If you’re like me, you probably enjoy the convenience of fast food. You drive up, place your order and presto! You’ve got a whole meal and you didn’t even have to get out of your car. As convenient as it is, fast food is unhealthy for consumers, inhumane to animals, and the employees who process the meat work in hazardous environments. When you take all these factors into consideration – is the availability and popularity of fast food really good for the nation?
Fast food has contributed to the obesity of the American population. Many people consume too much fast food because it is inexpensive and speedy. Most Americans say they simply do not have time to prepare and consume healthier foods. Most fast food offerings have long term negative health effects on people because they are a primary cause Of Obesity. Obesity is not just a cosmetic problem. It’s a health hazard. Someone who is overweight IS twice as likely to die prematurely as is an average-weight person.
This is because obesity has been linked to several serious medical conditions ncluding, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and respiratory problems such as sleep apnea. This has become a nationwide epidemic. “More than half of all American adults and about one-quarter of all American children are now classified as obese or overweight. ” Schlosser drives the point home stating that “no other nation in history has gotten so fat so fast. Furthermore, fast food is inhumane to the animals being processed for our eating convenience and pleasure. In his book F-ast Food Nation, Schlosser iscusses the day to day operation of slaughterhouses. “About 50,000 head of cattle are slaughtered there every day. Schlosser describes in graphic terms the different jobs involved in turning a steer into packaged meat, of which one of the most graphic are the “sticker” and the “knocker. ” The sticker severs the carotid artery of a steer every ten seconds.
The knocker stuns cattle on arrival to the slaughterhouse by shooting them in the head with a captive bolt stunner. (website quote)” ‘The animals are powerful and mposing one moment and then gone in an instant, suspended from a rail, ready for carving (Schlosser quote)” Not only is mass food production inhumane to the animals, it is also dangerous to the employees who are working in these unsanitary slaughterhouses. “The faster the cattle are packaged, the greater the profitability of the slaughterhouse, but also the greater the likelihood of injuries to the workers. The workers labor under tremendous pressure to work as fast as they can – to the point Of exposing themselves to various angers such as infections and physical injury. ‘As injured workers are a drain on profits, many of these injuries go unreported-injured workers who cooperate are shifted to an easier job to have time to recover, or they are sent back to their home country to recuperate and later return to work in the US. ” So, if you’re really like me, you realize how much of a detriment fast food is to your own health, our shared humanity to animals, and those who labor in dangerous slaughterhouses.
Although fast food is fast by definition and ypically inexpensive, there are healthy alternatives which are just as fast and often even less expensive. Doctors and nutritionists have been telling us for years to eat more fruit, vegeTABLEs, and grains. This is easily accomplished by a visit to the produce and cereal sections of any local grocery store. Look for items with low fat and sodium content, drop a few pounds, save some money and time, and feel better about yourself. You can still have a fast food burger once in a while, but please don’t make it part of your daily ritual!