Are we a fast food community?
This study, along with the movies “Supersize Me” and “Fastfood Nation”, which expose the darker side of fast food, is raising concerns across the country and here in Lake Stevens.
Jennie Fenrich read a book about the hidden dangers of trans fats about the same time she saw the movie “Supersize Me”. As a result, she hasn’t eaten at McDonalds for three years and has also tried very hard to stay away from trans fats.
“The combination of the book and the movie freaked me out,” she said. “I’m incensed that the government allows trans fats to be made at all. I don’t think anyone should eat it, and I think it’s irresponsible that trans fats are even made.”
Now her 16-year-old daughter is on the anti-trans fats bandwagon, she said, and even her four-year-old son says that they don’t eat at McDonald’s because of the “bad fats.”
Erin Tyack who attends Lake Stevens high school jokingly said real food is too expensive so she just sticks with coffee and enjoys eating fast food a few times a week.
“I haven’t seen either “Fast Food Nation” or “Supersize Me,” she said. “And I don’t want to. They’d gross me out and I don’t really want to stop eating fast food.”
She is concerned about the potential for obesity that fast food raises.
“People who eat fast food don’t really worry about the calories and don’t care if it’s real chicken or meat or not,” said Ashley Ross, who also eats fast food a few times a week, but not McDonalds. “They eat it because it’s addicting, good and cheap. I try not to think about where the food comes from when I eat it.”
Rhonda Arend of Lake Stevens was disgusted by “Supersize Me”, but not alarmed.
“I wasn’t surprised by the results of the man’s experiment,” said Arend commenting on “Supersize Me” main character’s one-month McDonalds binge. When asked if concerned about factory farms used to produce the meat for fast food restaurants, she said, “I’m not influenced by it so much; I’d have to read more to be convinced. Cows are raised for beef and milk.”
Patty Kressell of Lake Stevens watched “Fast Food Nation” with her son 19-year-old Ben.
“I thought what the movie presented was horrible,” said Kressell. “After that, it was hard to eat fast food without thinking about the movie. Just thinking about what workers go through at the factories, what the animals go through and what could be in the food is disturbing. It’s something I never would have thought about it before.”
Kressell said the movie made her rethink fast food to a certain degree, but that she’ll no doubt continue eating it a few times a week. She does feel that stricter regulations need to be put in place for the companies that supply the fast food chains, to increase health and safety.
Her son, a self-proclaimed health freak, doesn’t eat fast food but prefers to eat homemade food.
“Fast food’s just not good for you,” he said.
“Unfortunately, in homes now with both parents working, it’s so hard to come home and want to make dinner. When I was a stay at home mom, it was a lot easier,” said Kressell.
For Andrea Kaschmitter of Lake Stevens, any fast food is too much when it comes to her children.
“I think fast food restaurants should try to create healthier options,” said Kaschmitter, who eats fast food herself once a week, “as a treat.” “People need to understand that moderate eating is where it’s at.”
A mom of two young children, Kaschmitter said it’s important that she makes home-cooked meals and that her family eats together, at home. She admits it can be difficult sometimes, balancing work and home life, but that it’s worth the sacrifice of not eating junk.
“The way cows are harvested now, with synthetic hormones and antibiotics that are shoved into them to make them bigger and better, it’s scary,” she said. “Fast food is just not healthy but it’s everywhere, making our kids fat. Not just chubby - fat.”
Kaschmitter said heavy TV advertising aimed primarily at children, pushing junk food and fast food, ultimately made her pull the plug.
“We just don’t watch TV anymore,” she said. “It’s not worth it.”