Fast Food: Who Is To Blame

Today on Momversation my friend Rebecca asks who is to blame for Fast Food, is it us? Is it the food giants? I adore Maria, and she tells it like it is. Her family occasionally has fast food, and she’s not apologizing for it.

As you know, I have strong opinions about what food belongs in our bodies. What I really want to know is what you think. Do you eat fast food? Does the quality of food worry you? What about obesity? What would your video look like?

Watch and enjoy.

Comments 16

  1. Oh, you know I want in on this “Momversation”……To answer your question, absolutely NOT, we do not eat fast food. Honestly, if you looked at my family financially, we would probably appear poor, but I would rather feed my kids brown rice and beans all week than step foot in or drive through at a fast food junkyard!
    If people stop eating there, they will have to put better choices on their menus or simply shut down.
    Oh, I could go on about this!

    1. Cathy, you are so right. I too would rather feed my kids beans and brown rice. I wish I had known more about nutrition when I was raising my children. We did eat healthier than some children do today. How can we get the word out?. How can we teach nutrition without preaching?

      1. Thanks Deborah,
        It is hard for me because I am pretty straight forward and tell it like it is, but I realize that doesn’t always work. I think it’s first about being an example and second about offering education and really showing people how they CAN eat healthier, especially on a budget.

  2. I love this conversation.

    I have tried very hard to do more organic foods and bring healthier choices in our house this past year. Still, I find myself running through mcdonalds occasionally. I am working on it.

    I think that there are SO many healthier choices out there. I mean I serve my child Morningstar vegetarian chicken nuggests. And guess what? He has no idea. AND its like $4.00 for a box of 12. Rather than $4.00 for a happy meal. Win-Win.

    It shouldn’t be that hard.

  3. Oh I may have to blog about this to give the full depth of my answer :)

    I fully believe that it is the consumers responsibility. We do eat fast food, but definitely not every day or anywhere CLOSE to that! Maybe a couple of times a month something happens or I don’t feel like cooking (like Maria said), we will run through a drive through.

    I *love* that many fast food places now post the calorie information on their menus, because it really opens your eyes to what you are eating and how bad it is for you. I take forever to figure out what to eat at those places and what to order for my daughter because I’m pouring over the menu looking for something-ANYTHING-under 500 calories!

    It’s the world we live in today. It’s all about convenience, and if buyers are willing to spend money, who can blame the big companies for doing what they can to get ahead? I hate it, I really do, but I can’t expect anything less from them.

  4. This is a great debate. Cheap, convenient and tasty … that is what Big Business relies on to line their pockets without regard for the health and welfare of the consumers who ingest/use their products. Our government is supposed to protect it’s citizens and I think the pervasiveness of fast food is something the government should step in and address. Sure, I blame the fast food companies and I am horrified by their tactics to produce cheaper food (watch Food, Inc. for more on that) just like I blame big tobacco and big tobacco didn’t put warning labels on their packages and regulate their advertising until our government forced them to. If president Obama wants to improve healthcare in this country, the best steps he can take is to make sure that citizens aren’t being taken advantage of for a quick buck especially since the health issues that stem from excessive consumption of fast food end up taxing our healthcare system most.

