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LIVE FAST DIE YOUNG

Allen Ang, Luigi Co, Cesar Padre, Jr., James Sy, Gene Tan, EMTECH S15 allenleeang@yahoo.com, luigi_co_8_89@yahoo.com, cesar_padre@yahoo.com jamesvictorsy@yahoo.com, genestanly@yahoo.com De La Salle University, Manila
ABSTRACT "Because of the way people work these days -- many out of their homes, many with different schedules -- the traditional 9-to-5 day has morphed into a 12-noon-tomidnight day," (Cebrzynsk,2008). That's also true for college students, dietitians say. Many attend class during the day, work an evening job, and pick up fast food when they clock out. They're looking for something fast and inexpensive and not thinking whether the food is still nutritious or not ( Jamieson-Petonic, 2008). Eating at night may not be something bad that could lead to obesity, but eating at fastfood chains may lead to many health problems or issues. This paper aims to discuss the current issues with regard to fastfood chains. These include health, sanitary, professional and some legal issues. and outlet stores found in malls and could also be as small as kiosks beside the streets. A perfect example will be AGNO Street located at the back entrance of De La Salle University – Manila. Since the capital requirement in putting up a fast food store today is relatively low, small, individual fast food chains slowly multiply and are becoming more common throughout the world. One way to check how much fast food chains affect our modern way of living is to ask children of our time on what their favorite restaurants are. In the Philippines, if the answer is not Jollibee, it’s McDonalds or KFC or other fast food chains spread across the country. Street vendors also contribute a lot to the fast growing business. With just a cart, a table and a grill, they could already set up their mini fast food store. Just observe the famous AGNO Street alone, you got all fast food you’ll ever wish for. They sell hamburgers, hotdogs, easy packed meals, toron, sandwiches, siomai, taho, sweet corn, ice cream, fruits mainly mangoes and buko, isaw, barbeque, instant noodles, quail eggs, name it and they have it. These street vendors provide a colorful and varying range of options designed to quickly captivate passers-by and attract as much attention as possible. Other outlets of fast food stores are dominantly found beside gas stations. Applying it to the Philippine setting alone, we could notice that all gasoline station ether it’s as big as the one in South super highway, or just as small as those found in small narrow street will always have their convenience stores beside it. There, they sell easy-packed foods such as hotdogs, doughnuts, and even ready-baked pastas just so gas customers could not only tune up their cars but also their tummies. As the examples above showed, the Philippines is bombarded with fast food stores everywhere. In a busy street like Makati, you wouldn’t pass through a street without seeing a 7-11 or a Mini-Stop store. People will eat more than five times a week and often, one or more of those five times is at a fast food restaurant.

1. Introduction
When James Dean said, "Live fast, die young, leave a beautiful corpse" in the 1950s, Americans were much thinner and fast food was a new invention. Today Americans are simply too chubby to live as fast as the lean 1950s idol. Instead they eat fast food, die younger than they should and leave increasingly obese corpses. Along with smoking, substance abuse and inactivity, fast food presents one of the greatest public-interest health threats to Americans today. Fast food is almost universally dangerous and should probably carry a warning from the surgeon general. It contains meat-based carcinogens, is high in total calories and saturated fat and is a principal source of trans fat. So, what are fast foods anyway? In lay man’s term, it is the food given that could be prepared in an instant often served packed for take outs and deliveries. Most fast food stores often have drive-through services allowing the customers to order and pick up food without the need to step out of their cars. These fast food chains could be as big as restaurants

2. Health Issues
Probably one of the most eye-catching issues of today. An example is McDonalds, where a documentary was made on the health risks that could be acquired by an average person. The documentary was entitled “SuperSize Me”, which was a documentary film of an average American person eating at McDonald’s for 30 days with Spurlock as the sample. The result was a 10lbs gain, depression, lethargy and headaches in just five days. Also, Spurlock had heart palpitations in the 21st day. After the event of 30 days, Spurlock was told that his liver had irreversible damages that could cause a heart attack even if he would lose all the weight gained during the experiment.

