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The Fast Food Career

In the movie, Supersize Me, Morgan Spurlock takes on the challenge of eating McDonald’s for every meal for thirty days. Not surprisingly, he experiences some fairly significant health consequences.

But, at the beginning of the movie, he explains that he’s actually kind of excited about the challenge. After all, a Big Mac is a pretty tasty indulgence. And, when you really look at fast food in general, it has a few redeeming qualities.

Fast food is:

  • Convenient. You can find a fast food restaurant on nearly every corner in any city around the world.
  • Consistent. You always know what you’re going to get. There’s never any surprise. The quality doesn’t change from location to location.
  • Efficient. Fast food is an efficient use of your resources, namely time and money. It’s fast and cheap.
  • Effective. When you’re hungry, it gets the job done. You won’t starve when a fast food restaurant is nearby.

So, even for someone like Morgan Spurlock who knows that fast food isn’t healthy, the McDonald’s challenge appeared on the surface kind of appealing. Many of us actually let the above benefits of fast food outweigh the potential health consequences on regular basis.

In his experiment, Morgan Spurlock became dramatically ill. He experienced severe liver problems, weight gain, chest pain and shortness of breath, depression, low libido, and low energy levels.

In short, he was malnourished. He was getting food, so he wasn’t starving. But he wasn’t receiving the nourishment needed to thrive.

Many of us have “Fast Food Careers”.

A fast food career has the same benefits and the same drawbacks as fast food:

  • Convenient. It’s easy. It doesn’t take a lot to maintain and it certainly doesn’t provide a healthy means of challenge.
  • Consistent. It doesn’t change. You don’t have to grow or stretch yourself to keep up.
  • Efficient. It doesn’t use much/many of your resources, like your abilities and intelligence.
  • Effective. It gets the job done by providing you with a paycheck.

However, a fast food career doesn’t provide you with anything more. It doesn’t nourish you. Eventually, you end up malnourished and hungry for something new. This is why so many people job-hop. They’re in a constant search for something that truly satisfies them on a deeper level, not just something that provides for the barebones needs of survival.

They’re looking for a homemade chicken noodle soup and settling for chicken nuggets. (Okay, did I stretch the metaphor too far…?)

Certainly fast food (and the fast food career) has a place in the world. But if that’s the food you’re choosing to eat (or the life you’re choosing to live) you should be clear on what you’re getting. You should also understand what else is out there and what you’re giving up. So stay tuned for future posts in which we explore the Slow Cooked Career.

Photo Credit: Vanessa Pike-Russell (Flickr)

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One Response to “The Fast Food Career”

  1. […] I shared my thoughts on what I like to call “The Fast Food Career”. The lesson was that – in food and in life –  the easy, fast, convenient path isn’t always […]

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