I can honestly say that the idea of fast food repulses me. Don’t get me wrong, I used to love Burger King as much as the next gal. I loved it even though I knew it wasn’t good for me; they don’t call it junk food for nothin’. But, somewhere along the way I realized that it wasn’t just bad for me, it’s bad for us. When I say us I mean that collective “humankind” that we all belong to. It’s bad for the earth. It’s bad for our economy. It’s bad for our healthcare industry.
I won’t go into industrial food and factory farms because I’d probably be preaching to the choir, but if you’re not familiar with agribusiness and the related issues, I highly recommend Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma: a Natural History of Four Meals. I stumbled upon it in Horizon books one day last spring and decided to make it my summer reading. I’ve been a slow foodie in the making for a while, but this book was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back”; I haven’t eaten fast food since I finished it.
When you’ve sworn off fast food, what do you do when your son asks for, “A burger like Burger King without any corn in it” for dinner? You cook.
Oleson’s Buffalo Farm is just down the road from us and the meat is sold in their grocery stores. The burger is leaner and tastier than any ground beef I’ve ever had, and is reasonably priced if you don’t plan on eating it every day. Plus, if you drive by the farm, you can see the buffaloes wandering around the field eating grass like they are supposed to. Oleson’s sells ground buffalo already made into patties; they’re uniformly shaped and really flat, just like fast-food patties are, so Tuesday night I thawed a pack and started dinner.
My dinner wasn’t as fast as the drive-through would have been, but it was cheaper, way more delicious, much better for us and didn’t come with a side of diesel fuel like a fast-food dinner does.