Tag Archives | Fast Food

Mapping The American Burger Wars

The excellent WeatherSealed by Stephen Von Worley graphically illustrates the battle for dominance in the American fast food stakes:

Imagine, if you will, the burger force – a field of energy that radiates from every freshly-cooked patty, earth-penetrating and inverse-squared with distance, compelling the hungry carnivore to seek out and devour the well-done ground beef at the source.

Now, wrap that concept in a Star Wars motif – set in the present day, with the second-tier burger chains as the rebels – each, by themselves, without mutual aid, battling the 12,000-plus restaurant McEmpire.  The situation is most dire, for the upstarts control but a few significant islands of territory amid the overwhelming and darkly-rendered influence of the McForce:

The territory controlled by the top 8 U.S. burger chains.

Territory controlled by the eight largest U.S. burger chains.

In this and the following graphic, each individual restaurant location has equal power.  The entity that controls each point casts the most aggregate burger force upon it, as calculated by the inverse-square law – kind of like a chart outlining the gravitational wells of galactic star clusters, but in an alternate, fast food universe.

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Study Links Soda and Pancreatic Cancer

Many of us know that consumption of sugar (or more likely corn syrup)-laden carbonated drinks is a major cause of the obesity epidemic (see the disinformation® documentary Killer At Large for more on that), but now it seems that they can lead to pancreatic cancer too. Reported by Reuters via RAW Story: Coke and Pepsi
People who drink two or more sweetened soft drinks a week have a much higher risk of pancreatic cancer, an unusual but deadly cancer, researchers reported on Monday. People who drank mostly fruit juice instead of sodas did not have the same risk, the study of 60,000 people in Singapore found. Sugar may be to blame but people who drink sweetened sodas regularly often have other poor health habits, said Mark Pereira of the University of Minnesota, who led the study. "The high levels of sugar in soft drinks may be increasing the level of insulin in the body, which we think contributes to pancreatic cancer cell growth," Pereira said in a statement. Insulin, which helps the body metabolize sugar, is made in the pancreas.
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Nearly Half of Fast Food Soda Fountains Contain Bacteria that Grew in Feces

Brian Merchant writes on treehugger:

SodaFountainSeems like the reasons to not eat at fast food restaurants just keep on piling up. We’ve heard all about the unseemly practices that go into obtaining their meats and innumerable other horrors. But now, let’s look at the quality of the soda fountains — another staple of the fast food experience. A recent study has revealed that a full 48% of soda fountains at fast food restaurants contain coliform bacteria — a bacteria that grows in feces. Oh, and 11% contained E. Coli, too.

The study was done by a team of microbiologists at Hollins University, and the findings were just published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology.

From the abstract of the scientists’ report:

Coliform bacteria was detected in 48% of the beverages and 20% had a heterotrophic plate count greater than 500 cfu/ml. […] More than 11% of the beverages analyzed contained Escherichia coli [E.

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Ammonia-Treated Burgers, Tainted With E. Coli!

Tom Philpott writes on Grist:
Few who saw the documentary Food Inc. will forget the scene involving Beef Products Inc., a South Dakota company that makes a widely used hamburger filler product. No other industrial-meat company allowed director Robert Kenner to enter the shop floor with his cameras. In sharp contrast, a Beef Products executive invited the Food Inc. crew to record his company’s inner workings. The man is clearly proud of his company’s product. “We think we can lessen the incidence of E. Coli 0157:H7,” he says. The scene, a clip of which appears above, features the Beef Products executive talking over a scene straight out of Chaplin’s Modern Times: a vast network of steaming tubes, with people in protective gear and face masks wandering about fussing with dials. Evidently, scraps of cow flesh, swept up from slaugtterhouse floors and pulverized into a kind of paste, are moving through the tubes, subjected to a lashings of ammonium hydroxide to kill bacteria.The scene ends with those heavily protected workers carefully packing uniform flesh-colored blocks into boxes. “This is our finished product,” the executive declares. He then claims that the product ends up in 70 percent of hamburgers served in the U.S. “In five years we’ll be in 100 percent,” he predicts.
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Depression Link to Processed Food

To the surprise of, well, hardly anyone, the BBC reports on a link between eating a lot of processed foods and depression. As if we needed any more reasons not to eat junk (for more on that see the disinformation documentary film Killer at Large)…

Eating a diet high in processed food increases the risk of depression, research suggests. What is more, people who ate plenty of vegetables, fruit and fish actually had a lower risk of depression, the University College London team found.

Data on diet among 3,500 middle-aged civil servants was compared with depression five years later, the British Journal of Psychiatry reported. The team said the study was the first to look at the UK diet and depression.

They split the participants into two types of diet – those who ate a diet largely based on whole foods, which includes lots of fruit, vegetables and fish, and those who ate a mainly processed food diet, such as sweetened desserts, fried food, processed meat, refined grains and high-fat dairy products.

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