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Hardee’s Big Country Breakfast Burrito a victim of the ‘Food Police’

Tuesday, October 23, 2007 | 10:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:56 p.m. CST, Monday, February 2, 2009

After decades of playing second fiddle, Hardee’s has outpaced the rest of the fast food industry with its new Big Country Breakfast Burrito, joining Halliburton, Big Tobacco, and Global Warming as members of the modern day “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.” If one heeds the visual media, it would seem to appear that Famine, War, Pestilence and Death have been supplanted by them as the primary evils of the land.

This fast food chain’s latest entry, two egg omelets filled with bacon, cheese, hash browns and sausage gravy ­­­­­­— all wrapped in a flour tortilla — has already been roundly condemned by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, better known as “Food Police.” That august group’s senior nutritionist, who earlier described Hardee’s Thickburgers as “food porn”, panned this burrito as a “breakfast bomb.”

Perhaps this will be the catalyst that rescues us from the dastardly profit mongers of the fast food industry. Gazing into my crystal ball, I see a Joint Committee of Congress grilling (play on words?) fast food executives to determine just what substance is being added to these foodstuffs to addict adults and children alike. One can imagine testimony and even litigation from the failure of Hardee’s, McDonald’s, et al. to provide suitable labels advertising their products as fattening or otherwise hazardous to one’s health.

The possibilities are virtually unlimited. Congress may further establish an FFSA (Fast Food and Supersizing Authority), the President will be pressured to appoint a Fat and Cholesterol Czar, while artery-clogging plaque will replace asbestos as the litigation of choice by a litany of TV advertising law firms. Political campaigns will call for more salad and less fat ­— perhaps a special prosecutor may be appointed to determine Karl Rove’s involvement in the fast food conspiracy.

To those of you shaking your heads and wondering if I have gone off the deep end in the world of reality, I admit it is written with much tongue in cheek; nevertheless, the conclusions and warnings are not as far fetched as you might believe. There are now among us a host of special interest groups, non profit policy and promotional organizations, and various meddling, “we know what is best” authorities all determined to regulate what we eat, drink, smoke, drive, and otherwise spend our days on earth.

How many agree with me that it is time to put a halt to this “nanny state” mentality — the idea that all things must come from government — a government guided by polls, statistics created to prove a predetermined conclusion and by associations with pretentious titles but suspect sources of funding and expertise? This great nation was created by people who placed individual responsibility and freedom above the collectivism we seem to be herded toward in the manner of lemmings.

The hard won entitlement to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness includes also an intrinsic right to make our own decisions, to eat, drink and smoke, to drive SUVs, to vote our conscience and even to fail or to be fat. Accompanying that right to determine our own future is that we should be held accountable for the consequences of our actions.

While it both easy and fashionable to blame the fast food industry for the alarming increase in obesity, tobacco companies for inducing cancer and heart disease, SUVs for global warming and Halliburton for everything else, to the best of my knowledge, no higher power has forced unsafe, unhealthy nor unwise practices upon us. It is difficult indeed to justify a self inflicted victimhood.

I can recollect a time when adults were not only responsible for their own actions but also those of their children. Has it been that long ago?

Karl Miller retired as a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps. He is a Columbia resident and can be reached via e-mail at JKarlUSMC@aol.com.


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Comments

marvin saunders October 24, 2007 | 5:06 a.m.

This man has a really good sense of humor. I believe what what he says is very true and sad but you got to love his sense of humor and writing.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro December 18, 2008 | 1:09 a.m.

Dear Mr. Miller:
You'd look so much nicer in a Ronald McDonald outfit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PyQtFEqN...

And, what do you really have against food councils?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFmyJ7P6P...

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking December 18, 2008 | 11:23 a.m.

Dear Col .Miller:

I am Mr. Cor Pulent, president of the Columbia chapter of the League of All-you-can-eat Restaurant Debauchers and American Sugar Shovelers (L. A. R. D. A. S. S.). We are dedicated to the idea that good tasting food (and lots of it) is not just a privilege, but a fundamental American way of life. We appreciate your editorial in preserving our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of comfort food.

We have a growing (heh) membership and seek well-rounded (heh), genial people with a hearty appetite to join our group. Dues are $500/year (about the price of 100 Big Country burritos), and services include a free seatbelt extender with the L. A. R. D. A. S. S. logo, group discounts for plus and supersize clothing, discount insulin, cholesterol and blood pressure medication, a coupon for $100 off your next bypass surgery, and a coupon for half off your second seat on Southwest Airlines.

However, the reason that most of our members join is the monthly meetings. We have a meeting room at a famous local buffet restaurant, with OUR OWN special buffet. No waiting! And no rabbit food here either! Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, pork chops, baked potatoes with sour cream, and a burger and fry buffet with over 30 toppings!! You've never seen so much cheese sauce and ranch dressing in your life! And a 90 item dessert bar! Some simply skip the meal and go straight for the dessert bar! And since L. A. R. D. A. S. S.es are a supportive and accepting community, you never need feel embarrassed about going back for that 6th plate of dessert.

Transportation can be arranged (we have a bus with a chair lift that can handle 1000 pounds), so no one need feel left behind (heh). Thank you once again for allowing me to spam (heh) this wonderful forum.

Mr. Cor Pulent
President and L. A. R. D. A. S. S. in Chief
Columbia Chapter of the League
1000 Cellulite Way
Columbia, MO 65201

(Report Comment)

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