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my fast food tour of Moore

December 1, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

About six weeks ago I applied to participate in a “visual sociology” photo session at the Southwest Sociological Association meeting in March. Since I first got the information about the session, I have been thinking about doing a series of images about the social and cultural influences of childhood obesity and some possible responses. This isn’t my area at all, but I went with it for a couple of reasons.

1. I didn’t want to use photos from the internet taken by others and wasn’t planning a trip to the developing world last week when they had to be taken.

2. Food politics and the effects have been something I have been interested in for years.

3. I have kids. And some of their friends are battling weight problems due largely to these kinds of cultural factors.

4. I’m a big guy and while part of that is genetic, my biggest struggles are with the same kinds of things that affect kids.

So – I wanted to put together a shot that portrayed the combination of easily available fast food and family lifestyles that are incredibly busy. So I needed some kid-oriented fast food trash. Happy meal boxes and kids meal bags and really small sodas. So I grabbed my camera and headed out in the trusty Vibe to collect trash and toys. I learned much along my journey. . .

. . . fast food restaurants aren’t very giving when it comes to kid meal bags. I had to buy a meal at every place.

. . . they may have healthy options, but you are going to have to ask. Probably multiple times. And they still may not get it right.

. . . my car doesn’t have enough cup holders for all of those tiny drinks.

. . . that stuff is CHEAP. I bough meals at five places for a total of 14.99. All but one meal (I’m looking at you KFC) were under $3.

. . . Burger King has the best fries. There, I said it. And Taco Bell has the best dessert kind of thing.

. . . people at the window will look at you weird when you are a large 37 year old man by himself who orders one happy meal.

. . . french fry smell hangs out in your car for days. It feels like I’m driving an egg roll.

As for the photo – I couldn’t really put together the shot I wanted (you should have seen the contortions in the car trying to get the angle), but I think I came up with a couple that said what I wanted to say. Does this picture say “busy fast food family” to you?

I’ll post the others from the series later. And by the way – Kenda’s car never looks like that. We had to clean up when we finished.

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