Filed under: Food + Health, J500 Week 7, Society + Media | Tags: cheeseburger, chicken nuggets, fast food, food inspection standards, McDonalds
When I was a youngster, every Saturday was game day. Being a bit of a tomboy as a child, I loved to play sports. So each Saturday, I was in one of two places-on the basketball court or on the soccer field.
However, as much as I looked forward to expending my energy on the basketball court, it was what followed each of my games that made my heart race with excitement. That was knowing my dad would be taking me to McDonald’s.
During my adolescence, I had an adoration for eating under the golden arches, or what my dad and I refered to as our “weekly ritual.” I fondly remember stepping through the doors of McDonald’s and immediately having my senses delighted with the aromas of oily fries, greasy cheeseburgers and deep-fried chicken nuggets. As a child, these unhealthy fast foods had become a staple of my diet. I am not completely sure how McDonald’s cuisine (if it can even be described as such) became my comfort food.
At the ripe age of eight, my palate was accustomed to greasy, fatty foods and as a result, I requested it more often. Coincidentally, there happened to be a McDonald’s conveniently located a few blocks from my elementary school. On the days my mom picked me up from school, we would make a pit-stop at Mickey D’s and pick up my favorite after school snack- an order of large fries. I am a creature of habit and cheeseburgers and fries were my food habit. Being raised in a time when fast food restaurants are abundant and within blocks of one another, it was exceptionally easy for me to obtain. Unfortunately, the news isn’t any better for kids nowadays. Apparently, a new study found children in the United States are getting over a fourth of their daily calories from junk food.
Even more troublesome is a report by USA Today, which said that the beef and chicken supplied to schools is not checked nearly as rigorously as McDonald’s, Burger King and Costco, which cautiously scrutinizes its meat for bacteria and pathogens. When hearing information like this, it makes me cringe. Why aren’t government food inspection standards uniform? Inspection standards should be rigorous when it comes to the quality and safety of food. We place a certain amount of trust in our government to make sure that the food we eat won’t harm our health. So, whether it be a burger from Burger King or ground beef in a school lunch, it should become a habit for it to be examined closely and carefully.
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