November 10, 2011 by Alison Grisham
By Alison Grisham
My friend John is a vegetarian and part time vegan. As far as I can tell, that means I’m never going to like anything that he eats. I’m reasonably sure he’d think that I was just flat out wrong in my assessment. In my experience, when people hear that I don’t like vegetables, they usually think that I just haven’t had them prepared the right way. Well, I guess that’s a possibility. But I wouldn’t bet my T-bone on it.
I’m not afraid to try new things. It’s just that I take my food choices very seriously, and I choose to eat as many saturated fats as I can. Ultimately, I just can’t get a good return on my investment by tucking into rutabaga and collard greens. Now…offer me a box of old-time movie popcorn covered in crude oil? Yes please. A snack cake with a decade long shelf life? I’m your girl.
In fact, I’m so serious about this plan, I staged a one-woman boycott of McDonald’s from 1990 – 1992, simply because they messed with my fries. If you’re less than 21 you’ve never truly experience a fast food French fry the way it was meant to be eaten. But for me, 1990 remains the year the earth stood still. That’s when the fast food giant of all giants stopped using beef tallow and instead started cooking their fries in vegetable oil. Say what you will, but I’m sure of one thing — it was the lard that made them taste so good.
I was so angry that I wrote a letter to McDonald’s visionary, Ray Croc, begging him to bring back the original fries. I outlined an entire marketing plan, in which McDonald’s could bring back the golden strips of goodness under a new name, “The French Fry Classic.” After all, it worked for Coke, right?
I wanted answers from Mr. Croc. I wanted to know why he was messing with perfection. I wanted to know why he caved in to the demands of the health conscious lobby. I wanted to know why he didn’t care about his loyal customers who craved his fries like a junkie craves a crack pipe. Ray Croc was my dealer. Didn’t he care?
I don’t mind a few healthy foods here and there. I just don’t understand why my local fast food chain has to provide them. I mean is there really anything we can do to a French fry to make it healthy? I don’t care if I take a potato and boil it on a stick. It’s never going to turn into a salad.
Now don’t misunderstand me. I’d love to be a vegan, or at least a vegetarian. There’s an unmistakable cool factor about people who don’t eat animals and treat their bodies as temples … or whatever. But who am I kidding? I couldn’t sustain that plan. I have all the discipline that God gave a house cat. Let’s be honest, I’m the girl who once ate seven Red Lobster biscuits in between traffic lights.
I never did get a response from Ray Croc. But it’d be pretty hard to hold that against him. After all, he had died five years earlier. I bet the fries he’s making now are heavenly.