Is It Really Fast Food Or A Culture of Lazy Food?
We all know the deal, the dishes served are usually hamburgers, accompanied by fries and a drink. You can also eat a hot dog, pizza, a sub, taco or sushi. But the end result is the same. It was fast and unhealthy.
Our eating habits and food choices have never been more critical than what they are in today's society. To rephrase that statement it has never before been easier to eat unhealthy than it is today. And even with the healthy options many of us choose the quick, easy, and satisfying over healthy alternatives. While "eating out" has long been a given in urban areas, in our factories and on construction sites, the rise of fast food seems to be the result of the growth of the suburban development.
When honestly analyze our actions it can sometimes be stunning to realize how many of them are influenced by those around you.
Think have you ever thought about the reality that we prefer hop in our cars and drive for 10 minutes just for some fast food, spend another 5-10 minutes in line, another 10 minutes to drive home, then 15 minutes to sit in front of the TV and wolf down our meal?
Fast food chains, especially hamburger restaurants, have been criticized, including by environmental groups and anti-globalization and environmental associations, which have criticize the unhealthy menus that most chains still offer, junk food for short, that should be seen as simplifying harmful dietary choices, with a tendency towards maximum profit, and resorting to low wages in the industry.
Many of us see the need to go back to traditional values. The slow food of yesterday as it were is very much a growing movement in many American homes.
While we spend 40-50 minutes on fast food which I find in this case it would be more appropriate to call lazy foods because it really is not any faster than preparing it yourself. Given that it takes about 40 minutes to get setup with a meal of this nature, you can easily have prepared a much healthier meal at home and in less time and much cheaper. When I have made this case in the past I was countered, and some of you may counter with, "I don't leave my house to pick up fast food" even now.
Okay, so how about pizza delivery?
But let's look at that shortly before we continue.
You're willing to wait more than 30 minutes for someone to bring you your dinner to your door and then you give them a tip. Why? Because you were too lazy or overwhelmed with the distractions of everyday life to spend these 30 minutes cooking, if we want fast you can make this at home. It takes far less time to boil whole grain noodles and take out a jar of pasta sauce (your choice, there are plenty of healthy options on the store shelves).
Don't get me wrong. I have a family of my own and it can feel daunting at times when all you want to do is sit down and rest.
But speed is relative.
We are all creatures of convenience, and their is a point that we can draw from the idea of fast food. But fast is as I have shown, relative.
Is that something healthy and fast, a food like apples or a pizza delivery on a Friday movie night, but the latter should never become the norm. It's pretty common knowledge how unhealthy the majority of take out or even sit down restaurant food is so I won't make this into a preachy post. I just want to encourage you to make your normal meal choices the ones that are cooked at home, colorful, well balanced and healthy.
When we look at this disturbing trend from a socioeconomic stand point it is devastating.
In terms of consumer health, fast food has several drawbacks that I want to look at. When it is fatty and high in sugars, which it often is, it poses the increased risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease, though some companies are aware of their image and there is an increasingly strong shift towards a healthier offering; such as salad bars, soup bars, etc.
In 2009, a U.S. study showed that the presence of a fast food restaurant within 100 yards of a school increases the risk of a child becoming obese by 5.2%.
On the employee side, here in the United States at least employees reallied in August 2013 and demanded better wages. This in part was due to a strike at Burger King in Durham, North Carolina, the mobilization immediately spread to other brands in the city such as McDonald's, Little Caesars or KFC, and reached a hundred major cities in the country, a first in this sector.
But it is the loss of self reliance, family time, and community that makes the largest impact on us. And yet access to cooking has never been more common, easier, and practical than it is right now.
There are entire television networks dedicated exclusively to cooking. You can read countless books, subscribe to magazines, websites, and take courses.
Cooking should be the norm in our society.
But it isn't.
While many have broken the process down for our hectic modern lives and adapted old favorites with an emphasize a preparation time under 30 minutes or less for the entire meal.
Go back to my earlier example and you spent more time with Whoppers, Big Macs and company. So spend a little time and start a recipe box of your own, you remember those, your mother or grandmother had one sitting on the kitchen counter!
Also start setting your priorities back to what is important. Think back on the old days, when families actually cooked and prepared the meal together, helped each other to set the table, then he sat down and prayed before they ate a good meal, something healthy, was an uninterrupted family time when tables by nature were free of cellphones, texting (both children as well as children are guilty of this), no headphones, no TV series to steal their attention. It was a chance to discus the day, a chance to have real conversations with each other and it was a way for the family to connect.
Modern life wants to convince us otherwise. But there was once a time for families to think, grow, and in fact be a family. And there should be again.
When you prepare your next meal at home stop and think what it means, to you, your family, and your future. And be aware that what your doing benefits all of those people.
A bag of cold fries and burgers, tacos, chick wings, pizza, or otherwise can be fun. It should be. It should be something special.
At the same time be aware that if you're picking up your meals from a clown, a king or a red haired freckled girl more than once every few weeks, then you invite more than unhealthy diets into your home! You could be on the road to a future where you will look back and say, "I wish I would have done… (insert your own potential or real regrets here)."
If you haven't already, start making changes today.