Monday, March 1, 2010


I saw an ad for McDonald's Filet-o-Fish on the bus this evening on my way home from work. The ad depicted the famous singing fish from the TV spot, with a big speech bubble reading:

Don't even think about it!

Is McDonald's sending a subtle message about the nameless contents of its Filet-o-Mystery-Fish? "Dear consumer: we know that you don't know what kind of fish our white-square sandwich is made from. And we want you to know that we know you don't know. Our advice: don't even think about it. You know it still tastes good."

Which got me thinking about a conversation I had recently on the near indestructibility of McDonald's fries. Most foods, if they were to fall under the seat of your car, would rot in a matter of days. But a McDonald's fry will still be in nearly the same shape one month hence. Disgusting! you may shudder. What manner of chemicals must they inject into the starchy grease sliver to insulate it from the natural processes biodegrading and decay?  So manufactured and unnatural!

But 100 years ago, you may have marveled at the same feat - that food could be protected and preserved for months on end to be eaten when calories were scarce. That food could be scientifically subdued and controlled to taste consistent no matter where it was purchased, and priced at 40 minutes of minimum wage earnings. A miracle!

So Filet-o-Fish: monstrosity of mechanical food manufacturing, or modern technological marvel? My advice: don't even think about it.

1 comment:

  1. never eating at mcdonalds again