I had to deliver a catering job today. Usually, when I'm alone, cooking the food in my restaurant, I listen to the CD player there. It wasn't functioning today, so I began listening to the radio while I worked. There were a lot of commercials on the particular station I was listening to, but there was one that attracted my attention. I even stopped cooking, when it played again, to make certain I was hearing it correctly.It was a McDonald's commercial, promoting their new items-gourmet coffees and lattes. Essentially, the woman's voice that delivered the commercial was saying that she was leading a boring life, that is, until she discovered McDonald's lattes.She used to read newspaper and watch documentaries, but now that she's found McDonald's upscale coffee, she enjoys reality shows on television. Frankly, I didn't see the connection, and at first I thought it was some sort of joke.I learned two things from that commercial: one was the implication that people who patronized McDonald's were people wo do not read nor do they watch anything heavy on television. Secondly, they were encouraging the dumbing down of America by urging reality shows on television.In my mind, McDonald's has been the primary factor in fattening up America, one bit of reality that has contributed to the obesity of all those who eat there. McDonald's super-sized portions also contain plenty of trans-fat and preservative that allow the company to prepare foods in some central warehouse, then ship them to the hundreds of outlets where people are eager to spend 99 cents on a hamburgers. I ask myself, what kind of meat is in those hamburgers that will make McDonald's a profit at only 99 cents for the meat, the bun, the pickle, the ketchup, the mustard, and whatever else it garnished with?One would think that McDonald's has done enough damage to the American vascular heart system without targeting America's neurosystems. One more word, if you have 99 cents to spend on a meal, buy a pound of pinto beans at the supermarket--enough to make a healthy dinner for the next several days. You will feel mentally and physically much better.Pinto Bean Soupserves 61 pound dry pinto bean1 8-ounce can tomato paste4 cloves garlic, mashed1 medium onion, chopped4 tablespoons olive oilsalt and pepper to paste-Soak the pinto beans in water for 8 hours.-Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Saute the onion for five minutes.-Add the garlic, saute for couple seconds and then, add the paste and 10 cups of water.-Add the beans, the seasoning and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on low heat for one hour or until the beans are soft.-Adjust the seasoning and serve.