Systematic Failure: Perils of Living in a Fast Food Nation

If there’s one thing guaranteed to foil my best attempts at a healthier lifestyle, it’s not remembering to stock the fridge with better-for-you snacks; and it’s not getting in a 30 minute walk at least 3 times a week — it’s fast food (following very closely by rich, chocolate desserts). It’s a battle I’ve fought – fairly unsuccessfully – for years, … and one that society in general also seems to be losing.

But not anymore!!! Two really gross stories this week may finally tame my FF addiction.

A new study by American academics of soda fountain machines finds that nearly half in one Virginia area may contain fecal contamination. If that’s not enough to turn your stomach, consider this: the study also found antibiotic-resistant microbes and E. coli in the samples.

Researchers noted no outbreaks of illnesses in the test area, don’t know if the results reflect a much broader trend, and are unsure of the cause behind the contamination (dirty hands, a re-used cleaning cloth, etc). But really, who cares, right? I’m going to think twice before I order anything to drink at my local joint!!!!

Now if the possibility of potentially ingesting a strangers’ fecal matter with your favorite diet soda isn’t enough to keep you away, how about this?

Researchers from Tufts University have just released results of a study demonstrating most commercially prepared foods – both pre-packaged and from restaurants – routinely contain more calories than the amounts listed in labels. The difference, according to the study, can be anywhere from 8-18 percent.

Burger King, Arby’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, McDonald’s, Starbucks bakery items, Dunkin’ Donuts – I may have finally found the tools to defeat you!!!!

Well, at least until my short term memory gives out ….

One thought on “Systematic Failure: Perils of Living in a Fast Food Nation”

  1. I was simply aghast reading this post! We too have the chain restaurants that you have mentioned here in Australia, but we don’t eat at any of them simply because we are ‘health-nuts’ (organic chicken or fish once or twice a week & a primarily vegetarian diet) and the idea of filling our bodies with salt, sugar, and saturated fat is something we CHOOSE not to do. But we aren’t so pure and virtuous as to never have stopped for a soda at a McDonalds or KFC whilst on a road trip.

    Good heavens, Juliette — what a disgusting revelation regarding the fast food industry over there.

    The link that you have posted to CNN has expired so I was unable to read the story and find out WHY there is fecal bacteria in a soda fountain. But I have seen several stories on BBC online news in the past year that indicates that this seems to be a rising problem with the various food sources in the USA including supposedly fresh from the field ones.

    Did the original article indicate HOW the fecal bacteria got into the soda machines?

    Hope your resolve to NOT eat at those places sticks with you!

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