Euphemistic Language and the Fast Food Industry

In my past post :Euphemistic Language, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Satire and Torture I discussed the dark side of language how it is used to conceal and attenuate our outrage against what should be crimes against the human spirit.  I used the example of the equivalent numbers of US soldier suicides  and soldiers killed in 2011.

Today I want to talk about the fast food industry, the best drug dealers on earth. McDonald’s the more famous and ubiquitous modeled its approach on that of Walt Disney in that it targets kids. Why is that important, because the chemicals in the food but out by this company  is not at all healthy for children.

However the insidious part of this is the how, always:

Walt Disney inspired the creation of advertising icons such as Ronald McDonald and his sidekicks. Marketing executives intended that this marketing shift would result not only in attracting children, but their parents and grandparents as well. More importantly, the tactic would instill brand loyalty that would persist through adulthood through nostalgic associations to McDonald’s.

They exploit the trusting nature of children. Plus they offer jobs and promises to promotion for young adults who are ambitious and determined to move on up. Look at these stats:

  1. McDonald’s hires around 1 million workers in the US every year
  2. According to company estimates, one in every eight American workers has been employed by McDonald’s Sharon Stone worked at McDonald’s before she was famous. So did Shania Twain, Jay Leno, Rachel McAdams and Pink
  3. McDonald’s is the world’s largest distributor of toys, with one included in 20% of all sales
  4. McDonald’s’ iconic golden arches are recognized by more people than the cross McDonald’s’ iconic golden arches are recognized by more people than the cross
  5. For the next three years, McDonald’s is going to open one restaurant every day in China
  6. One in every three children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime
  7. Before most children can speak they can recognize McDonald’s
  8. Obesity has been linked to: Hypertension, Coronary Heart Disease, Adult Onset Diabetes, Stroke, Gall Bladder Disease, Osteoarthritis, Sleep Apnea, Respiratory Problems, Endometrial, Breast, Prostate and Colon Cancers, Dyslipidemia, steatohepatitis, insulin resistance, breathlessness, Asthma, Hyperuricaemia, reproductive hormone abnormalities, polycystic ovarian syndrome, impaired fertility and lower back pain
  9. Most nutritionists recommend not eating fast food more than once a month

I could list more but that would be excessive. Here are the sites from which I got my stats

Something I Noticed Recently

First there was the McDonald’s Pink Slime.  Then there were the rumors about Meat glue.  The first thing that came to me was the level of sexual innuendo in those names.

Pink slime this reminds me of my early adventures in love. I was down and in my bday suit, my uniform when I do this kind of work, and I proceed like a lot of Con Ed or your local utility company workers do, to lower myself to work on and repair some piping. It was fairly standard I was booked for the usual 16 minute oil change precursor to pipe cleaning. However after being lowered into position I was over come by a stench, the oil had a strange viscosity which like a mechanic, :

  1. After popping the hood, I knew I wouldn’t have to put my dipstick into far in, to know there had be a lot of miles accrued since the last visit to the clinic/service station
  2. I would need a few towels to get the unbearable mephitis off of me
  3. This would be the first time since little league that I would have to be a switch hitter and bat lefty, as I am predominant right-handed and I need that hand to feed myself.

I could go on with the jokes but that would be pleonastic and I am grossing myself out which rarely happens.

The Dark Side of Language

Pink Slime also known as lean finely textured beef (LFTB) and boneless lean beef trimmings (BLBT)

The term pink slime was coined in 2002 by Gerald Zirnstein, who at that time was a microbiologist for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service, but some state officials have objected to the nickname, saying that “lean, finely textured beef is the proper name.

So far the George Carlin rules hold up. We have gone from a simple 2 syllable phrase to a mult-syllabic phrase and in doing so we have stripped ourselves of accountability and a little dignity.  Shall I tell you how pink slime is made?

It consists of finely ground beef scraps, sinew, fat, and connective tissue (Shit you would never buy and/or eat at ur supermarket) which have been mechanically removed in a heated centrifuge at 100°F from the fat into liquid fat and a protein paste. The recovered material is then processed, heated, and treated with ammonia gas or citric acid to kill E. coli, salmonella, and other bacteria. It is finely ground, compressed into blocks and flash frozen for use as an additive to beef products.

Would you buy anything made with pink slime in it, (unless its The Ghostbusters 2 the movie where they used positively charged pink slime to counter act a Great Evil) ?


Meat glue, or transglutaminase, is basically a powder that can fuse two or more odd-sized hunks of meat into a single piece that is larger and more appealing to the eye .

To biology majors the ending aminase lets me know this powder is made of an enzyme which cleaves in a way soemthign involving amine groups. What does this mean? It means some of the steaks you buy are restructured steaks – sometimes made up of leftover chunks previously rejected by the pink-slime people. Not all meat use is bad there are some cool culinary uses, but one has to be careful and look at the quality of meats used and other things

The Dirty Jokes ensue

Here are some lines that made me chuckle:

There is also an increased risk of bacterial contamination when the outside edges of two slabs of meat are joined while raw.

Usually when I am going to press some slabs of meat together in the raw, I dont use a powder, but the shower and antibacterial soap before and after, and of course the test results from the clinic let me laugh into the face of bacterial infection. Viral infection as Magic Johnson would say is another thing.

Meat Glue – Boing Boing

Yes, Boing Boing indeed, in my private time Id like to consider my self a carpenter from all the great things Ive done with the wood in my basket. A Carpenter is nothing with out his would glue, especially when the joints are set right and clamped down and the holes have already been drilled in for the screw

Did you every play with glue as a kid, you;d rub it in your hands and then peel it off  once it dried a little, like it was a second skin on your hands…I ma not gonan  go further


Ultimately the fast food industry has some pretty strong pull. They can throw money at politicians who will make it criminal to talk badly about pink slime , because it’s an ok agricultural product.

An Alien-X goop toy !!!

You have to refer to it as pink goop, why because goop is a stretch toy that kids play with. I’m still gonna milk the meat glue think for all its worth (see what I did there ?)

American English is loaded with euphemisms. Because Americans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality. Americans have trouble facing the truth, so they invent a kind of a soft language to protect themselves from it. And it gets worse with every generation. For some reason it just keeps getting worse.

~George Carlin

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  1. Brilliant post, I loved it. Kind of reminds me of the movie “Idiocracy”. We are truly doomed as a nation. Just when I thought China would win, I’m reminded of your statistic that “For the next three years, McDonald’s is going to open one restaurant every day in China”. Maybe America does have a chance, albeit a very, very small chance.


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