Few people would have gone as far to make a point as Morgan Spurlock did to make SUPER SIZE ME. His documentary quest to find out what would happen to a healthy human being after eating only McDonald’s fare for thirty days has become the stuff of legend, not to mention striking a chord with the public about just what is and isn’t in the fast food that they’ve been scarfing down with joyous abandon.
I spoke with Spurlock on April 23, 2004, when the film was screening to sell-out crowds at the San Francisco International Film Festival. I’m pleased to report that he’s fully recovered from the fast food experience, though it took him several months for his liver to return to normal and a total of 14 months to lose the last of the 24 1/2 pounds he put on during the feeding frenzy. Food for thought, for sure.
About a hundred years ago, the United States government decided that it needed to get involved in regulating the food processing industry and created what would eventually become the Food and Drug Administration. It was a radical idea at the time and there were a few who grouched that it was an impediment to free enterprise and the American way, but the publication of Upton Sinclair’s expose, The Jungle, in which such unsanitary practices as processing line workers who fell into vats into tins of pork products alarmed the public as nothing until then had done. Not patent medicines that failed to live up to any of their claims, not botulism in the canned peaches. In that spirit and, I hope, that reaction, come SUPER SIZE ME, Morgan Spurlocks hysterically funny and deeply troubling documentary about fast food and the national waistline.