In defense of fast food

by Jenna Mackey, Photo Editor

Fast food is in my blood. I mean, my body might actually be made of fast food considering I’ve been avidly consuming it for 20 years. Although some of you readers may have jumped to judge my character and mental state after that last sentence, hear me out: fast food is a beautiful thing.

My love of it goes all the way back to my high-chair days when I would inhale the Taco Bell burritos my mother fed me. Even as a toddler I knew the value of a 99-cent piece of perfection. Now, don’t go judging my parents; times were tougher in the ‘90s and Taco Bell was a great way to feed four picky kids. To this day, I continue my committed and loving relationship with the Mexican-ish food dynasty that is Taco Bell because where else can you feast on a Doritos locos taco and still have money to get a quesarito? For those of you who aren’t well versed in fast-food jargon, a quesarito is a beef and rice burrito wrapped up in a quesadilla – also known as heaven served up in less than two minutes.

Our tour on the train of deliciousness now leads us to the mother of all chicken chains and my personal favorite: Popeye’s. Good Lord, I remember the first time I ever had a piece of golden-fried Popeye’s chicken and it was a game-changer. It doesn’t stop at the chicken either. No, it begins with the chicken and ends after multiple biscuits, mac and cheese, and deep-fried sweet potato pie. Still reaching for that lettuce wrap? Me neither.

You see, fast-food goes beyond the happy meals and gargled voice taking your order in the drive through. It’s deep-fried art with a side of fries. I love this food not because I’m ignorant of “finer” options but because I enjoy its un-pretentious nature and simple design. The McDonalds’ cheeseburger knows it’s no match for a Hodad’s burger just like Taco Bell doesn’t parade around trying to be authentic Mexican food. I know it’s trendy to watch fast food-shaming documentaries while drinking green smoothies and eating quinoa burgers but let’s all address the green elephant in the room: kale tastes like discarded garden clippings and quinoa doesn’t taste like anything.

Maybe one day I’ll regret my relationship with the aforementioned chain restaurants. Maybe one day I’ll look back and … Wait, no I won’t. I’ll get two tacos, curly fries, and an insane amount of buttermilk ranch from Jack in the Box delivered to my retirement home.

Then, hopefully, when it’s my time to go, I’ll gracefully ascend to the golden arches in the sky. The only thing about heaven, though, there’s a “no kale” policy.