Although it is easy to make a sweeping statement about fast food, in reality fast food is a two-sided topic. On one hand, fast makes great convenience food, and with its availability and inexpensiveness, people with all sorts of backgrounds can eat fast food as often as possible. On the other hand, fast food is known to be unhealthy.
The pros of fast food
- Convenience: The reason why fast food is described as fast is simple to determine. You have probably known the feeling of hurriedness in the morning when you have to go to work or get the kids up, dress them, feed them, and take them to school. Our lives are busy, and this fast-paced lifestyle also means that we have to eat our meals faster. Fast food is a great alternative to making food at home because all you have to do is go through a drive-thru, wait for a few minutes, and you have a meal.
- Cost: If you eat fast food only once or twice a week, you may find that it is a good substitute for home cooked meals that may cost just as much as what you spend on fast food. However, you will only see these savings if you eat fast food less than twice a week. This is because a home cooked meal, depending on the recipe and the type of ingredients, will generally cost you less than eating fast food all the time. For example, buying a few burgers from the "Dollar Menu" at McDonald's may cost you only a few dollars for a meal, but how long will your fullness last? For the same amount of money, you could have made a homemade meal. However, you have to gauge your value of time versus quality/cost.
- Locations: You can find fast food virtually anywhere. The variety of fast food is also overwhelming. You can find any kind of food that will be "fast," whether it is Asian food, American food, Indian or Middle-Eastern food. Even if you live "in the middle of nowhere," chances are you will find some kind of fast food joint near you.
The cons of fast food
- Health: The primary concern of most opponents of fast food is health issues associated with it. In some states, it has become mandatory for many fast food restaurants to list the health content of their food. While it can be argued that fast food can be fine as long as it is eaten in moderation, one should remember those mandatory listings of nutritional contents.
- Lack of home cooked meals/family time: The kitchen used to be the heart of the home. However, in recent years, that has changed due to society's lack of time to make their own meals. As a result, many of us don't spend enough time eating together.
As you can see, even though fast food has more "pros" than "cons," consumers still have to determine whether they value the "pros" or the "cons" more.