No buzz to be had
Published August 10, 2005
So have you caught the buzz? The buzz to which I refer is the “fruit buzz” that McDonald’s says you can get from its Fruit & Walnut Salad.
I’m a little confused about this. I’ve always understood that “getting a buzz” meant achieving a mild state of inebriation. Is this what the fast food corporation is trying to communicate? That their fruit salad will make you feel a little drunk?
What’s in this salad, anyway? I haven’t it tried it, so I consulted www.mcdonalds.com and found this description: “... a heavenly combination of fresh, crisp apples (as opposed to the rotten, chewy kind, I guess), juicy, seedless grapes, creamy, low-fat yogurt and sweet candied walnuts.”
That’s it? I’m not going to accuse a great, big corporation (that employs great, big lawyers) of lying, but I’m here to tell you that fruit and nuts will not give you a buzz.
If they did, apples and oranges would be controlled substances. The feds would be rounding up preschoolers by the thousands for possession of juice boxes. There would be 12-step groups for guys named Frank to stand up and tearfully announce, “I’m a kumquat-a-holic.” Watermelons would be smuggled across the border under the shirts of women pretending to be pregnant. Mr. Peanut would go the way of Joe Camel.
If you’re hypoglycemic like I am, fruit can give you the shakes and a nasty headache. But sorry, no buzz. I can appreciate what McDonald’s is trying to do. They’re trying to offer us, the consumers, healthy alternatives to their artery-clogging burgers and fries.
But let’s face it. When we want to eat something healthy, is McDonald’s the first place we turn? Not me. That would make as much sense as going to www.philipmorrisusa.com to quit smoking.
I believe unhealthy food is OK every once in a while. Sometimes, life’s circumstances call for burgers, fries, milkshakes and a couple of apple pies (two for a buck!). And that’s when places like McDonald’s are there for us. But this “we’re looking out for your health” business on the corporation’s web site has got to go. They even have health tips from a doctor who recommends yoga, meditation and “support groups” for better health.
And here’s more ridiculousness about the Fruit & Walnut Salad I found at the web site: “Finally, fresh fruit is at McDonald’s! I don’t think it gets any better than that.” Oh, yes, it does get better than that. It gets better when you take your Fruit & Walnut Salad back to the counter and demand a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese.
Or better yet, go to a place like Someburger, where the only fruit on the menu is in the names of the milkshake flavors. Now that’s a hamburger joint that’s staying true to its purpose.
As for getting a buzz of any kind, that’s something that just doesn’t appeal to me. As a mother of young children, what I’d like more that anything is to feel awake. If McDonald’s could find a way to get caffeine into those fresh, crisp apples, they might be onto something.
Deana Nall’s column appears every Wednesday. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.