The debate on eating fast foods has gained momentum in the recent years with many people advocating against them. There are those who argue that people should not be told to avoid fast foods because they have the right to eat what they want and are responsible for their lives. On the other hand, those against eating fast foods assert that some of the practices and contents related to fast foods are health hazards and people do not know such facts. As such, they educate the public on such hazards. Although people have the right to eat what they want, they should be fair to their bodies and avoid eating harmful substances. Although fast food restaurants make delicious food, they should be avoided because they are harmful to human health.
Harmful effects of fast food
The harmful effects of fast foods to the human health come from the way the food is prepared. Research has shown that the livestock that is slaughtered to supply beef to the fast foods is concentrated into feedlots before being taken through the meat processing assembly lines (Schlosser 23). Most employees in these processing lines are poorly trained and may contaminate the meat, leading to food poisoning. Moreover, the majority of fast foods cook their meals in beef tallow, which has a high concentration of saturated fats. These fats have been found to be a leading cause of heart diseases. The tight schedules at fast food restaurants limits their chances of training their employees on proper food handling practices and procedures. In addition, the high turnover rate in these restaurants discourages training because it seems like wasting financial resources on employees who are likely to leave for another establishment. The overall effect of this is that most of those who handle food are unqualified, which increases the chances of food contamination.
Harmful wrappers containing PAPs
Many fast food restaurants wrap their food with wrappers containing polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters (PAPs), which prevent grease in the food from leaking. These compounds sometimes migrate into the wrapped food and get ingested. Although there are no known effects on human health, the compounds have been found harmful when ingested by rodents. Since many experiments relating to humans are tested using rats, any such adverse effect is likely to cause harm to humans. Therefore, the wrappers are feared to be agents of harmful compounds that may harm the human health. Even when the food has no harmful substances, the fact that much fast food lack permanent employees with experience and expertise can lead to food contamination. Food preparation requires care because even mixing vegetable equipment with meat equipment can be fatal to the customers. Given the busy schedules in the fast foods and the ever-changing workforce, maintaining high standards of hazard prevention is difficult.
Why is meat used in fast food considered being dangerous?
The second hazard of eating fast foods comes from the content of their food. For instance, the meat used in these fast foods comes from animals that have gone through unhealthy conditions. Prior to slaughtering, the animals are concentrated in small spaces and cannot rest, but stand. As a result of the overcrowding, the animals are likely to get sick. To avoid incidences of sickness, the animals are injected with high levels of antibiotics that end up in the meat sold in fast foods (Watson 56). Since the anti-bacterial drugs are given to the animals just before they are slaughtered, they are never metabolized properly. To make matters worse, the fast foods have very busy schedules and customer demands. As a result, they cook food at a fast rate to keep pace with the increasing customers. This haste prevents food from being cooked completely, which may lead to the antibiotics not being neutralized. Consequently, those who consume such food get food poisoning and may die if treatment is not sought swiftly. Apart from contamination originating from the antibiotics, animals for fast foods are required tender. To ensure this requirement is met, many of the animals and birds are slaughtered while young. Since the people who rear them sell on a weight basis, they must balance between weight and young age. Therefore, these animals are fed with food injected with growth hormones. During the time of slaughter, these hormones circulate within the animal bodies and transfer into humans upon consumption. These hormones are harmful to people's health and interfere with the natural functioning of the body.
The food sold in fast foods has been found to contain high levels of calories and low fiber content
These conditions are the causes of obesity, which has become a challenge to both the government and healthcare providers. A research conducted by Pediatrics established that, on any given day, 30.3% of children between the age of four to nineteen eat from fast foods (Gulum and Serpil 45). Those who ate fast foods were found to eat less fiber, non-starchy vegetables and fruits.
These results concluded that children who ate fast foods were likely to get obese compared to those who avoided fast foods. Obesity has been found to lead to other illnesses such as high blood pressure and diabetes. These diseases cost a lot of money and strain economies through treatment and rehabilitation. Therefore, it is essential that the factors that lead to them should be avoided, which means avoiding fast foods.
Fast foods that serve both Muslims and Jews have to conform to the requirements of their religious principles
During the slaughtering process, animals may be subjected to cruelty since slaughtering methods differ significantly. According to the two religions, the animals must be cut using a sharp object on the neck to drain out the blood. It is prohibited to eat meat with blood inside. Since fast foods must satisfy their customers, they may result to using meat that has been killed using this method. Animals have rights, just like human beings. They deserve reduced pain when being slaughtered, which is a dignified way of treating them. Therefore, such fast foods promote an inhumane way of killing animals, which results in inhumane treatment. On the other hand, the procedures that are conventionally allowed for killing animals to be used as food include electrocution or hitting it with a bolt to the head. These methods, which are used, for slaughtering animals used in fast foods is considered dangerous to human health. Blood is considered a medium in which many disease-causing organisms thrive (Yeager 45). Therefore, it is crucial to drain it from the meat meant for consumption. However, in the conventional fast foods, animals are killed before opening them up, which means that most of the blood is left intact. If there were parasites inside the animal that resided in the blood, they are likely to be transferred to the food sold by the fast foods. Although the meat slaughtered using these means is sold by other hotels and butchers, it is safer than that sold by the fast foods because they get a chance to cook fully. For instance, people who buy meat for their consumption at home ensure that it is fully cooked before consumption. Therefore, the risk of getting sick due to parasites in the meat is reduced. In contrast, fast foods rarely allow meat, and other types of food to cook fully because of time constraints and the costs associated with prolonged cooking.
In conclusion, eating at fast foods is undesirable as it is harmful to human health and treats animals unfairly. The unhealthy conditions of food in fast foods arise from poor preparation, inadequate skills in processing the food and high-calorie content. Therefore, people should avoid eating at fast foods for the sake of their health and promoting dignified treatment of animals.
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- Gulum, Servet, and Serpil, Sumnu. Advances in Deep-Fat Frying of Foods. New York: Taylor & Francis, 2010. Print.
- Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001. Print.
- Watson, Stephanie. Fast Food. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2008. Print.
- Yeager, Selene. The Doctors Book of Food Remedies: The Latest Findings on the Power of Food to Treat and Prevent Health Problems - From Aging and Diabetes to Ulcers and Yeast Infections. California: Rodale Books, 2008. Print.