We all know that fast food is bad, but how bad is it? Here are 12 reasons why it is not only terrible for your health but also the environment.
We all know its unhealthy but did you know it has a huge effect on the environment? From bad skin and hormonal imbalances to deforestation and drought, this multi-billion dollar industry could end of the world.
The concept of fast food is serving low-quality meats at low, affordable prices. These fast food companies buy their meets and food products from companies that largely contribute to deforestation and water consumption/pollution.
Additionally, these companies are serving low-quality which means there is almost no consideration for the consumer. Marketing may fool you into thinking they care about family and children, but don’t let that fool you.
Related – 10 Easy Tips For Lowering Cholesteral
12 Reasons Why Fast Food is bad for the environment & your health
Here are 12 reasons why fast food is terrible for the planet and solutions for avoiding these restaurants.
1. More Driving – Less Foot Traffic
Drive-Through’s not only contribute to air pollution they play a part in an unhealthy lifestyle. Less people are walking to restaurants or simply going inside. Sitting the car is supposed to be faster and more efficient but it’s the exact same amount of time.
2. Child Recruitment
“Daddy, can we have McDonald’s tonight?” – The Ronald McDonald campaigns as well as many other fast food campaigns are all geared towards little children.
In the documentary “SuperSize Me”, it shows how fast food chains are intentionally trying to recruit children. Studies show that the eating habits of kids largely affects what they eat as adults.
It’s very creepy that children are being seduced by a clown to eat fattening, sugar-filled “food”. Not to mention rewarding them with a $.02 toy from a factory that most likely doesn’t pay their employees fair wages.
It is now a much more talked about topic of just how much the fast-food industry contributes to deforestation. From 1990-2015 the world lost 129 million hectares of forests.
There is about 4 billion hectares of forest globally, and about 10 million is destroyed each year.
There is also intentional wild-fires set for agriculture and land-clearing. This process destroys everything, animals and habitats. Additionally it alters water cycles, soil fertility and endangers communities.
4. Garbage and Waste
Everything at these chains is packaged separately. When you order a burger fries and drink, everything will come individually wrapped, in a bag with a wrapped plastic straw, napkins and sauce.
Fast food packaging counts for 10% of all waste being produced. You can walk down the street in any city and see food wrappings on the sidewalks. In the UK, fast food packaging alone creates 11 billions tons of waste.
5. Poor Skin
Your skin literally falls apart when you eat fast food. The simple sugars, white flour, empty carbs, preservatives and trans fats contribute to acne, dry skin and premature aging.
This kind of food triggers insulin levels in the body to rise which then initiates an inflammatory response and that leads to glycation. This process speeds up the aging process and ruins the body’s natural antioxidants that are meant to help with skin damage and aging.
6. Factory Farming and Animal Cruelty
Basically all meat, eggs and dairy products used in fast food are from factory farms. Not only are these farms terrible for the environment, think about what the animals are forced to endure.
Most of these animals never see daylight and are deprived of all their basic instinct. They sit in there own excrement, are often abused and completely mistreated.
Additionally, due to the small profit margins, fast food companies rely on volume. This means more animals are killed in less time. Most of the factory farms operate 24/7, meaning thousands of animals are killed every hour.
7. Hormonal Imbalances
Animals raised for fast food are fed hormones and antibiotics that make them grow larger , produce more milk or eggs. This is another contribution to animals cruelty as it causes painful inflammation and can even leave them completely crippled.
When we eat foods that contain mass amounts of hormones it affects our bodies as well. Hormonal imbalances can lead to mood swings, depression and anxiety, poor skin, growth issues and weight gain.
8. Transportation & Shipping
It’s not just the farming and agriculture that contribute to pollution, it is the shipping and transporting of these products. These products are often pre-made, frozen and shipped all over the world.
Distribution trucks add to pollution, gas emissions and traffic congestion. All of which contribute to climate change. Even sitting in your car at a drive-through window contributes to air pollution.
9. Water Contamination
Due to the hormones, bacteria, drugs, fertilizers and pathogens used in the production of fast food, our water supplies often goes contaminated.
Outbreaks of waterborne illnesses like E. Coli, marine dead zones and many others are all because of fast food.
10. Obesity, Diabetes & Aspirin Dependency
Fast food contribute largely to obesity, diabetes and aspirin dependency. In America, adult obesity rate is 42.2% which means the country is in an obesity crisis. Because fast food is so cheap and easy, it is consumed at huge rates.
Fast food promotes insulin resistance which can lead to type 2 diabetes. 10.5% of the U.S. population has diabetes .
Tryamine, a chemical found in fast food production is known to cause headaches. When people get a headache, the solution is often to take an aspirin. Taking aspirin too often can lead to stomach irritates, ulcers and even excess bleeding.
12. Greenhouse Gases
Greenhouse gases are gas that traps in heat within the atmosphere and warms the planet. This harmful gases include to CO2, methane, NO2 and water vapor.
From the agriculture, the animals, the transportation, everything basically contributes to mass amounts of greenhouse gas emissions. This has a huge impact on climate change.
Now that we have covered all the reasons why fast food is bad, lets look at some solutions.
- Plan Ahead – Curb cravings with prepared snacks and plan meals in advance. Always give yourself time to eat healthy.
- Shop Locally – Visit local restaurants or grocery stores. Even get your groceries delivered if you’re too busy!
- Change Your Perspective – Think differently about your food. Fast food is bad, plain and simple. Remind yourself of this and focus on healthier options.
- Focus on Lifestyle, Not Diet – Quitting fast food can be tough, but don’t think of it as a diet. Focus on lifestyle changes like walking or biking instead of driving and choosing fruits or nuts over chips.
- Eat Less Meat – Cheap meat = animal cruelty and pollution. Do you really want to be apart of that? If you eat meat, buy local. There are so many meat-less alternatives now too. Try it, you might love it!
- Stop The Cravings – When craving fast food, eat something else. Grab some whole grain crackers or cereal. Even hard boiled eggs can help curb those cravings.
- Go Green – If you choose fast food, skip the meat and eat something green. Remember those dressings have heaps of empty calories and sugar so go lite or bring your own.
- Grilled Over Fried – When eating at a fast food restaurant choose grilled over fried. It is still going to be factory farmed, hormone filled meat, but it is a slightly better option.