Fast Food in the United States Essay

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Food prepared quickly for consumers is how we define fast food. Fast food restaurants main purpose is to provide food in a short amount of time for the customers. They are inexpensive, quick, and convenient. The first or the earliest fast food restaurant that had started this fast food chain is the infamous McDonalds. The first McDonalds was not how the current one is like now. It was actually a restaurant that served barbeque foods in the 1940s. The brothers, Dick and Maurice McDonald were the first ones to come up with the idea of eating quickly.

Therefore, they developed the idea of preparing food in a speed like way and so they changed their menus and started with hamburgers, french fries, and milkshakes. The business was successful and the brothers decided to expand their company and therefore opened their restaurants in different locations (Ganzel, 2007). Although fast food is inexpensive and convenient, consuming too much of it can impact the human health and environment. McDonalds is the most popular fast food chain. Currently, every McDonald is open in every state in the U.

S. not to mention internationally too. We see McDonalds everywhere even if we go on a road-trip there will be McDonalds in the middle of nowhere. McDonalds is located in every local area for convenience. Since it is very convenient, many American consumers would drop by because it is quick and easy. Fast food chain expanded very quickly because it became high in demand because of the convenience (USDA). Thus, more and more people with busy lives start to rely on them because they are fast and ready to go.

According to CBS news, in the year of 2009 Americans spend over $110 billion on fast food more than theyll spend on movies, books, magazines, etc. , every day about one quarter of the U. S. population eats fast food. This shows that many Americans have become highly obsessed with fast foods. Since this article was published in 2009, then in 2012 Americans most likely would spend more. The price of each meal attracts consumers, making them believe that having more amount of food for that price is a great deal.

Those who are in financial crisis rely on these fast food chains to survive. That is why fast food businesses like McDonalds are very successful. Their advertisement also targets children by including toy figures in the meal, which entices them to consume the meals. Im sure that many children in the U. S. has eaten McDonalds, even I used to love eating them when I was a kid. I loved to collect the toys from happy meals, and in order to collect them I had to consume their meals. Since McDonalds attracts many children, nowadays children are having the issue of obesity.

Even though McDonalds and other food chains are very convenient and inexpensive, however it can lead to other problems such as our health. Money is important in life and without money surviving in this society would be difficult, however health should be the priority in life. I believe that being healthy should be our number one priority instead of money. Being healthy allows us to earn profits so that we can live an easier life. If something were to happen, then we would have to spend an enormous amount of money to recover our health. Therefore, staying healthy can help conserve money.

Consuming fast foods frequently can affect the health of the individual. According to the National Institutes of Health, adolescents who often eat at fast-food restaurants tend to gain additional weight and have a higher chance of increasing insulin resistance. If they continue to frequent at these fast food chains then there could be a high risk of attaining type 2 diabetes. Diabetes can also be the cause of heart disease (NIH). The reason why people can gain weight so easily through frequent fast food consumption is because of the calories intake.

They consume more calories than they usually need per day, and whatever that is left over, the extra becomes fat especially foods that have trans fat in them. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U. S. population that consumes fast foods which contains sodium exceeds the amount the body needs. Excessive sodium consumption increases blood pressure, which is a high possibility in getting heart diseases and strokes. CDC stated, 51% and 27% of sodium consumed came from foods obtained at fast food/pizza restaurants.

People need to value their eating habits, the alternative from fast food chains to home made foods can make a great difference in life. The infamous McDonalds food productions are similar to all of the other fast food restaurants. According to food safety magazine, McDonalds purchase their ingredients from different suppliers. They work with not just hundreds but thousands of suppliers so that the foods would be stocked up. The meat, bread, vegetables, and packaging all have their own factories (Food Safety Magazine, 2006).

Each one of them produce that certain product and McDonalds purchases it from them and puts all the ingredients together then serve it to the customers. McDonalds food production process is not simple, for example they not only have to produce the food but also test every single one of them. The McDonalds system requires constant quality checks throughout the supply chain process and proven traceability programs, at least one step back to the ingredient supplier, and in some cases, tracking all the way back to the farm.

(Food safety magazine, 2006) Their suppliers are required to meet the standards of food safety so that there wouldnt be anything wrong with the product when the customers consume it. McDonalds was also one of the first ones to test the safety of fresh-cut produce in packages for distributing to other restaurants (FDA). They tried this so that in hope it could reduce any microbial hazards. McDonalds is the ideal role of a fast food restaurant, and many others try to follow its standards. McDonald consumption does not only affect health but it also impacts the environment.

Due to McDonalds food packaging many individuals liter and that trash harms the wildlife. Since McDonalds is located everywhere in the city, state, and country the area always has McDonalds packaging remains. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they have been trying to reduce the packaging at fast food establishments. They tried to develop this reduction program for those take out food containers, which are the largest documented contributor of trash in urban waterways that flows into SF Bay, and, with partner cities, conduct outreach at fast food establishments (EPA).

