Saturday, June 5, 2010

Deli (No) Choices

I’m going to have to say that the current prices at fast food outlets are our own fault. Let’s face it, fast food is too over-priced for what it is, especially McDonalds, and why is that, because Australia, and, from what I assume, the rest of the world who followed, is full of moron consumers, that’s why. Let me tell you a little story: Meet Bob. Bob’s dictionaries do not have the words ‘fast’ or ‘food’ in them, nor do they have a combination of the two. Bob isn’t a person - he is the epitome of every silly Australian that are to blame for the twelve dollar (AU$12) McDonalds meals you can buy today. It all started back in 2004 when Bob ate Subway for the first time as he watched Super Size Me. To his surprise, primarily due to his lacking brain activity, he then realised that the food he’d been enjoying at McDonalds for over thirty years was, for lack of a better word, shit, so he got up on his soapbox that is our national news, took one deep breath and screamed so loud that McDonalds in Australia were doomed. Unless the McDonalds Corporation became less of what they are, a fast food chain, and more like Subway, Bob wasn’t going to spend money at McDonalds anymore, spelling Ronald’s doom in this stupid, stupid country of ours – so they started Deli Choices, and thus initiating the cogs that made McDonalds go from selling great inexpensive fast food across the globe to selling restaurant-quality food at a price that only gives me the incentive I need to go to a place that still serves actual fast food.

I would sum up fast food as the two dollar shop of food. A quick Google search of the term ‘fast food’ will show you show you the following terms at least once in a single page: inexpensive, served quickly, low quality, low value, pre-prepared, junk food; you get the picture. This is where I'm confused, it took me a few seconds to type the search term, a quarter of a second for it to be processed and then a few more seconds to notice that those words were prevalent in the dictionary results, the point I am trying to make is, in 2004, how the hell did Australians completely miss what the definition of it was when it is only so many seconds away? I do realise that in the grand-scheme of the food business that fast food is probably near the bottom, but seriously, are we idiots? Or was this whole health thing just the grudge-burdened malnourished-brainchild of those that had really been eating it since the seventies? That would be understandable. The thing is that fast food is fast food, and, with the exception of sneaky marketing tricks, McDonalds never presented themselves as anything more than just fast food, just the same as Burger King or KFC, so why is the definition of fast food too complex for us to understand? The Americans can still at least faintly draw the line that divides fast food from good food, so why can’t we? We now just have this hybrid restaurant that just does business under the name of McDonalds, but it isn’t McDonalds, it may sell a Big Mac but that isn’t the same Big Mac which was sold six years ago; it is just a fast food outlet crossed with a fast food outlet that’s trying to be a restaurant, now. I just think that it’s ridiculous that once upon a time, everything at McDonalds was the price that today’s McValue Meals are, and now, in the comfort of an Italian restaurant, I could spend around five dollars (AU$5) more than I would on a large Chicken Bacon Deluxe meal and get a more than decent, chef-cooked pasta , better yet, it’s even hard to conceive that I could go down to any local RSL or sports club and buy a dish for less than that.

McDonalds is now a byproduct of an obvious health issue that was blown out of proportion by a bunch of people that are unable to see fast food for what it is and who think that we are too ill-equipped to make our own decisions on what we will and won’t consume. So what’s next? Will candy stores begin getting bad press for not selling healthy-candy and salads? Will desert restaurants get grilled for basically selling sugar as a menu item? By the rationale of a page titled “Food Quality” on a fast food corporation’s website, those two statements aren’t an exaggeration. So now, thanks to that same bunch of people, I will always have a quandary when looking to eat while I'm out: fast food or an actual restaurant? You see, when I want fast food, I’ll go to a fast food place, but if I wanted one hundred percent Australian Angus beef, Ingham chicken, Dairy Farmers milk, Arabica coffee, or any other expensive quality ingredient, I’d make my own decision and go to a restaurant.

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