Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Experiential Journal: Fast Food, Bad Food Nation

By Bill Pivetz                                       

To complete my Course Enrichment Component, I watched the movie based on the book Fast Food Nation, starring Greg Kinnear, Wilmer Valderrama, Bobby Cannavale and Bruce Willis, released in 2006. The movie focused around Don Anderson (Kinnear), the marketing director of Mickey’s, who developed the “Big One,” it’s most popular burger. He discovers that the meat the customers are eating has traces of fecal matter.

He takes a trip to the fake town of Cody, Colorado to determine if the local Uni-Globe meatpacking plant is guilty of careless work. Don takes a tour of the plant and sees great conditions. However, after talking with some other people, his suspicious are accurate. The employees are working at such a pace that they are unable to take the time to remove to feces from the meat.

This movie, along with Super Size Me, has affected the fast food industry greatly. Before these releases, fast food sales rose by 5 percent in 2006 and 5.6 percent in 2004. However, the increase was only 1.95 percent in 2007 and .74 percent in 2008. Yet, according to, the consumption of fast foods is exceeding the numbers of people available to eat them, which means that the movies haven’t had a big enough impact on the masses.

Fast food companies use cartoons and playful words like “Happy Meal,” “Big Kids Meal,” and others to lure children in. If it’s called a happy meal, then the kids will think they’ll be happy by eating it. Plus, the food sold by fast food companies is very cheap. A hamburger, French fries and a drink is about $5. A gourmet hamburger, mashed potatoes and a drink will cost about $12 at a nice restaurant. It will also take about 20 minutes until it reaches your table.

With the craze about companies “going green” and becoming sustainable, we must look at fast food companies as well. Some companies have initiated a healthy program, but that’s not enough. They must also initiate a green program to serve locally-grown food. Although it may cost a lot more money, the companies will benefit from serving healthier food to help their customers and their image.

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