Were Salads the Death of Dave Thomas?
Ok, McDonald’s BLT salad with grilled chicken is no match for the mighty Wendy’s Chicken BLT. It’s like forty cents more ($4.87 with tax) but sometimes you just have to say dammit I’m worth that extra half dollar. For one thing, it’s bigger. Where the McDonald’s version doesn’t always prevent 4pm hunger pangs from appearing, this version will hold you through early evening. There are probably equal amounts of “stuff” included (yeah, there's a lot of unnecessary cheese), the greens are just padded with extra lettuce, but that’s fine because who couldn’t use more roughage? And while some might prefer the diy ethic of McDonald’s whole breast, I like the mommy-fied chicken cubes because I’m working (or rather, internetting) while eating and knife work is too much to coordinate.
The only weirdo aspect is that the default dressing is honey mustard, one I’d never seek out on my own, but I just go with it. More disturbing is that sometimes they’ll give me regular and other times reduced fat. I’m sure it’s just carelessness, though I can’t help but imagine that the cashier’s decision to reduce my calories for me is intentional. Though I doubt they’d waste the time correcting the public’s eating habits, considering 95% of the line is ordering extra and super everything.
I’m fully aware that fast food salads are fat filled faux nutrition, but they’re nowhere near combo meal danger. If you eschew the croutons and use half the dressing, this salad is 450 calories and 30 grams of fat (21 grams for low fat dressing) which is high, I’ll admit (McDonald's version is 90 calories less with the same amount of fat). But a meal combo that no one ever would order because it’s the smallest of all choices, a Classic Single burger, medium fries and medium Coke is 1000 calories and 41 grams of fat. Of course you could just bypass Wendy’s altogether and simply eat a big plastic bowl filled with lettuce and nonfat vinaigrette, but that would be foul.
This brings me to an issue I’ve never understood. Maybe if I did I wouldn’t have a weight problem. I don’t frequent fast food joints that often, at least not until recently when I started my salad experiment. What has surprised me is that the customers are going whole hog, big burgers, large fries, giant sodas, but most are not obese. I see these same metabolic anomalies at the deli in the morning ordering egg, bacon and cheese on rolls like it’s nothing. Calories are no source of concern for them, yet if you watch depressing shows like The Biggest Loser or ever troll a Weight Watchers message board (which I wouldn’t recommend) you see folks agonizing over every minute fat and carbohydrate molecule.
Maybe the people in line at McDonald’s only eat there like once a month, or they eat super light, lean and balanced the rest of the day. I don’t know, but it’s baffling why and how some people can perpetually eat crap with no ill external effects while others eat broiled skinless chicken breasts and steamed vegetables and remain chunks (or lose weight, but can never ever touch fatty foods for eternity or they’ll blow right back up again). I don’t think it’s all a matter of good genes. A study should be done on average weight regular consumers of high fat processed food because I totally want to know what they’re doing that I’m not.