Essay about Fast Food : A Brand Of American Culture

Essay about Fast Food : A Brand Of American Culture

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Fast food is widely considered a hallmark of American culture, but has spread worldwide. In a society where everyone is always on the go, the fast food industry has persuaded people to give up quality in favor of artificially-enhanced taste and drive thru convenience. Experts often blame fast food for obesity and related health problems. By using advancing kitchen technology to move towards efficient large-scale production rather than increased quality, the fast food industry has created lower quality food, forced lower standards of taste, and has caused adverse health effects in it’s consumers.

Events of the early 20th century enabled the creation of the fast food industry. While the first fast food restaurant is often considered White Castle, which opened its doors in 1921, fast food chains began to spring up in the 1940s. This was an era of industrialization as well as an adjustment to a new social climate. During this time, additional tools and machinery for industrial kitchens allowed for greater efficiency. For example, McDonald’s “Pop-O-Matic” grill not only times how long the patty has been on the grill, but cooks both sides at once and opens when finished (Talwar, 2002 p.83). Even today, machines and appliances continue to become even more efficient (to produce greater quantities of more precisely standardized food) as these technologies are constantly evolving. Many people envision kitchens moving towards complete automation and robotization but “automating some steps does not necessarily reduce, or even simplify, work. Rather, it enables a worker to produce more meals in a given amount of time and/or perform other tasks in the restaurant simultaneously” (Talwar, 2002, p.84). These kitchens followed the model of Fordis...


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...genetically modified soy, and government-controlled food rations (2004, pp.351-352), I remain cautiously optimistic for change. The country is more split now than it has been in quite some time. Yes, there are lot’s of Taco Bell customers in this country, But there is also a growing movement of Americans seeking socially-responsible, fresh, organic, local, antibiotic-free, non-genetically modified, free-range, grass-fed, farm-to-table, home-prepared foods. Knowing that so many people are seeking change is in itself reassuring. But in a capitalist society we can also see the food world responding to consumer demand. Entrepreneur Roy Choi envisions a new kind of fast food made with “real” (and healthy) ingredients that are prepared in the restaurant rather than reheated in a microwave before being served (Park, 2015). Hopefully this time consumer demand gets it right.

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