Last week, my wife and I had the rare opportunity to go out on a “date” (which means do anything without the kids) to get some coffee at the bookstore. I picked up an audio book on clearance and decided to give it a whirl. I just completed a drive from Michigan to Tennessee (more on that later) and it was so good that I listened to the whole thing straight through. So, why not give y’all a review (see, I’m in Tennessee.)
The audio book is “Don’t Eat This Book” by Morgan Spurlock, the maker of the hit movie Super Size Me. If you’ve never seen it, you need to.
I was a little hesitant to buy it at first because I thought it might just be a rehash of the movie, but it wasn’t. While he does hit on the same topics as the movie, he goes into MUCH greater detail on everything. The book is read by the author and Spurlock does a great job of keeping things interesting and entertaining.
Even before I saw “Super Size Me” I would rarely go to McDonald’s, but that doesn’t mean I don’t eat fast food, (I just don’t like McDonalds.) However, we have a three year old, and a couple months ago, in a moment of weakness, my wife and I stopped at McDonald’s for dinner because, of course, they have a “playland.” Now, we generally limit our daughter’s TV viewing, and when she does, she rarely is subjected to commercials (thanks MythTV.) So, she doesn’t actually know it’s called McDonald’s. We’ve been teaching her letters and associate them with a word. Since “M” is for “Mommy”, hence she thinks the “M-Mommy Store” is McDonald’s.
All the reasons why I hate McDonald’s come back to mind. After waiting literally 15 minutes in line (with only two people in front of me) we get our food. I walk over to the pop fountains to get my drink as my feet stick and peel from the floor with every step. There were actually flies buzzing around the machines. Then finding a table that isn’t dirty is always a challenge, especially one near the play area. Then finding a high chair for our infant that isn’t slathered in ketchup is asking for too much. Oh, and don’t forget that they messed up making one of the burgers.
So, if the dining experience isn’t enough to keep you away, “Don’t Eat This Book” will surely push you over the edge. Spurlock covers more than just the nutritional aspects, he talks about how the food is produced, advertising techniques, health care and school lunch programs.
I’m not big at all on new year’s resolutions. I think that if you want to change something about your life, just do it. Don’t wait until January first. But since it is the new year, after listening to this book, it has really motivated me to watch what I eat. Many of the things he talks about regarding eating unprocessed food just makes a lot of sense. It’s a good thing I didn’t start chapter seven until after lunch. As I hopped back in my truck and pulled away from Wendy’s (yes, I see the irony) and listened to that chapter it really made my stomach turn. It’s really good and motivating information though.
I am generally a big proponent of personal responsibility. If you know something is bad for you and you do it anyway, it’s your own dumb fault. However, one of the major points of the book that Spurlock tries to make is that while you may choose to do something that is bad for you, you generally know how bad it is and have a reasonable expectation of what the consequences are. The premise is that the fast food industry goes to great extents to deceive the public about all of the consequences of eating their product. He draws many parallels to the tobacco industry and the litigation that resulted.
If you’re the type of person that absolutely hates numbers and statistics, then this is not the book for you. But, if you’re like me, I enjoy hearing someone put together a compelling case for something with the facts to back it up. Spurlock manages to do this and still keep it entertaining, so I would wholeheartedly recommend this book. In the end, I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says, and we all know that statistics can be manipulated to make either side look good. But, even if he’s half wrong, he still has a good case and he gives you A LOT of things to think about.