October 14, 2006

Fast Food Circa 1978

Hey, everybody, think back to the 1970s with me for a bit.

In 1978, I lived in a small town called Kalkaska, MI. Kalkaska was home of very few restaurants, but it did have a McDonald's, which opened up somewhere around 1978. I remember the craze when it debuted, and I was a wee six year-old or so (might be off by a year, but I don't think so).

Now, I was never much of a hamburger fan, found them bland, and that's something from someone who at that age ordered everything plain. In 1978 or so all that was available at McDonald's for someone such as me was a Filet o' Fish, which was introduced in 1963, according to Wikipedia's entry for that particular sandwich. No grilled chicken. Oh, no, nothing like that. No salads. Remember those fries in the paper bags, though? I bet you do.

Now, it's possible that the food attackers were out back in the 1970's, but I was a young one, and it wasn't important. Certainly we didn't go to McDonald's often, but I have some memories of orange-tasting/orange-colored water (on the same tap on the soda fountain, and water's all I drank, lifelong soda hater that I am). Memories of wishing for Happy Meals with something other than those stinking hamburgers. Memories of my first sundae (the eating of which occurred because I had a crush on the pastor's son and everyone else around us wanted one. We were out with that family on a Monday night after Monday School (think Sunday School on Monday night)). McDonald's wasn't vilified, and its menu was nutritionally AWFUL. Is it the Internet that's facilitated the fast food witchhunt? Is it the culture as a whole because we're all fatter (myself included - blame my crazy life during pregnancy). Do we need to shake our fingers at someone to feel better about ourselves?

I spent more than a few meals at McDonald's during the pregnancy. My two big cravings were grapefruit and McDonald's fries (no idea why on either). Since we were home buying, moving, and home selling during my third trimester, it was highly convenient. And, you know what, there's some pretty good food at McDonald's if you find yourself stuck there. Compared to 1978 or so, one can eat a decent meal. Consider too the bottled water (oh what heaven that would've been to a 6 or 7 year-old who was oh-so-tired of that orange-tinged stuff). That's another post entirely, though, how bottled water would've affected my quality of life as a youngster.

Not sure I have a point. Brian and I stopped at McDonald's today for his lunch since Big Macs are $1 each on Cardinal day games. I sampled, er, ate, 7 of his fries and thought all this through. Cravings are long gone, thankfully, but I thought I'd share.


Posted by hln at October 14, 2006 09:46 PM | Nutrition | TrackBack