kris debach Eng 101: 010 October 2, 2011 Comparison -Contrast Fast Food or Home Cooked Dining This generation needs instant gratification in order to function. One of the easiest things a person can get their hands on is food. Commercials, billboards, magazines, and radio shows all advertise quick and inexpensive dining. At the end of each major street there is a fast food stop just waiting for hungry and impatient people to dine. The all-American, greasy, and artery clogging foods are readily available and just a drive-thru away.
In contrast, home-cooked-meals are not only better for the body, but for the very foundation that families were made on. Throughout my life my mother has almost always poured her heart into her meals. She was a stay at home mom and her family was her job. The food she made day in and day out was her way of putting her family first. When my sister and I would come home from school and my father from work; my family would sit at the dinner table and talk about our days. The meals and the quality of them were always comforting and warm.
It is for vital for children growing up that they eat with their families. The sound of knives and forks scraping against glass plates is not a sound one would hear at a nearby McDonalds. The friends I grew up with had parents that worked outside of the home and always arrived home hours after dinner time. Their parents would leave money for fast food and snacks because they were not able to cook. Most of my friends would pick up burgers or chicken nuggets and devour the food before they arrived home. Those friends of mine were deprived of good home-cooked-meals and quality time with their parents.
They grew up eating fast food for dinner, occasionally ordering food from cheap restaurants, eating alone, and never really enjoying a meal with their entire family. In addition to being deprived of delicious meals with the family; those who indulge in fast food regularly are depriving themselves of something far more beneficial, good health. The majority of fast food is fried, high in Trans-fats and Saturated fats, covered with salt, and made with the lowest quality ingredients. Of course, eating fast food in moderation will not be detrimental to consumers’ health, but that is rarely the case.
Fast food consumption on a regular basis leads to obesity in children, teens, and adults. What is considered the daily intake of calories can be found in a number six special with fries and a drink for fewer than five dollars. In dissimilarity with fast food, home-cooked-meals are generally healthier. The ingredients of each meal can be seen, touched, and substituted for something better. Meals made from scratch have real ingredients in them, unlike fast food restaurants where the ingredients are imitation and of low quality.
In the home, when mothers are making dinner, there are standards by which she follows, and only the best food will she present to her family. Generally, home cooked meals are baked or prepared on the stovetop, reducing the calorie intake by more than half. In addition, home-cooked-meals are free of the harmful and detrimental preservatives that are in fast food, making home-cooked-meals even more favorable. For most folks, the thought of feeding their families fast food seems wise because, it’s less expensive and less time consuming than a home-cooked-meal.
The reality is that the cost of fast food eaten regularly accumulates over time. It takes money to drive to the restaurant, pay for the food, and drive back home. Those miles add up and so does the money. The average family does not have enough disposable income to spend on fast food every week. Wasting money on quick dining regularly is counterintuitive; eating at home is a fraction of the price of eating out. In contrast, eating at home for all meals and shopping for groceries once a week is cost effective, economically wise, and healthier for families everywhere.
There are only fresh ingredients and raw meats to choose from. At local grocery stores there are always different items that are on sale. Families who shop for groceries can also use that time to bond with each other and talk about the meals they will all make that particular week. Getting a full seven days’ worth of food and only having to travel to the store one time per week will save time, money, and gasoline. Planning meals ahead of time and using the ingredients that are readily available is beneficial to the families who need to stretch a dollar.
It is smarter shopping for food and preparing it at home than it is to eat out. One of the biggest problems associated with fast food is how much goes uneaten and is, therefore, wasted. To my dismay, whenever I tagged along to get fast food with my friends I always noticed a bag of half-eaten fries that went in the trash. This was always so bothersome because food should never be squandered. To them it is inexpensive, so what does it matter if a few fries go uneaten? It makes all the difference to a child, or person, who hasn’t eaten and cannot afford to do so.
It is a sad reality that most fast food restaurants throw away the uneaten food to prepare for the next day. It is wasteful and disappointing to know food chains throw out thousands of pounds of food each day when there are millions of children and adults that are starving. When my family and I eat at home, there are almost always leftovers. They can be used in the following nights’ dinner or just as a snack if anyone happens to be hungry. We save the leftovers in plastic containers and refrigerate them so until all of the leftovers have been eaten.
Food rarely goes to waste in my house and that’s the way it ought to be. Food is not a free commodity and should be saved until it is consumed. Unfortunately, not everyone thinks in a parsimonious way. America is a wasteful nation and it is almost encouraged to throw away uneaten food, or anything that appears to be unappetizing. Though many would argue, fast food is not all bad and home-cooked-meals are not always the healthiest. Many fast food chains offer healthier choices and reduced calorie items off of their menus. There are choices of fried chicken or grilled chicken for sandwiches and tortilla wraps.
Customers are able to find a modest variety of salads with low calorie dressings at any major food chain. If soda is not a preference, bottled water is provided and never out of stock. Desserts include low-fat yogurt, fruit parfaits with granola, or low-fat ice cream. Growing up a Hispanic girl, I was introduced to many foods that could be potential heart-stoppers. Also, everything in Puerto-Rican food can be fried in Crisco or vegetable oil. The rice is fried with a palm full of salt, boiled in water, and chunks of pork belly are added for even more flavor.
Pork chops, and other meats like chicken, are not edible unless they are covered in salt and garlic, fried in oil until they are crisp, and ready to be served with fried plantains. When it comes to dessert, the main ingredient is primarily sweetened condensed milk and caramel. If this type of meal was eaten every day, it would have done more damage than fast food. There are healthy and unhealthy choices in both fast food and home-cooked meals. The money spent on drive-thru meals and driving to pick up fast food is becoming higher and higher, just like the national weight.
The money a family could save by shopping for groceries once a week could help them pay bills. Modern society has dictated a change in the fast-food industry by demanding healthier options for the average consumer. By the same token, families are pushed away from home-cooked meals because either parents work or there may only be one parent supporting the family. The pros and cons of fast-food versus home-cooking are plenty. It is up to the consumer to choose wisely. As for my preference, I’ll always choose to sit and eat a home-cooked-meal with my family.