Fast Food Cheap and Cheerful
The original thinking behind Ray Kroc’s big idea for McDonalds was that he wanted all the food to taste the same – wherever it was bought – and he wanted to be able to offer a cheap and cheerful fast food experience, with identikit burgers for as little money as possible. Not for Ray was the gourmet experience.
So fast food was developed into standardised versions of the same thing, and the production of the food was honed into a fine art, designed to make lots of money for the manufacturers and be cheap enough for people to return again and again, no matter how tight the family budget.
Fast Food = Poor Quality?It would be unfair to tar all fast food with the same ‘cheap rubbish’ brush, but it’s true to say that the main thought of any producer of processed food is their profit margin. So the quality of many of the ingredients can’t necessarily be assumed to be high. Some manufacturers, especially with ready meals, tend to place their products in the premium price range, advertising Aberdeen Angus in the burgers or organic beef.
Even McDonalds has brought out a new ‘posh’ burger, possibly to attract a more upmarket clientele? But most burgers, pizza and chicken meals are sold with a huge mark up, and the ingredients sourced for value rather than quality.
If you’re looking for a burger or chicken that’s guaranteed to be made with fresh ingredients, you’d be better off making your own from scratch, because with a fast food burger or chicken nuggets unless it specifically states otherwise, the meat could come from any number of cattle or birds. There have been allegations in the past about the conditions, welfare and hygiene that many cattle and poultry bred for fast food firms are kept in.
Cheap And Cheerful – Low Cost RestaurantsIf you dine out at an expensive restaurant, you’ll expect good service, a clean and tidy, well lit table, a decent menu, and waiters to serve you.You wouldn’t expect anything special from a fast food joint, and that’s another way that they keep the overheads down in order to provide cheap, fast food. The money they save by setting up standardised, cheap looking outlets, using cheap disposable cups and trays, and employing young people is passed on to the consumer in the shape of low cost burgers and fries.
Cheap, Nutritious Food On A BudgetIf fast food doesn’t appeal, there are much better and healthier low cost options that won’t fill you full of fat and salt and can be cooked just as quickly. It takes no time at all to rustle up an omelette with some mushrooms and herbs. Jacket potatoes are easy – if not fast – and take no effort at all other than rinsing a potato and putting it in the oven.
Staple part of the student diet, pasta is another great cheap option if you want food that’s tasty and versatile. Add some chopped tomato, herbs and tuna and you’ve got yourself a quick and easy meal in minutes with no worries about food poisoning or slave labour!
Fruit and vegetables are usually on special offer at the supermarkets these days – shop around and find something different, bulk your meals up with extra veggies or pulses. There really is no need to resort to junk food simply because it’s cheap.