25,000 and Counting

Big Mac from McDonald's

A recent survey by the Chicago-based firm Technomic reveals that 62% of consumers believe that restaurant prices have increased over the past three months, while 32% felt that portion size has decreased. In the grocery store, it’s much the same story—84% of the public feel that prices have gone up, while half are convinced that sizes of products had shrunk.

Sadly, this is neither paranoia nor a real-life version of Alice in Wonderland. Food prices have in fact gone up, and the only way to conceal price increases is to shrink the size of the container or serving. As long as the price remains the same, many supermarket shoppers don’t notice a missing ounce or two. Smaller portion size is chic in restaurants anyway, and probably appreciated by more than half of the population (everyone except men, in other words).

Don Gorske of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin has hit on the perfect solution for avoiding portion shrinkage. Gorske, who works as a state corrections officer, has been eating two Big Macs daily since May 17, 1972. Last week he officially hit the 25,000 burger mark, certified by the Guinness Book of World Records.

You might expect Mr. Gorske to have departed this earth long ago, the victim of a slew of coronary diseases too unpleasant to even mention. Because he is a state employee and is required to undergo regular physicals, he knows that his cholesterol is well under 200 (lower than mine, in fact, and probably yours as well). This is irritating in the extreme, similar to those 110 year-olds who subsist on a steady diet of cigars and whiskey. As we know, there is no justice.

Mr. Gorske’s real affliction is lack of imagination, but it’s hard to blame him for that. While the price of a Big Mac has certainly increased since 1972, he probably doesn’t need to fret too much over portion shrinkage. In a heartwarming gesture, he has bequeathed his collection of McDonald’s memorabilia to his children, so his legacy is secure—who would not appreciate 10,000 Bic Mac cartons as their inheritance?




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