Daily Archives: 10/19/2004

SuperSize Movie

I watched Supersize Me on DVD last night. It’s a very good movie, funny, insightful, and a tad disturbing. Film maker Morgan Spurlock shot this documentary about an experimental diet he went on – nothing but McDonald’s for a month. Morning, noon and night, every meal something from McDonald’s. It’s amazing how much weight he put on in just one month, going from 185 pounds to 210 by eating nothing but McDonald’s and walking less than a ½ mile a day. The doctors and nutritionists following his experiment are horrified and repeatedly tell him to stop.

While his experiment sounds ridiculous, of course his health would deteriorate eating nothing but Big Macs and Quarterpounders, far too many people do eat fast food every day. The chilling fact is 1 in 3 kids born in 2000 will develop diabetes. And fast food plays a major part in this epidemic of obesity.

The DVD is chock full of extras, including the usual deleted scenes. But there is also an extended section of interview footage. The last interview is with Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, a book I read earlier this year. Fast Food Nation is an indictment of the corporate fast food culture, it’s hidden costs and abuses. I don’t think I’ve been inside a McDonald’s since I read that book. The tidbit that ground beef comes from thousands of separate cows, raised on corn, ground up animals and antibiotics, living is rivers of their own shit (and that that shit gets into the meat in unsanitary slaughterhouses) – it is just chilling. The happy, homey, fun image fast food portrays is so diametrically opposed to what is really going on that it is no wonder fast food corporations are solid backers of Republicans, George W. Bush and his reality distorting worldview.

The best extra on the DVD is an experiment Morgan Spurlock conducts with McDonald’s food. He tossed a variety of McDonald’s sandwiches and some fries into glass jars and let them rot. Over ten weeks later, the sandwiches were reduced to mold covered, gelatinous mounds of ooze, but the McDonald’s French fries looked brand new – not a bit of mold, no decomposition at all. Very creepy and quite funny. Millions of people eat those things every day. McDonald’s is the largest consumer of potatoes in the nation. Makes me wonder what those indigestible things are doing in people’s intestines. I recommend both Supersize Me and Fast Food Nation to anyone curious about the fast food industry and the social and medical costs of our addiction to fast food. Hopefully you’ll never eat at McDonald’s again.