Fast food is simply a part of our culture. The faster we can get to our food the faster we can get on to the next task. It may be hard to believe but there are fast food PROS and cons. The cons are constantly discussed in the media but the reality is you would be very hard pressed to find someone that is not sneaking through the drive thru at least once in a while.
Our fascination with fast food started in the 1950′s when the TV dinner first hit the open market and not too far after the “drive up” restaurants were born and the rest as they say is history. The biggest factor in fast food restaurants is the ability to get a meal on the run. It can actually be less expensive to stop and grab a burger than it is to have to buy the products to duplicate the burger at home. Of course the majority of experts will tell you that fast foods is the demise of good nutrition but the pros and cons listed below may actually change your mind about your demonized diet.
Pros of Fast Food
1. Fast food offers convenience. If you are busy running the kids from practice to practice or you are running late for a meeting skipping meals may seem like the thing to do but the reality is not eating is far worse than eating fast food.
2. When you skip a meal your metabolism slows and you can actually suffer a rebound effect where you will eat more at the next go round. Fast food can make grabbing a meal on the way quick and easy.
3. More fast food restaurants are offering healthy options. You can opt for a salad at most fast food places now, sure it may be harder to make that call when all you see is photos of great looking burgers on the menu but it is a very real option.
4. New regulations require that fast food restaurants clearly display calorie content and fat content on their menus so you know at a glance what you are getting. This information can help you to make good food choices and you can make them quickly.
5. Ordering is easy at a fast food drive thru. Everything is listed by number. You do not have to sit and ponder a menu everything is typically offered as a meal option so it is a no brainer.
6. The standard of quality is the same no matter where you come across the restaurant. You can get the same meal in Florida as you can in California. This standard allows you to get a meal that you will enjoy and that is familiar.
7. You can not beat the price of fast food. There is so much competition for your business that fast food chains are constantly undercutting each other and you get to realize the savings. Where else can you get lunch for under $5.
Cons of Fast Food
1. They offer calorie dense foods. Their suppliers are not really rewarded for taking green approaches to growing the meat and the food that is used. As a matter of fact many fast food chains come under fire from groups like PETA for not treating the animals humanely. The supply chain always comes under fire because of the shoddy practices.
2. The mass production of food is never a good thing when it comes to processed foods and the chemicals and preservatives that are used in them. Fast food is calorically dense food which means that it will put more weight on you than food that you prepare at home or fresher food options.
3. Fast food restaurants often offer food that is simply unhealthy across the board. It is impossible to really monitor the quality of the food when it is being prepared on such a large scale. There has been more than one incidence of fast food restaurants that have come under fire for mass outbreaks of food borne illnesses.
4. Things like “chicken nuggets” are made from “mystery” food products and byproducts. The definition of “all natural” is a loose term that is not heavily regulated so using that term to sell food is actually quite deceptive. Consumers are not really certain what the ingredients are in the foods but the fast food restaurants use tricky marketing terms to sell the food.
5. The true cost of fast food goes beyond the price you pay for a burger. The cost can be measured in the quality of the food that you are eating and how that food chain is affected by the low cost.