Just Say NO…..To Fast Food

I will say up front that I am not going to sugar coat any part of this issue.  I have a strong opinion and I plan to share it.  You can thank me later.
I recently read an article on my local newspaper’s website regarding one of the fast food chains in town.  I had noticed it was demolished and that they were rebuilding it for a better customer experience (or something like that).  Who are they kidding?
I am not exactly sure what that is supposed to mean?  Maybe it’s because if you feel more comfortable while eating their food ( I use that term loosely), your heart and arteries won’t notice they are being sacrificed for salty, greasy, fatty enjoyment.   Just for the fun of it, let’s go with that. 
Actually, though, this isn’t a funny topic at all.  If I had my way, they would have demolished the building and left it, well, demolished.  I have to wonder what it would take for people to wake up and realize they are killing themselves by eating fast food, especially on a regular basis.  One of the excuses arguments is that those dollar menus make it so much cheaper to feed a family than if you went into the grocery store and bought ingredients for a healthy meal instead.  I strongly disagree.  I have challenged myself several times to walk into the grocery store with ten dollars or less and purchase what I need to make my family of four a healthy meal.  Sure it is a challenge and not necessarily gourmet, but I can do it.  The key word there is challenge.  Sadly, I think people want what is easy so often  that they sacrifice their future health and that of their children to make life easier…..at least for the moment. 
Let me tell you what isn’t easy – Expressing condolences to a widow at the funeral of her late-thirties husband because he abused his body with fast food burgers and dropped dead of a heart attack before their one year wedding anniversary.  I know it isn’t easy because I was there.  Expressing my condolences.
The other common excuse I hear is that it’s hard when out and running from one activity to another or one errand to the next to take the time to pick up something healthy for their family.  What?!  Ever heard of packing a bag of food, even just a bunch of snack foods like fruit, nuts, raisins, crackers? 
Let’s be honest, when you leave home you pretty much know how long you will be gone (at least roughly) and can gauge if you will be out at or around a meal time.  I’ll bet when your kids were little it was automatic to pack a bag with diapers, wipes, toys, extra clothes, snacks, etc, before leaving home for any amount of time.  You are nodding in agreement, right?
Regardless of the age(s) of your child(ren), this should still be a priority.  What’s the worse that could happen?  You’d have to bring the food back home? Not that!
I can honestly say when we leave home and will be out for at least an hour, I pack a filled reusable water bottle for each person in the family, a few cloth napkins, a couple pieces of fruit, and a few other snacks.  It’s about being prepared, but even if I weren’t prepared, I can promise you that you won’t see my family at a fast food restaurant. Just. Won’t. Happen.  Go ahead and stalk me if you’d like, that would be loads of fun!
We are fat America.  Some of us are obese and we are raising a generation who we will outlive.  That should be the wake-up call for all of us! 
Love yourself and your family enough to say NO to fast food.


  1. you're killing me Cathy! I love reading your posts, but this one I don't know how I'm going to get the kids to give up. Once a week I let them get a Happy Meal. I wish the place had stayed demolished too. It has been wonderful these last couple months to have fast food not be an issue. I know this post will make a difference for us. I can't promise we will give it up entirely, but maybe I can get them down to every other week now that they have gone without and survived. Thanks Cathy! Keep the info coming. You give realistic options when you make suggestions and that is what people really need.

  2. Though I am guilty of the occasional stop for a shake, it is not often. I raise my kids on healthy, whole, and organic foods. And hubby and I are setting the example. We take walks as a family and encourage the kids to live a healthy lifestyle. Thank you for setting an example – not only for your kids, but for us. πŸ™‚

  3. smilinggreenmom says

    Ooooh Cathy!! How awesome πŸ™‚ I am with ya on packing foods up. We began doing this because of our little one's food allergies and what a blessing that has been in regard to eating healthier! I have learned so much about ingredients and labels and how foods affect us – that we pack make sure to have our own snacks as much as possible. Sometimes I forget or do not make the time to pack and what a bummer it is. Thanks for the great post – I love it!

  4. I know fast food is bad and I fall into the trap sometimes but not very often and its getting less and less frequent. I'm getting better about pre-planning and bringing snacks with me.

    I agree we are a fat america and I blame TV and Fast Food myself.

  5. I'm with you. I don't consider fast food to be really food. And living in the city like I do reduces our exposure to fast food joints and offers us so many alternatives.

  6. Cathy Let's Be Green Together says

    Thanks for the comment Kate. It is definitely really hard to make big changes when it comes to kids, but a fun replacement might be something to consider. I sometimes take my younger son on "dates" to the coffee shop for a yummy cookie or a smoothie or a shake. He loves the time together and we talk about it for a while afterwards. πŸ™‚

  7. Cathy Let's Be Green Together says

    Thank you Rhiana! Definitely the key is setting the example. They see and take in so much more than we realize….hopefully, they hold on more to the GOOD stuff! πŸ˜‰

  8. Cathy Let's Be Green Together says

    Hey Lynn,
    Defintely having allergy concerns is a huge motivator to pack your own snacks. Really, I look at it in a similar way(not to the same degree, of course), but it's our lifestyle so there just isn't another option…..certainly not one that includes a drive thru window. πŸ˜‰

  9. Cathy Let's Be Green Together says

    Thanks for stopping by Amber…..hopefully eventually, you won't remember the last time you had fast food and you won't even miss it! πŸ™‚ It's truly been years for us and noone in our family misses it.

  10. Cathy Let's Be Green Together says

    Hi Ginny! Thanks so much for stopping by. I agree completely that it really shouldn't be categorized as food. I think I have a LOT of work to do to convince everyone else of that, though. πŸ˜‰

  11. Sageandsavvy says

    I admit I do found it difficult to take the healthier route and often times take the easier route–but usually for me, not for my kids. I always try to pack them healthy foods too whenever we go out.

    But I do know with some effort our entire family can eat better than we are now…

    I don't think I'll be able to ever give up fast food completely though =)

  12. kelly @kellynaturally says

    We gave up fast food completely after watching SuperSizeMe when it came out (yikes, wow). I shudder when I think of how much McDonalds/Wednys/Burger King I've eaten – and I've been a vegetarian for 20 years!
    It has to be a complete shift in the way we all look at food, and living. And you are so right, it takes just a moment to pack dried fruit, crackers, bottle of water for when you go out. But the payoff is well worth it.

    Great post.

  13. Trekkienicole says

    I like your blog Cathy…! Fast food is bad…I look at it as the same as smoking or drinking. You and I were having this discussion…a part of this issue is also that people don't like being told what to do, especially if they are being told that what they are doing is inherently just bad. Look at the drug epidemic, for instance…which sort of mirrors the fast food epidemic. If you flat out tell people they are making a crappy decision, they are going to flip you the proverbial bird. So, from my perspective, moderation has to be the teaching tool, especially with children. I do see how this could be viewed as an endorsement of the establishments…to take kids there, but I view it more as a teaching tool to stand there and try to teach kids how to navigate the menu slightly more sensibly. But I get it…and agree with your points. And I admire your ability to speak out this strongly on such a taboo subject.

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