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Fast foods

Fast foods refer to any type of food that can be prepared in an easy and quick way. Different cultures have evolved different types of fast foods. Perhaps the most popular types of fast foods are the chips, burgers and sandwiches. (Uttara, 2008). All fast foods share the following aspects: they can be prepared in a jiffy, they don’t need any expertise in their preparation, they usually have only one major nutrient, and they are usually a bad idea. Yet they continue to increase in popularity. Presently, fast foods account for more than half of all food-related revenue generated in the United States (World watch, N. D. ).

The reasons why fast foods continue to be around will be discussed here. As the world progresses, people are becoming more and more specialized in their jobs. People are now spending more of their time doing an increasingly narrower range of tasks than before. At the same time, more people are increasingly seeking convenience, sometimes even at the expense of other factors like health or quality. This is because the world is becoming more complex, and there is less time to accomplish all that one would like to accomplish in a single day. Fast foods provide an easy way out for the harried lifestyle that most people lead nowadays.

They are easy to prepare, and can be whipped up with very few materials. The emergence of fast food cafes and kiosks has made the trend even more pronounced. It has made the fast foods available virtually everywhere. For most people, fast foods are a way of filling the stomach – getting rid of the hunger pangs – so that normal life can continue, until there is time for a better meal. The number of people resulting to fast food solutions is such that the fast food industry generated 163. 5 billion dollars in 2005 alone. Another reason for the emergence of fast foods can be sourced from a seller’s perspective.

Fast food restaurants need relatively low start-up capital. No special qualification amongst the chefs and other staff is called for, so the owner of such a place can afford to pay lower rates. Yet at the same time, fast foods allow for the restaurant to hold a much higher number of customers than a normal eatery. This is because most fast foods are packaged and served in such a way that they can be eaten even while standing up (Wikipedia, N. D. ). In conventional restaurants, respectable sitting space has to be considered. Urbanization has driven the concept of fast foods to another level.

With increasing populations within the urban centers, innovative individuals are nowadays setting up roadside kiosks and other selling points for fast foods. These types of fast foods typically include sodas, wheat products like bread and doughnuts, milk and so on. The food is typically sold in a packaged form, and the customers take it with them – usually there is no sitting space there. This arrangement suits many lower and middle class entrepreneurs, since there is practically no risk associated with the business. Security is granted, since the owner takes his or her entire stock home at the end of the day.

There are no government charges for such mobile businesses. And since the roadside kiosks are right where the customers are passing, business is fast. With increasing population, the demand for food is rising dramatically. To satisfy this rising demand, owners of restaurants are coming up with ways of mass producing the food. Obviously, the simpler the food is, the easier it is to produce from an assembly line. Fast foods have provided an easy way out. They usually have one main ingredient, and a few other additives, usually chemical preservatives or seasoning.

Thus, in an assembly line, delivering such food consistently and at a high rate is very possible, with minimal resources (Tracy, N. D. ). MacDonald’s is renowned for being the first assembly-system restaurant. Its phenomenal success lay in the fact that it addressed the ever fast-paced demands of modern life directly. A visit to any of the prominent fast food restaurant makes one understand why restaurant owners prefer fast foods to the conventional meals. Usually, the fast food is prepared from one central place, frozen and distributed throughout the restaurant’s chains.

The chefs in the restaurants simply have to unpack the food and reheat it before serving it. Additives are used to make sure that the food tastes the same in all the restaurant’s chains. Machinery like broilers or grills in the restaurant’s kitchen ensure that all food being served is virtually the same. This standardization helps the restaurant owners to monitor how well the business is performing. It also simplifies the workload for the staff, and hence more customers can be served. From the foregoing, it should be clear that fast foods have developed out of sheer necessity.

The customers are in search of convenience. The restaurant owners are in search of higher profit margins. The staffs within the restaurants are in search of quicker ways of preparing the meals. These factors combined have resulted in the evolution of fast food joints. And despite the health issues associated with most types of fast foods, the joints continue to thrive. The only way out of this loop of factors is the evolution of fast food that is simultaneously healthy. The few efforts being made in this direction offer a glimmer of hope for the world.

Maybe, in the not too distant future, less people will suffer from obesity, diabetics, high blood pressure and so on. Works cited Tracy V. Wilson How fast food works Retrieved from http://recipes. howstuffworks. com/fast-food3. htm accessed on 4th March, 2008. Uttara Manohar (2008) Fast food Retrieved from http://www. buzzle. com/articles/fast-food. html accessed on 4th March, 2008. Wikipidia (N. D. ) Fast food Retrieved from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Fast_food accessed on 4th March, 2008. World Watch (N. D. ). Good stuff? Fast foods Retrieved from http://www. worldwatch. org/node/1489 accessed on 4th March, 2008.

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