Supersize Me

It was with a great deal of cynicism that I went to watch Supersize Me (which, it was pointed out to me, should really be read as Supersize ME, rather than SuperSIZE Me, which has become prevalent, but I digress). After sitting through 90 minutes of a rather silly human experiment, I was still just as cynical, about the film maker as much as the corporation he denegrates. It was notable that McDonalds have taken a very proactive PR response to the film, with a trailer beforehand featuring McD's Australian head-honcho Guy Russo pointing on the flaws in the film's methodology.

I don't like McDonalds. I think their food is bland, their service irritating and their decor retina-breaking. That's why I don't eat there. I don't feel the need to trash the place, nor to badmouth it to everyone, nor to get upset about it. I just exercise my right as a sovereign consumer, and stay the hell out of there. No one compels me to go in there, or puts a gun to my head and demands I go and order twoallbeefpattiesspecialsaucelettucecheese picklesonionsonasesameseedbun. I make a choice not to, and I'm happy with it. Fine.

It's no shock to me nor to anyone else that their food is not nutrituous. This is a statement of the obvious. It's full of sugar and salt, with everything deepfried and covered in calories, but to those who eat it, the stuff tastes good and they go home with a full belly. No one lives under the illusion that the stuff is good for you, but people eat it anyway, not because they are morons who need to be enlightened, but because they are capable of balancing nutrition alongside other wants and needs that the have.

Director Morgan Spurlock's message rings hollow. He whines about junk food corporations which sell food lacking in nutrition, and in doing so conveniently exonerates the individuals who chose to eat the food. As someone rightly asks in a vox pop during the film, what is the company to do - refuse entry to fat people?

And the mock-outrage at the lack of nutritional info available in your local McD's is grossly absurd. After the film, I headed down Lygon Street, and did a random survey. Guess what? Not one of the five restaurants I visited could tell me how many calories was in a Tortellini Carbonara, nor how many grams of sugar would be in my Rigoletto Marinara. Not even on their website. Hell, some of these places didn't even have a website. I guess I can expect to see Spurlock's next film, set on Lygon Street, by the name of "Free glass of Vino for you and da lady you sitta down in my nica restaurant Me"


Anonymous said…
Supersize Me is not just a ‘lets-get-the-fat-cat-corporations-for making-America-a-group-of-lard-arsed-junk-food-consumers’ ploy to make the executives of McDonalds blush. It is a broader look at how large conglomerates in the food industry manipulate our lifestyle and eating choices. Let’s look at it more practically: if you saw advertising for a famous food chain every five minutes, eventually you are convinced to eat their product, regardless of nutritional value, fat content, calorie intake, time of day, or even if it tastes any good. Sure, no one is holding a gun to your head and stuffing a Quarter Pounder down your throat, but these companies know that they don’t have to do that. Your busy lifestyle and zombie like compliance to the mass media will have you downing the stuff like a junkie on pure heroin. When they are manipulating young children and people with weight issues to take up clearly unhealthy eating choices through glossy advertising and multiple accessible food outlets, it is surely cause for concern.

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