Back in Time….Fast Food
When I saw this prompt my first thought is to demolish guns and nuclear weaponry… After all, I live in America and we are fraught with too much gun violence and we unleashed the atomic age into this world. But then I thought about something else that causes a very different kind of destruction…more covert, insidious and pervasive. On almost every corner in most major towns all across America stands a McDonald’s. If not a Mickey D’s then there is a Burger King, Wendy’s, Arby’s…the list goes on. So I don’t know if fast food really constitutes an “invention” but it certainly has changed the face of world culture..and not for the better.
Now I am not going to write and pretend I don’t like a good serving of french fries now and again, and I readily admit these fast food industries provide jobs and stimulate the economy. But in the larger context they are slowly poisoning people with grotesquely caloric foods. Too many people now rely on a fast food restaurant for one or more of their meals per day. The amount of calories consumed and waste produced boggles the mind. Sometimes I drive past a McDonald’s and there is a line 5-6 cars deep to order at the take out window. No need to even open your door to get a bite to eat. Just speak into a little scratchy-sounding box, hand over your dollars and speed away. The burgers, fries and super-sized sodas are all packed in styrofoam or plastic or paper – so easy to toss out when done…Hmm, now that I think about it, maybe I should also opt to undo plastic cutlery. I guess if we have to have fast food places, then could we not ask to be served on a plate or with washable utensils?
Could those who run these restaurants not do a better job at cutting out the fat, grease and unnecessary calories that are making so many people obese? It’s epidemic. Yes, I know. People are responsible for themselves and have to make choices regarding their diet. But if you grow up in an area with little to no fresh food alternatives, if you’ve never learned about good nutrition, a dollar menu and some nuggets might look like a viable alternative…I think we can do better.
If we could turn back the clock and un-open that first McDonald’s maybe we would have more individual restaurants, not monolithic chains and corporations that dominate and homogenize. Maybe our society would be a tad bit healthier. Maybe we would not generate so much pollution and waste. Maybe so many animals would not be warehoused and inhumanely treated just so a junior cheeseburger can remain 99 cents…Yes, I think undoing fast food chains would be a step in a better direction.