Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Global Litter

One can safely assume that I am not a fan of fast food, for obvious reasons. The evidence is clear; it strongly promotes many of the top killers in the United States (CVD, Diabetes, cancer, obesity, etc.) and they promote (yes, promote) animal cruelty. They request that their suppliers produce meat as cheaply and inhumanely as possible. That is one reason why fast food is cheap!

However, my issues with fast food go beyond industry politics, health, and even animal cruelty. Basically, fast food restaurants all look the same; they’re ugly right down to their cheap, plastic backyards (playgrounds). They bring down the aesthetic qualities any city could hope to have. They generate immense amounts of litter. Styrofoam cups and plastic containers decorate the streets thanks to fast food consumers. Another charm is their association with crime rates. Many factors contribute to the effect of fast food chains on increased crime rates, but that’s another book. Thankfully, Eric Schlosser wrote Fast Food Nation, as I’m no sociologist.

Anyway, it has come to my attention that entire cities are dedicated to fighting McDonaldization! I am not alone in my battle. Ever go to a quaint, coastal town? It wouldn’t be so quaint if it was littered with these fast food atrocities; it would be ugly. Sadly, that is what is happening; a McD’s can be found all the way from the Louvre to the Great Pyramids. Thankfully, governments are increasingly implementing city codes which make it difficult, if not impossible, for fast food chains to build. It is not legally possible to prevent them completely, in most cities, but they can prevent drive-thrus. After all, what is a fast food restaurant without a drive thru?!

Coronado, California is one such city, along with Berkeley and Davis, California. My research is incomplete, but I know there are more cities (especially historical charms) with even more concrete regulations that absolutely prevent these abominations to beauty.

Sadly, during my stay in beautiful Berkeley, I did see a McDonald’s. However, as ugly as the golden arches will always be, note what a difference a lack of a drive-thru makes! It’s a step up.

Fast food isn’t easy on the eyes, and it’s even harder on the hips. If you don’t have time for slow food, skip a meal; it’ll do a body good.

P.S. Sugar Update!

I am still going strong. It has been tough and I was accosted by a cotton candy vendor on my second, sugar-free day. I find myself ogling pastry stands and homemade food has been my only ally.

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