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The Fast Food Epidemic Essay

2142 words - 9 pages

After a long cross country meet, I am exhausted. All that energy it takes for me to run, also makes me quite hungry. I almost always asked my parents to grab a quick bite before the road; however, I always felt sick after chowing down on those burgers and fries. I wanted to know what really went inside of the food I ate on the go. I wanted to know how this entire franchise got its start. What is the history of fast food? My main concern, however was how the food was prepared and what went inside of the food. It amazed me how eating one meal could have my stomach suffering. I wondered how fast food could affect people. I couldn’t be alone in my thoughts, so how does the industry do it, and where is the industry going in the future? I wanted to expand my knowledge on the dangers of indulgence in the fast food epidemic.
Fast food is something that people have all become familiarized with now, but where did it all start? In 1885, Charlie Nangreen, a fifteen year old worker at the Seymour fair, realized that meatballs were hard to eat, so he put them in between two buns (Schlosser 13). Kirby’s pigstand was the first drive-through restaurant. Pretty carhops would cater the food to cars (Schlosser 21). People were ecstatic about the speed and ease of these new drive through restaurants. Wichita Kansas, 1921, White Castle opened to give burgers a clear name after many rumors spread about the safety of fast food meat (“Fast” 1). Next, Mcdonald’s in 1937 was opened by Maurice and Richard McDonald, selling hot dogs only. Everything was fast and it the food was a low price (Schlosser 22). By 1977, people were spending 10% more on restaurants than they ever had in the past 20 years (Levenstein 233). In other words, restaurants were booming! Ray Kroc, a milkshake salesman, bought into the McDonald’s franchise. He demanded chains be set up on busy roads and that all food, buildings, and signs had to be identical (Schlosser 32). Glen W. Bell Jr. ate at a McDonald’s and was astounded by the speed of service. He used the same system to open a Mexican food chain, now known as Taco Bell. Carl Karcher also ate at a McDonald’s and was very impressed by the huge lines out of the door for one burger. He eventually opened an Insta-Burger King (Schlosser 25). McDonald’s knew they needed something else to attract families. The first mascot was Speedee, a chef with a hamburger for a head, but he did not get much success. Next came Ronald McDonald, which everyone loved and inspired the company to begin building playgrounds (Schlosser 45, 48). The franchise has been on the uprise ever since the 1920’s.
I also wanted to know how my food was handled and processed in the factories before I ate it. After WWII, chicken consumption increased tremendously. Mcdonald’s wanted a chicken item that went could also be eaten with fingers only. The chicken McNugget was invented when ground up chicken meat was stuck together with paste (Schlosser 171). Chicken factory farms have 30,000...

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