Lunchtime poll – fast food frequency
August 5th, 2010
12:15 PM ET
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When Saveur Magazine's editor-in-chief and Top Chef Masters judge James Oseland 'fessed up to his fondness for McDonald's Filet-O-Fish in yesterday's 5@5 post, readers came out of the woodwork to wax rhapsodic about their obsessions with that very fishwich, Taco Bell's chalupas, tacos and nachos, Papa John's pizza and plenty of other fast food staples.

For many folks, chain take-out is a way of life; a necessity or a simple pleasure. For others, in light of 'factory farm-to-processing plant-to-the nation's highways-to-freezers-to-local fast food franchise' polemics like Eric Schlosser's 'Fast Food Nation,' Michael Pollan's 'The Omnivore's Dilemma' and last year's eco-It documentary 'Food Inc.', coming out in favor of a McDonald's menu item is an act of culinary, ecological and moral treason.

Where do you stand? We'd love to know why as much as how often, so super-size your stance in the comments below and we may include it in an upcoming post.

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soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. Saya

    I will only eat fast-food if there are no food around.
    Like in the airport here where I stayed, they only have fast-food outlets.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  2. Bill

    If it were just your life that your choices affect, you would have a point but it's not and you don't. The rest of us tax payers shouldn't have to help you pay for your mutant meat nugget diet but sadly, we do. Fast food would not exist without billions of annual tax payer dollars artificially propping it up. This is to say nothing of the massive environmental havoc it wreaks nor the diseases it creates, both of which affect literally everyone.

    August 5, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  3. Elle

    You guys crack me up-A lot of us work LONG hours and generally don't have time to cook so stop with this "cook at home Sh**" I work everyday 7am-5pm with a 1.5 hour commute each way which leaves me eating fruit parfaits or oatmeal at mcdonalds or a egg mcmuffin twice a week, lunch usually consists of a turkey sandwich or wendys chilli, and dinner is usually a lean cuisinen or a salad from wendys-so yes I do eat FAST FOOD!

    I exercise on weekends-I'm a runner so I run about 10 miles saturdays and sundays and i'm healthy as a horse....i suggest people who tell others how to live their life to get a life-do you have to agree with everything-no? but coming here wasting your time telling people how to live your life is ridiculous.

    August 5, 2010 at 7:43 pm |
  4. Laura

    What was the article about? I'm craving some fast food ... =D

    August 5, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  5. Lena

    "out of necessity" = hangover
    oh yeah!

    August 5, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  6. larry wi

    It would be rare that I would eat that stuff!, Didn't grow up with it, dont need it now.

    August 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  7. Vanilla Gorilla

    if you want some strong reasons to stop ingesting fast foods (and yes Subway is a fast food) watch an autopsy of anyone who has eaten it on a regular basis and pay attention to the belly fat and the fat around the vital organs – it killed them – albeit slowly it still is a contributing factor as processed foods are not natural and contain chemicals that can be recovered from the fatty tissues after years in the gravel

    August 5, 2010 at 3:29 pm |
    • Conqui

      Most of us know this, in theory. What would be more helpful is ideas about an alternative. What would you suggest when I'm not at home, unpredictably have only 30 minutes to get to the next thing on my schedule, and this is my only change to eat in the next 5 hours? All of us don't live in circumstances or with resources where we can be as perfect as we would like to be. Ideas?

      August 5, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  8. Conqui

    Over the years I have known many folks who were "health nuts" and constantly pointing out how awful it was that the rest of us EVER eat something not up to their standards. Percentage-wise, more of these folks have had sudden death or debilitating conditions compared to the rest of my acquaintances who don't stress out about an occasional totally unhealthy meal. There are times when I have a choice between getting fast food or not eating until later, when my schedule allows time to fix something at home. It is totally unpredictable. When this happens, I try to eat something less bad for me, but once in a while I will get something greasy. I am amused by all the people who get on their high horse about anyone ever eating something that's not perfectly healthy - I find that these folks need to give the same attention to their mental health and self-righteous stressing out that they do about food additives etc.

    August 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  9. Bill

    Fast food is an indefensible abomination.

    Economically, it represents a one-two punch right to the jaw of the taxpayer. First you have the BILLION dollar tax payer subsidies for corn which are the very bedrock of the industry. Without these, not only would there not be a dollar menu, there wouldn't even be a ten dollar menu. Inevitably, millions of people come down with type 2 diabetes, heart disease, various cancers and all the other adjoining health problems directly linked to a diet of nuggets and cheeseburgers and who do you think gets stuck with the bill for a majority of these cases? The tax payer of course! Through medicaid and medicare YOU pay for their horrible diet of dollar menu sludge.

    When you buy fast food you also support factory farms which are, without question, one of the most truly evil industries civilization has ever witnessed. Swine flu? MSRA? Circovirus? Bird flu? Antibacterial resistant strains of E-coli? Mad Cow disease? Foot and Mouth disease? You can thank your local factory farms for all of them.

    Every pound of protein requires more than ten times that amount of feed to produce. In a world where 15 million children die every year from starvation, that is heinous.

    Factory farms contribute more to global warming than automobiles and is one of the leading causes of deforestation. You want to save the environment? Don't buy a Prius, just stop buying fast food!

    Finally, anyone who knows what the animals endure inside the walls of factory farms everyday and still eats the end product is, quite frankly, a monster. Poultry and beef farmers (back when they actually were "farmers") from a century ago would fall to their knees and weep if they saw the leaving, breathing, Hell that would eventually become their profession. Factory farms are nothing less than soulless, barbaric concentration camps for animals. The suffering inflicted there only a daily basis is indescribable.

    Enjoy your dollar menu.