This shows that McDonalds is also the contributor in harming the environment, though McDonalds is not the only one the other fast food chains also contribute to this. Since McDonalds has expanded and has survived for all these years that means food production factories has expanded also to keep the restaurants in stock. Which means that the cattle have increased and seizing more land for the factories. This also involves in harming the environment because that means more wastes from factories and cattle. McDonalds is one of the largest fast food chains in the world. According to

business week, McDonalds corporation annual earnings in 2011 are $5. 27 per share as of January 24, 2012. McDonalds corporations third quarter of 2012 revenues is about 7. 2 billion dollars, which has increased compared to before. As you can see McDonalds profits are quite a lot. By selling inexpensive food you would think that they probably wouldnt earn much, however having many customers consuming everyday in all of U. S. is very profitable. Food Safety Magazine stated, as of 2006 including all around the world, around 13,700 restaurants served nearly 26 million customers per day.

Since this article is published in 2006, that means at present, 2012 McDonalds most likely expanded their restaurants twice as much and most likely restaurants would be serving at least 26 million customers per day. With that many consumers, fast food companies especially McDonalds profit a lot. Honestly, I used to eat McDonalds at least once in every two weeks and I was under the category of overweight. I liked eating it because it was very fast and convenient especially every time I get hungry, it satisfies my hunger. However, after watching this video in middle school called Super Size Me.

It changed my perspective on fast food restaurants. The video portrayed about this man who tried to eat McDonalds Food everyday for a month. He bought everything super sized and constantly consumed it for thirty days straight. You could see that he has gained a lot of weight and he just didnt look healthy at all, but sick instead. At some times he would throw it up. This video had changed my eating habits, and I have been eating healthy. Eating healthy has energized my body and exercising is easier because eating healthier helps you lose weight.

After watching this video, I have not eaten McDonalds as much. Maybe once in awhile lets say about once in six months, but my body felt great without eating fast foods. Overall, fast food companies at present are everywhere and people especially those who are not financially supported through jobs are relying on these inexpensive foods. Foods that are able to satisfy their hunger but is unhealthy. Frequently consuming fast foods cause health problems. The number one that fast food causes is obesity that could lead to heart diseases and diabetes.

People need to change their eating habits, by eating healthier foods. Changing eating habits by eating healthier can change the lifestyle of that individual so that it could prolong their life.

References Gale, S. Y. (2006, February). CASE STUDIES IN FOOD PROTECTION McDonaldds USA: A Golden Arch of Supply Chain Food Safety. Food Safety Magazine. Retrieved from http://www. foodsafetymagazine. com/article. asp? id=491&sub=sub1. Chapter VI. Microbiological Safety of Controlled and Modified Atmosphere Packaging of Fresh and Fresh-Cut Produce. (2012, June 15). U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page.

Retrieved November 5, 2012, from http://www. fda. gov/Food/ScienceResearch/ResearchAreas/SafePracticesforFoodProcesses/ucm091368. htm Frequent Fast Food Meals Increase Weight, Diabetes Risk, Study Says, December 30, 2004 Press Release. (2004, December 30). National Institutes of Health (NIH). Retrieved from http://www. nih. gov/news/pr/dec2004/nhlbi-30. htm Stewart, H. , Blisard, N. , Bhuyan, S. , & Nayga, R. (2004, January). The Demand of Food Away From Home Full-Service or fast food? USDA ERS Home. Retrieved from http://www. ers. usda. gov/media/306585/aer829_1_. pdf.

Vital Signs: Food Categories Contributing the Most to Sodium Consumption ” United States, 20072008. (2012, February 10). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from http://www. cdc. gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6105a3. htm? s_cid=mm6105a3_w Yogi, D. (2012, October 17). 10/17/2012: EPA Awards $6. 5 Million for Ten Projects to Restore. Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved from http://yosemite. epa. gov/opa/admpress. nsf/931381dfcd9a5c308525779700424ccd/82c31b3e568b570585257a9a0058ed1c! opendocument MCDONALDS CORP (MCD:New York): Earnings Estimates Businessweek.

(2012, November 6). Investing & Stock Research by Company and Industry Businessweek. Retrieved from http://investing. businessweek. com/research/stocks/earnings/earnings. asp? ticke r=MCD Ganzel, B. (2007). Fast Food during the 1950s and 60s. Wessels Living History Farm, Inc. Retrieved from http://www. livinghistoryfarm. org/farminginthe50s/life_16. html Schlossar, E. (2009, February 9). Americans Are Obsessed with Fast Food: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. CBS News. Retrieved from http://www. cbsnews. com/2100-204_162-326858. html.

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