The proliferation of over-indulgent double meat, double bacon, double cheese, double bypass-surgery monster burgers across our fast-food nation has been taken to an all new level as detailed by this article in Portfolio magazine. (If you don’t believe me take a look at this interactive feature.) It doesn’t take a 7 page magazine article to tell us that fast-food chains from sea to shining sea have hardly even paid lip service to the public outcry against their freakishly fatty fare. You can hardly go anywhere without being bombarded with ads of fit young guys diving into double-pattied, greasy behemoths “no holds barred.” The latest evil-genius marketing ploy uses opponents charges against them by developing a false sense of pride associated with eating something that is so extremely socially incorrect. The bigger burger you eat, they tell us, the higher your middle finger flies in the face of whiny, veggie-eating health nuts.
Here are some of the more outrageous quotes from the article:
“In an age when other chains have been forced to at least pretend that they care about the health of their customers and have started offering packets of apples and things sprinkled with walnuts and yogurt, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. are purposely running in the opposite direction, unapologetically creating an arsenal of higher-priced, high-fat, high-calorie monstrosities…”
“That message may be revolutionary or totally evil or maybe both, but in any case, it goes like this: Anyone can make Americans fat (hell, everyone already has), but only one fast-food company can make them fat and allow them to feel good about it, even get them to feel like they’re making a statement and striking a blow against the forces of political correctness.”
“So Hardee’s dispensed with any semblance of social conscience and in 2003 introduced the Thickburger. In 2004, this begat the downright lurid Monster Thickburger, a messy two-thirds of a pound of charbroiled Angus beef containing more than 1,400 calories and 107 grams of fat.”
“Last summer, Wendy’s introduced the Baconator—two hamburger patties, two slices of American cheese, and no fewer than six strips of bacon.”
“They’re regulars: Tony says he eats at Hardee’s four times a month, sometimes breakfast, sometimes lunch or dinner. He’s quietly, methodically working on a Philly Cheese Steak Thickburger, a large fries, and a tankard of soda. It takes him a solid 15 minutes to get through it all. Arlie Mae is eating a comparatively dainty Big Chicken Fillet Sandwich (770 calories) and fries and drinking a “small” Coke, which is about the size of her thigh.”
“Amid all the bluster, CKE has made a couple of concessions. Carl’s Jr. offers a charbroiled-chicken salad that has just seven grams of fat, and Hardee’s serves a barbecued-chicken sandwich. “It’s a very healthy sandwich. I think we sell about two a day,” Pudzer quips.”
“The development team is currently working on a Cap’n Crunch shake, featuring vanilla ice cream and crushed Cap’n Crunch cereal.”
I’d say I hope CKE (Carl’s and Hardee’s parent company) will experience the same sort of backlash that McDonald’s experienced a few years back for their in-your-face, overt attempt to sell these artery clogging beef bombs if not for the fact that it was the media and public backlash that is now being used in their favor. In fact, maybe I shouldn’t even be publishing this blog post. My, how the bright red plastic tables have turned.
Albeit a completely wacky idea, I can now at least imagine why the Mississippi legislature thought such desperate measures were called for when they suggested restaurants prohibit serving obese patrons.