I don't think I have posted anything remotely rant-like on this blog thus far...I guess today's the day!
If you are vegan, or vegan-geared, you know that eating outside your home can take some serious preparation and research, but it's always rewarding. My bag almost always houses fruit, a Larabar, Sigg water bottle, etc. etc. My drawer at work holds herbal tea, oatmeal, trail mix, and dried fruit. I even have Newman O's and EcoPlanet crackers for junk food fixes.
What I need to rant about is the utter lack of anything healthy/veg-oriented at the major fast food chains. I usually don't deal with this, as I have the luxury of getting to go home for lunch. When we do eat out at lunch, we pick places with veggie burritos or veg sandwiches. That often involves going to a local establishment, rather than a chain, which is cool!
Today I was really rushed and had to run out for food to bring back to work. I drove away from 3 fast food joints before I found a menu that had anything that could masquerade as healthy or vegan. I ended up with a side salad with a miraculously vegan vinaigrette and a dry baked potato from Wendy's. Places that got nixed: McDonald's, Sonic, Burger King.
Now I hear you saying, what the heck is a self-respecting vegan lady doing at the places anyway? Well...you know those days! You are rushed, you are hungry, you are wholly unprepared for lunch, and you might cry if you don;t find a tomato soon! Plus, a ton of people who presumably would like to be healthy choose from these places every day. Bringing a packed lunch or eating at home isn't feasible for everyone all the time.
A rant needs a point, right? I guess mine is this. On television and in magazines, newspapers, websites (824,000 sites when I checked this morning), etc., every reliable source of health information is plugging 5-9 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. That's just the CDC's number...newer studies from Harvard and the like are now suggesting 9-11 servings for optimal health.
What are people to do? The fast food restaurants sell little fresh food. I am aware of an orange cup and an apple pack in terms of actual fruit options. The salads at most places are mainly iceberg lettuce and covered in cheese and bacon or chicken. What is up with this?! It's rather discouraging and seems rather unfair in the face of constant media telling us to eat healthier. I've seen a McDonald's commercial featuring sassy music and nice fresh produce being chopped and diced to the beat. I wondered where all that healthy food was when I looked at the actual menu.
Gah! I'm not sure what the solution is. Obviously, eating healthy food at home and supporting veg-friendly local businesses is the best plan. It still seems that something's got to give with the fast-food industry. Any ideas?
Check out the above Christy C. Road poster depicting some of the thoughts included in this blog post. Note the skanky and depressing signage. This poster is one of my favorites.
The Cranky Vegan