Omnivore’s Dilemma Chapter 7
Omnivore’s Dilemma as previously mentioned is broken into three sections, each one based on one of the three principal food chains that exist today. Chapter 7 is the last chapter in the industrial food chain section and as such covers Michael’s industrial meal. While there are endless ways he could have eaten corn in all it’s mutated glory he chose McDonald’s. It’s probably fitting to choose a high visibility food chain as the essence of the industrial diet.
In addition to figuring out all the corn involved in a typical families fast food meal Michael hypothesizes that places like McDonald’s have become a sort of comfort food. As I read it I disagreed but as I finished an 8 hour drive including a half an hour customer visit tired and ready to crash I realized what he said was true. To me McDonald’s doesn’t remind me of my childhood (which is why he likens it to comfort food) since I rarely got it. Instead fast food is comfort food to me because of it’s simplicity. It’s oh so simple to find a fast food chain regardless of what town you find yourself in. There is no worry about finding a place to eat, picking something off a menu and hoping you will like it, and eating alone in a strange place. It’s easy to follow the glowing sign, pick something that tastes the same regardless of where you are, and then take it back to your hotel and finally relax. The food isn’t gourmet, honestly it doesn’t even taste that great but it’s a constant. You know exactly what you are getting, except do you?
Did you know that there are 38 ingredients in a McNugget, thirteen of which are derived from corn? Or that there is corn sweetner in your burger, as if all the corn used to fatten the cow wasn’t enough. That forty-five of the sixty menu items at McDonald’s contain high fructose corn syrup?
It’s crazy when you think about it…. and I have to admit after an eight hour drive or at the end of long week of traveling I have to force myself to think about it so I don’t end up eating all my meals in fast food chains simply because they are familiar and easy.