Supersize that?

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Supersize that?

Postby Larry Greenly » Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:19 am

I finally got around to viewing the movie, Supersize Me, on DVD, which almost made me sick watching it, and which literally made the author physically sick. He ate nothing but McD products for 30 days, 3x/day, which piled on the pounds and cholesterol readings.

And after watching "The Smoking Fries" in the deleted scenes section, I really do wonder about Mickey D's french fries. The author placed various McD burgers and sandwiches in bell jars to see how they "aged" over several weeks. The burgers/sandwiches got moldy and decomposed in short time, but the fries looked like they had been purchased yesterday even after 10+ weeks (might be useful to the embalming business). [shudder]

If you want to cure yourself of the fast food biz, watch this movie.
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Re: Supersize that?

Postby tsunami » Wed Oct 25, 2006 4:28 am

there was a film abut how people eat here in switzerland,

and there wes a guy that eat only caned ravioli-tomatosauce toped by some majonaise and some cheese.
everyday - two times since 7 years :evil:

he said:
in this way, i have cooked, eaten and cleaned withhin 10 minutes

the guy did not look sick. so i guess there is all inside in such a can :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Cynthia Wenslow » Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:14 am

tsunami wrote:there was a film abut how people eat here in switzerland,

and there wes a guy that eat only caned ravioli-tomatosauce toped by some majonaise and some cheese.


I personally know a guy who claims to eat about like that. He doesn't even necessarily heat the canned ravioli first! Or so he says.
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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Jeff Yeast » Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:32 am

I saw that movie about 3 years ago, and I haven't eaten at McDonald's, or any other fast-food joint, since. Not that I frequented them all that often anyway. Like you I was disturbed by the french fries and especially by the "McNugget" scene. Unfortunately, fast-food is a cheap and easy way to feed a family, and with fewer people interested in cooking at home, it is the main food source for many families. My wife is a dietitian with a local weight-loss company and she counsels clients on their dietary needs. She tells me that about 60% of her clients eat nothing but fast-food or convienience foods. She also says that at least 25% never eat a vegetable...at all.
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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Paul B. » Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:44 am

Jeff Yeast wrote:Unfortunately, fast-food is a cheap and easy way to feed a family, and with fewer people interested in cooking at home, it is the main food source for many families. My wife is a dietitian with a local weight-loss company and she counsels clients on their dietary needs. She tells me that about 60% of her clients eat nothing but fast-food or convienience foods. She also says that at least 25% never eat a vegetable...at all.

That's fascinatingly morbid stuff. Now I just have to see this DVD - I never saw the movie when it first came out.

Personally, I haven't entered a McDonald's since mid-2001. I think that my increasing interest in cooking at home was the saving grace - although to be sure, I never ate out very often in such places. The kitschy image and chemical load of the items served there never made me a fan of the stuff anyway.

As for the types who just live on "convenience foods", I think that this is a symptom of a wider culinary crisis in our culture: people have stopped looking at food as a cultural thing, and just as something you have to uncritically consume. Now, I'm far from believing that each entree needs to be presented as some kind of Renaissance painting or something, but I do think that lots can be said for fresh ingredients and some thoughtful preparation.
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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Larry Greenly » Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:48 am

How about the guy in the movie who had eaten 19,000 Big Macs? One day he ate nine. A Big Mac w/cheese is over 700 calories with 43.7 grams of fat (88% saturated). That means he ate 6330 calories. And he looked normal, with normal cholesterol levels. Go figure.

I've also met people who never eat vegetables. I guess you would call them meatarians or Eskimos. On the other hand, one of my brothers eats at least two kinds of vegetables: corn and french fries.
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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Paul Winalski » Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:48 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:And after watching "The Smoking Fries" in the deleted scenes section, I really do wonder about Mickey D's french fries. The author placed various McD burgers and sandwiches in bell jars to see how they "aged" over several weeks. The burgers/sandwiches got moldy and decomposed in short time, but the fries looked like they had been purchased yesterday even after 10+ weeks (might be useful to the embalming business). [shudder]


The fries are cooked completely immersed in extremely hot fat for several minutes. This effectively sterilizes them. The burgers/sandwitches (1) aren't cooked as long, and (2) contain uncooked components (e.g., the bun) that will carry bacteria and mold spores into the bell jars with them.

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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Stuart Yaniger » Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:07 pm

There was a writer (I'll have to dig around for a link) who did the same thing, lived off Mickey Dees exclusively for the same period of time and managed to lose weight and not have increased cholesterol/triglycerides.

Cute polemics, though, I'll give him points for that.
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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Paul Winalski » Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:29 am

Stuart Yaniger wrote:There was a writer (I'll have to dig around for a link) who did the same thing, lived off Mickey Dees exclusively for the same period of time and managed to lose weight and not have increased cholesterol/triglycerides.

Cute polemics, though, I'll give him points for that.


Of course, part of the schtick for the movie was that he took every opportunity that Mickey Dees offered to supersize the order. Of course he overate and got into health trouble.

The message is that it doesn't pay to be greedy, however much the restaurant chain's marketing campaign might encourage you to do so.

