Slow Food or Fast Food?

Slow Food or Fast Food?

A busy schedule, stress, and hectic pace. When things have to go particularly quickly, we like to grab fast food and ready-made products. Taste is secondary. Representatives of the slow food movement counter the trend of fast eating with a culture of conscious enjoyment.

Slow Food or Fast Food? – Article overview:

  1. “Super Size Me” – 30 days of fast food
  2. Why fast food makes you sick
  3. Slow Food – protest movement against burgers, pizza & Co.
  4. Slow food better than strict “organic”?
  5. Link tips

Fast food is practical and popular. A burger or donor kebab is easy to devour on the go, fills you up (at least for a short time), is comparatively inexpensive, and tastes more or less the same in all countries. But the quick fillers are not suitable as healthy meals. The ready-made food contains a lot of fat and calories and several artificial additives such as flavor enhancers, flavors, and colorings. The film “Super Size Me” (2004) by Morgan Spurlock clearly shows how harmful the one-sided eating of McDonald’s & Co. can be.

“Super Size Me” – 30 days of fast food

Spurlock filmed a 30-day self-experiment, where he only ate McDonald’s food. He had to observe the following rules:

  • All of the food that he consumed in the 30 days had to come from the McDonald`s group without exception.
  • He had to eat at McDonald’s three times a day.
  • He was not allowed to walk more than 2,000 steps a day.
  • If he was offered the menu in “supersize,” the oversize at the time, he had to order it.
  • He had to order every McDonald’s product on the menu at least once.

After the first two weeks of his self-experiment, the first traces of the one-sided diet were already evident: Spurlock increased rapidly, his cholesterol level increased from 186 to 230 mg/dl and the liver values ​​became questionable. At the end of his burger odyssey, he had gained 11 pounds and his body fat percentage had increased by seven percent! In addition, Spurlock had a fatty liver, a doubled heart attack risk and suffered from states of exhaustion, depression, mood swings, and potency problems.

Why fast food makes you sick

Classic fast food contains a significant amount of unhealthy animal fats, lots of sugar, just as much salt, and lots of artificial additives. Fiber, vitamins, and minerals, on the other hand, are almost completely absent. Such an unbalanced diet inevitably leads to illness. In addition, researchers have found that fast food is addictive and can lead to so-called obesity, as it undermines the chemical balance in the brain in a similar way to any other addictive substance.

Obesity (obesity) is not just a major risk factor for atherosclerosis, diabetes, and cancer. The risk of a heart attack or stroke also increases. In addition, overweight people move less and become inactive. Depression and mood swings are the result.

But the time factor also plays an important role. Burgers, fries, and doner kebab are usually devoured in a very short time. You don’t take the time to chew properly when you’re eating quickly in the car. But chewing is important to produce stomach acid and digest it properly.

Of course, the big fast-food chains dismiss such statements either as bad propaganda or point out that “nobody only consumes fast food”, which is why such studies are completely out of practice. How realistic these statements are can easily be seen from the obesity statistics in the USA. May everyone make their own judgment.

Slow Food – protest movement against burgers, pizza & Co.

In 1986 the planned opening of a McDonald’s branch directly on the Spanish Steps in Rome caused a stir. Carlo Petrini, an Italian publicist, took the opening of the restaurant as an opportunity and founded the “Arcigola” organization that same year. In 1989 the Slow Food movement developed from this, an international association that today has around 100,000 members in around 150 countries. But what does the term slow food mean?

The slow food movement sees itself as a counter-movement to fast life and fast food and has set itself to cultivate the culture of eating and drinking. Slow Food stands for the enjoyable and conscious handling of food produced in a natural and original way. The Slow Food logo adorns a snail as a symbol of slowness.

The preservation of old farm animal breeds and regional plant varieties is a particular concern of the Slow Food organization members. With the “Ark of Taste,” a catalog in which endangered farm animals and plants are listed, the association tries to stimulate demand for these products again.

Slow food better than strict “organic”?

Slow Food can, but does not have to be, 100% organic. Since the marketing of organic goods is subject to strict rules that small producers often cannot comply with (just think of the evidence of guaranteed organic feed in dairy and cattle breeding, etc.), the organization “Slow Food” does not insist on organic -Quality in terms of industry.

A few considerations as to why the Slow Food idea sometimes makes more sense than organic certification:

1. Slow Food supports the sustainable development of a region. Slow Food stands for products with an authentic character (regional, seasonal) that are produced and enjoyed in a traditional or original way. Organic fruit and vegetables, on the other hand, are also grown out of season, in greenhouses or transported to Austria over long distances from abroad. The regionality and seasonality that are important for Slow Food are lost here. In addition, the environment suffers from the energy consumption on the transport routes.

2. Slow Food promotes the culture of eating and pleasure. A healthy diet is becoming increasingly important to young people. Fast food restaurants and snack bars with organic fast food are springing up like mushrooms. All common finished products are now also available in organic quality. The trend towards quick eating continues.

3. Slow Food promotes the regional economy and advocates ecologically sustainable production methods. The Slow Food project also serves to preserve biodiversity in agriculture. Whether supermarket, discount store or drugstore – the shopping shelves are crammed with organic products. Organic food has long since become a mass product. The result: farmers are not encouraged to produce more quality, but are forced into mass production.

At home and abroad there are more and more “organic agricultural factories” that farm their land in monocultures. They reduce the biodiversity of animals and plants. Many organic farmers only adhere to the minimum requirements of the EU organic regulation for the protection of animals. “Organic” often means that thousands of animals are locked in iron cages.

In addition, the organic boom is putting greater price pressure on the industry. While large farms are getting bigger, small farmers can no longer withstand the price war and lose sales opportunities.

Many young farmers who work according to ecological criteria do not have the money to have their farms certified. Often their products do not meet the strict and complicated criteria of the EC organic regulation. They are being pushed out of production and have to partially close.

4. Slow Food advocates the appreciation of food. The time when eco-freaks packed wrinkled apples in their jute bags in health food stores is long gone. Outwardly, organic goods can no longer be distinguished from standardized conventional products. Unconventionally grown vegetables that were still found in the range of the first organic shops now have no chance. The result: producers simply throw away high-quality goods.

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