As we try to pace ourselves through this ever changing world, everything becomes quicker: faster computers, faster cars, and of course, fast food. People have come to flock to fast food like bees swarming without ever stopping an actually thinking about the things they put in their mouths on a daily basis. You would have thought that the obesity epidemic that is rising on a global scale would have scared them and you would be wrong.
The fact of the matter is that people care little about healthy diets, pushed in the path of unhealthy fast food either by their demanding job or the commodity of not cooking their own food. Whatever the reason may be, the fact is that more and more people develop health problems as a result of not eating healthy or regularly and believe it or not, fast food is actually bad for you.
Even though fast food isn’t the main cause of obesity, it is certainly one of the causes alongside sedentary lifestyle and unbalanced diets. As a matter of fact, a recent study shows that children who constantly eat fast food gain up to 6 pounds more a year than children who follow a healthy diet.
Judging by the high rates of obesity throughout the Western world (more than 15% of North American children suffer from obesity), we can only wonder what effect fast food will have on next generations if we continue like this. Due to numerous lawsuits, most fast food restaurants are forced to offer fruits and milk with their kids meals but even so, the high fat content in these foods is alarming to say the least.
High Fat Content and Low Nutritional Value
Fast food restaurants cannot afford to provide fresh food on an hourly basis so they end up using food preservatives to better conserve the food for later use. By stuffing the food with these substances, even the healthier foods on the menu become something to be weary of, and this without mentioning the food that was unhealthy in the first place. Want to know an interesting fact about the crispy chicken salad from McDonald’s?
It has about 18 grams of fat in it, and this is before adding the dressing which adds a further 36 grams of fat to the equation. On top of that, many of the desserts contain a high amount of sweeteners that have all the negative effects of sugar while providing none of sugar’s benefits. Furthermore, the chicken in these fast food restaurants is generally deep fried, a process which burns quite literally all the benefits this type of meat usually has.
Bad for the Environment
The fast food industry has become such a tremendous force that restaurants no longer abide all health regulations. These fast food giants have the ability to produce and process vast amounts of food on a daily basis and in order to do so, they use all sort of questionable methods. Factory farms, for example, produce so many pollutants that they create “dead zones” around them, places where the environment has to suffer due to the extremely hazardous by-products of the food farms’ methods.
Another hazard to the environment is methane, a gas which is produced by the factory cows due to a variety of reasons. This gas holds 20 times more heat than carbon dioxide, thus adding to global warming. Think of it this way, for every sold-out fast food joint, a polar bear dies.
We’re pretty sure you all heard about the pink slime that was proven to be so dangerous to people’s health, a slime that stopped being used by most restaurants when preserving their meat. But don’t think for a second that the danger is gone and that restaurants stopped using slimes altogether because guess what, there are many types of slime in existence, and fast food restaurants use a variety of slimes to preserve their meat.
Here’s some food for thought, next time you drink a nice refreshing soda in a fast food restaurant, you might be also taking a big gulp of bacteria infested slime because guess what, meat isn’t the only thing they preserve using slime.
Even though trans fats have been banned from a number of restaurants in recent years, most still use trans fats on a daily basis. If you didn’t know, trans fats can drastically raise your cholesterol thus leading to cardiac arrest. Here’s another interesting fact, not all restaurants are required to display the content of trans fats in their foods which means you can expose yourself to dangerous substances without ever knowing about it. The fast food product that involves a high content of trans fats is french fries alongside fried fish sandwiches and fried chicken to name just a few.
Poor Food Preparation
You know there’s a reason they call it fast food: the cook it incredibly fast. In order to do that, the food must first undergo a series of preparations which may result in damaging the integrity of said food, thus making it unhealthy altogether. Most of these foods are pulled from a refrigerator and thrown in a microwave where they are warmed for a couple of minutes. You see, fast food restaurants do not really have the time to give each item on the menu the cooking it requires so they prefer to pre-cook it, freeze it, and then warm it minutes before being served. So much for caring for the food.
Let us explain something to you, the people who work in these fast food restaurants do not have experience working with food and apart from a short training video, they probably have never had any experience cooking. With the turnover of these fast food restaurants being as big as it is, they can afford to hire new staff every once in a while so hiring the best men for the job isn’t their top priority. This means that the person caring for your burger before it reaches your tray may or may have not washed their hands today and they may or may have not washed the dishes thoroughly.
Food of the Lowest Quality
We have established earlier that the fast food industry has become so wide-spread that they no longer fear breaking health regulations every once in a while. This means that they always prefer manufacturing large quantities of food for the lowest price possible in order to further their income as much as possible. Honest example: the salad. Don’t tell me that lettuce is supposed to have that rubbery texture or that the chicken meat is supposed to be so chewy.
We have no idea where the meat in our burger came from or how well looked after the garden where our lettuce came from was. You might, however, save yourself some trouble and cook yourself a nice dinner with ingredients you know more about.
This is where it gets interesting. According to a study from the Matador Network, some chicken-based food from fast food restaurants contain a chemical preservative called tertiary butylhydroquinone. No, we did not make it up, it is in fact, a derivate of petroleum. Yes, petroleum, the stuff at the gas station. Furthermore, some chicken based products are mechanically separated, meaning that the leftovers which are normally supposed to go to the trash bin end up inside the nuggets. Do yourself some good and read up on the chemical preservatives they put in the fast food you eat on a daily basis and we can assure you, you will lose your appetite.
Inhumane Animal Treatment
We know you probably weren’t planning on adopting a cow or befriending one any time soon, but that’s no reason to make the poor cow suffer. The inhumane conditions livestock is kept inside the food farms could make you sick to your stomach. Photographs surfaced recently on the internet with cows being kept in spaces so small that they are unable to move thus forced to stand in their own feces.
These cows also develop serious medical problems and end up suffering every day throughout their short lives so that you can eat that tasty burger who hasn’t even been cooked properly in the first place. How do they keep these animals docile and healthy you ask? Simple. They pump them full of antibiotics and all sort of other substances which eventually end up in our food.
All in all, fast food may save you from the inconvenience of having to cook for yourself but if you think for a second that fast food is good for you in any way, you are horribly wrong.
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