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Fast Food Industry – McDonalds

I. Attention getting: The era of fast food restaurants was sociologically the time of the rise of service industries and mass society and culture. Fast foods such as McDonald’s came to represent the major trends and values of mass society in the United States in the 1950s, including conformity, uniformity, standardization, efficiency, instrumental rationality, and technology. It was part of a process of social transformation that substituted commodified products and pleasures for traditional goods and practices.

Whereas previously people raised and cooked their own food, as advanced industrial societies evolved activities such as food production and consumption were themselves mechanized and rationalized. And whereas food was once a largely regional phenomenon, in a massified society, millions consumed the same modes of fast foods, just as they consumed the same TV programs and read the same magazines.

II. Topic statement: With our busy lives, it is very tempting and convenient to eat fast food on a regular basis.

III. Need to know: Fast food is literally everywhere.

A January 2004 article in Body Bulletin, noted that every day about 25% of Americans eat in a fast-food restaurant (“About 25%”: 2). So why do people consume this food? Everybody, including those 25%, knows that fast food

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tends to be high in calories and salt.

IV. Credibility: An article from the Nutrition Action Healthletter said, “It’s tough to walk out of a fast food restaurant without blowing at least half a day’s artery clogging fat. A large fries will do it. So will a Big Mac, a Whopper, a Burger King Chicken Sandwich, or nine Chicken McNuggets.

” The meals keep getting bigger. “Fast food chains are tripping over each other to build bigger burgers. Fries have swollen to ‘super sizes’ that have as many calories as a Big Mac” (Hurley and Liebman: 13–15).

V. Preview/Thesis: It seems only natural for young or very busycpeople to gravitate toward fast food. Since fast food may be eaten on the go, it fits into their busy schedules. Transition sentence: Nevertheless, before we go into the discussion and facts about fast food industry today, we need to understand lays underneath the current situation we are facing.

Body I A.

Fast food restaurants emerged, as well, during a time of processed food, in which science, technology, and industry entered into the food production process.

1. Artificial foods appeared with chemicals to promote flavorsome tastes, substances to make the food last longer before spoilage, and additives to accelerate the production process and substitute cheaper processed material for more natural foodstuffs. McDonald’s helped acclimatize the consumer nation to an artificial culture and environment, involving individuals in novel culinary practices and products, whereby processed and artificial food replaced traditional fare. Describe the size and structure of the food retailing sector

2. Capitalist society presents itself to consumers as a collection of commodities. The commodity spectacle promotes corporate commodity goods and services through a multiplicity of media and sites. McDonald’s, for instance, is ubiquitous through its distinctive architecture, its products, its imagery, and its role in individual fantasy lives. McDonald’s signs and images circulate through its “golden arches,” billboards, movies, TV and print ads and, more recently, the Internet.

The McDonald’s spectacle plays outwhen a Midwestern father announces to his family that “we’re going to McDonald’s tonight” and the kids break out with joy. The spectacle unfolds in Beijing when a couple’s only child announces to the family that they will eat out at McDonald’s and proceeds to consume a bagful of Big Macs. In Korea, a family celebrates its child’s birthday by taking his friends out for a Big Mac party, while a homeless boy in Mexico City spends the money he has begged to buy a McDonald’s burger and fries.

The spectacle is reproduced any time that someone in the world follows the McDonald’s script, thinking that they will get some fast food, good times, and fair value – and then proceeds to McDonald’s golden arches to consume its food. In an interview published in 2003, Kelly Brownell, a national expert on weight control, commented that “fast food is infiltrating our culture. There are fast food restaurants inside some schools. Malls have food courts. Fast foods are showing up on airline flights and in airports” (Brownell and Liebman: 3–5).

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