in part to public pressure, proudly announced that its fries would be cooked in "cholesterol-free 100 per cent vegetable oil." While this was true, it was not the whole truth. The whole truth is that McDonalds uses partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. In other words, it uses trans fats, which are at least as bad for your blood cholesterol as the saturated fats they replaced, and probably worse. In some ways this is another kind of high-fat fraud. You go into a fast food outlet and choose the fries instead of the burger, thinking you’re avoiding saturated fat. But it turns out that you’re no better off. Temperatures used for deep-frying liberate legions of deadly free radicals from fats. Even more frightening is the effect for multiple frying episodes. Fats that are used again and again for frying oxidize at frighteningly high rates. The portions served by fast food chains and other restaurants are far larger than the recommended portion size for most foods. Food costs for restaurants are relatively low, compared to the costs of rent and labor, so it makes sense for them to offer larger portions that make their customers feel like they are getting a bang for the buck. As American eat out more and more frequently, they become accustomed to those oversized portion, and think that such portions are normal. The high caloric content of these large servings leads to weight gain for regular fast food customers, and obesity can lead to many dangerous health problems. Fast food chains do not alert their customers to the hazardously high calorie and fat content of the food they offer. They deserve some of the blame for the epidemic of obesity, and lawsuits brought by victims of their toxic food would force these companies to take some responsibility for their dangerous products. [2]

Statistics of heart diseases from obesity Also many young children are influence by the fast food chains through their very effective marketing strategies which is the kid’s value meal through this children would have eating habits which would last for the rest of their life. [1]

Chart containing the calorie content and total fat of some foods that McDonalds provides. Rate of Children Obesity from ages 2-15 in England Up until the late 1980s, fast-food restaurants deepfried food in beef tallow loaded with artery-choking saturated fats. In the early 1990s, McDonalds, responding Fast food does not only cause problems to the heart and liver it can provide a high risk of cancer among its consumers. It was found in a research that there is a chemical called acrylamide produce in the frying in high

temperatures of carbohydrate rich foods such as french fries and potato chips.[3] Grilled food has also been a cause of cancer because it contains the carcinogenic compounds formed by the smoke from the grilling of the food.[4] There were also researches about unhealthy fast food diets among women may cause cancer to women ages 35 – 54 because according to research of the World Health Organization . It is said that tumors formed are usually related to poor nutritional intake. There is an example that the excess fats of overweight girls may cause cancer because during puberty the female oestrogen hormones, which are triggers that help the cause of breast cancer are usually stored in the excess fat rather than being discarded by the body. [5]

3. Sanitation Issues
Lets us take this issue to the Philippine setting. Just recently, about a year or two ago, an incident happened at Chowking Tutuban – one of the known fast food chains in the Philippines. A news respondent, Jenny Reyes suffered from vomiting, fever and stomach ache after she drank coffee at Chowking Tutuban. According to the Ms. Reyes, right before she started to drink the coffee, she had already noticed rat droppings on the drinking cup. She then called the attention of the branch manager, which told her that those droppings were just coffee beans. Meanwhile, after investigation, Philippines’ Bureau of Food and Drugs reported that after visual and organoleptic tests, there were really rat droppings found at the cup. Days later, Mayor Lim, the mayor of Manila claimed to close down Chowking since it did not have sanitary permits. In the Philippines, there is a sanitation law on Food Establishments. The law is called the Sanitation Code or the P.D 856. Even though there is a law on sanitation, the government is not so strict when it comes to these matters. Some food establishments still get sanitary permits even though they did not pass all the requirements of the sanitation code. A recent study was made by a group of students from Philippine Women’s University(2007) on two fast food chains - Greenwich and Tapa King. Results show that not all on the sanitation code were followed by these two establishments. Please refer to figure 1 for the result of the study Another example related to this issue is the food served at Dixies fastfood chain located at Castro St., Manila. A member of the group reports that he often sees cockroaches moving through the tables of the establishment; and what is more shocking with this is that

