Posts Tagged ‘fast food’

Little Changes Reap Big Rewards

January 20, 2014


New reports show that the average American is eating 78 calories less per day, than they did 5 years ago. The change is credited with the decline in saturated fats due to more limited consumption of fast foods.

Perhaps the only good thing to come out of our country’s recession, is the cutback on spending in fast food establishments and other restaurants, driving people to opt  for home cooked meals.

With greater attention being paid to wellness initiatives from shows like The Biggest Loser, the upgrading of school lunch programs and Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign, people are becoming more conscious of the need for a healthy diet and exercise regime.

While 78 calories per day may seem trivial, it does add up over the course of the year. While on average, it takes 3500 calories to make a pound, a reduction of just 78 calories x 365 days per year, adds up to a weight loss of over 8 pounds in a year.

There is still much room for improvement in our country’s diet, and reduction of the obesity rate, but clearly this is a step in the right direction.

Want to cut 78 calories a day out of your diet? Food preparation actually burns calories!
*Just 15 minutes of food shopping burns about 22 calories, and carrying the bags and putting the groceries away is worth another 26.

Preparing a simple meal uses up about 17-26 calories, and setting the table and serving the meal burns about 26 as well. If you get stuck with the dishes, you will likely burn another 22 calories. All added up, that’s about 92 calories burned before you even pick up your fork.

Chances are, the food you prepare will be fresher, simpler and therefore healthier than driving through to the fast food window to pick up a greasy, meal high in saturated fats. It sounds like a win-win situation to us!

Little changes can reap big rewards!

* based on a 150 pound person. Those weighing more, will burn more for the same tasks.

photo: Glasshouse Images

Doing the Math on Fast Food

August 2, 2013


Fast food workers are walking off the job all over the country this week, in an attempt to bring attention to the fact that they are not paid a living wage.

A research assistant at the University of Kansas School of Business took a look at McDonald’s annual report, crunched some numbers and determined that doubling the worker’s wages to a more reasonable $15 per hour, would only cost the consumer about 68 cents more for a Big Mac.

Arnobio Morelix told the Huffington Post that according to the report, only 17.1% of Mickey D’s revenue goes towards employee salaries and benefits. That’s 17 cents on the dollar that is used to pay all workers from the executive level on down.

When Morelix did the math, he figured that each item on the menu would only need to go up 17 cents for each dollar, to double everyone’s salary, including the CEO!

That means that a Big Mac, currently priced at $3.99 would need to cost $4.67. The Dollar Menu would become the $1.17 Menu. Not as catchy as the Dollar Menu, but certainly more humane.

While I am not a fan of the fast food chain for health and quality reasons, many others are. Paying these workers a fair wage at so little cost to the company seems like the right thing to do.
Perhaps increasing fast food worker’s wages would cut down on some of the incidences we have been seeing lately, where employees are doing some pretty disgusting things to the food behind the scenes. That certainly would be a step in the right direction.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Dirty Ice

September 7, 2012

Did you ever wonder how clean the ice in a fast food restaurant is?
Jasmine Roberts, a 12 year old from Benito Middle School in New Tampa, Florida certainly did. She chose her 7th grade science project in an effort to find out.

Roberts states: “ My hypothesis was that the fast food restaurant’s ice would contain more bacteria than the fast food restaurant’s toilet water.”

Roberts set out to test her theory, selecting five fast food outlets within a 10-mile radius of the University of South Florida.

In each restaurant, she flushed the toilet once, and used sterile gloves and a sterile beaker to gather water samples.

She asked for cups of ice from both the drive through windows, and the soda fountains inside the restaurants.
The samples were tested at the Moffitt Cancer Center where she volunteers with a USF professor. The results did not surprise her.

Roberts found that 70% of the time, the ice contained more bacteria than the toilet water. YUK!

Her teacher, Mark Danish, was concerned, yet not surprised.

“It does concern me and I think with any restaurant you have to think twice about what you may get there.” Personally, I’d prefer not to think about it at all.

Jasmine Roberts received first place in the regional science fair and won $800 for her project.

Fast Food Nation

May 17, 2012

We all know the obesity rate in the United States is climbing rapidly. This epidemic is attributed to over eating and under exercising, right? Well, maybe it’s more than that.

According to an article on the Co. Design website, it could be what we eat, not how much we eat that is having an adverse effect on our waistlines.

While the article acknowledges that Americans consume more calories than any other country in the world, it isn’t substantially more.

The average American consumes 3770 (!!!) calories per day and spends about 6.9% of their income on food. Currently 34% of the population is considered obese.

Just as a reference point, it takes 3500 calories to make a pound and the average salary in the U.S. is $46,326 per year. That means about  $8.75 per day is spent on food.

Comparatively, Italians eat 3660 calories per day, and spend 14.7% of their income on food. Italy’s obesity rate is 15%.

So what’s contributing to the difference?

It seems that Americans are obsessed with cheap food sources. In the 1950’s mechanized foods, such as canned, frozen, and fast foods were considered a sign of our country’s progressiveness. Cheap, processed foods became a source of pride for our nation.

Other countries held fast to their cultural traditions, and continued to enjoy their national cuisine. Using the freshest and finest ingredients to produce regional delicacies is far more costly than the pink slime consumed in our country.

Although it is clear that 3770 calories a day is way too much, especially when the average American is fairly sedentary, it appears that the quality of our food may play as great a role as the quantity we consume.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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