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Fast food

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**Historical Evolution of Fast Food:**
– Ready-cooked food concept linked to urban developments.
– Emergence of quick service and inexpensive food post-WWII economic boom in America.
– Transition from traditional family dinners to fast food consumption.
– Pre-industrial Old World examples like Roman food vendors and Chinese fried dough.
– Introduction of drive-in restaurants and White Castle’s innovations in the US.
– Growth and diversification of fast food options in America.

**Fast Food Consumption Trends:**
– On-the-go options like drive-thru services and take-away.
– Fast food availability at filling stations and petrol stations.
– Street vendors and concessions offering quick and diverse food choices.
– Standardized ingredients and cooking methods in modern fast food cuisine.
– Popular fast food variants like Chinese takeout, sushi, pizza, kebabs, and fish and chips.

**Business and Economic Aspects:**
– Consumer spending on fast food in the US.
– Total sales in the US restaurant industry.
– Decline in fast food market share to fast casual dining.
– Impact of competition on fast food giants.
– Employment statistics and job outlook in the fast food industry.

**Globalization and Cultural Adaptation:**
– Global fast-food market growth and presence of major chains like McDonald’s.
– McDonald’s successful entry into diverse markets like Russia.
– Local cuisine examples from different regions like Dutch, Portuguese, Polish, East Asian, and Indian fast foods.
– Criticisms faced by the fast-food industry globally.
– Efforts to introduce healthier menu options and address health concerns.

**Health, Environmental, and Social Impact:**
– Fast food’s association with health issues like obesity, depression, and diseases.
– Criticism regarding environmental impact and packaging waste.
– Economic implications of fast-food industry practices.
– Historical context and evolution of fast food culture.
– Health and nutrition concerns related to fast food consumption.

Fast food (Wikipedia)

Fast food is a type of mass-produced food designed for commercial resale, with a strong priority placed on speed of service. It is a commercial term, limited to food sold in a restaurant or store with frozen, preheated or precooked ingredients and served in packaging for take-out/takeaway. Fast food was created as a commercial strategy to accommodate large numbers of busy commuters, travelers and wage workers. In 2018, the fast food industry was worth an estimated $570 billion globally.

Examples of fast food (left to right, top to bottom): Cheeseburger, soft drink, french fries, pizza Margherita, hot dog, fried chicken, submarine sandwich, and donuts.

The fastest form of "fast food" consists of pre-cooked meals which reduce waiting periods to mere seconds. Other fast food outlets, primarily hamburger outlets such as McDonald's and Burger King use mass-produced, pre-prepared ingredients (bagged buns and condiments, frozen beef patties, vegetables which are pre-washed, pre-sliced, or both; etc.) and cook the meat and french fries fresh, before assembling "to order".

Fast food restaurants are traditionally distinguished by the drive-through. Outlets may be stands or kiosks, which may provide no shelter or seating, or fast food restaurants (also known as quick service restaurants). Franchise operations that are part of restaurant chains have standardized foodstuffs shipped to each restaurant from central locations.

Many fast foods tend to be high in saturated fat, sugar, salt and calories. Fast food consumption has been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, colorectal cancer, obesity, high cholesterol, insulin resistance conditions and depression. These correlations remain strong even when controlling for confounding lifestyle variables, suggesting a strong association between fast food consumption and increased risk of disease and early mortality.

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