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Left Coast / Right Coast: Finger Lickin’ Good

We live in a world surrounded by “fast food.” “Fast food” can be a pejorative to those who are weak when it comes to “push-aways,” the best way to maintain your weight. But as our family finds, in moderation, "fast food" is a great way to come up with something a bit different and convenient as a last minute decision for dinner.
Mike Gold living the dream in the Pacific Northwest. Photo credit: Scott Brown.

By Mike Gold, a retired entrepreneur "living the dream in the Pacific Northwest."

We live in a world where we are surrounded by “fast food.”

I always like to refer back to my favorite tv series, "Seinfeld." Larry David, the genius behind the program, wrote an episode called "The Chicken Roaster." They open up a fried chicken store across the street from the apartment building Jerry and Kramer live in. Jerry wanders in and discovers the manager is an old school chum of his. He asks: “How do you like working in a fast food store?

His friend answers: “Jerry, not fast food. Good food served quickly.”

The manager is trying to dissuade Jerry from the pejorative about fast food. That, somehow, it is not “up to the same level” as non-fast food. So is Jerry’s buddy correct or not?

I start with perhaps the largest negative about “fast food.” That being it is not as healthy as “normal” food. On this point, I agree. The Food and Drug Administration now requires that all food products list the calorie content. Just wander into McDonalds and there posted on their menu board are all the calories in all of your favorite meals. It is quite revealing to learn that most of their menu items are very very high in calories. Here is a chart from McDonalds. Note that their largest burger contains approximately half of the total recommended daily calorie intake for an adult!! And it’s full of fat and sodium. It’s no wonder that you will often see people seriously over-weight eating there.

One of my former co-workers used to eat there just about every day. He would order two Big-Macs, French Fries and a Diet Coke!  I always laughed at the Diet Coke. Yeah, he was saving a few calories, but his lunch had well over 1000 calories – again, more than half what an adult human should eat per day. (In places like Ethiopia, a big Mac would feed an entire family for a week.)

Next on my list are the Taco places. I happen to love Tacos. I like the soft shell variety over the hard shell. In either case, you certainly may be taking a risk as to exactly what is “in” that Taco. Did you ever notice that you never see any cats hanging around a Taco place? (Any inference you wish to make is 100% on you.)

Next we have take-out Chinese food. The only problem with take-out Chinese is the foods are typically loaded with MSG. Here are the most common side effects of consuming Chinese food with MSG: headache, flushing, sweating, facial pressure or tightness, numbness, tingling or burning in the face, neck and other areas, rapid fluttering heartbeats (heart palpitations), chest pain, nausea, and weakness.

Boy doesn’t that make you want to just rush out and consume your weight in MSG? I find my reaction is I get a case of the “yips.” I get itchy, jumpy, and simply can’t sit still.

Last on my list is Kentucky Fried Chicken, courtesy of the “Colonel."

Let me start with the “appealing” thing of ordering food by the “bucket.” Somehow, I lose some of the appeal of this ordering process. If I wanted a “bucket of food,” I would head down to the local soup kitchen and ladle my bucket full.

Next, fried chicken is absolutely full of both fat and sodium. Both heart killers. But you do have to give credit to the chain’s founder and his story. If you look up the word persistence in the dictionary, you will find Colonel Sanders' photo there.

In summary, “fast food” can be a pejorative to those who are weak when it comes to “push-aways,” the best way to maintain your weight.

But as our family finds, in moderation, "fast food" is a great way to come up with something a bit different and convenient as a last minute decision for dinner.

All you have to remember is to schedule your angioplasty for the day after.

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