Monday, May 02, 2005

Culture of Convenience

On Saturday I wrote what was my most heated blog to date (which isn't saying much) after watching Supersize Me. If you haven't yet seen this documentary about the influence of fast food on our society, you should. It covers life of a guy who chose to eat at McDonald's exclusively for 30 days, how his body went to pot as a result, and a slew of other ways that McDonald's and other similar places are wrecking havoc on us all, making America the heaviest country in the world.

You may think, "That's strange. I, a faithful reading of Gina's fascinating blog, do not remember such a post." That's because the internet wasn't working when I typed it and Erik inadvertedly shut the computer off so it was erased.

But the gist of it, brought to mind again today by my fabulous car, is that we are addicted to convenience. I am convinced that the reason there are so many overweight Americans is because of this culture of convenience. We are so used to having things fast and easy that we reject anything that doesn't fit into those categories and accept anything that does without thought.

So we don't exercise because it's hard and we eat fast food because it's fast, easy and cheap. It's why the Atkin's diet is (or was) so popular - fast results with little effort. I read a book in college called the McDonaldization of Society that was both strange and interesting. It said this same thing - the values fast food places promote have infiltrated our society. I was a little annoyed this morning that I couldn't find a parking space close to the door of Mustafa, so I had to carry really heavy groceries about a block (with the kids complaining about the bags I made them carry). I thought, "What do you do about this in the States again?" Oh yeah, you push your cart out to the car and drive into your garage. Or at least I did. I'd do it here too if I could. The human body is hard wired for the easy route I think. Or maybe it's just Americans.

This hits me again whenever I am back in the States. I remember seeing butter for cooking that is now soft right out of the refrigerator. Thank God, because I tell you if I had to get out one more bowl to microwave my butter for 30 seconds, I think it might have pushed me over the edge. All in the name of convenience.

I don't write this to diss Americans, because I am one of them. Just to point out what I think should be obvious - a culture of convenience has its downsides.


Anonymous said...


If I take grapes off the vine, or cut up an apple, my high school bible study kids will gobble them up leaving cookies untouched. As long as its convenient, they'll choose healthier snacks.

Gina Marie said...

That's something that was so absurd to me from this movie. A heavier girl was complaining that even though she admired that guy who lost a lot of weight eating Subway, she said, "I could never do that because I can't afford to eat there three times a day." And I thought to myself, "Do you not know how to buy bread, meat, etc. and make your own sandwich?!" Sure, it's a lot easier to buy it, but it's not impossible to do it yourself. It all goes back to the convenience factor.