Fast Food Fix

by

On a flight to Salt Lake City, I picked up Delta’s Sky Magazine and fillpped to an article by Waynette Goodson, called Fast Food Fix. I figured it would be yet another article detailing the evils of fast food. One should never assume. Turns out the article was about a book called, “Fast Food Fix, 75+ Amazing Recipe Makeover of  Your Fast food Restaurant Favorites” (Rodale, $14.95). Seems the author, Devin Alexander, has written a cookbook that helps you replicate your favorite fast foods, but with less calories and fat.
There was the requisite scare statistics:
America is the fattest nation in the world, Mississippi is the fattest state, where 30% of the population is obese. 65% of all US adults are overweight or obese.
And then Ms. Goodson conducts an experiment to see if the replicas taste as good as the original.

Pizza Hut’s Meat Lover’s Hand Tossed Style Pizza, 2 slices
Original: 560 calories, 26 grams of fat
Revised: 392 calories, 10 grams of fat
3 ½ hours to make

Arby’s Chicken Cordon Bleu Sandwich
Original: 570 calories, 29 grams of fat
Revised: 388 calories, 9 grams of fat 

Taco Bell Beef Soft Taco Supreme
Original: 260 calories, 14 grams of fat
Revised: 229 calories, 4 grams of fat

The author assumes that we all really, truly, secretly and overtly want to eat fast food. That our food dreams are not about fresh ravioli with a light sauce, but about munching down on a Big Mac. I have a theory, the author works for Delta, she spends a lot of time in airports, eats in airports and thinks this is real food. It’s just a theory as I try to suspend my disbelief in the whole idea of this cookbood.
Could it be true? Do people really crave fast food over slow food? If I was going to spend 3 ½ hours in the kitchen, would I want to produce a Pizza Hut clone?   Would I hassle to make a Taco Bell Beef Soft Taco Supreme to save myself 31 calories?  Are there really people who would spend that amount time in the kitchen and spend their money to recreate fast food? It cost the author $70.00 to make the 3 dishes listed above.
Simply amazing.  Almost unbelievable.

3 Responses to "Fast Food Fix"
  1. I can’t believe she spent $70.00 recreating food that was crap in the first place! Pizza Hut pizza! Gross! Our weekly pizza night costs about ten dollars for the two of us and it’s homemade. And it’s good.
    One thing I’ve found interesting on various food forums is the amount of people who actually ask for recipes for “KFC gravy” or “the chili at Arby’s.” Ick Ick.

  2. Hello Devin Alexander! What a pleasure to have you visit. There is always room at the table for a good discussion, and another point of view. I certainly agree that we must address the obesity epidemic, but honestly, I was just plain surprised that people would want to recreate fast food flavors. It was an unexpected revelation, as I grew up in middle America and didn’t ever develop a love for fast food. I’m not sure that I understand what you mean when you say ‘pure food’.
    Regarding the $70: the article itself was misleading. That you had spent $70 to create these recipes, and I don’t remember there being an explanation that it included leftovers, etc.
    Hopefully, one day, our paths will cross in real time, and we can have a good discussion! And congratulations on the TV show and cookbook!
    Warm regards,
    Judith

  3. Greetings All. This is Waynette Goodson, author of the Delta Sky article (http://www.delta-sky.com/2007_01/FeatureThought/index.html) on “Fast Food Fix,” and also a Sky editor. First off, I must say that I’m so happy to read some feedback on my article. Thanks so much for taking the time to pick up Sky and give us a read. To respond to the original author’s theory on who I am: I do not work for Delta; I work for an independent publisher, Pace Communications. And no, I don’t spend a lot of time in airports eating airport food. I actually spend a lot of time at this desk editing and writing stories. I became interested in writing about “Fast Food Fix,” because I geniunely wondered if the book’s recipes taste like fast food that one would buy in a fast-food restaurant. I ate a lot of fast food growing up, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I like it. But I’m also a certified fitness profesional who is concerned about health and wellness, and I thought that if this book’s recipes tastes good – then perhaps it could be a good alternative for overweight folks who geniunely crave the stuff (these people do exist, believe it or not). I actually spent $70 to make the three dishes, but as Devin points out, it was because I had to buy many spices and ingredients that weren’t already in my kitchen. I’m sorry if this point was misleading. But average people who don’t have say, sage, in their spice rack, could pay this much to get started on some of the recipes in the book. As to my definiton of real food: I grew up in the South, and my grandparents had a farm. There’s nothing like farm-fresh vegetables on the table. Ahhh . . . those were the days. I’d take Southern soul food over a Big Mac any day. Consequently, since my research and interviewing Devin, I rarely eat fast food, save for the occasional veggie Domino’s pizza. But writing that story truly changed my life, and in a very healthy way. Again, thanks for the feedback, and I hope you all will continue to read Sky in the future.
    Best Regards – Waynette

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