If you watch television, read magazines or scan internet sites for news or any other information, you have seen the ads.
We have tacos with shells made from fried chicken wrapped around meat and cheese. We have burgers with bacon weighing in at 1150 calories. We have breakfast sandwiches with eggs, cheese, bacon and sausage. We can choose “healthier” options like eggs, bacon and cheese on some sort of whole grain bread which, I guess should make us feel so much better (she said, her voice dripping with sarcasm).
We can buy big boxes of tacos, fried chicken, fried shrimp, fried potatoes, fried onions, fried eggs, mashed potatoes and gravy. And don’t forget the entire meals of rotisserie chicken and starchy sides with a free cake.
We can order cheese-stuffed pizza with a side of sugary bread to dip in sugary sauces.
There are fried steak sandwiches, chili-topped burgers, hot dogs and fries. There are French toast sticks dipped in something that tastes like maple syrup (but isn’t), bagels stuffed with meat and cheese, croissants filled with ham and cheese, the Mile High Bacon Egg and Cheese Biscuit from Carl’s Jr., donuts, fried Oreo cookies, fried hot dogs and baked potatoes stuffed with just about anything that doesn’t move.
There are coffee drinks, hot and iced lattes with whipped cream and sugary sprinkles and chocolate. Or frozen cappuccinos topped with sweet stuff we’d never find on top of a traditional version of this yummy coffee.
We can choose fried chicken in a bucket, touted by country music stars or comedians disguised as the Colonel himself. You can even buy accessories, from hats to toys to pillows and tee shirts to stickers for your face to show your love of the food.
We can order it all from our phone with apps and delivery services designed to make it easy and convenient…and hard to resist.
It’s all so fun, decadent and inviting. But nothing can disguise what these companies are peddling, which is heart disease, diabetes, obesity and stroke.
And the seduction is working. More than 52% of Americans eat fast food daily for at least one meal. In general, Americans eat 1996 pounds of food annually, nearly a ton with 31 pounds being from cheese alone, mostly on pizza. We eat about 185 pounds of meat, 415 pounds of vegetables (85% as potatoes; so don’t get too excited), 141 pounds of sweeteners and 85 pounds of fat, among other things.
With the average American eating 700-1000 calories more than they need every single day, is it any wonder that we struggle with what are known as “lifestyle diseases?”
No, it’s not and it’s not entirely our fault either.
The virulent ways in which these health-stealing foods are marketed to us make them pretty hard to resist, if not impossible. So it got me to wondering. What’s the end game for these junk-food peddlers?
It appears that their goal is to addict us to the food (and I use the term loosely) they sell with fat, sugar, salt and enhanced flavors from flavor houses. Remember, they can make anything taste like chicken. The end result would be that we eat more of the food. That makes sense; they are businesses in the business of profit.
Here’s the disconnect for me. If these companies are in the business of profits, selling more and more of their products, then why do they seem hell-bent on killing off their customers? Seriously, I’m confused. How can they continue to grow their profits if they slowly and systematically cause fatal heart disease, debilitating obesity and stroke or life-threatening diabetes?
I think about this a lot. I wonder what’s behind the creation of the products they sell us. What sort of mind creates these foods? Oh, they tell us that they hire chefs to create recipes to dish up for public consumption. I have to say though, it takes a special kind of diabolical thinking to create the dishes we see added to the menu each and every day (or so it seems).
Who thinks of these bizarre combinations of food? What kind of person would trivialize the tradition of tacos by frying chicken for the shell in place of tortillas? Why would you create the Double Down for KFC, a sandwich made of fried chicken in place of bread? And what the heck is a McRib?
Please, please don’t imply to me that the people creating these dishes don’t know exactly what they are creating. Just about every person in the modern world knows that processed junk food with its excesses of fat, sugar and salt is the main contributing factor to lifestyle diseases. And most certainly, anyone in the food business knows.
So why would they do this to society? Why would they knowingly market these foods to an unsuspecting public when they fully know the impact on human health and wellness?
I don’t have the answers. I don’t live in their heads or attend the brainstorming meetings where these diabolical dishes are created. Yes, I said diabolical. I only know what I see when I watch or read those ads. I see an industry hell bent on killing off their customers. Maybe they’re just hoping that each new generation will replace the one they poison and this cycle of illness and death with continue with the only people profiting being the food manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies.
I do know that the impact on human health makes my conclusion more and more logical. They’re not only trying to kill us but eating fast food at the rate we Americans do has resulted in a myriad of problems.
We splurge more when we eat fast food. The instant gratification mindset extends past the Golden Arches to every other aspect in life and we find we have a hard time delaying satisfaction, opting instead for immediate reward.
We’re more prone to depression. As a result of the excesses in fast foods, our overall wellness suffers and we begin to feel “low” or “blue.” According to a study done by Yale University, it’s tough to tell if fast food causes depression or the “comfort” of fast food attracts people who are depressed. Either way, it’s a bummer.
Fast food is fast in other ways, meaning it causes us to eat faster…and more. Harsh lights and colors like red and yellow cause us to eat faster and larger quantities. In fact, when Cornell researchers made over a Hardee’s with soft lights and music, people ate nearly 200 calories less than before.
We eat a lot more sugar…and crave it. When we think of junk food, we often think of salty fried foods and forget about sugar, even if we don’t eat desserts. Wendy’s Garden Sensations Mandarin Chicken Salad contains 33 grams of added sugar and McDonald’s Asian Salad has 22 grams. The recommended amount of sugar per day is 24 grams, so do the math here. And when it comes to food addiction, nothing is more effective at hooking you than sugar.
So I am back to my original question. Is it me or does it seem that a lot of food manufacturers are trying to kill us off?