How Fast Food is Made
In order to make the fries taste the same in every McDonald’s, they are shipped frozen to restaurants. Then they are reheated and cooked in a special mixture of vegetable and beef oil (Sclosser 94, 103). McDonald’s french fries, like other foods, are made to taste good. Foods that are processed are cheaper to make — they also loose a lot of nutrition. McDonald’s admits, “Any processing our foods undergo make them more dangerous than unprocessed foods.” Since foods loose their taste when processed, people add manmade flavoring from special chemicals (Schlosser 105). They also color the food with different chemicals. Some scientists are worrying that eating too many foods with so many chemicals is harmful. However, this hasn’t been proved (Schlosser 124). The people who make these foods and fast food want you to remember and crave the foods’ taste (Schlosser 110), and they’re proving very successful.
McDonald’s buys their processed burgers frozen from certain companies (Schlosser 161). Because the fast food business is so big, these companies pay their workers less so it is cheaper to produce (Schlosser 164). The places where the beef cattle are raised are shocking and disgusting. The cattle are crowded together, fed special grain to make them gain weight fast, never exercised, and not taken care of properly (Schlosser 163-8).
The chicken McNuggets are produced much the same way. These chickens are fed whatever will make them fatter (Schlosser 174). They are bred to have big breasts and to gain weight fast. Because they are never exercised, kept in cages, and have to eat such unhealthy food, they often have heart attacks all of a sudden and die (Schlosser 176-7). If you open them up, you can see that their hearts are incased in fat. Chicken nuggets are made up of ground chicken meat and edible paste. They are breaded, fried, frozen, and then reheated before served (Schlosser 171).
Fast food is produced to be cheap, taste, and look good, but is unhealthy. The animals raised to be eaten are mistreated, and the workers who produce the food are underpaid. Eric Schlosser says, “The bottom line, they’re a business, no matter what they say, and by selling you unhealthy food, they make millions, and no company wants to stop doing that.”
And We Keep Eating More
McDonald’s feeds more than 46 million people a day. That’s more than the entire population of Spain. There are 30,000 McDonald’s all over the world. Everyday 1 in 4 Americans visit a fast food restaurant (Spurlock). Even though public and private agencies have been working hard to convince people to eat healthier food, “only about 12% of Americans have diets than meet at least 8 of the 10 nutritional recommendations from Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Food Guide Pyramid (Lee and Speer). Lee and Speer claim that parents take their children to eat out because it is easier and cheap. Americans eat 40% of their meals outside of the home. Gogoi claims that despite “all the talk about obesity” people aren’t being scared “away from fatty food.” In fact, we’re just eating more. Some people, especially teenagers, ignore the warnings and indulge in all the foods they shouldn’t (Gogoi). Americans keep gaining more and more weight.
Our huge obesity rates promise increasing health problems and threaten the American population. In order to have healthy bodies and happy lives, we need to be cautious and educated about what we eat. The fast food businesses aren’t going to stop trying to get us to eat their food. We should only eat it on rare occasions. If Americans don’t take this seriously and go for the “slow” food, we will face devastating results.
To learn more about fast food and its affects on America and the world, read Chew On This by Eric Schlosser, and watch the fascinating movie Supersize Me by Morgan Spurlock.
Gogoi, Pallavi. “Fat Times for Fast Food; Forget all that talk about healthy eating: Americans are back to chowing down on giant burgers and fried chicken.” Business Week Online (Nov 9, 2005): NA. Academic OneFile. Gale. Idaho Commission for Libraries. 20 Dec. 2007.
Lee, Daniel T., and Susan J. Speer. “Healthy eating in the fast-food lane: the American lifestyle of convenience and inactivity has taken a toll on health. Eating in fast-food establishments accounts for much of the excess calorie consumption among Americans. Here’s how to help your patients avoid the pitfalls of eating out.” Patient Care for the Nurse Practitioner (June 15, 2002): NA. Academic OneFile. Gale. Idaho Commission for Libraries. 20 Dec. 2007
Schlosser, Erin and Wilson, Charles. Chew On This: Everything you don’t want to know about fast food. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2006.
Spurlock, Morgan. Supersize Me. (Movie) 2004.