Extra Calorie meal

Its a big mack.  Get it?

It's a big mack. Get it?

One of the things I haven’t talked about on this blog is that I’m trying to lose weight. Technically, I’m on a diet; what I’m really trying to do is change the way I eat. It’s harder than it seems. Part of this means that when I’m out with friends and they want to go to McDonalds, I need to find something on that menu

So: last night I ordered a hamburger, medium fries and a medium drink (Total calories: ~680). The woman then suggested I could get a McDouble Meal for less money (total Calories: 770). I said that no, I’d prefer just the regular burger. Oh! Perhaps I mean the 2 cheeseburger? (Total Calories: ~1000).

The weirdest part of the experience is this: the woman taking my order was trying her hardest to give me a positive experience. What I wanted to do was more costly— and less filling– than what she wanted me to do.

This is the result of a bizarre food scheme we have where consumers are looking to maximize not their health, but rather their total caloric intake– for the least amount of money. The net result is that we get fatter. Not only that: because its the poorest of us who are unable to afford healthier food, fat becomes a class issue. Fun times all around.

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2 Responses to “Extra Calorie meal”

  1. If I were looking for a high caloric intake on very little money, I’d make rice and beans my primary staple. Buying one-pound bags of each at the grocery, I can get about 3000 calories for $2.50. It’d run me about twice that at a convenience store if I somehow had not access to a grocery. Conversely, if I have access to Costco, Smart & Final, or somewhere else I can buy 50# bags, I can get it much cheaper. But even at convenience store prices, it’s quite a bit cheaper per calorie than McDonald’s. Healthier, too.

    And if I wanted a low-calorie meal at McDonald’s, I’d just buy a hamburger (250 calories) and skip the high-calorie, high-markup fried potatoes and fizzy sugar water.

  2. I always find it interesting when there’s a word whose original meaning is one that few people think about anymore. Anytime someone mentions ‘diet’, we instantly think that they are trying to lose weight. The two concepts are indelibly linked in our minds.

    And yet the original meaning of the word, is simply ‘habitual nourishment’. Using it to refer to a temporary alteration of our eating habits in order to lose weight is what we’ve morphed into.

    Back on topic…. I definitely agree that the way foods are priced these days it’s easier to get a lot of calories than it is to get a healthy meal.

    In fact, if you go to the local grocery store and start comparing… anything that claims to be ‘healthy’ or ‘organic’, etc.. always has a higher price tag than similar products.

    What always annoys me the most about this, is that if you really compare the nutrition values on the products… a lot of times they’re not really much healthier for you than the cheaper and non ‘health-labeled’ products.

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