Is it boasting to point out that Mark Bittman & I were breathing the same air this week?
Funny, too, that our “healthy” meal this past weekend was from Chipotle & Mr. Bittman semi-praises the chain for elevating fast food out of the doldrums of Taco Bell, Subway, etc.
Chipotle is a guilty pleasure of mine. I attempted to make my meal more healthful by foregoing the cheese & sour cream & tortilla shell, but I didn’t consider sodium … or the fact that I ate about five pounds of food when really half a serving would have been more than enough food for one person.
I’ve also eaten a bunch at Native Foods Cafe, a vegan chain restaurant mentioned briefly in the article as one of a new crop of restaurants closer to Mr. Bittman’s ideal fast food option.
I love Native Foods but I doubt it’s much healthier than Chipotle. I’m skeptical of meat substitutes, especially those that involve soy. (Though I understand that Native Foods makes their own meat & dairy substitutes, which is a whole lot better—and possibly less processed—than a couple of the restaurants Mr. Bittman mentions, which use particular brands of fake meat & cheese that are way too processed for me.) I’d much rather opt for Chipotle’s pork options, which appear to be humanely raised.
Or just eat a bowlful of veggies, which I can pretty much do at either restaurant.
Instead of focusing on vegan restaurants, I wish the article looked at whether the restaurants were serving real food, vegan or not. Vegetables are most often what goes missing when eating on the road, so that’s what I dream of finding in my ideal fast food joint. Whole grains & pastured meat/eggs/dairy would be icing on the cake, so to speak.
Right now, I’m still feeling a bit depressed at the lack of options on the real food front. But I think Mr. Bittman (as usual) is moving us in the right direction. A “McBitty’s” fast food joint would be welcome on any street corner, in my opinion!