Fast Food Transforming American Society
Fast food has grown to be a big part of American Society. According to Eric Schlosser, “Over the past few decades, fast food has infiltrated every nook and cranny of American Society” (3). In a sense, his statement about fast food is not too exaggerated. Today, we see fast food all over America, whether it is through television advertisements, billboards, and magazines. America has grown to be the number one fast food country in the world. The increase of fast food has resulted in good business for the fast food industry: “In 2000 Americans spent about $110 billion on fast food compared to $6 billion in 1970” (Schlosser). Why are Americans spending huge amounts of money on fast food? How has the fast food industry grown to become a huge influence on American society? Seyhan Sipahi states, “Recent global economical crisis…had a crippling effect on almost all financial sectors in many countries. Surprisingly, the fast food industry had not be adversely affected…” What is keeping the fast food industry alive? Could it be that more families are turning to fast food because recent economic crisis? The fast food industry has grown to be more efficient than when it first started. Making food selling more convenient, fast and for a cheap price has attracted customers. There are multiple ways the fast food industry has transformed American society and what it is to live in America.
In this generation, more mothers are in the workforce than there were in the past. Since “Women's labor force participation is significantly higher today than it was in the 1970s, particularly among women with children” (Labor Force Participation of Women and Mothers, 2008, The Editor's Desk) ever since then the rate has been going up. Now that both parents are away from home working it makes it harder for them to make home cooked meals. Due to the lack of home cooked meals, many Americans families have turned to fast food. According to Schlosser, “three generations ago more money was being spent on food in the United States to make meals at home” (3). Fast food has taken over the diet of many American families. It is more convenient to buy something that is near by, prepared fast, and is reasonably priced for its proportion. Another reason why people choose fast food is because frankly it is delicious. Nothing that is made at home can compare to something made at a fast food restaurant. It is hard to get sick of fast food because there are so many restaurants to choose from that each have their own tastes in foods. The largest class in America is the middle class. Since middle class makes up the majority of the American population it is reasonable to say these families with lower income tend to buy fast food more often.
Fast food restaurants have grown to be more efficient in the way that they produce their meals. On “Dec. 12, 1948, when Richard and Maurice transformed their barbecue joint into the first McDonalds restaurant, focusing on speed, value and high volume.” (Hill). This helped build a kind of assembly line of workers, each worker in charge of one job. For example, in order to make a hamburger, one would be in charge of getting the buns, another in charge of putting the patty, another in charge of putting the lettuce and tomato, and on. In doing this, production of the food becomes much faster. Food being frozen before preparing it is another way that fast food restaurants have grown more efficiently. Schlosser gives an example with guacamole that is made in Mexico, frozen, and shipped to the restaurant (40). Many fast food restaurants do this with the products they serve, although their advertisements may say fresh. Drive-throughs and computerized cash registers have also helped fast food restaurants speed up time for their consumers. An example of how drive throughs are so successful is Victoria’s experience: There's just one place that Victoria Vollaire stops every day. It's not the...
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