Fast Food Globalization Some people get confused when they hear the word, globalization. What is it? Globalization is a modern term used to describe the changes in societies and the world economy that result from dramatically increased international trade and cultural exchange. That means the world is slowly becoming one by producing goods and services in one part of the world, only to share it on an international level. This is a deeply controversial issue, however. Proponents of globalization argue that it allows poor countries and their citizens to develop economically and raise their standards of living.
Whereas, opponents of globalization claim that the creation of a free international market has benefited multinational corporations in the Western world at the expense of local cultures and common people. Clearly, fast food is a representative of this globalization process. In this essay, I will discuss the globalization of fast food in other countries and the negative effects it has made on traditional diets, eating habits, and culture as a whole. A major challenge of doing business internationally is to adapt effectively to different cultures.
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Several fast food companies have shown the willingness to adapt to local customs. Some examples of how international fast food chains have attempted to accommodate local tastes include: the Teriyaki McBurger at a McDonald’s in Japan, consisting of a sausage patty in a bun with teriyaki sauce; a curry potato pie and a red bean ice cream sundae in Hong Kong; a broiled salmon sandwich at a Burger King in Chile; even a pizza from Pizza Hut was “delivered” to the International Space Station in 2001, a collaboration between the company and Russian scientists.
But no matter where fast food restaurants are located or what type of food they sell, their most fundamental operating principle is standardization. This means selling the exact same food everywhere, limiting the number of food choices. For some people, it is comforting when there aren’t very many choices, knowing in advance what they will be eating and how it will taste. Ironically, there are some people who dislike fast food, yet a hungry person in a hurry or someone who is far away from home would often find it convenient.
In 1921, the first business to be called a fast food restaurant was White Castle, located in Wichita, Kansas. It sold hamburgers for five cents each. The idea caught on and by the late 1930’s, a California restaurant called Bob’s introduced a hamburger with two patties of meat and named it the Big Boy. After World War II, the number of restaurants specializing in fast food grew tremendously. Therefore, each company needed a special feature to survive in the competitive marketplace. But how can one stand out from the rest when selling the same types of fast food?
The innovators at White Castle developed a solution to this problem: aggressive advertising. By featuring commercials with cheerful music and catchy jingles on the radio or television, fast food companies were able to rely on their marketing strategies to convince consumers that their food offered the best taste and value money could buy. Changes in lifestyles and eating habits, such as the consumption of fast food and the dependence of food imports has led to the decline of traditional foods and cultures.
With that being said, nutritional related chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases and stroke are on the rise and accounts for more than fifty percent of the deaths in the region. Americans traditionally eat a mixture of some of the best and some of the worst foods you can find for breakfast. Among the worst: fatty sweets, like doughnuts and cinnamon rolls; salty meats, such as sausage and bacon; and eggs, whose yolks add more cholesterol to the average American’s diet than any other single food.
Among the best: fresh fruit or juice; dairy foods that are low in fat, like yogurt and milk; and whole grains found in hot or cold cereals. The problem is that the food industry keeps tempting us with an abundance of less nutritious foods that cater to our fast paced lifestyles. For Americans, their biggest challenge is rushing to get dinner on the table, leading many people to rely on take-out, fast food or easy-to-fix convenience foods. Fast food is convenient because you get it fast, it fills you up and you don’t have to worry about sanitary issues.
Globalization is primarily about speed and this is why the world has taken up American eating habits. People are so pressed for time that they resort to fast food. But because people are consuming more food these days, it theoretically, should take longer. As a result, poor eating habits means more eating disorders and health issues. This is a growing crisis and the only way to fix this, is to make it easier for people to eat healthier without having to take a lot of time worrying about it and actually doing it.
After four decades, our obsession with fast, cheap food has transformed our towns and flooded the labor market with low-paying, dead-end jobs. Americans now spend more money on fast food than they do on higher education, personal computers, software or new cars. In fact, they spend more on fast food than on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos and recorded music – combined. These are just a few facts about the negative effect globalization has made on traditional culture here in America. Today, the only Americans who earn lower wages than fast-food workers are migrant farm workers.
It now employs some of the poorest, most disadvantaged members of American society. Fast food companies often teach basic job skills to people who can barely read, whose lives have been chaotic or shut off from the mainstream. According to an article found in the Rolling Stones magazine, a survey of American schoolchildren found that ninety-six percent could identify Ronald McDonald. The only fictional character with a higher degree of recognition was Santa Claus. Its corporate symbol, the Golden Arches, is now more widely recognized than the Christian cross.
It’s devastating to see how the impact of McDonald’s on the nation’s culture alone, has forced our economy and diet into a state of despair that it is in. I have discussed how the fast food industry has played a crucial role in the globalization process, as well as how it has affected the poor eating habits of traditional diets in America. The globalization of fast food has made such a negative impact on today’s society, that there is no denying what our future holds. Right now is the best time to make fast food less unhealthy and make healthier food more rapidly available.
In conclusion, the world as we know it is heading towards a never-ending battle of complicated health issues and an onset of shortened life spans. I’m sure we can all agree that America loves value. But in the end, if you know it can cause obesity, it’s a pretty poor value. Not only are you going to end up with expensive health-care costs, but you’ll also end up earning less money. If we don’t take the proper precautions now, we could end up with all kinds of economic consequences on a worldwide scale. Works Cited Ancker, William P. “Fast Food and Globalization. ” English Teaching Forum.
Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 11 Mar. 2008 . —. “Fast Food World: The Hamburger Comes of Age. ” English Teaching Forum. Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. 11 Mar. 2008 . “The Best & Worst Breakfasts. ” FindArticles. com. Nov. 1999. Nutritional Action Health letter. 11 Mar. 2008 . Schlosser, Eric. “Fast-Food Nation: The True Cost Of America’s Diet. ” Rolling Stones 3 Sept. 1998. 11 Mar. 2008 . Stein, Joel. “A New Fast-Food Invasion. ” Time. com 29 Mar. 2007. 11 Mar. 2008 . Williams, David E. “A Nation’s Eating Habits. ” CNN. com 8 Dec. 2006. Healthy Bodies. 11 Mar. 2008 .