DAILY DIARY - Debunk the Junk Report – APRIL 1, 2004
Click on pdf link above to see receipt from day one.
“You go girl!”, “the food will make you sick”, “How can you eat 3 meals a day there?”, “You’re Crazy!”—just a few of the responses from friends about my decision to eat only at McDonalds for 30 days. And what, you ask, would cause a person to engage in such behavior? Morgan Spurlock did it and documented his adventures in a new film called “Super Size Me”. Eating massive amounts of food Spurlock claimed to have “proven” that McDonalds food is bad for you and causes all sorts of medical problems. This anti-corporate, anti-fast food take on the “evil” McDonalds is nothing more than simple junk science and should be relegated to the comedy section at Blockbuster once it is distributed. To be honest, I’ve had it with all the doom and gloom, alarmist, anti-everything attitude of certain individuals and organizations who want to control my life, your life, everyone’s life with little regard for individual tastes, freedom of choice and personal responsibility.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Sure, I would have preferred that Mr. Spurlock had chosen some 5 Star restaurant but McDonalds will do. I grew up eating their food, and I cannot attribute any ill health effects to eating there over the last 49 years. Once praised and respected as a food producer that made cheap, decent food available to the masses at a low cost, the Golden Arches is now a major target of all sorts of groups from animal rights to environmental to anti-capitalists. I’m not surprised that this filmmaker chose one of the most maligned fast food operations in the world. Picking on this corporate giant is guaranteed to attract attention and continue a long history of the “little guy” going after the big, bad corporation to right some perceived wrong. Poppycock—Mr. Spurlock chose a topical story, performed the simple task of eating massive amounts of food, and now too many people actually believe that his film is actually some sort of landmark scientific discovery.
I, on the other hand, am motivated to eat at McDonalds for 30 days to show just how easy it is to skew results of any test to reflect your preconceived notions and come up with just exactly the results you want to see. In my case I’m going to use some of the same parameters Mr. Spurlock used but I would rather see results which show I can maintain a healthy lifestyle and actually lose weight at McDonalds, so I will not be scarfing down Double Quarter Pounders with cheese. My real purpose is not to prove something, rather, I see this as a unique opportunity to explore food and weight issues and separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to what is reported about our health and well being in the media and other sources. However, I would not attempt such a feat without being properly prepared to use critical thinking skills while engaging in this adventure so I ride into battle with the help of Steven Milloy, author of Junk Science Judo and founder of JunkScience.com. I encourage anyone who has not read his book or been to www.JunkScience.com to spend a little time exercising those brain cells. For those who are familiar with Mr. Milloy I challenge you to pick up a non-fiction book and start exploring your world. My current favorites include The Natural History of the Rich by Richard Conniff and The Professor and The Madman – A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester.