936 Pennies: Discovering the Joy of Intentional Parenting
Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!
I was watching a documentary on the McDonald’s corporation, and they were interviewing the head chef in charge of menu innovation. He was raving about some of the creations he has added to the McDonald’s menu, a Fruit and Yogurt Parfait, and the Snack Wrap. Now, I do appreciate simplicity, but come on! This is more silly than simplistic.
They than shot a scene of taste test panelists. Each panelist was given three burgers. Two of the burgers had McDonald’s seasoning, the third burger had a new supplier’s seasoning. They wanted to see if the panelist could tell the difference, for consistency’s sake. As I watched them eating “burger after burger” (as the documentary explained), I thought to myself, “Hmmm, I sure hope their job comes with health insurance!”
I did find it interesting that as they shot scenes in the test kitchen, there really was some tasty looking food! However, none of it makes its way into the restaurants… The head chef explained that, “You’re going to see things that maybe haven’t been around. Lemongrass! Is that out of the realm? I don’t know. It’s going to be whatever our guests are asking for. We’re going to listen to them, and we’re going to develop with them, and we’re going to be very ‘guest-centric'”. Sir, if someone is walking into McDonalds, they are looking for a burger, fries, and perhaps a milkshake.
Most of the best food I have had has been those times I try something I am wildly unfamiliar with. It is not only a new taste, but a whole new experience! Recently some good friends treated us to a cooking demonstration by the Head Chef at the Mason Street Grill in Milwaukee. He showed us how to prepare School Teacher Bass with Manila Clams, Washington State Mussels with Wine and Herbs, and Fried Oysters with Preserved Lemon and Fennel. Now, I give full credit to my husband for teaching me to eat and enjoy seafood. However, I had never had any of these offerings before this occasion. Everything I placed into my mouth was absolutely delicious! Fennel! I could have eaten a whole plate of it by itself. In fact, I think I might have. And clams! Oh my goodness, clams! I’m still trying to work out how to fit more seafood into our grocery budget, and we will get there. I’m determined to have a healthy helping of clams in our diet.
Today, McDonald’s largest burger, the double quarter-pounder, offers 500% more meat than their original burger created in the 1950s! Their largest serving of french fries has increased by 250%. Although, McDonald’s portions are still smaller than Burger King and Wendy’s. People eat what they are offered. When given a large amount of food, we eat a large amount of food. This turns into conditioning–conditioning of young children who often don’t know any better. It conditions our minds, influencing what we perceive as an appropriate amount of food. As well, it conditions our bodies, stretching our stomachs to unnatural capacities. Grayson and I have begun eating off of our small dinner plates, roughly half the size of our large dinner plates. Even this tiny little step has drastically affected the amount we eat. I realize that I am full much sooner. I am not tricking myself, I am simply choosing a realistic portion, one that my body agrees with, and feels completely satisfied with.
The documentary interviewed one woman with her son, about 11 years old, in a McDonald’s booth. Her son was fixated on the toy he had pulled from his happy meal. She explained that they frequent McDonald’s at least two times a week. She goes on to say that her son begins to scream, and won’t cease until they stop at McDonald’s. Hmmmm, this seems unhealthy.
As one critic put it, and I will agree and paraphrase, I will give (some) credit to McDonald’s for making some positive changes. However, those few drops of goodness are drowned by the tidal wave of bad food they are selling to the world.
Okay, okay, let me end my rant, that I may not be just another “healthy-eating advocate against the Golden Arches”. Honestly, my real “beef” with McDonalds is that most to all of what they offer is empty calories (non-beneficial to our bodies, offering no real nutrition), and a whole lot of them.
McDonald’s is just the example I choose to use for the sake of this blog, there are many others. My goal is this: to feed myself and my family real, wholesome food. Micky D’s does not fit that criteria, so I avoid it. It’s my personal choice, as it is everyone’s.
Raising kids stirs something deep in our souls — an innate knowing that our time is finite. Taking my kids outside in creation, I’m discovering how to stretch our time and pack it to the brim with meaning. God’s creativity provides the riches of resources for teaching the next generation who He is and how He loves us. Join our adventure and discover inspiration and resources for refusing rush, creating habits of rest, living intentionally, and making the most of this beautiful life!