Evolving Peace

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Ronald Douglas McScissorhands

A few days ago, the Central Vermont Localvore’s presented Montpelier with a plethora of culinary delights all cooked with local ingredients and prepared by some of Vermont’s esteemed chefs. The State House has lawn was flooded with hundreds of Vermonters including the Governor. The Governor as it seems was the case was there for his usual photo shoot and not for a genuine support for the next day he was in Berlin, Vermont cutting the ribbon of the rebuilt Mc Donald’s. I guess you can say the proof was in the pudding.

The Governor either was meeting Ronald Mc Donald or he has decided that his respect for Vermont farmers and the health of the food supply is conditional to those he speaks with.

True to his nickname, Governor Scissorhands:
"It's an affordable place to have a meal. It provides dozens of jobs," Douglas told a crowd gathered on hot black pavement outside the building. "And the good nutrition and fitness at your amenities here will help us with that as well," the governor said before cutting a thick red ribbon with a giant pair of scissors.- From the Times Argus

The governor spoke without mentioning that the majority of the Mc Donald’s menu consists of processed foods and its super-sized image has been attributed to the expansion of obesity rates in America to the level of epidemic proportions. The Mc Donald’s s system has thrived on squeezing out all facets of our food industry. Whether it is in the large scale feed lots, subsided corn fields or the vacant desert like strip mills, MC Donald’s has a history of squashing small scale farming and family business in favor of non sustainable farming and profit driven agenda. McDonald’s is not an affordable place to have a meal because we are now facing larger health risks from the Mc Donald’s super size image, greater environmental cleanup costs and taxpayers are continuing to pay billions in subsidies to support industrial corn which is used to feed the cattle it’s unnatural diet.

As for the faulty logic of job creation, this topic is a farce for the governor to hail. The McDonald’s corporation has received millions of dollars in tax breaks or subsidies under the guise of job creation and most employees are paid on or about minimum wage. The simplistic picture coded instruction manuals do not teach future job skills and is merely a dead end job proposition. While most employees of McDonalds are shortly employed politicians continually hail their job creation while forgetting that smaller in state and family owned restaurants fail to receive their market shares.

The American landscape has now become littered by fast food chains and in many locations the mom and pop shop has become a distant memory. As with the big-box store it is not job creation when jobs and businesses are removed from an already viable source, therefore a corporate business that extracts the dollars from the local economy and exploits the landscape should not be a model to praise. The Mc Donald’s corporation spends more money marketing to children than they do to paying wages, and therefore creating a whole new generation of malnourished consumers and under paid workers. While the Governor cuts another ribbon and fails to live past one day of hailing the triumphs of healthy local foods I hope that it becomes another nail in his political coffin. I can see through Governor Douglas’s phony smile and I just wonder when others will see through his deceit.

Robb Kidd

“Eating at fast food outlets... is simply a manifestation of the commodification of time coupled with the relatively low value many Americans have placed on the food they eat.” Andrew F. Smith, ‘Encyclopedia of Junk food and Fast Food’ (2006)


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