So what are the hottest new food trends?” I recently asked myself, contemplating the rise of organically produced foods, whole grains, and juice bars. So I did a search on “new food trends 2005”. In my heart of hearts, I was hoping that Americans were getting wiser. I imagined them traveling to their local farmer’s market, supporting grocery stores that carry organic produce, cooking at home with friends and family, exercising several times throughout the week and drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
As the search results scrolled across my screen, my attention was immediately caught by this report on NPR News entitled, New Fast Food Fare Bucks Health Trends.
As I listened to Scott Horsley describe “new” or “improved” items on fast food menus like the Monster Thickburger and the Super Shake that contain double or triple the calories and fat content, I realized only a small portion of Americans are aware of the “food revolution”. Words like organic, soy, antioxidants are completely foreign to them. Come on, we are fighting a war here. Aren’t we trying to return to healthy, natural foods? Why doesn’ t most of America see that?
It seems from the report that the “unsuspecting” consumer, chowing down on these new selections could consume well past their fat and calorie intake for the day in just one meal! Now, I say “unsuspecting”, but Gosh, haven’t any of these people seen Super Size Me?
So the next question that came to my mind was “Why do people love the taste of fast food so much?” The results that flashed on my screen were less informative than my first search. Next, I consulted one of the best resources I have about food and well, life in general: my Granny.
She explained that people who eat a lot of fast food have been doing so for years, and their tastes have changed so much that they find it delicious and satisfying. In some cases, she remarked, they even grew up eating it and it has become part of their food heritage, much like homemade comfort food used to be. Besides the fact that its economical and doesn’t require grocery shopping or cooking, I am still somewhat puzzled about the taste factor, but I do see Granny’s logic.