  5. We very rarely eat outside of the home but when we do it is usually a Pizza Hut delivery or going out to the local Mexican food place. If you keep your house full of healthy snacks and that is all your kids have to choose from, that’s what they will eat when they get hungry.
    Eating healthy is expensive. I am a vegetarian (kids are not) and I spend alot of money on food. I spend about $26 a week just buying beef jerky for the kids. (The kind I buy I have to get off the internet) Most kids think of beef jerky as a treat but I look at it as a super healthy snack. It is very low calorie, almost fat free and has super high protein. I buy alot of fruits and nuts. That costs alot. But even if you can’t afford to buy alot of produce, buying things like rice and dry beans to make at home are super cheap. If you are big on boxed food like Hamburger helper, you can make it healthier. Leave out the butter the recipe calls for and in my case, I would leave out the meat. Then you have a pasta dish.
    You can change the dynamics of your eating just by vowing to STOP FRYING foods. We do not fry anything in this house ever. We don’t buy fried foods like KFC. Bake everything. Even things traditionally fried like frozen mozeralla sticks can be baked. You can make changes to what you do now and make it healthier. If you want your family to eat better it is your responsibility to make sure they eat better. That’s nobody’s job but our own.
    Even feeding your kid a can of chicken noodle soup is low fat, low calories and super cheap. I would feed them soup every day before feeding them a $4.00 happy meal. There is a problem, mainly in America, of fat kids. Usually when you see a really at kid they are soon followed by one or both parents being severely over-weight. It is sad to see that. Parents causing thier own children to be obese at an early age. They will most likely grow up to be fat adults with more fat children.

  6. I agree that fast food is terrible for our kids. But it’s not just an argument, it’s a reality that some parents can’t afford anything else. I’ve heard Michael Pollan talk about how it’s cheaper to make food than to eat out, but that’s simply not true. Have you tried to buy fruit lately? or vegetables? or meat? If you’re poor and working 2 or 3 jobs, you’re going to feed your kids whatever is fast and what you can afford.
    The fast food industry doesn’t have to put high fructose corn syrup in hamburger buns and ketchup, or load their products down with sodium or sell soda to kids. The fast food industry needs to be regulated or there needs to be more affordable option for lower income parents.
    (Full Disclosure-We sometimes go to In n’ Out)

  7. I rarely eat fast food. But I, like Michelle, do occasionally eat it. My daughter used to love it, now she mostly throws it on the floor. At this point getting her to eat anything is murder. I would love for her to eat nutritious meals all of the time, unfortunately for me, she’s a kid with some issues and she WON’T eat much of anything.

    My answer to this is twofold really. (or maybe more)I think responsibility SHOULD lie with the individual not the government, because we do live in a capitalist society ultimately and it’s not my job to tell YOU how to eat. If people weren’t buying the crap it wouldn’t be there. You can’t say that fast food is the single largest cause of morbid obesity, because we don’t live in a bubble. I mean, I ate it enough as a kid… but I played too… in fact I was made to play outside, yet I don’t see the government looking to ban video game systems or television or hagen dasz because they cause morbid obesity. However, what’s the effect of morbid obesity? On healthcare cost? On the nation in general? …

  8. We eat fast food sometimes. I couldn’t really tell you how often, I don’t keep tabs on it like that. We do our best to try and feed the children a healthy diet. But we also make an effort to make sure that they get real exercise that doesn’t involve the television or video games.

    We work to make sure that their minds are stimulated too.

    It is not a perfect situation, but that is ok with me. You can make yourself crazy trying to stay on top of every little thing that can hurt us. I shoot for moderation.

  9. I think that there is no one source of blame. Solutions have to come from all sides.

    It would be great if government subsidies didn’t help make fast food so cheap. It’s BS that the crops that are heavily subsidized are the ones used in processed food and fast food. It’s unfair. It’s not working. It’s making us sick as a nation.

    It would be great if corporations weren’t granted most of the civil rights of the 14th amendment while also being legally required to serve shareholders’ bottom line above all else. Basically, caring about their impact on health, environment, etc is illegal for corporations. They have to make as much money as possible–only serving their shareholders’ financial interest and not society’s interest–by law. Yet the law also protects them the way it protects individuals! And, of course, you can’t imprison a corporation (the point of the corporation of course is to protect actual people from associated liability) the way you can a person. You can only fine it–so breaking laws, hurting people, destroying the environment all comes down to simple math. Is it more profitable to just do damage and pay a fine, or to prevent the damage in the first place by making a better product? The answer, for corporate entities, is almost always the former. This is completely fucked up. We have to take what amounts to citizenship away from companies–they are not people, their actions have such incredibly far-reaching impact, and they need to be allowed/required to act in the interest of something other than money for shareholders. For more on this, see the documentary “The Corporation” if you haven’t already.

