Love it or hate it: Fast food

by Patty Templeton

Love itIt’s been talked about before. I’m a vegetarian. As such, my options at most traditional fast food restaurant chains are limited. That doesn’t stop me from loving fast food. Oh come on now, don’t judge. We all know we shouldn’t eat the crap. Everyone knows it’s like munching on a radiating lard pie and washing it down with sugar water. It’s chock fulla unpronounceable ingredients that come from factories and industrialized farms that are ruining the world.


French fries, dudes. You better kill me if you want to stop me from eating French fries. They are a cheap, filling food that I would eat every day, if I could. I mean, they’re pretty much my only option at a lotta fast food places – and even then, you gotta watch out because some restaurants louse ’em up with beef fat or other secret meat juice. Two places that have vegan French fries are Wendy’s and Burger King. OM NOM and NOM. I mean, pretty much the only other fast food options a vegetarian has are like Subway or Jimmy John’s and, I mean, why have a moderately healthy sammich when I could stuff my maw with fried potatoes?

::gets up from computer::

::goes to Wendy’s for fries and a Frosty to dip them in::

— Patty TempletonHate itBecause to hate fast food in its entirety is more of a book-length endeavor, I must focus my hatred to the one item that represents an industry that pollutes everything it touches: the land, natural resources and sentient beings used in its production, the alienation-prone labor used in its preparation, the human bodies it makes obese and sick, and the waste its consumption leaves behind.

For this, I will speak only of the McDonald’s cheeseburger, and what an evil super-villain it is, even though they taste so mysteriously amazing and I would eat seven compulsively without breathing if placed before me.

But calling this a cheeseburger and not a “cheeseburger” would be disingenuous, not because it’s not real food (though I kinda don’t think it is), but because nothing on it tastes like it’s counterpart on any other cheeseburger I’ve ever had. The pickles don’t taste like other pickles, the ketchup doesn’t taste like other ketchup, and have you ever tasted the beef on its own? It tastes like a mildly-seasoned softened rice cake, without all the flavor.

And what’s the deal with the onions? I guess they have to be cut that small to freeze-dry properly?

But the most disturbing thing? I’ll come right out and say it: After eating a McDonald’s “cheeseburger,” how does any gas you may pass smell like an intact “cheeseburger”? What chemical – what franken-combination – is traveling untouched all the way through your digestive system?

I sincerely hope that keeps you up at night.

— David Holub


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