Monday, September 7, 2009

Fast Food Joints and Ethical Consumption

If you are an informed consumer like millions all over the world, you must be aware of the never-ending debate on fast food joints and ethical consumption. This issue seems to be one of the favorite topics addressed in health conferences and seminars worldwide. While the US obesity epidemic doesn’t seem to be declining, health activists are demanding major fast food joints to display nutritional information for their food items. But the big question is- are we doing enough to disapprove of what is being served to us at major fast food joints?

I was recently browsing through a fast food nutrition database when I came across a news item which mentioned a consumer having kept a McDonald’s burger for almost 12 years and it still looked ready to eat. Well, not all of us are going to make an experiment like this but studies have proved that several fast food joints use a high quantity of preservatives in order to keep food ‘fresh looking’ during production, storage and transportation. Regular consumption of any such item can cause obesity, heart attacks and hypertension. Will this information make us cut our weekly burger consumption and demand more sustainable food?

Research shows that almost every major fast food chain is involved in the production, consumption and marketing of food derived from animals. If animal rights activists are to be believed, the connection between efficient factory farms supplying these chains, environmental degradation and cruelty towards animals cannot be denied. Even though many companies and suppliers have responded to the raised pressure by changing methods of raising and processing animal meat, effective collaboration doesn’t seem to be happening. I won’t deny my addiction to fast food, but I can certainly reduce my consumption as a small step towards encouraging good work and a ‘greener’ lifestyle!

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