Americans might be living in a fast food world, but they suffer because of it. Although pulling through the drive-thru window after work is a cheap, easy way to grab dinner, the health risks of fast food are resulting in a variety of life-threatening issues. Fast food items are typically full of saturated fat and calories. Grocery shopping and cooking seems like a time-consuming venture, but a little extra effort could save someone’s life.
Eating is a large component of many American customs, including holiday events, first dates and weddings. However, most people never stop to consider the quality of the food they eat. Purchasing local food with healthy ingredients will be beneficial to all parties.
A heavy reliance on imported food might be detrimental to one’s health. Food availability is often affected by fuel costs. When fuel costs decrease, exports become readily available. With the global shipping of food products, Americans benefit. However, international food distribution creates complications, like the increase in pollution. According to a recent study, one ship can produce as many cancer-causing chemicals as almost 50 million cars.
The slow food movement encourages people to explore how their food was prepared, how it tastes, its origins, and the impact of agriculture on the local economy. Slow Food USA is an organization that accentuates the importance of appreciating food as the cultural event that it can be, while maintaining the environment for future generations.
Eating in restaurants that feature food by local farmers is one way to support slow food. Unfortunately, a majority of Americans dine in restaurants that are tied to national franchises. Even local restaurants usually keep the origins of their food under wraps, believing that diners would not be interested in the information. By paying attention to food labels, consumers can make positive changes to their diets. Restaurants can improve the dining experience by offering more information on their menus. The stories behind individual dishes are usually interesting, and a fast food menu board often does not portray the history of specific dishes.
Discovering the cultural history of food is an added attraction that can only improve the dining experience.