Archive for May, 2008

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.

Works cited:
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.

 

At night the sky is black with white stars. Then why does the sky become blue and the stars disappear during the day? First of all we must realize that the sun is extremely bright, much more so than the moon. Second, the particles in the atmosphere “have an effect on the sunlight that passes throught them (How Stuff Works).”

The sun’s light appears to be white, but it is actually made up of all the colors of the rainbow. Each color of light travels in a different wave. Red has longest, biggest waves while blue and violet have the smallest and shortest (The Space Place).

The atmosphere is made up of the gases oxygen and nitrogen. Red light goes right past the oxygen particles because its wavelengths are so big. But blue wavelengths are so small that they bounce off the particles, and are scattered all over the sky. This is called Rayleigh scattering. Violet light it is scattered even more, but our eyes are more sensitive to blue. “Whenever we look towards the sky, some light is bouncing off an oxygen atom and entering our eyes, making the sky appear to be blue (Skywatch).”

When a sunset takes place, blue light is being scattered even more, which allows the red and yellow wavelengths to go through, right into your eyes. When there are lots of particles of dust, pollution, and water, the “whole western sky” appears red, because these “reflect and scatter more of the reds and yellows (The Space Place).”

We may not even think about it, but each day an amazing phenomenon is taking place right over our heads, making the sky blue.

Works cited:
How Stuff Works, “Why is the sky blue?”, (Jan 24, 2008)
http://science.howstuffworks.com/question39.htm

Skywatch, “Why is the sky blue?”, (Jan 24, 2008)
http://www.sky-watch.com/articles/skyblue.html

 

The Space Place, “Why is the sky blue?”, (Jan 24, 2008)
http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/en/kids/misrsky/misr_sky.shtml

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night sweating because you were being chased by Ronald McDonald? Let us tell you a real nightmare that is happening right now in America. It’s called obesity, and fast food is one of the main things (as well as lack of physical activity) that causes it (Lee and Speer). Even though we know fast food isn’t healthy, we keep eating more and more of it (Gogoi). Maybe if we tell people the backround of that burger or McNugget they’re about to eat, they wouldn’t be so willing to dig in.

Obesity
America is the fattest nation in the world right now. Sixty percent of American adults and a quarter of our children are overweight or obese. Obesity has been rising since the 1970s. Today Americans consume about 10 lbs more than they did in 1978 (Spurlock). Being fat is now normal (Gogoi). However, if we don’t do something about it soon, obesity will cause more preventable deaths than smoking (Spurlock). Obesity is connected to many health problems, such as Diabetes, Stroke, many kinds of cancer, Asthma, Gall Bladder Disease, high blood pressure, and clogged arteries (Spurlock, Gogoi). “In the US, people have become increasingly sedentary — driving to work and not walking, performing little manual labor, driving to do small errands, watching TV and playing video games instead of doing physical exercise (Lee and Speer).” Obesity is a rapidly growing problem that can be a result of eating too much fast food and not exercising. It causes countless health disorders.

What Fast Food Does to The Body
Most nutritionists advise people not to eat fast food more than once a month. There’s a reason for that. Fast food meals don’t contain enough fruits, vegetables, fiber, and vitamins A and C, but they do have a sickening amount of fat, salt, and sugar (Lee and Speer).

“Foods that contain too much sugar and the wrong kinds of fats can cause your blood vessels to thicken and narrow.” This makes it harder for the brain to function, and can cause brain damage. Clogged arteries can also lead to heart attacks. Because children and teenagers are drinking too much soda and not enough milk, the structures in their bones are weaker and makes their bones easy to break. When the liver gets too much fat, it is damaged and doesn’t work well. The liver is a vital organ, and if it’s not functioning,it’s going to cause many problems for the rest of the body. A damaged liver, full of fat, is green and has yellow, hard bumps all over it (Schlosser 217-222). Even if people don’t get fat from fast food, they can’t escape the consequences. Fast food hurts the inside of the body, and the effects will catch up to them as they get older, if not sooner.

When fast food already has too many calories from fat, salt, and sugar, bigger and bigger sizes of burgers, fries, and drinks are being offered. There is actually a restaurant in Philedelphia that offers a 15 lb burger (Schlosser 212). Some teenagers are having heart attacks. Some have become so fat and unable to control their big appetites, they choose to have their stomach surgically altered. This is called gastric bypass surgery. The stomach is cut down to the size of a golf ball, reducing the patient’s appetite and helping them loose weight.

Because fast food doesn’t have the right nutrients and people eat too much of it, their bodies are being weakened and damaged for life.

To be continued…

Works cited:
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. <http://find.galegroup.com/itx/start.do?prodId=AONE>

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.


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