-Paul W.
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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Jeff Yeast » Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:54 am

I don't know about the writer, but Morgan had to eat every item on the menu at least once. Here are some interesting quotes on the site:

Supersizeme.com
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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Larry Greenly » Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:31 am

Paul Winalski wrote:
Larry Greenly wrote:And after watching "The Smoking Fries" in the deleted scenes section, I really do wonder about Mickey D's french fries. The author placed various McD burgers and sandwiches in bell jars to see how they "aged" over several weeks. The burgers/sandwiches got moldy and decomposed in short time, but the fries looked like they had been purchased yesterday even after 10+ weeks (might be useful to the embalming business). [shudder]


The fries are cooked completely immersed in extremely hot fat for several minutes. This effectively sterilizes them. The burgers/sandwitches (1) aren't cooked as long, and (2) contain uncooked components (e.g., the bun) that will carry bacteria and mold spores into the bell jars with them.

-Paul W.


But, as a control, the author had "real french fries" from an ordinary restaurant that were likely cooked the same way. They went moldy after a few days.
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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Jenise » Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:10 pm

the guy did not look sick. so i guess there is all inside in such a can


Must have been all the preservatives. :)
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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Paul Winalski » Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:41 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:But, as a control, the author had "real french fries" from an ordinary restaurant that were likely cooked the same way. They went moldy after a few days.


Interesting. I do know that McDonald's liberally uses sulfites on their french fries to prevent the cut fries from going brown as they await frying. I have asthma, and I always get some tightness in the throat after eating McD's french fries.

The other possibility is that McD's actually does a better job of frying than your "real french fries" from an "ordinary restaurant". Julia Child liked McD's french fries, and (despite the bad reaction to the sulfites) so do I.

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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Larry Greenly » Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:18 am

Who doesn't like McD fries?

Do you remember, not too long ago, that they were fried in beef tallow? In Supersize, the author claims there is no sugar on the fries, but I remember reading somewhere their fries had both salt and sugar on them (a possibility--some potato chips do that). Of course, you've noticed a bit of dextrose in Morton's salt?
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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Paul Winalski » Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:53 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:Who doesn't like McD fries?

Do you remember, not too long ago, that they were fried in beef tallow? In Supersize, the author claims there is no sugar on the fries, but I remember reading somewhere their fries had both salt and sugar on them (a possibility--some potato chips do that). Of course, you've noticed a bit of dextrose in Morton's salt?


As far as I know, McD's doesn't put sugar on their french fries, but they do sprinkle them with a bit of beef extract before frying. This gets them closer to the flavor they used to get when they used beef tallow. They were sued over this by a devout Hindu who thought that the french fries were vegan, and was most dismayed to find out that not only were they made with meat, but it was COW meat. The lawsuit was thrown out when the McD's attourney observed that nobody as devout as was claimed would even set foot inside a McDonald's, let alone eat any of the food served there.

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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Peter May » Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:23 pm

Larry Greenly wrote:Who doesn't like McD fries?


Me -- I intensly dislike those tiny shoe string fries -- all fried crispness and no potato.

They are the very worst of all the forms of fried potato that I can think of (though those croquettes of instant mash rolls covered in bread crumbs and fried are just a milimetre above on the scale.)
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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Larry Greenly » Sat Oct 28, 2006 5:16 pm

Great answer: responsive and succinct.

I once made some french fries (in the French manner) at a friend's bbq party and a little girl said to me, "These are better than McDonald's." That was the best compliment I've ever had.
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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Paul Winalski » Sun Oct 29, 2006 1:55 pm

Peter May wrote:They are the very worst of all the forms of fried potato that I can think of (though those croquettes of instant mash rolls covered in bread crumbs and fried are just a milimetre above on the scale.)


There are worse forms of fried potato than shoestring fries.

The student union at my college decided one winter to save some money by replacing the pre-cut, raw fries they bought in bulk with something called a Frisbo machine. This contraption mixed together dried instant mashed potatoes and water, then extruded french fry-shaped objects out the bottom, sort of like a Play-Doh Fun Factory. These were then fried and served as though they were normal french fries. Frisbos are thoroughly revolting. They're crackling-crisp and greasy on the outisde in a way that's impossible for a natural potato, and too soft on the inside. And there's something not quite right about the flavor. After a couple of months, we all cheered when the Frisbo machine suddenly ended up broken, and the student union went back to real fries again. Except for one thing--I discovered to my horror that I'd acquired a taste for Frisbos, and it took a while to get used to real fries again.

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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Steven Noess » Mon Oct 30, 2006 8:41 pm

Great movie with some very interesting issues. One thing to note, however, is that Morgan transitioned from a mostly Vegan diet to the all McDonalds diet (remember his girlfriend/fiance, whatever she is at the beginning). So I imagine that his body would react more violently than most over that 30 days because it was a more drastic change for him than for the average American.
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Re: Supersize that?

Postby Larry Greenly » Mon Oct 30, 2006 10:10 pm

Yeah, but after three days he acclimated. After the experiment he ate vegan for a couple of months to get his numbers under control and, then, he went back to eating meat (the frequency of which I don't know).
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