Aug 152020
The Fast Food Definition – History, Features & Your Health
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Welcome to my 'The Fast Food Definition' post!

First of all, I must congratulate you for taking the time to do your research on this topic of green living. 

Our view of food has changed drastically over the past one hundred years. We have transitioned from the slow food industry to fast food and are now understanding the health risks associated with this industry.

As a result, more and more people are opting for healthier food options, avoiding fast food where possible. So what exactly is fast food? How can we recognize it? Does it have any benefits along with the many disadvantages? Read on!

As a qualified teacher, I am passionate about education and the impact it can have on bettering our future. It is down to us individuals to do our research and make small changes to the way we live our lives. 

These small changes are easy to make and can have a big impact on our health, the health of our family and our environment. This website is designed for everyday people looking to make these changes. Here you will learn a legitimate way to go green. 

Let me be completely transparent with you, I am not here to pitch or sell anything to you. I am here to reveal and to assist you on your journey of going green! 

History of Fast Food

In India, Fast Food has been customary since ancient times to serve street food, some may be pakoras, Papri Chaat, Bhelpuri, Panipuri, etc.

With the arrival of the popular drive-through in the 1940s in the United States, a period in which it becomes very popular to serve meals without having to leave a car.

The concept of “fast food” is installed in the life of the West. The meals are served on the street or in some countries are offered in the local public called food carts. The hamburger becomes very popular in American cuisine.

Street-Food-in-India

Gerry Thomas and Prepared Food

In the mid-twentieth century, a food entrepreneur in the United States named Gerry Thomas marketed for the first time what is called prepared food (TV dinner).

With this invention, a person without much effort is in a few minutes with a dish prepared at home. It became very popular in convenience stores and for this reason, food prepared as “convenience food” is also known.

The Slow Food Revolution

In the late 1990s, movements against fast food begin to appear and denounce some aspects of the little information, the high fat, sugar, and calorie content of some of their foods (the term junk food appeared).

At the beginning of the 21st century, certain currents contrary to fast food emerge, such as the Slow Food movement born in 1984, which aims to fight the habits that introduce fast food into our lives.

Social pressure increases and some fast-food restaurant chains like McDonald’s announced in March 2006 that they will include nutritional information in the packaging of all their products.

What is Fast Food?

Fast food has several different characteristics that are easy to spot from a distance. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) states they are characterized by being convenient alternatives to home-cooked meals which are cheap to produce and pose health risks to the consumer.

Fast and Convenient

One of the most important characteristics of fast food is that it can be consumed without the use of cutlery, such as pizzas, hamburgers, fried chicken, sandwiches, French fries, onion rings, etc. This feature allows different types of services: local consumption, local collection, and street or home consumption.

Businesses are catered for speed. They produce meals in a short space of time. Producing fast food often means the food is cooked quickly. Quick methods of cooking often result in the food being greasy.

Small Staff Team

It is also characteristic that in most fast food establishments, there are no waiters or table service – although there are usually staff in charge of collecting and cleaning the tables, preparing them for new diners.

People must queue to order and Pay for the food, which is delivered instantly or after a short time, so that you can later go to enjoy it, sitting at the premises or elsewhere.

The fact that there is no proper table service makes it frequent for establishments to “invite” customers to collect food by depositing the remains in garbage cans and tooling (often only the tray) in a place arranged for this purpose.

Waitress-Holding-Tray-of-Coffee

Low-Quality Ingredients 

Fast food is often made with ingredients, which are formulated to achieve certain flavors and to preserve freshness. The processing of processed foods is the set of stages and methods to make a more pleasant and edible food, from cheap ingredients.

However, there are some health concerns associated with the frequent use of preservatives and genetically modified foods.

Related: What is the Problem with GMO Foods?

Cheap to Produce 

These lower quality ingredients are cheaper to produce. This saves businesses money however it has an impact on the farmers that produce the food. Farmers get paid less for their products and their time.

Many small family farms are going out of business to make way for the mass farming industry. This is concerning.

Related: Organic Farming Vs Conventional Farming

Unhealthy

Fast food isn't always unhealthy but in most cases this is true. It is highly processed, contains large amounts of salt, sugar, unhealthy fats, carbohydrates. As a result, these foods are often high in calories, and eating too many of them can lead to some serious health concerns.

Advantages of Fast Food 

Taste

It is no secret that most people find fast food delicious; perhaps because of its shape, its colors, its flavors, or those distinctive and unique textures that arouse a world of sensations in our palates are the reasons why we like them so much.

Many people find the smell of fast food irresistible and smell is closely linked to our tastebuds.

