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Ch. 25 - FAST FOOD, A HYMN TO CELLULITE

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 August 2009

Kenneth F. Kiple
Affiliation:
Bowling Green State University, Ohio
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Summary

One taste worldwide.

McDonald's

FAST FOOD MAKES NEWS. In the United States, the Center for Science in the Public Interest periodically exposes the fat and calorie content of fast foods. In 1994 it pointed out, to the consternation of many who thought popcorn was benign, that a large order of this long-time fast food (it became popular during World War II when candy was in short supply), popped movie-style in coconut oil, stuffed its consumer with two days worth of artery-clogging fat – and this before butter was added. With butter, the harmful fat was equal to that packed into nine McDonald's quarter-pounders.

And speaking of McDonald's, a bemused nation recently read that obese adults and youngsters alike were suing the fast food giant for making them fat, and the fast food industry was clamoring for legislation (the so-called “cheeseburger bills”) to obviate more obesity suits. But despite considerable anti–fast-food fuming fueled by growing waistlines, fast food establishments were routinely muscling their way into military bases, school cafeterias, university student unions, even into major-league hospitals in a wave of nutritional nihilism that seemed unstoppable.

Abroad, however, where food phobias can take the form of outright terrorism, there were attempts to stop fast food cold. In 1995, Danish anarchists looted, wrecked, and then (adding insult to injury) burned a McDonald's restaurant in Copenhagen – beginning a wave of “McBurnings” and “McBombings” that stretched in Europe from Belgium and England to Greece, France, and Russia, and in South America from Cali to Rio de Janeiro.

Type
Chapter
Information
A Movable Feast
Ten Millennia of Food Globalization
, pp. 274 - 284
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2007

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