food photo trivium of the moment

one of my (many, not surprisingly) ex-girlfriends was the food editor for a major metropolitan newspaper.  an interesting job -- one of the sweetest gigs in a dying industry.

it gave me the chance to eat great and interesting food, and just as fun, talk with people in the food business.

one of my favorite guys was the food photographer.  a highly specialized field, he'd worked with many large restaurants in large ad campaigns ... and because of this, there were some phrases you couldn't say to him without nearly violent response.

for example, "big mac."

you see there's an FDA rule in the US that if you're advertising a generality, say "burger king," you can (and everyone will) use artificial items for your photos.  so in your food spread, the french fries you show might become something like painted styrofoam.  but any ad describing a specific food, say, "burger king whopper," must show a photo of that actual food.  

my pal had to do a mcdonald's photo shoot for big macs.  since mcdonald's had to use a real big mac, they made 200 of them ... every one individually inspected for things like seed uniformity on the bun and cheese over-lap off the side.  

in the particular run he was involved in, there wasn't one that was good enough*, so they bang out another 200 more ...

... and then another 200.

after the champion big mac was found, 599 needed to be "disposed" of, so they gave away burgers to anyone with a heartbeat that could say "yes."

but there's something, i guess, in seeing 600 big macs in an area with mild ventilation that'll just kinda get at you.

and, of course, eating half a dozen yourself probably won't help.

*i wanted to say "pass the mustard," but couldn't bring myself to it.  i know, it's hard to believe i do any kind of editing on here.

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