Addicted To Fast Food – Is It A Service?
Most people by now realize the processed hamburger they are eating is bad for their health. If not, newsflash– fast food is bad for your health.
The multi-billion dollar fast food players in the world have a solid business because people continue to eat this injected, molded, processed “food”. However, before we recognize that every human has total and complete control over what they put into their mouth, I need to compare a business to a service.
- A business (also known as company, enterprise, or firm) is a legally recognized organization designed to provide goods, services, or both to consumers or tertiary business in exchange for money.
- A service is the performance of any duties or work for another; either helpful or professional activities. Also it may be the act of performing help or aid; providing or being a provider of accommodation and activities required by the public.
What does it mean to be a business compared to providing a service that you are compensated for? They are the same right? Not at all. At the root of all business is finance. At the root of all service there is love. A service is what a real business is supposed to be all about. This value is taught at the beginning of college business courses. The mantra of “equal reward for equal service” has been lectured by many key note speakers in business over the past few decades. Business exists for a reason- we all need to earn money; it's what makes us able to participate in today's society.
Without question the fast food industry is a business and much like any business; profit is the desired and expected outcome. In construction business, it is how fast and efficiently you can get the house built. In the automotive industry it's all about who can make the toughest and safest car. In medicine (well this is a sticky issue) it's about, at the very least, keeping someone alive. America may have a very corrupt medical system, but at the core of it, I truly believe most doctors out of medical school initially, and even some currently, want to genuinely help people. They perform a service that enhances and saves lives.
The fast food industry, however, is not rooted with the purpose or with the intention of helping it's customers live a better and more healthy life. In fact, they are 100% committed to one and one thing only- Addicting the easily malleable consumer into purchasing as much of it's product (because it is not food) as they can sell. There is no care, no service and no love in this so called “business”.
Is cause marketing the tipping point for fast food addiction?
At one time I am sure the intentions of Burger King, McDonald’s, Jack In The Box and Wendy’s was about serving the customer with quality food that nourished their body.
Michael Pollan– “In the 1970s, the top five beef packers controlled about 25% of the market. Today, the top four control more than 80% of the market.“
–Food Inc, Magnolia Pictures
Much like history has shown us however, those who control vital human resources will control the actions and behaviors of the masses. Eating food is a behavior in case we all forgot. In the case of McDonald’s, they are the largest customer to the beef and produce industries on the planet. What would you give your biggest and best customer? I can use my business intellect and guess probably exactly what they are willing to pay for- Cheap and unhealthy processed garbage with a long shelf life. Some fast food chains have tried to quiet real food advocates by offering meager attempts at salads- A bacon ranch style with more unhealthy fats in the dressing than in some of their burgers.
In the case of McDonald’s, we have largely become a nation, and a slowly a world for that matter, of fast food slaves. I guess you could say customers if it makes you feel safe to sleep at night. What would happen to the millions of people each day who didn’t get their big mac you ask? It wouldn’t be the end of the business world. Rather, it would simply shift money towards healthier food that was grown by someone you know close to your home. Over time, the addicts would eventually get over the economy based addiction and seek other healthier food.
So yes, people’s choices are the leading cause of fast food being so damn successful. But not the only one. People make choices depending on their level of comfort; Pleasure versus pain. You only change your actions when you’ve suffered enough. In the case of the general fast food eating public however, the suffering will be beyond our lifetimes. Current investors for McDonald's and Burger king know this and they are cashing in on our ignorance.
Our only choice is to win small victories such as labeling, healthier menu options and even websites dedicated to speaking the truth about the change that is needed. We can’t win the war against obesity if people don’t have any weapons. That’s what these small victories represent and that is what we’re all trying so desperately to do; to serve those who don’t even know they need our help.
These small battles will one day take down the industry. It happened with big tobacco, it will happen with food.
In the end the choice really is simple: We either choose to participate in a business or a service. McDonald’s and all other fast food industry affiliates who serve toxic chemicals under a veil of lies and target marketing, have chosen to greedily ignore service. Harvard business school has the inscriptions “VE-RI-TAS” on the school shield. Translated from Latin it simply means- TRUTH.
Hardly what business it seems fast food has turned out to be. I'm proud to be an idealist who believes in the future of real food.
See you all on the mountain; I’m wearing my patchouli oil eating coconut.
Questions? Start here