Food Fight Essay

1509 Words7 Pages
Food Fight

In America, one would be hard pressed to find a town which did not support at least one McDonald’s, Burger King or Wendy’s. Pizza parlors are a necessity in college towns. Ice cream shops are abuzz with customers of all ages after dark. And hey, who ever heard of a movie without popcorn?

The increasing visibility and importance of food in our culture has been a phenomenon. Food began as a necessity of life. It was the source of energy, which allowed the body to grow and prosper, and for hunters and gatheerrs to survive. In modern times, the role of food in everyday life has taken on a life of its own, from the blue-ribbon palate pleasers tickling taste buds to political statements drawn in chocolate to social drinking.
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The proliferation of fast food restaurants has also catered to a culture of families on the move.

As Eric Schossler's 2001 best-seller Fast Food Nation details, the average American eats two fast food burgers and two orders of fries every week. Consumers spend over $110 billion on fast food annually and ninety percent of youths consume at least one Happy Meal per month. On an average day in 1998, 21% of American households ate some form of takeout or delivery. Fast food restaurants package food, and brand loyalty, with cutesy jingles sung by clowns and novelty collectible toys that no kid should be without. The Happy meals of McDonald’s and Burger King’s “Big Kid’s” meals have raised the question of food from a level of bare sustenance to a question of pride. Doesn’t the sound of having a “Big Kid’s meal” make you feel…well, big, macho, cool? Brown bag lunches are pale in comparison. For a vast portion of impressionable youth, fast food and brand loyalty have risen up as a status symbol of sorts from its humble origins as an energy source.

But why settle for value meals if you can afford gourmet? The various tiers of restaurants cater to different classes of people based on age, income and expectations. For instance, the diner look of a Waffle House or a Denny’s seems to attract more of the working class while four-star steakhouses such as Outback Steakhouse or Lone Star are frequented more by the
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