like cliff diving into rocks.

every bungee enthusiast understands their next jump could end with the cord snapping. likewise, part of the thrill of leaping from an airplane, so i’m told, is the knowledge that one’s parachute can be replaced with an anvil by wile e. coyote before disembarking. i think eating fast food should be viewed the same way, as a sort of extreme sport where you acknowledge the risks before you proceed.

that being said, i don’t like the move toward healthier, more nutritious fare that has been sweeping through the industry for the last few years. i find it disingenuous and insulting. not to mention the fact that it just doesn’t work — a child has never asked his parents if they can take him to mcdonalds for a cup of fruit or insisted that her french fries be substituted by a side salad. moreover, it’s a product of our laziness, not accepting responsibility for our own actions and believing that corporate america, for some reason, needs to be held accountable for our negligence.

excuse me as i go all andy rooney on you, wondering aloud about the factors that converged in order to make humans content consuming whatever items were set before them. certainly it’s easier to let others choose for you, adopting a sort of cliffs notes (coles notes for my canadian readers) approach to life, circumventing the intricacies and embracing that which is most understandable (that is, usually, the things that are most prevalent and available), but i question the lack of joy in that journey. i doubt few of you would trade the happiness brought on by the discovery of a new taste or artist, the sense of beauty that comes from the urgency of exploring a topic in its entirety, for an existence comprised of the most accessible paths and softest options, but somehow many do. the justification that the twenty-first century is too fast paced and our budgets too tight, that we don’t have enough time or money to afford good food or find culture, is a ray kroc crock.

i’ve taken you on this circuitous route — and i apologize — to get here: i appreciate the stance hardee’s (carl’s jr for my west coast readers) has taken. they don’t pretend that eating a diet of fast food is going to trim your waistline or unclog your arteries. in fact, they continue to produce hamburgers with more calories and fat grams, with two-thirds of a pound of beef, four strips of bacon, and three slices of cheese (for example), than their predecessors. they do the best they can to find the freshest and best ingredients within the constraints. honestly, that’s all we should expect when we require that dinner be ready in five minutes. thinking otherwise is akin to swimming with sharks while bleeding and imagining they won’t approach.

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