Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Super Size Me


Morgan Spurlock came up with an ingenious idea: Eat nothing but McDonald’s food for 28 days and see what happens. He’s a very fit guy. His girlfriend is a vegan chef so he gets healthy meals at home, but he still eats meat, which pisses her off. Now, I’m a sucker for David and Goliath stories, and apparently this really shook up Mickey D. Spurlock covers a lot of ground, none of it new. I mean, we all knew it was unhealthy shit, right? But putting it all together in one place with some humor is bound to sell the idea better than all the government health warnings. And it turns out to be rather startling. We knew it was bad, but we didn’t know how bad. Even Spurlock’s doctors are amazed, and horrified, at how quickly and how badly he turns to a tub of goo with a bad liver. They get so concerned they ask him to quit at Day 21, no doubt worrying about the film his widow might make as part of her lawsuit if he should die on them. He gains almost a pound a day. You may object that nobody eats 3 squares a day at McD, and that’s true … but if you eat out as often as most Americans, and if you’ve been in the restaurants I’ve been in, the portions these days are alarming.
I’ll tell you how powerful this film was. I’m a firm believer that consumers sh
ouldn’t be able sue food producers or servers for making them fat. Nobody’s ever held a gun to my head when they asked if I want fries with that. But thinking about how they work so hard at imprinting this stuff on children, who are as impressionable as baby ducks (and McD is the worst fast food firm for this, by far) … I’m just a little less opposed to such a lawsuit. As if it mattered. Congress passed a law this year making them all immune to such a suit.

DVD EXTRA: Something he didn’t use, he puts various fast food burgers and McD fries into sealed glass jars, along with a “regular” burger and steak-cut fries from a traditional restaurant. The regular stuff starts to decay almost at once. The fast food lasts about a week before succumbing to mold. Except for the McFries. If you’ve ever excavated a 5-year-old McFry from under your car seat you’ll know what I mean. After several months, the fries still look as fresh and edible as … well, as they ever were, I guess. Which is probably not too edible.