Thursday, November 8, 2007
My recent book love is, who can be surprised, Fast Food Nation. Anyone who knows me is aware of my advocacy against the fast food industry. I have previously blogged on McDonalds and childrens' devotion to McDonald's products at such young ages.
Listen, I am not completely against fast food. I will eat some from time to time, not a lot, but rarely. I think that some of it can be therapeutic on rough days, and it's a guilty pleasure food to have sometimes as a treat. Not all food from fast food is terrible for you, but the vast majority of it really is. Food prepared that fast can't be too good.
I think I just have major issues with where we're going as a nation. We need instant gratification, and food is becoming too much. Obesity is steadily increasing, and our diets are becoming worse and worse. Something needs to change here...
Since I have such a strong opinion against the fast food industry, I decided to pick up a book that would shed light on the facts. I needed some evidence to back my arguments. Perhaps I am too harsh or severe, or perhaps new windows would be opened to my strictly focused opinion.
Fast Food Nation is blowing my mind with facts and statistics. I can't help but make noises to myself as I am reading it (I know, how much of a nerd am I?). This will be one of many blogs on the data I will find from this fascinating, eye-opening book.
Well, check out some of these facts. Tell me if you think they are absurd too, or if you think they're too inflated or off.
McDonalds' facts according to Fast Food Nation:
-has 30,000 restaurants worldwide, with 2,000 opening per year.
-hires more than one million people per year, more than any other American industry.
-is the nation's largest purchaser of beef, potatoes, and pork products.
-is the largest owner of retail property in the world.
-spends more money on advertising than any other brand.
-operates more playgrounds than any other private entity in the country.
-is responsible for the nation's best-selling children's clothing line (McKids).
-started in southern California where the McDonalds brothers single-handedly created drive thru, paper-product fast food containers, and assembly-line construction of foods.
-has a Hamburger University in Illinois where its managers are trained.
-had their first mascot as Speedee the chef with a hamburger hat, but later switched it after a popular TV clown received much popularity from children.
-hosted one of the most successful promotions in the history of American advertising with Teenie Beanie Babies in Happy Meals, grossing over 10 million Happy Meals sold per week.
A couple more staggering facts to leave you with:
2/3 of the nation's fast-food workers are under 20 years old.
In a survey given to American schoolchildren where they were to identify characters, Ronald McDonald was recognized by 96% of children. The only higher character was Santa Claus.