    August 5, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • Conqui

      Thank you for your self-righteous diatribe. Sure, there are some things we can all do differently to eat better. We don't all have the time and resources to be as perfect as you are. Some of the population literally has to make a choice between feeding their children cheaper factory-raised fcod or paying the electric bill. If you spent as much time making non-judgmental suggestions that helps them out in their day-to-day struggles as you did being so self-righteous, you might actually make a difference and be worth listening to. Would you like me to point out all the obvious places in your post you are stressing out and appearing to be angry, and pointing out all the well-documented studies since the 1930's that this kind of self-induced stress puts on oneself, and all the health consequences of this that is at least as socially destructive as what you point out?? My guess is that you don't have the courage to take my suggestions about what is healthier for you than the way you are now, mental health wise.

      August 5, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
      • Bill

        The "suggestions" Conqui, are obvious. Repeal the tax funded subsidies that make fast food possible. Everything will crumble and be built up anew after that. Better still, tax fast food like we tax cigarettes, as the ailments arising from fast food (and processed food in general) are orders of magnitude more prevalent and costly than the ailments arising from cigarettes, alcohol, or any other drug.

        Unfortunately, the regulatory bodies responsible for keeping agriculture industries in check have bowed to every piece of dirty silver they were offered. The first victim of this abuse is the family farmer, who grows increasingly rare as more and more bribery-induced legislation is passed with the sole purpose of driving them out of existence. The second victim, is of course, us, the consumers, whose food becomes increasingly contaminated and exponentially damaging to everything around us. The USDA is one of the most ineffective, corrupt organizations the United States has ever had the misfortune of housing. Oust the modern day Judases that comprise the USDA and there might just be a glimmer of hope amidst all this darkness.

        P.S. stating facts you would rather not hear and using the occasional exclamation point or capitalized word in an online post is not tantamount to dangerous levels of real world stress, although I do appreciate your concern.

        And again, enjoy your dollar menu.

        August 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
  10. arvhaax

    When I was younger I used to eat fast food all the time. Now, at 17, I'm more aware about what I eat and where it comes from. I have not eaten fast food in about 2-3 years, and I even converted to vegetarianism. Personally, I don't consider subway fast food. Anything like McDonalds, Wendy's, BK, or anything like that it out of the question for me. McDonalds is just nasty, and only God knows what's really in that Fish Filet or Big Mac

    August 5, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  11. Mexican Girl

    The only type of "fast food" I will eat any more is places that have a healthier option. Chipolte is one of my they try to get food that has been treatedwith out added junk. If you have not tried it you may like it. Even the vegitarian will love this plave.

    August 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  12. Yacker

    I eat fast food once in a while but really try to limit it. I've had success by using a "fast food motto", I'll eat fast food but won't wait in line to eat it. Works 99% of the time.

    August 5, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
    • Laura

      I like this policy!

      August 5, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
  13. tj

    I buy take out as often as I can get away with it. Not because I like fast food so much but its easier than putting up with my significant others whining about when supper will be ready. He doesn't eat half of what I cook anyway and then I'm stuck cleaning up the kitchen afterward. To top it off he refuses to eat leftovers so its all a big waste anyway. I could feed a nation on what I cook and throw out in a week. Fast Food He Devours!

    August 5, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
    • Rins

      wow...sounds like someone needs to be kicked to the curb and left to make his own dinners. Why would you put up with someone so ungrateful?

      August 5, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  14. Texas Pete

    I eat fast food about 2x a week, but never the traditional fast food. It is always Pancheros, Subway or Quiznos, which I think aren't nearly as bad as BK. I avoid McDonalds like the plague though. Haven't eaten their food in 5 years (and that was in a foreign country)

    August 5, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • eve

      got Hole Mole for lunch just now 3 carne asada tacos and a large horchata- good

      August 5, 2010 at 3:36 pm |
  15. Kyaru

    I would have to go with the craving option... I am trying so hard to stop. but with all the advertizements and the wonderful smell of it. I seriously have to have it. I love all fast food, Taco bell, Mcdonalds, Wendy's,Subway, Quizno's,Pizza hut, Dominos, Braums, Jack in the box, Burger king, Popeyes. I cant get enough of it. But my body has recently been fighting back. I get the worst stomach and chest pains after I eat it and gulp it down with some monster and red bulls. I run 4 miles daily, and I dont get much sleep. I got a problem and need help but I live by myself and am very antisocial and live far away from home cause im in the military. Ive managed to limit fast food to once or twice a week and ended up saving $300 a month. I want to stop but I literally am an addict. I grew up on all that food since I was a baby. What sucks is I got skinny arms and legs and it all is going to my gut which grosses me out. I constantly suck it in to look normal

    August 5, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • Texas Pete

      That should do wonders for your abs...

      August 5, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  16. Kenny G

    I used to several times a week for convenience sake, but have almost exorcised fast food from my routine. Since March, I've had it maybe twice, once because it was lunchtime on a business trip in a small town that only had fast food joints (in Mississippi, no wonder they're the fattest state), and once because I was with family and they insisted on going to Chick-Fil-A. (I went in to a Chick-Fil-A one other time too for a lemonade, but nothing to eat, I just wanted one).

    There's a sign on I-55 south of Memphis (still in Mississippi) advertising for BK. It said something like "40 Memphis Area Locations!". Ugh, again, no wonder this area of the country is so fat!

    August 5, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  17. Gr8fuldude

    I used to live with a lady who was always riding me about what I ate...Even if I had a salad, she would complain that I used iceberg instead of romaine, which is supposedly healthier. The irony there was that I like to run marathons, and she was VERY out of shape.

    Flash forward a few years, and since we broke up, she gained a pile of weight, and I still run marathons.

    The moral of the story, I would rather live an enjoyable, but possibly shorter life, than live a life of denial which may not get me much further. JMHO.

    August 5, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
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