just say I’m over Burger King and Fast Food in a big way.
It’s in reflection that I find myself continuously amazed to see people eating the same fast foods every morning for breakfast. True, I’ll admit it’s part jealousy because of the seductive power of the food, but more often I wonder to myself: How can a person eat like this and not get sick?
Of course, they do get sick…in the long run, as fast food is one of the leading causes of obesity in this country, (amongst a whole bunch of other scientific things that this unscientific opinion piece won’t attempt to attack). But it makes me wonder how a person can habituate themselves to eating in this fashion.
It makes me think back to when I was a smoker, and how when I first started even though it made me feel like crap I did it anyway. After a while, my body adjusted and I stopped feeling sick all the time. My body got used to the poison. Maybe that’s what happens when you eat fast food all the time. You get used to the grease, the oil, and the sodium. Your body adjusts and doesn’t realize how bad it really makes you feel. And it’s not until you stop eating it and have it again that you truly can see how much it disagrees with you.
Now, if I take a puff of a cigarette, it makes me feel so crappy that I wonder how I ever got myself smoking in the first place. Burger King’s motto is “have it your way.” Thanks to this latest experience, when it comes to fast food and me it’s “Have it? No way.”
For some last moment fun, here’s Amanda debating what to order at the drive thru: