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What is it about fast food?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Over the last few years whenever you say fast food the first things that come to our head are unhealthy, cheap, greasy, chemicals, preprocessed, high fat, etc. fast food has such a negative connotation nowadays, and Ill be honest it really bothers me. How did we let something as glorious as fast food get such bad pr? It is the food of the people no?

 

Have you ever gone tapas hoping in Barcelona? Grabbed a bowl of pho in Ho Chi Minh? Got some really nice tacos over the central market in DF? Grilled octopus on Pharos? How about some dubious meat hot pot in Xi'an? Ceviche in the streets of Cusco? Chorreadas or a Churchill in Guanacaste? Vigoron in Puntarenas? Some pizza on the lower east MH?

Is every single one of them fast food or am I crazy?

Hopefully Ill end up with my own place selling something similar until the day I die(if i get lucky)

 

I really hate how we are associating the term fast with bad food. And you are going to say to me that is the big corporations fault and that they are serving poison blah blah blah, bulshit.  Is a Big mac worse for you than some traditional Mexican enchiladas? Are you sure? Lets say they aren't(they are). Lets say that they are serving you pure poison(at least no more poisonous whatever guilty pleasure you have every other weekend) . Why do you eat it? Why do you take your kids over there? And you'll say that they are evil for making it difficult for you to eat healthy, well of course they are they are businesses not charity's.What did you expect?

 

If all the fast food chains were replaced by independently Mom and Pops dinners tomorrow how much healthier would we eat? would there be less fat people? Less heart attacks? Would we blame cows for being to fatty or potatoes for having so many carbs next? It seems this is the age of pointing our fingers. We are responsible for what we eat, we dictate the market trends. Its our responsibility to eat healthy not anyone else and expecting such big companies as MC change their billion dollar business model for such a small segment of the population is not realistic at all. MCDonalds is a business(and what an efficient money making machine it is, am I the only one to admire the efficiency of it?), they'll serve you the lowest quality crap that they can get away with. See those are the key words, we let them do it. They are excellent business woman/men over there as soon as we really want to start getting healthy as a whole , they will be already waiting for you with their organic gluten/fructose/dairy free, vegan, free range oak burger(and how you guys want this accomplished without chemicals is beyond me). The reality is that we talk the talk but we don't walk the walk.

 

Why would we want to change what we eat anyway, I for one think its delicious. It seems that the more tech savvy we become the less common sense we have. I want to eat bacon pizza everyday, but without getting fat and living till I am 100.  Somehow we are trying to change everything to suit our needs or demands, when it would be so much easier to change our way of thinking.

 

I know that there are reasons and science and all kinds arguments of why this is the way to go, but somehow all of them sound like excuses in order to change everything except us.

 

And all this bullshit is affecting my beloved fast food, so seriously guys stop it. Just be normal. Have some restraint.

 

Am I totally wrong?

post #2 of 15
"Fast Food", as generally understood, does not refer to food that is served quickly, but rather is a denominator for the highly processed foods served in places like McD's. Hence the term "street food" for your other examples. Of course nmenclature like that is just words and not really worth debating over.
But I don't eat at places like McDonalds, or jack in the box, or what have you, because the food doesn't taste like anything. It's heavily loaded with sugar and short on flavor. It doesn't have good flavor, it's just disguised as having flavor. And it's empty calories a certain as a snickers bar is.
Whether you choose to eat there is your business, but since they are the ones with the billion dollar business model, maybe you should let them defend themselves?
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Well from my side of the fence fast food is the anything and everything that you can have fast and on the go, street food would be one kind of fast food if you want to get technical.

 

As for the big companies I am one of the biggest fans they have. It a solid business, efficiency personified. Their target is making cheap food, fast and readily available. And then making you want it. They are masters at it. To be looked up to in my books. From my point of view the one that is in the wrong its mostly us, if we are looking for a culinary revelation inside a happy meal. You have to be fair, if you judge it by other standards its always gonna end up looking bad. It is an empty meal yes, but it is a cheap, standardized, fast and tasteless empty meal across more than 50 countries.

 

The problem is not that in my eyes. Its the lack of accountability that people seem to enjoy in the last few years (for a lot of complicated reasons and even facilitated by a really fucked up set of circumstances) and how it has affected the fast food industry making it out as the ultimate evil to be eradicated at all costs. When actually its a rich part of our culture that little by little its going away, I am sad to say.

post #4 of 15

So, if tomorrow morning each and every person in the USA stopped eating fast food, what would happen?

Oh I know........economics.

In another thread, someone suggested that McDonalds, BK, Wendy's, work to create the illusion they are making healthier food.

They offer salads, and believe that this solves the problem.

 

Now.......fast food IS food that is made fast so the customer is in and out fast. FAST.....Let's say that one more time shall we.........FAST

 

Perhaps Mgmo in China, fast food (street food) is better because the ingredients are not loaded with chemicals as they are here.

 

In your stores are loaves of bread labeled with unintelligible ingredients?

They are here.

 

You are right that we have the ability to choose what we eat. And for many different reasons, people here in the USA choose to eat this food.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

If anything I think more people should eat fast food(fast food is in no way the same as unhealthy food that is also one of the point i would very much like to get across), it is a matter of taking responsibility for your actions that is the problem from my point of view. If I am fat or have high cholesterol or something like it, its not fast food's fault or wonder breads fault or whatever circumstance or condition that you care to blame(unless it legitimately a medical prob), but I think you and your choices.

 

Is eating a burger from MC everyday gonna kill you faster than the most carefully raised organic and environmentally friendly burger ever if all things were equal? I really don't think so. It is just the matter of how many do you eat in any given period of time. Fast food its just a convenient scapegoat for lots and lots of problems we have, but don't really want to face right now. China is really not a factor in the equation by the way, but if you must know there are more chem and nasty stuff in this food than over there if you can believe that, there are virtually no regulations for anything.(check out the baby formula powder scandal in china for an example)

post #6 of 15

Think of a piece of chicken being chewed up first then add chemicals then bread it then fry it. There you have it McNuggets and others calling their chicken tenderloins., made from all white meat (chopped white meat)Even  Marie Callenders pot pies, which I used to love is made now with processed chicken paste made into chunks. So are their Beef Pot Pies made with  processed shredded beef and soy protein. Reminds me of an old movie called Soilent Green

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
post #7 of 15
LOL. "Soilent Green" Thanks EdB, I feel even older now this morning.

I eat "Big-Macs" because ... I like them. To me, they're tasty. In some of the bars I work in we make our own "Big-Mac" style burger. They're sssooooo much healthier and tastier and everything else. I still go out to Micky's sometime. I still like me a "Big-Mac". I like some "Taco Bell" stuff, and lots of "Wendy's" stuff too. It is what it is ... tasty ... and fast ... it's a niche, just like fine dining. In my opinion anyway.
post #8 of 15

I suppose if it's just a matter of terminology then someone should come up with a way to label the garbage that's McFood and the better stuff that comes out of a roach coach, err, I mean taco truck. 

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

Ha ha ha those McNuggets sound like deep fried pate to me, and that sounds delicious.  And that movie is based on a book that is very very good "make room, make room", sadly I haven't seen the movie.

 

And as iceman says it is fast, tasty(this depends on taste buds so feel free to change it to the one closest to your experience) and Ill also include cheap. Maybe it is a touchy subject to me. But I really think it is a great product according to the company's goals. And I just don't get why people love waving the chemical boogieman around so much. We use chemicals when we cook too, we just have different names for them. Do we really know what we are talking about when we delve into this?

 

I mean chemicals this and chemicals that, what chemicals and are they really that bad for our health? In my experience I am waiting to find a single chemical that is worse for us than salt, and we love the living shit out of it. Or how about the amount carcinogen agents created by our beloved Maillard reaction(especially while grilling over charcoal and slow cooked barbecues) opposed to boiling or braising our food. I am not going to stop doing either of this things ever (unless I am offered a equivalent or much better option), and while they may be harmful I do accept that I am an idiot and I love them to much to ever stop. 

post #10 of 15
"How did we let something as glorious as fast food get such bad pr? It is the food of the people no?"
OP

Wiki-
"fast food is among the most heavily advertised sectors of the United States economy, spending over 4.6 billion dollars on advertising in 2012"

McDonalds spent nearly 1B of that.

I think this advertising brainwashed a whole generation of people to have unreal expectations about food in general.


" Some pizza on the lower east MH?
Is every single one of them fast food or am I crazy?"
OP

Is that lower east Manhattan NY?

You are crazy. Fast food is meant to mean big corporate American junk food. McDs et al.

Street food, mom and pop, bistro, cafe, brew house, tavern, bakery, deli. Can anyone else come up with some synonyms for good fast casual restaurants that don't mean Fast Food ( i.e mass produced highly processed cheap food prepared by cheapest available labor with a store in every city)?

I think when McDonalds fails most the other carbon copies will go shortly after.
post #11 of 15
Put your drink down ... and stay away from the pipe.

Micky-D's is not ever gonna fail. You're foolish to think that.
post #12 of 15

McDonalds is NOT in the hamburger business (economically speaking).

McDonalds is in the real estate business to sell its' franchises. That's where the money is.

post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

That a very very good point Chefross.

post #14 of 15

How timely this topic has become. I picked up my weekly Nations Restaurant Newspaper, and in it was a breakdown of food related places:

 

Quick Service.....McD's, BK, Wndy's, Hardee, Jack in the box, Taco Bell,

 

Fast Casual...Chipotle Mexican Grill, Panera, Noodles and Co. Einstein Noah, Potbelly Sandwich

 

Pizza...Domino's, Papa Johns, Pizza Hut

 

Coffee and Snack..Dunkin Doughnuts, Jamba Juice, Starbucks, Tim Horton's

 

Family Dining and Buffet   Bob Evans, Cracker Barrel, Denny's, IHOP, Big Boy,

 

Casual Dining   Applebee's, Chili', Outback Steakhouse, Ruby Tuesday, Famous Dave's, Red Robin, Ruth Chris Steak House

 

So.....accordingly the term "fast food" really only denotes one part of the food scene in many cities, but we have a habit of grouping them all together and in some cases calling them fast food.

The fact of the matter is that fast food is really "quick service." 

So what we are really doing here is mincing words.

 

 

mgmO, also has a point in that each and every example above, utilizes some kind of convenience, pre-made, pre-formed, and in many cases, pre-cooked items on their menus.

They have to, in order to keep costs down and prices available to the customer, and to that end, they will do whatever it takes.

We either take it or leave it.

post #15 of 15

It's  Cheap. It's Quick. and it Fills you up ..You are not eating it to stay healthy.     That's why it sells

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
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