The Truth Behind Fast Food


Samantha Frank, Writer

Fast food is meant to be a quick and inexpensive meal when your days are packed, or you are just craving some fries. About 84.8 million adults eat fast food a day! But is fast food really as unhealthy as people say it is?  The most popular fast food places, such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, KFC, and Taco Bell, are known for making food extremely fast. They produce millions of pounds of food every day! If you have ever been to one of these places, you might have wondered: How do they make their food so fast? 

Most fast food meals are simply prepared from frozen food and are heated before being served to the customer with heat lamps. The ingredients can be really unhealthy, but do we really know what is in these foods? Here are some of their ingredients.

  • Propylene glycol, an ingredient that prevents food from drying out and sticking together, is toxic to the body.
  • Food dyes, which are used to make food look more visually pleasing, are linked to cancer.
  • Silicon Dioxide, or sand, is also used to look more visually pleasing.
  • Carminic Acid is made from dried, crushed female insects called cochineal. It is sometimes found in chicken nuggets and red food dye. 
  • Monosodium Glutamate is a chemical that just makes your food taste better and looks better. It leads to heart palpitations, nausea, sweating, and chest pain. 

These are only some of the toxic chemicals in fast food. They can be extremely dangerous if consumed regularly. Did you know that fast food was this unhealthy? Did you know that a study from Public Health Nutrition shows that people who eat fast food are 51% more likely to be depressed?

Fast food chains have tried to create healthier options such as Chick-Fil-A’s grilled chicken sandwich, McDonald’s Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, and Wendy’s Sour Cream and Chive Baked Potato. People have gotten these and thought they were nice and healthy, but these options are not as healthy as they would be if you got them from a restaurant or made them at home. It is hard to follow a “healthy” diet when eating fast food and it might be better to substitute certain ingredients such as asking for a whole wheat bun or dressing on the side.

As fast food chains continue to grow throughout the world, who knows what will happen next? Have these popular places yet to cross a line and get worse, or will they turn around and become healthier versions of themselves?