Healthier Options Today

Because some people like to take care of our diet, not all fast food is “junk,” what we mean is that today in the famous “Fast Food” restaurants, we don’t find only hamburgers, hot dogs and pizza.

Now, we can find salads of any kind and other dishes that are one hundred percent vegetarian and that will surely help us to eat a healthy diet. Or is this just clever marketing?

Saves Time

Another advantage is that it is ideal because if you have little time to have lunch at work or wherever you are, this type of food will fill you and you can continue with your tasks.

At the click of a button, short call, or stopping on the way home you can have food ready to eat. Skip the lines in the stores and have food ready to eat.

Delivery Options

Most establishments provide food delivery service. Many people enjoy the benefit of having food delivered to their front door at the tap of a button. This is ideal for lazy Sundays where you don’t want to do anything.

Instead of spending time in the store and slaving away at the stove, you can put that time to better use, spending it with family and friends, or getting something else done.

It is convenient, whether picked up from a restaurant or delivered to your door, many people opt for fast food options when they have a busy schedule and are looking to save some time in their day.

Woman-With-Pizza-Boxes

Cheap

The price is one of its great advantages, it usually fits perfectly in any person’s pocket. It fills you for very little. They have nice flavors that drive us crazy as we mentioned before.

No Dishes

When you finish, you don’t have to wash the dishes, you just throw the wrap in the trash. now is it healthy for billions of people around the world to be disposing of the world's resources daily

Disadvantages of Fast Food

Unhealthy

The biggest problem of junk food is the numerous cardiovascular diseases and obesity, which are associated with the high caloric levels that these “foods.” They also have high levels of sugar, fat, and salt wich too pose many different health risks.

It is important to remember that whenever food is fast there is always a health concern associated with it, even with salads.

Generally, when we eat, for example, a hamburger, we usually accompany them with liquids, yes refreshing, but very bad for our health because of its high sugar content and even salts that completely unbalance our body.

Related: Food is the Medicine Your Body Needs

Preservatives

For example, most fast salads are pre-cut and prepared with preservatives to save time (time=money) and prolong shelf life. Preservatives have harmful effects on the body.

Medical Daily reports how preservatives have been linked to asthma and hyperactive behavioral changes in children. 

Slow Delivery Times

Home orders, although convenient, are not always good because the deliveries sometimes arrive a little late. This can be frustrating if you are already hungry and can affect the food.

I have spent lots of money on a take out in the past only to be disappointed when it arrives because it is cold and late. I have ended up snacking on something while I wait for it to arrive, lose my appetite, and do not want to waste even more time sending it back to the restaurant. 

The Fast Food Definition: The Final Verdict!

There is still time for you to decide to stop consuming fast food, it indeed has good advantages, but the disadvantages weigh a lot and your health is preferable, stop eating poison.

If you ever need a helping hand or have any questions on this product or want to leave a comment or a review of your own, please do so in the space provided below. I will be more than happy to answer them as best to my knowledge and would enjoy hearing from you.


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Reader Comments

  1. A great article that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading. I myself do enjoy the ease of fast food ‘restaurants’. However recently (new year n all) ive decided to cut back. Your post provides a lot of facts that are very interesting. Great post.

    1. Best of luck to you and that New Years Resolution. Cutting out fast foods and sodas is probably the best way to help your diet and your health. I am just pleased that this post was able to support you on that journey.

  2. Good discussion. The thing that bothers me the most about fast food is even when one picks the healthier option on a restaurant’s menu it is still bad for you. An example would be a salad, add the dressing and you might as well have eaten a burger. Another example is the “Impossible Burger” it has as much if not more fat (and saturated fat) than a regular beef burger. That is so deceiving.
    No matter what Fast Food restaurant you prefer, educate yourself before consuming.

  3. Preservatives, calories, fat, sugar, salt and plastic. All good reasons to reduce consumption. I also think that junk food used to be cheaper but I find it is becoming more and more expensive. Another good reason to stop eating it. Love the intention behind your website.

  4. Great article. I used to eat fast food a couple of times a week, it is only recently that I’ve really started to think about what I’m putting into my body, and making a conscious effort to change it. A McDonald’s meal alone can be ALL of your daily calories if you factor in dessert and a drink too, which can’t be good for us. That’s not to say I won’t go there again (I love McDonald’s) but I definitely will adjust my ‘everything at once’ mentality.

    Thank you for drawing my attention to preservatives. Often if I go for the ‘healthy’ option, I don’t consider that there might actually be something in it that’s bad for us. I will definitely bear this in mind in future. Thanks for the great info.

    1. You are more than welcome. Watching calories is important when eating fast food. Yet I think it is equally as important to consider the quality of the meat and the other ingredients that they use. I wrote an article that explains this more. You can read that here.

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