The revolution of fast food is one of convenience. It is cheap, and highly accessible. In half a century’s time, fast food has become a thriving member of American lifestyle and society. Although we often hear of the dangers that fast food brings to our meals and our lifestyles, the alluring commercials, brands, or advertisements dissuade us from discovering these truths. Arming people with the right facts about fast food can be a great way to get them to examine what they are putting in their body and help them make more informed choices.
The Golden Arches: The Poster Child of Fast Food
Of all the fast food companies we have access to, McDonald’s quickly rises to the top. Its global model sets the standard for many companies that strive to match its success. This is why unlike other fast food companies; it has been placed under scrutiny the most. Notable documentaries and experiments like the ones done in “Super Size Me”, illustrate how the preservatives in McDonald’s foods are keeping them from naturally decomposing. Fries and burgers were put through this same testing and were shown to have life spans that were over ten whole years!
Thirsty for Healthy Drink Choices
Cold beverages, such as, sodas, juices, and sports drinks are quite popular among the masses but as more facts about them came to the limelight, people began to wonder if these drinks were doing more than just quenching their thirst. In fact, it was found that many companies use a chemical, known as brominated vegetable oil (BVO) to act as flame retardant for their plastic containers. Repeated and long term exposure to BVO has been known to cause bromide poisoning symptoms like skin lesions, memory loss, and nerve disorders.
The Real Color of Our Food
To many people, color can affect the way they experience the food they eat. And while this is natural, fast food companies use this type of judgment to tamper with the quality of food. One example is the “white wash” of many of the products we consume. Many salad dressings and ice creams contain a mineral additive called titanium dioxide to make them appear whiter or more vibrant. This colorization can lead us to believe that they are healthier or cleaner choices; this is not the case.
Dyeing to Know Your Food
Dyeing has become a very popular concept for fast food companies. Whether the purpose is to make the product more attractive or to brand it in a different way, dyeing can achieve a different image for the supplier. Yet, as this process intends to appeal to a certain group of people, it does not do anything positive for their health. Different types of artificial coloring have been shown to affect brain activity or development, adversely affect physical growth, or aggravate the body until it displays more serious consequences.
Nice to Meat You
As the world grows around industry and commerce, our meat has not been unaffected. One of the biggest changes for many of these animals is size of the operation and treatment. To prevent disease from spreading throughout many of these environments, many owners use antibiotics to try and eliminate this risk. Unfortunately for us, this widely used practice has given birth to super strains of the illness that can contaminate our meat.
Meat Meets Ammonia
One of the humorous topics of how many meat distributors deal with disease is the methods they actually use. After supplying antibiotics to the animals, the meat is then given one last bath in the chemical ammonia. This gas is extremely poisonous, and does not clearly address or eliminate illness. Next time you are at the store or the fast food counter, this fact may make you think twice about what you are going to order.
It’s That Time of the Year
Hormones are a wonderful thing! They allow us to experience many new pleasures and changes within ourselves. However, our bodies have a natural way to regulate these experiences, but due to the increased hormones being given to cows, people have access to an abundance of this type of stimulation. It has been noted that men and women are physically changing in response to this increased exposure to hormones. Even though the calcium from milk and other dairy product are essential to a person’s health, organic and grass fed cows continue to be a great option.
We are Living in A Chemical World
Like some of the topics above, chemicals can often be used with the intention of making the product more appealing. One of the most ironic pieces of evidence to this use is when they are used for cleaning. Like ammonia bathed meat, crustaceans, like shrimp, are often given chemical sprays. The truth about this process is that they are not always stripped of this coating. What you order dipped in butter and sea salt may very well contain the same chemicals it was given when it was being sorted, cleaned, and packaged to be delivered.
A Ground Up Operation
When talking about chemical contact, it is easy to focus on the way our meat is being treated. It must not be forgotten however, that healthier alternatives like vegetables and fruits are also exposed to the same dangers. Industrialized farming has become reliant on pesticides and other chemicals to yield the maximum profit. Thus, advertisements for “healthier alternatives” should be scrutinized to determine how these nutritious supplements were raised and cared for.
Life Still Exists: Bugs in Your Food
Even though many companies try and separate their product from these little creatures, the FDA allows for a certain amount of bugs to pass into your food. These include maggots, beetles, and mites, among many others. For example, FDA legally allows 19 maggots and 74 mites in a 3.5-ounce can of mushrooms. So, next time you’re enjoying your meal, try to forget what is slowly passing through your mouth.
What’s the Way Out
This article revolves around one idea: our food has changed and to adapt we must change the way we think about our food. We don’t need to be afraid of them, but it can help to be more informed so that the choices we make are more appropriate to achieve what we both want and need.