McDonald's and nutrition|
One of the most fundamental and enjoyable aspects of our day-to-day lives is the eating of food and the circumstances in which it is eaten. For most people the historical practice has generally been to eat the healthiest possible food (bearing in mind constraints of time and poverty), usually cooked on site and then eaten communally - either in a family or home setting, or with others whilst at work or in school canteens.
But the situation is rapidly changing as the pace and nature of society shifts. An industrial/service infrastructure, including competing companies, increasingly dominates local neighbourhoods and people's lives, undermining existing patterns of human interaction, whether amongst families, friends, neighbours or in the community in general.This process is highly advanced in 'developed' countries and is fast spreading around the globe.
Mass-produced processed food has gradually and increasingly replaced fresh and healthy foods in people's diets over the course of the twentieth century. In recent decades companies have further capitalised on this situation by promoting fast and mediocre meals to be eaten outside the home. McDonald's is of course only one part of this jigsaw, but a very successful and influential part. They currently sell to about 30 million people daily.
This development in eating habits has enormous and serious consequences for relations between people and for human health. It has also catalysed a whole range of campaigns and movements dedicated to encouraging healthy eating and healthy lifestyles.Such efforts have forced food companies like McDonald's onto the defensive, and they have had to resort to producing propaganda to try and deflect public criticism. The debate over food choices and preferences has become one of the great controversial issues of our time.