No Right Explanation

Health Food is for Losers!


Last week, the guys discussed which fast food restaurant has the tastiest grub, and this week continue the discussion for your reading enjoyment.


Chris: Well well, leave it to fast food to give us one of our most successful episodes of No Right Answer ever. I especially love that the episode that pushed us to it happened during our usual mid-day stupor after eating at Izzy’s, a pizza buffet place in the Portland area that is glorious in that it tastes exactly like a pizza buffet place that costs less than $10. Mmm, now I want some of that!

P.S. Izzy’s, you may send us checks for the endorsement whenever you feel, and yes, we accept gift certificates.

What I saw from the comments warmed my heart, or at least made me heightened to my heart’s enlarged and enflamed state. We had filmed this episode close to two months ago, and yet this very weekend I had a 20-piece McNugget meal because a 10-piece meal didn’t sound like it would fill me up (Spoiler: it wouldn’t have). After reading through every comment, I could see that there really wasn’t one chain that gathered either all the supporters or all the haters, and that’s a beautiful thing.

However, and this isn’t necessarily the commenters that reminded me, but I greatly dislike Super Size Me. Man did that movie enrage and enhunger me. I watched it in high school when one of the usual health teachers thought he was being so clever by saying, “Hey, I’ve done enough pointing you at the text books and telling you to read, so watch this edgy social documentary instead.” At the time, all I could think was, “How stupid do you think we are, Spurlock? Eating anything for a month solid will make you sick, especially if you just got off a vegan diet!”

Enter Fat Head, a documentary that decided to look at exactly why Super Size Me was a bit dubious at best and a whole bunch of fat lies at most likely. If you’re even remotely curious, I implore you to check it out. It’s on Netflix Instant Play right now and it’s well worth your time. And while you’re there, just watch Michael Moore Hates America as well. They have no connection to one another, but who can say no to that?

P.S. If the producers of either Fat Head or Michael Moore Hates America would like to thank us for endorsing their movies, we accept Izzy’s gift certificates or 20-piece McNugget meals.

I don’t want to spoil too much from Fat Head, but the point isn’t just to say that Spurlock made a dumb movie. Rather, the point is to show someone eating nothing but fast food for a month and getting healthier. If such a feat could be accomplished, that would sort of damage Super Size Me‘s creditability now wouldn’t it? Boy I wonder what happens in the movie…?

Before I go, I do want to bring up two points, one of course from the comments and one from my good and close (not really) friend Jim Gaffigan. To put this debate to rest, yes, pizza places like Pizza Hut and Domino’s are absolutely fast food. My evidence? It’s food that can be had fast, plus the same company that owns Taco Bell and KFC owns Pizza Hut, therefore, vis-à-vis, ergo, concordantly, those must all be the same type of food. The other point is just to link you to a segment of Jim Gaffigan’s brilliant “Mr. Universe” special. If you need more ammunition in the war against McDonald’s haters, here it is.


Kyle: I iz Kyle, und I still am iz on my honeymoon.


Dan: This episode has gotten more comments than almost any other episode of our show, and that makes me happy, because we made a video on a topic people really care about. Some fans have mentioned that perhaps we care about fast food a little too much, but that’s neither here nor there. Fast food is comfort food, many of us grew up eating it with our parents as a treat when we behaved. Bonds were developed and allegiances formed around which restaurant was physically closest to our homes. Just because something isn’t the highest quality doesn’t mean that, through the rose-colored goggles of nostalgia, a simple burger can’t be the food of the gods.

Ignoring the suggestions of restaurants that I’ve never heard about before, let me go through my experiences with some of the other food-atoriums that were defended in the comments sections. First, Wendy’s. This used to be my favorite place, mostly due to a location being within walking distance of my childhood home. One summer, I would take my sisters on a walk and we would all get food that tasted good not only because it was covered in salt and fat, but because we as kids had trekked there and earned it. I mentioned in the video that I eat Kosher, which means I always had to ask for my burgers without cheese, but that was no biggie. I loved their big fries, I loved the meat that hung off the buns, and I loved that location. All three have since been ruined. The location is now a horrible “Mexican” restaurant, the fries are now natural cut abortions, and the meat is compacted in the name of making the burger juicier, on a buttered bun that I have to request removed. That’s why Wendy’s is off my list.

Next, people talked a lot about Five Guys. For the uninitiated, they offer peanuts to eat while you wait, burgers with added free toppings such as sautéed mushrooms and onions, and their fries are more than plentiful even in a small serving. They also cost a butt-load. Two people eating a reasonable amount of food costs a little over $20, which in the fast food arena is a fortune. Think how many tacos you could buy for that, hell, you could score a few buckets of chicken.

That brings us to KFC, also a fan favorite. Not expensive, lots of variety, mascot that doesn’t rob you at night … why wasn’t that the pick? The lube effect. How many of you don’t need explanation on that front? KFC is breaded chicken (unless you get the grilled type, but then you’re a hobo). Breaded chicken that’s deep fried (again, hobo). Fried bread is always going to hold more oil than ground beef. Thus, unless you have eaten enough KFC to become immune to its colon/water slide merging effects, it can only be consumed once or twice a year. At least that’s been my experience.

Rattling off a few other places that didn’t get argued, we have In-N-Out Burger. Only in California, so it gets a big thumbs down. Why keep such tasty food to yourself, Arnold?

Dairy Queen. Tasty ice cream, but I don’t find their food anything special.

Pizza Hut. Again with the lube effect.

Subway. I don’t know, it’s so healthy it doesn’t really get that addictive pull that true junk food gets.

Basically we all agree that fast food shouldn’t be a regularly scheduled program, but they do have a place. I brought my 1 year old son to Wendy’s, and got him a happy meal. He got apple slices, a juice box, and 4 chicken nuggets. Is that health food? Almost, and that’s really the best you can hope for.

Hope everyone saw me eating a Whopper on the Facebook fan page, because it took all my strength to wait that long. I love me some Whoppers, and editing this episode was like training me to drool every time I hit the space bar.

About the author

Daniel Epstein
Father, filmmaker, and writer. Once he won an Emmy, but it wasn't for being a father or writing.