The McDonalds Fry: Overlooked and Misunderstood?

Caroline Drew

Consider, for a moment, the McDonald’s French fry. The same golden color of the restaurant’s famous logo, dusted with salt and, if eaten within the first 10 minutes, an exquisite balance between soft and crispy textures. Regardless of your personal feelings about McDonald’s, you can’t deny their fries are delicious. Prepare to have everything you thought you knew about those French fries challenged. Prepare to have your eyes opened.

revisionist historyMalcolm Gladwell is a journalist, author and public speaker from Canada. All five of his non-fiction books have been featured on The New York Time’s best seller list. His latest venture has been into the world of podcasting. This 33-minute episode comes from the second season of his podcast ‘Revisionist History.’ At the beginning of each episode, Gladwell states the purpose of ‘Revisionist History’ as “[a] podcast about things overlooked and misunderstood.” But just what about the McDonald’s French fry is overlooked and misunderstood?

You’ll have to listen to find out. I would hate to rob you of hearing the story in Gladwell’s animated, relatable and intelligent words. He tells the story of the McDonald’s fry with a passion and an understanding I can only dream of mimicking. As he follows the fry’s journey, from McDonald’s early days to its present reign, he presents everything that, to me, makes for a compelling story. There’s imagery that will make your mouth water, a shoutout to the city of Omaha, Nebraska, a David and Goliath tale of one man’s fight against “the man” and, best of all, captivating information that will change the way you look at the world around you.

Each episode of ‘Revisionist History’ is like this. It challenges you to take a second look at things you accepted as fact and think critically about why you accepted them. Yet, ‘Revisionist History’ accomplishes this without you even knowing it. In just over half-an-hour, Gladwell can make your drive to school, your workout or your chores an entertaining and educational experience. You come for the engrossing story told in Gladwell’s vivacious storytelling style and you leave a little changed. So open your mind a little and give Gladwell a listen. McDonald’s just might break your heart too.

Mrs. Jamie Piernicky  – “I like podcasts because I can listen to them while I’m doing other things and feel productive…I like it because I feel like I’m multitasking while engaging my brain.”

If that’s not your thing, try….

Criminal- A classic true crime podcast, ‘Criminal’ does the slicing and dicing for you. It dissects fascinating stories of unique and complex crimes. From overviews of phenomena, like Episode 61: Vanish—stories of people who faked their own death—to detailed stories of specific cases, like Episode 1: Animal Instincts—the story of a woman killed by her husband, or perhaps by something else— ‘Criminal’ will make any mystery-lover cringe with delight. ‘Criminal’ is independently produced and recorded and releases new half-an-hour long episodes every other Friday.

Content may not be suitable for all listeners. Please pay attention to warnings given at the beginning of each episode.


More Perfect- For the politically-minded, this podcast from the producers of Radiolab offers an alluring, in-depth look at the United States Supreme Court. While that might seem like a mighty small scope, you’d be shocked to discover the sometimes bizarre paths citizens, lawyers, organizations and judges take to reach the highest court in the United States and the impact the Supreme Court’s decisions have on our everyday lives. ‘More Perfect’ episodes are released sporadically on all platforms.

Invisibilia – ‘Invisibilia’ delves into the invisible forces that shape our lives. Using excellently told, often personal, stories ‘Invisibilia’ explores the decisions people make and what emotions, societal notions, previous experiences and outside reactions may play a role in those decisions. Empathetically and delicately told, this podcast will alter the way you look at life and the people around you. ‘Invisibilia’ is produced by NPR and episodes are released sporadically.


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