How can the Flash maintain his McDonalds/Pizza Hut diet?

Posted by RazzaTazz (11941 posts) - - Show Bio

I am not a nutritionist and despite being an environmentalist I am not even a vegetarian (though I do try and keep my meat consumption low to minimize my footprint.) Despite those two admissions though I do know something about cooking and eating healthily, so when I read today that there is a distance runner in the US training for a marathon by only eating McDonalds it caught my attention. There are certainly some of you out there who have seen the movie “Supersize Me”, a documentary directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock. Morgan undergoes a month of only eating McDonalds to see what effects it has on his physiology and psychology. I had some stylistic issues with the documentary at the time – most documentaries are supposed to maintain a somewhat impartial standpoint and document a story, and he was clearly interested in making a statement, but the fact is I agree with the general message of the movie. Fast food is mostly not very healthy for us and it puts our bodies (specifically our livers, kidneys and circulatory system) under duress to deal with the added stuff in the food which shouldn’t be there. The marathon runner is maybe better suited to undertake such a venture, his body is probably used to dealing with more duress than a typical person’s despite that this diet is not healthy or advisable.

One of the most influential environmental books of all time is “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson. In it she described how the higher up the food chain you go, the higher the concentration of pollution inside the animal is. If you have a tiny concentration of some pollutant in a small fish, and then a frog eats 5 of those small fish, then the frog will have about 5 times the concentration. Frogs gets eaten by birds or small mammals, those get eaten by wolves and the concentration increases up the chain (its of course more accurate to describe the food web but in those days it wasn’t.)  

 There is one superhero though which is often shown eating to great excess, and that’s the Flash (Wally West version.) This goes back to the mid-80s when the character was redesigned to have lost his ability to run at speeds near the speed of sound and he was reduced to running near the speed of sound. I think this was later explained as because he was unable to connect with the Speed Force (when it was happening the Speed Force had not yet been defined in comics.) Instead he had an extremely fast metabolism which required a lot of food. This food was usually drawn almost cartoonishly to be the equivalent of chowing down on plates upon plates of hamburgers and pizza. If he was able to eat so much though he would be consuming a large number of toxins and other dead calories from his poor diet. His superfast metabolism wouldn’t mean that his liver of kidney would be able to remove stuff that it can’t remove anyway. Actually he would have a huge collection of harmful substances in his body.

In the end I know it is just a fictional comic book character and that I trying to apply too much real world science to the story (as usual). Still the comics often depict some characters as having exceptionally good diets (Batman for instance.) Maybe it is time for one of the most profilic eaters to follow one as well?

#1 Posted by Caligula (12661 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think it's just his metabolism but all of his bodily functions are faster (insert super-speed poop).
 
Also I don't know how much truth there is in that Toxin theory, because every creatures body is designed to filter toxins. Even if some got through it would be trace amounts, also whose to say how much toxins it takes to kill someone. I'm sure the amount varies from individual to individual. And he is a super-being so therefore it may take even more that the average.

#2 Posted by TheCrowbar (4397 posts) - - Show Bio

Or! Or maybe he has enzymes in his body that allow him to break down any type of organic matter.

#3 Posted by RazzaTazz (11941 posts) - - Show Bio
@TheCrowbar:  
@Caligula:
  
Are you guys actually reading through all my blogs.  Next thing I know you are going to find the one I hid in the Mister Miracle forum... 
 
Those would have to be super enzymes though, or else animals would have them already.  Plus a lot of pollutants aren't organic.  I agree though that you get trace amounts in everything you eat, but if you eat 100 hamburgers in a sitting, they are going to pile up a lot faster.
#4 Posted by TheCrowbar (4397 posts) - - Show Bio
@RazzaTazz said:
" @TheCrowbar:  
@Caligula:
  Are you guys actually reading through all my blogs.  Next thing I know you are going to find the one I hid in the Mister Miracle forum...  Those would have to be super enzymes though, or else animals would have them already.  Plus a lot of pollutants aren't organic.  I agree though that you get trace amounts in everything you eat, but if you eat 100 hamburgers in a sitting, they are going to pile up a lot faster. "
What pollutant is in Pizza and Hamburgers that are not organic?
#5 Posted by RazzaTazz (11941 posts) - - Show Bio
@TheCrowbar: Nitrites and nitrates for instance or artificial colouring in the ketchup or mustard
#6 Posted by TheCrowbar (4397 posts) - - Show Bio
@RazzaTazz said:
" @TheCrowbar: Nitrites and nitrates for instance or artificial colouring in the ketchup or mustard "
All have carbons in them.
#7 Posted by RazzaTazz (11941 posts) - - Show Bio
@TheCrowbar: Nitrite NO2 (or a variant) Nitrate is NO3 or variant.  Artificial colours can be made out of anything.  
#8 Posted by joshmightbe (25975 posts) - - Show Bio

