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July 5, 2011 / Roy

Why I write about Fast Food: Part 1

When I was five and he was one, we discovered my brother had a severe allergy to peanuts.  The more we learned, the more we began to err on the side of cautious.  We didn’t order as much Chinese food, we didn’t venture out to restaurants we didn’t know, and we tried to eat at places that were safe.  My mom had heard horror stories of people with peanut allergies eating something fried in peanut oil and dying, so she tried to be as careful as possible.

As he grew older, my brother began to watch after himself.  We went back to normal routines, but he had to develop his own survival mechanisms.  Back then, he specifically requested Wendy’s.  Why?  They had no peanuts in the store, and he felt comfortable with the staff at the one near our house.  It became his go-to, to the point where we had an entire drawer of excess Wendy’s BBQ sauce packets.  My brother just liked Wendy’s, and felt comfortable there.

I don’t think that we, as a family, ate more or less fast food than the average.  My mom prepared home cooked meals, sometimes we had pizza or Chinese delivered, and sometimes we ate out.  Fast Food at Wendy’s was just a really convenient tool in our anti-allergy tool kit.  Restaurants like Chick-fil-a do use peanut oil, so we knew that those were not peanut friendly.  Wendy’s we had faith in, and could rely upon.

Today, my brother mostly eats chicken breasts, egg whites, and protein mix; There’s not an ounce of fat on him.  But despite living in a university town full of food options, he always asks me to take him to Buffalo Wild Wings when I visit.  Why?  He’s just comfortable there: no surprises, nothing hidden, nothing risky.

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