Happy Birthday to My Happy MealBy Nonna Joann • Mar 3rd, 2010 • Category: Baby Bites in the News
Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You.
Happy Birthday, Dear Happy Meal, Happy Birthday to You!
I know it’s hard to believe. Time flies, doesn’t it? My eyes tear when I think today, March 3, is my Happy Meal’s first birthday. They grow up so fast, don’t they?
I purchased a Happy Meal, not to eat, but to observe and blog about. Yes, I bought a Happy Meal and then placed it on my office shelf, right behind me and my computer. It sat on my shelf for a year as a silent witness to our fast food industry.
It smelled delicious for a few days. I’d get a whiff of those yummy French fries every time I walked into my office. After a week or so, you could hardly smell it. My husband worried that when the food began to decompose, there would be a terrible odor in our home. He also worried the food would attract ants and mice. He questioned my sanity.
NOPE, no worries at all. My Happy Meal is one year old today and it looks pretty good. It NEVER smelled bad. The food did NOT decompose. It did NOT get moldy, at all.
This morning, I took it off my shelf to take a birthday photo. The first year is always a milestone. I gave it one of my world famous nonna hugs as we’ve been office mates for a year now! (Okay, maybe my sanity is in question.)
What’s WRONG with this picture?
The photo above on the left is the one I took today. Because Colorado has an arid climate, over the year the moisture has been slowly pulled from the Happy Meal. The bread is crusty and if you look closely, you will see a crack across the top. The hamburger has shrunk a bit and still resembles a hockey puck. Yet, the French fries look yummy enough to eat. I never had an odor problem, after a couple of weeks, I couldn’t even smell the fries.
Now look at the photo on the right, I took it a year ago. Not much difference. The bread is plumper and the fries a tad bit perkier.
What’s not HAPPY about a Happy Meal?
Picky eaters universally love junk foods. They won’t touch veggies and sometimes refuse to eat the food their moms prepare. Out of desperation, parents give in and purchase the food their picky eaters will eat…junk food.
The next time you’re tempted to purchase a Happy Meal for your child, think about these photos. Food is SUPPOSED to decompose, go bad and smell foul…eventually. When I was a kid, I remember our garbage pail for the left over food scraps was kept by our back door. After a couple of days, flies deposited their larvae (maggots) in the meat. When I would lift the lid, I would see the recently hatched maggots wiggling on the putrid mess. A fly never bothered to land on the tiny hamburger patty on my office shelf.
Food is broken down into it’s essential nutrients in our bodies and turned into fuel. Our children grow strong bodies, when they eat real food. Flies ignore a Happy Meal and microbes don’t decompose it, then your child’s body can’t properly metabolize it either. Now you know why it’s called “junk food.”
I think ants, mice and flies are smarter than people, because they weren’t fooled. They never touched the Happy Meal. Children shouldn’t either.
Want Flies With That? chronicles how Happy Birthday to My Happy Meal came about and the startling consequences of chemicals in our food.
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