In the end, when they write the final analysis of why we failed, it will come down to McDonalds.
McDonalds will have accomplished what the Nazis, Japanese, Russians and the Chinese couldn't.
McDonalds did us in.
For the first time in several years we had occasion to (reluctantly) accompany someone to a McDonalds for breakfast.
The first thing we noticed was that the drive thru line Saturday morning was at least two dozen cars long. The parking lot was full- we got the last spot. The eating area was jammed and yet there were only two people in line. The efficiency of delivering the food which kills us was breathtaking.
We had trouble ordering for our friend (we asked for, and ate nothing). The menu was confusing only because our companion didn't want one of the two dozen numbered specials. While individuality was accommodated, it was discouraged.
The order was rung up and as the cashier delivered the change a counter person was handing us the bag. No time was lost. We were processed so efficiently, just like the grain and antibiotic fattened cows on the moving walkway that constituted the other side of this frightening transaction.
In the film Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock ate McDonalds food exclusively for a month. He gained 25 pounds, experienced heart palpitations, depression, sexual dysfunction, and his blood lipid profiles went to dangerous levels.
Through the end of last year McDonalds, which sells hundreds of millions of burgers a year, treated the "meat" for its products- which was really "pink slime" with ammonium hydroxide, a chemical otherwise used in household cleaners, fertilizers, and explosives.
(McDonalds "meat" before it becomes a burger.)
The sodium content of meals at McDonalds range from 2150mg (Big Breakfast with hotcakes), 1700mg (Angus Deluxe burger) 1200 (Crispy chicken sandwich)1360 mg (double quarter pounder with cheese). The recommended healthy intake of sodium for an adult (children levels are much lower) is 1500 for adults with hypertension and 2300 for everyone else. One meal at McDonalds gives all children and most adults almost all the sodium they should consume for one day.
The large coke McDonalds sells contains over 20 teaspoons of granulated sugar. The list of health crimes goes on and on. Calories, saturated fat, chemicals, sugar, salt, there is almost nothing at McDonalds that is good for a heathy person to consume on a regular basis.
US Health care spending was 17% of GDP, meaning 17 cents of every dollar spent was on health care. The Commonwealth Fund ranked the US last in quality of health care among developed nations. In 2012 almost 50 million americans remained uninsured.
Obesity rates in the US have doubled since 1970. Two thirds of US Adults are overweight or obese and 31% of low-income preschool children are obese. Source: Food Research and Action Center.
The cost of obesity in the US is approaching 300 billion dollars a year.
That McDonalds sells food that kills is nothing new. The film Super Size me was released in 2004.
And yet McDonalds has won.
McDonalds sells 75 hamburgers a second. McDonalds is the worlds largest distributor of toys (how better to hook the next generation of Americans than to give toys to children?). McDonalds serves meals to 30 million Americans everyday! McDonalds sells over 4.2 million hamburgers a day. McDonalds sells a billion pounds of beef a year and slaughters over 5 million cattle. It takes ten grams of grains to create one calorie of beef.
The numbers are staggering. The disastrous ecological, economic, and health impact of McDonalds on the United States is inestimable, so interwoven is this insidious corporation into our daily lives.
What the Germans, Japanese, Russians and Chinese couldn't do through war, nuclear missiles, or economic challenges, McDonalds is doing through the mega-efficient delivery of food that kills us, bankrupts our nation, and destroys the ecology.
The Good news?
McDonalds has plans to open one store a day in China for the next four years surpassing two thousand outlets by 2013.
See You In Court and stay away from those Golden Arches.
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