    We, as a family, eat fast food extremely rarely–maybe twice a year for odd reasons/situations. I can’t say we never eat it, but we’re not far from that. But then again, we are lucky enough to be able to afford to buy organic, fresh food–though it is expensive, we make the sacrifice because we can and because we know it’s worthwhile. Seems like the people who eat fast food are either economically debilitated and/or uninformed and therefor unmotivated. The way to prevent people from eating fast food is not just to take away the fast food (though we certainly need to step in there and reign it in), but to empower people in fundamental ways–with education, better health care, economic mobility, etc. This isn’t an issue that sits out on some limb all by itself. It’s not just about obesity and unhealthy food. It’s woven into the economic, cultural and social fabric of this country.

  10. I do believe that businesses ie. Corporate greed are at the root of this but getting the government to regulate yet another thing I don’t think is the answer. I think we (society as a whole) have become much too lazy and because of that have given up way too much power to the government to decide what is healthy for us and what is not.

    This is essentially what’s behind the GMO crisis, scandal… whatever you want to call it. Because people aren’t paying attention, Monsanto and co. have managed to infiltrate most of the foods we eat today where we’re now in a position where we really have little choice but to eat GMO contaminated foods (unless you’re able to eat 100% organic). Ant to top this off, the US and Cdn governments are now looking to make it illegal for food manufacturers to be able to advertise that they are not GMO!!!

    Sure fast food places are not without blame, but as of now, we as consumers still have the power to choose whether we eat at these places or not and it’s up to us to get and stay informed and make choices that we can live with and stop relying on the government to make these decisions for us. Yes there are some issues for low income consumers but if the government would stop subsidizing big agriculture and their non-food crops and instead pass these subsidies on to farmers that are actually growing food, fruits and vegetables might not be so expensive.

  11. I do eat fast food every now and then. I always send my daughter a lunch to school, but now that she is older, she oftens gets “treats” from her other friends at the lunch table. She feel deprived in not being able to have the occasional junk in her lunch. I am finding that she is able to get it other places….from her friends!

  12. It is absolutely the CONSUMErs responsibility to take care of their health and no one else’s. Not the fast food restaurants or the GOVERNMENT! Including a tax will just put the people who need the money more in financial insecurity. Fast food does not cause death and obesity, laziness does. I eat a fast food meal about 6-7 times a week and am in no way unhealthy do to my “unhealthy diet”. Fat (or I guess obese to be politically correct) people know that their eating habits are not good but I rather live happy for 60 years than be a slave to organic disgusting food for 75 years. And if you have a problem with it then you can come over to my house and cook for me in your free time! Because this is AMERICA, we are free people and have the right to choose whatever the h**l we want to eat!

    1. Way to go Matt. Let’s stop trying to regulate all people as though they are stupid. They have a choice. No one has the right to control another, adult that is. I do choose to not eat McDonalds. That is my choice. I have not right to tell another what to do.

      1. Sure Matt, eat what you want, but you are seriousy kidding yourself or completely deslusional if you REALLY believe that fast food does not contribute to obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, and other health issues. I don’t care how much you exercise, that crap is still in your body, clogging your veins and messing with your organs.
        Also, I don’t know who is preparing the organic food for you that makes it so “disgusting,” but, really? Healthy organic food that is flavored with delicious herbs and spices rather than salt and fat is WAY better tasting. Truthfully, though, I don’t believe for a minute that you have even eaten healthy, organic food because if you did, your body would possibly go into shock from the 6-7 day a week fast food habit you have going on.
        Also, I am quite happy with my healthy diet and don’t feel like a “slave” at all. And I plan to live until at least 100.
        Isn’t it great to be an American!

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