Food is a necessity of life that fuels and nourishes our body, and in today’s fast paced world everyone is looking for the quickest solution to their everyday food needs. Fast food has helped solve this problem for millions of people every single day. Fast food means just that, the food is fast, and often very cheap. It is no secret that the nutritional value and health of these foods are very sub par, but people still pile it in, in record numbers, each and every meal of the day. Are these types of restaurants causing more problems than they are solving, or are they truly the saving grace of the modern food needs?
Pros of Fast Food
1. A Major Time Saver
Cooking a home cooked meal is time consuming, especially when you factor in all of the additional time it takes to prepare, like going to the grocery store to get the necessary ingredients. Fast food allows people to stop and grab a full meal in just minutes and save the rest of their time to complete other things.
2. A Cheap Alternative
Along with being fast, fast food is also very cheap. This is especially for true for people that live on their own, or only have one or two other people to feed. Each meal is typically only a few dollars and includes an entree, side, and drink. This has the possibility of being much cheaper than buying food at the grocery store and preparing your own food.
3. It Tastes Great
One thing that fast food chains have gotten down to an art is that of flavor. Fried and fatty foods satisfy cravings for many people. The taste in itself is what draws many people in, and gets them hooked on fast food.
4. A Changing Market Place
More and more people are becoming increasingly conscious of their health and what they put into their bodies, fast food chains are meeting this new demographic by supplying the options for healthy meals. Specialty salads and grilled chicken are now a staple in just about every fast food restaurant.
Cons of Fast Food
1. A Leading Cause of Obesity
The way the foods are prepared, often fried, is very bad for the body. Ever since the popularity of foods like this have risen, the obesity rate has as well. Along with the food itself, another major health issue is the sheer amount of food that you are given in a meal at these restaurants.
2. Addiction Is Increasing
People have food addictions, but with fast food it is much more severe. Many people begin to eat fast food for the convenience, and find themselves eating it almost daily. The tastes of the food draw people back time and time again, perpetuating very real fast food addiction.
3. Less Quality Time
There is nothing better for a family than sitting down to a home cooked meal at the dinner table and talking. Fast food is causing the frequency of things like this to be cut short. The convenience of the food, which is often ate quickly or at the restaurant, leaves not much time for bonding.
4. A Dwindling Knowledge
For young people starting out in the world, fast food offers them an easy and inexpensive choice of food. It is becoming more and more common for people to have no knowledge on how to shop and prepare healthy and nutritious foods.
5. They Target The Children
The majority of fast food commercials feature cartoon characters, children playing, or fun songs, with the goal of persuading the children to want to eat at their restaurant. Along with these commercials, these chains offer kid’s meals that feature fun toys, along with a hefty supply of unhealthy foods.
Important Facts About Fast Food
The fast food industry has come a long way from its humble beginnings nearly a century ago. The first restaurant considered a fast food restaurant was called White Castle. White Castle was opened in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas by Billy Ingram. He opened it so that he could sell his slider-style burgers at a price of 5 cents per patty. White castle is in business today and its belief of selling cheap affordable food for all became the foundation for all the fast food places that were founded soon after.
Places that include, Kentucky Fried Chicken in 1930, McDonalds in 1940, In-n-Out in 1948, Burger King in 1954, and Wendy’s in 1969 along with others became the well known cheap eateries that we have here today. All this fast food although cheap, they have clearly had a well documented negative effects of it as well. As more and more fast food appears and gets advertised in our lives it drives people to want to go and get some but causes the average weight of people to go up because of it and also leads to the fast food industry to make money off of it too.
The fast food industry has its goods and consequences but ultimately it comes down to what position you are looking at the industry from to really identify your viewpoint. For example if you were a person looking for a job and all you could get was a job at McDonalds, you would think that the industry is good because you make money off of it. But if you were a person who has become obese as a result of eating too much fast food, you might not be a big fan of the fast food industry.
There are many arguments that can be made for the fast food industry because of all the good that it provides to people. The first benefit that it has is that it provides cheap food to people since back when it first started it cost 5 cents at White Castle per burger and nowadays basically every place has a dollar menu like McDonalds or a value menu like Burger King. I’m not sure how long that the dollar menu will last with how the price of everything in the world is getting more expensive as time goes on, but I’m sure that it’ll stay at around a dollar or two so that it’ll be a lot cheaper then anything else for a long time.
Another benefit of the fast food industry is that the food that it provides is quite convenient because it is so quick to make for us to be able to eat unlike restaurants so that it is a lot better for those who are on the go and need to eat very quickly at the place or even order through the drive-thrus available at most if not all fast food places if they want to save even more time to eat in the car.
Another benefit of the fast food industry that some people may overlook is the employment opportunities it creates for people. According to howstuffworks. com, as of today there are about 2. 4 million workers that work in the fast food industry which his quite a large number. These jobs, although small, provide a steady source for those who work there to support their families, and I’m not too sure that all of the people employed within the fast food industry could find other jobs.
A last minor benefit of the fast food industry is how they are adapting because of all the criticism they receive about fast food being unhealthy, places like McDonalds started serving things like fruits, salads and milk to stop a bit of the negative opinions. The main argument against the fast food industry is the health issues that result from eating the fast food. All the fast food is and has been for a while assembly line made. We don’t always know what the fast food is made of; it could be filled with random meats that we might not quite like if we ever find out.
Fast food is usually higher in things like fat, oil, calories and sugar. All the nutrients get fried out of the food and eating a lot will result in many problems, like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and joint problems. According to Buzzle, people who live within walking distance of a fast food restaurant are 13% more likely of suffering a stroke then those who don’t. According to Ehow. com 33% of Americans are obese and a lot of it stems from the doubling of fast food restaurants since 1970.
Simply put, if you eat a lot of fast food bad things will likely happen to you. Fast food also has a negative effect on our environment as well because the factory produced fast food is said to have a big impact on our environment causing a lot of damage and a lot of people consider it a major contributor to global warming. And according to EHow, they quote the EatingWell Magazine that worldwide meat production is said to emit more greenhouse gases then all the transportation and industrial processes combined.
Another argument against the fast food industry would be that fast food industries are also being considered as a factor for making families spend less time together because people just want to eat quick and leave thus reducing the amount of family time that people get together. All in all just like everything else in the world, the fast food industry has its pros and cons. The pros of it would be that the food is cheap, the food is convenient to get and eat, and that it provides a lot of jobs for people.
The cons would be that it’s bad for your health to eat, its bad for the environment to make and may likely decrease the amount of family time that families can get. I believe that these really balance each other out, but it really depends on the point of view of the individual as to whether they like or dislike the fast food industry. In the end opinions may differ, but it’s really up to you to decide.
Reference Page: 1. Bose, D. (2012, March 9). Advantages and Disadvantages of Fast Food. Buzzle. Retrieved September 18, 2013, from http://www. buzzle. com/articles/advantages-and-disadvantages-of-fast-food.html 2. Maire, L. (n. d. ). Pros & Cons of Fast Foods | eHow. eHow | How to Videos, Articles & More – Discover the expert in you.. Retrieved September 18, 2013, from http://www. ehow. com/info_8006832_fast-foods-pros-cons. html 3. Tannebaum, K. (n. d. ).
Fast Food History – Original Fast Food Locations – Delish. com. Recipes, Party Food, Cooking Guides, Dinner Ideas, and Grocery Coupons – Delish. com. Retrieved September 18, 2013, from http://www. delish. com/food-fun/fast-food-history#slide-3 4. Wilson, T. V. (n. d. ). HowStuffWorks “The History of Fast Food”. HowStuffWorks “Science”.