You don't have to hunt down your meal anymore. You don't have to expend calories to acquire more. Watch one of those survivalist TV shows and you'll notice that every contestant loses weight when there isn't a 24-hour McDonald's nearby. Getting something to eat was not all that easy when man first appeared on the planet. Now, it's too easy.
And it isn't as if McDonald's puny burgers are the biggest offenders. Ray Kroc may have started things off, but the burger has ballooned into a trendy venue for culinary expression. The calories just follow right along with the chef's creativity.
After a day of desk-jockeying, you head out for dinner and there's no hunting or gathering involved, short of walking the aisles of the grocery store to scrounge up some grub. No chasing after animals with your spear in these modern times. The protein you crave is right there in a tidy styrofoam tray, shrink wrapped and chilled for freshness.
What if you don't have time to cook, or you want to enjoy a meal that someone else has prepared?
Again, you don't have to hunt down anything. Maybe you walk a block or two from the parking spot, but you aren't exactly burning up the calories you took in at lunch. You grow weary as you traverse the concrete plains of Chicago, but there up ahead is the beacon, the sign that tells you a burger is just up ahead. Unlike the prey of the hunter, this one isn't going to run away when you get close to it. The restaurant just sits there, inviting you in.
If your feet take you to M Burger, you won't be thinking about calories but about taste and flavor and juicy beef between two slices of bread...no, between two other sandwiches!
This is why there is an obesity epidemic. When people think it's a good idea to serve a sandwich made with other sandwiches, there's no hope for coronary arteries or shrinking waistlines.
Who had the idea to take a fried meat patty and combine it with a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches? Someone who didn't like the way the cheese merged with the beef on their cheeseburger?
Was it the same person who felt that the beef wasn't enough, but a nice crispy-fried chicken cutlet would really set things off?
The secret, off-menu creation that has enough calories to fuel a family of five for a week consists of a burger with chicken and of course you have to throw on a couple of slices of bacon, not to forget the slice of cheese that goes on because everyone loves a cheeseburger unless you're keeping kosher (see also 'hold the bacon'). Take all that, and put it between two grilled cheese sandwiches, and you have the Barnyard Burger, Roman style.
It isn't all bad, of course. There's lettuce on the pile of protein and fat. That's a vegetable, if you're more of a carnivore than you realized.
And it is delicious.
That's why we're getting fat. We have access to food that tastes really, really, really good, but we don't have to make any effort to get it. What's the solution? Food that's bland, unpalatable and unattractive, perhaps with some foul odors thrown in.
It's that, or run a few miles and pretend you're hunting buffalo on the open prairie before sitting down to a Barnyard Burger. Just don't make it a habit. Your heart will thank you. Your taste buds? Not so happy with the deprivation..