He probably burns through all the food too fast for any toxins to set in

Online
#9 Posted by TheCrowbar (4397 posts) - - Show Bio
@RazzaTazz said:

" @TheCrowbar: Nitrite NO2 (or a variant) Nitrate is NO3 or variant.  Artificial colours can be made out of anything.   "

Both are fixed with the by his likely  higher produced methemoglobin reductase enzyme
#10 Posted by RazzaTazz (11941 posts) - - Show Bio
@TheCrowbar: First of all I gotta say of all the off topic replies to a blog I have ever had, that this is probably the most intelligent.  Suffice to say when you pick up most mass produced foods there are things which dont belong in there and which you wont find in nature.  Our bodies are decent enough at getting rid of a lot of them, but it might be harder if you ate say a thousand pieces of pizza a week.  
#11 Posted by RazzaTazz (11941 posts) - - Show Bio
@joshmightbe: That may be the case, but then he would be the Smelliest Man Alive in addition to fastest
#12 Posted by TheCrowbar (4397 posts) - - Show Bio
@RazzaTazz: 
If his metabolism is a lot faster than us(hence his speed) his body must go through redox reactions more to compensate, redox reaction create the enzymes needed to deal with it. He most likely doesn't have the same chemical make up as us either.
#13 Posted by RazzaTazz (11941 posts) - - Show Bio
@TheCrowbar: Not having the same chemical makeup would be another reason that he would have a different diet as opposed to just more of what humans eat.
#14 Posted by TheCrowbar (4397 posts) - - Show Bio
@RazzaTazz: 
Unless he actually needs the Nitrogen for Amino Acid chains.
#15 Posted by alexander121793 (253 posts) - - Show Bio

Dc officialy anounced flash has an exelerated matabolism to support his superspeed.

 

It is the same way with teenagers. Teenagers can eat more fast food than normal people due to their high metabolism making up for it.

 

Flash basicly has a metabolism simular to a teenager only 1,000x better or more.

 

That is also the reason why flash has to eat so much food.

 

Do to flashes superhuman metabolism if he didn't eat that much in a day he would starve.

#16 Posted by RazzaTazz (11941 posts) - - Show Bio
@alexander121793 said:
"

Dc officialy anounced flash has an exelerated matabolism to support his superspeed.

 

It is the same way with teenagers. Teenagers can eat more fast food than normal people due to their high metabolism making up for it.

 

Flash basicly has a metabolism simular to a teenager only 1,000x better or more.

 

That is also the reason why flash has to eat so much food.

 

Do to flashes superhuman metabolism if he didn't eat that much in a day he would starve.

"
Fair enough but that doesnt account for the toxins he would accumulate.  
#17 Posted by SC (14761 posts) - - Show Bio

Environmentalist who eats meat? Shocking. Do you cut down trees with crude oils and throw them at whales and baby seals too? *shakes head and then runs away from thread as fast as possible* 

Moderator
#18 Posted by Demas (210 posts) - - Show Bio
@RazzaTazz said:
"Maybe it is time for one of the most profilic eaters to follow one as well? "
If "time" is the issue, then caloric intake hasn't been a requirement for Wally since 1989.  At that time, Wally had a supporting character, Tina McGee, who was a scientist trying to unravel his powers.  She explained very early on in his run that despite his increased consumption, stuffing his face was insufficient to explain his theoretical expenditure of caloric energy.  He was doing more work than the food he was ingesting would allow him to do.  Which meant the food was not sustaining him or his speed.  Instead, it was just a psychological crutch... Wally felt he needed food to keep going fast, so he ate a lot.  Later, we learn that his speed was sustained by the Speed Force and that the larger psychological block / limitation on his speed was the fear of replacing / surpassing his predecessor, Barry, as The Flash in the world's eyes.

Mechanically respiration would kill off Flash long before any toxins would.  The mechanism for creating air pressure in our lungs is just a slight deformation which can't possibly compete with the change in air pressure caused by moving at Flash-like speeds.  That Flash survives shows, clearly, that there is "magic" at work.  We know that to be the Speed Force now.  As for the evacuation of toxins, Wally simply does what everyone else does... just off panel.  Any particularly egregious amount would be offset by the fact that Wally has a healing factor and comic book healing factors routinely defeat foreign substances.

Of course, the more significant timing issue would be the fact that Wally has been editorially retired and Barry is the current Flash who never has and currently isn't a "prolific eater".

This seems more like a platform to talk about diet shoehorned into an interpretation of Flash that's no longer relevant.
#19 Posted by batflasharrow96 (492 posts) - - Show Bio

I think Wally learned how to control how his body works.

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.