Sunday, February 27, 2011

Eat it or don't, but you know what you're getting

From Facebook posts, to links on walls to tweets to op-ed pieces online, people have been recently talking about the McDonald's Oatmeal. Here's the shocking news... it's unhealthy. Shocked? Maybe a little because it's oatmeal. Then again... it isn't just oatmeal. It's McDonald's oatmeal. Maybe you're not surprised but many people are. Nothing at McDonald's is healthy. It's greasy, fatty, processed, disgusting food. Don't get me wrong. I love McDonald's. But I love it for what it is. Tasty, unhealthy, convenient food. I don't love it because it falls in line with healthy living or a conscious choice to eat well. The NY Times commentator mentioned that McDonald's pulls in $16.5 billion annually, which is just under the GDP of Afghanistan. They're not a small, new company that can pull the wool over your eyes.

This is not about McDonald's. This is not about oatmeal. This is about expectations and being realistic. If you think you can go to McD's every day and just get an oatmeal to be healthy, you're fooling yourself and, frankly, get what you deserve when you balloon up a whole bunch of pounds. We are all so entitled... in our minds. We deserve to know this. We shouldn't be fooled. We should this and shouldn't that and deserve this and are owed that. Grow up, people. You deserve to pay attention to what you buy, use, ingest and basically surround your life with. It's your life. As I've said a million times before - the business of business is business. You think McDonald's cares about your health? They care about the health of their share prices. You think Whole Foods cares about your health? No. They sell you healthy shit because they know you'll overpay for it so you can eat that and use your treadmill as a hat rack. They are there to make a buck. Is it cynicism that makes me this way? No. It's my inability to keep my head in the sand, only to pull it out when looking at the world through rose colored glasses (2-for-1 sale on cliches today).

I don't make great choices when it comes to food. But when I'm 900 pounds smoking through a hole in my throat praying the Cirrhosis goes away, I'll have a drink and say cheers to knowing I was making bad choices. The point is that, while I may not do what's right for my body, I know I'm doing it and I'll take full responsibility when the time comes or hopefully have an epiphany and commit to change before I need to take responsibility.

I won't sue Marlboro for the Emphysema. I won't require a new, larger "Warning: Coffee is hot" label when I spill it on my lap. If you buy coffee and don't expect it to be hot, just dump it on your head and save us all the trouble. Meanwhile, as an aside, if someone got coffee and spilled it and it was lukewarm, they'd go back for a new one and while they were there they'd say, "I spilled this and need another one and by the way, can you make this one hot? I didn't pay for room temperature coffee. Do your damn job." Damned if you do, damned if you don't, as they say.

Take a look a the minimum wage high schoolers (or high school dropouts, depending on the time of day) working at McDonald's. Do you think they're handcrafting your meals in the back. Are they using real rolled oats and sprinkling cinnamon and sugar with creative care and culinary pride? They sling a bowl in the microwave, pop a lid on it, pretend to smile and overcharge you.

You're paying too much for unhealthy food. You know it. I know it. They certainly know it. Yet we all keep doing it. Let McD's make even just $1 billion next year and see what happens. If I offer to sell you a punch in the nose for a buck and you take it, that's your bad for doing it, not mine for suggesting it. So until McDonald's starts detouring you into their parking lot and mugging you... realize it's a choice.

Oh... and for the folks that get on their case for their advertising, here's a thought. I know they say "100 percent natural whole-grain oats, plump raisins, sweet cranberries, and fresh crisp apples." Not a lie. That is exactly the product list in the oatmeal. At least that is what they purchased. They took those items and modified and preserved them in way that they are ready to be flung through a drive-through window into your car. The other ingredients that make it unhealthy do the same job.

Once again, buyer beware. If you want to hand over your hard earned money to someone, it's your job to make sure it's worthwhile. They just sell the stuff, that's their interest. Your health and finances should be yours.

Leave comments and I'll reply when I get back from the drive-through.

1 comment:

ehaldeman said...

hey you forgot that these are all educated people throwing their money at McDonald's. they threw money at the universities to teach them, but they never teach common sense. oh well. good piece.