customers continue to eat at the establishment despite poor food sanitation. One more example is Tropical Hut. Tropical Hut is a known fastfood chain in the Philippines. Another member of the group reports that there was a time when he was eating there and he needed an extra plastic cup. He then asked for the plastic cup from the counter and received a cup that had cockroaches moving inside of it. Come to think of it, if one cockroach is present in a plastic cup, chances are there might also be cockroaches in other plastic cups. The foods that are produced uncleanly can be a result of fast food establishments pushing itself to its limits in producing food in a very fast manner. In coping up with customer demands and gaining profits, fastfood establishments tend to forget ethics. Instead, they just keep on producing food without even thinking of the customer’s health. And although some customers recognize poor sanitations from different fast food establishments, customers still take the risk and go to fast food chains for ease and speed of food delivery. Customers put too much trust on these establishments without even knowing how clean their food was prepared. What would happen to a customer if he gets infected by a disease brought up by a cockroach? What would happen if a customer drinks a cup of softdrinks with cockroaches floating in it? Because of poor sanitation and customers putting up too much trust, customers, just like the case of Jenny Reyes, sometimes end up complaining on the services or products of the restaurant or fast food chains they go to.

4. Legal Issues
Many fast food restaurants have faced legal issues one of the most famous issues is the McLibel issue where McDonalds charged two British people for libel because they are saying that their food is unhealthy. In which the trial went through twenty years before the decision of the jury. The decision favored the two British people because they were only practicing their freedom of speech.[1] But from recent research it has been proven that the two people who were saying that Mc Donald’s food is unhealthy are correct. In California there was a time where the government would like fast food restaurants to warn their customers about the effects of fast food and about the contents of it just like in the tobacco industry where they have the surgeon general warning. Because in California they are required to put warnings on any products with harmful chemicals that may cause diseases and defects. For example, it was discovered that french fries when fried at a high temperature may produce acrylamide that is a cause for cancer. In addition, acrylamide is already part of list of harmful chemical in California. Companies did not want to

comply with it because they would like French fries or potato chips to be exempted because the acrylamide will only be toxic when it is in extreme temperatures. They are also arguing that there maybe an unnecessary public scare because the food is not serve at such high temperature will not be buying from them.[3]

5. Possible Actions
As far as possible actions go, one might be for companies to change. However, are companies willing to change? One has to ponder if a company, like McDonald's, which is so successful even want to change. Why would they want to change their policies about what they are going to be marketing and holding their suppliers to more stringent food production standards? In an interview with Eric Schlosser by Julia Livshin, Schlosser said "The McDonald's Corporation, at the moment, in many ways reminds me of the Soviet-era Kremlin. I was unable to get a single question answered after weeks of calling them, e-mailing them, and faxing them. It was what I imagine it must have been like dealing with the old Communist Party bureaucrats. Can the McDonald's Corporation remake itself into a company that behaves ethically, has a stronger social conscience, and changes its menu?" That remains to be seen. Another possible actions might be to have a whole new industry come about. New companies could emerge, embodying a different set of values, selling better and healthier food. Restaurants like Oh My Gulay (Baguio), The Good Earth, Cerealicious, Kozui Green Tea, and so forth come to mind. These restaurants focus on a healthier menu and might emerge as the companies that make the difference. To improve worker safety, there could be an immediate and tough clean-up on the meatpacking companies and strict enforcement of the worker safety laws that we already have. The easiest step would be to slow down the production line. The big beef slaughterhouses process between 300 and 375, sometimes up to 400 farm animals an hour. The number of injuries at a plant is often directly related to the speed of the line, so the first thing would be to force these companies to slow down their production lines. As for food safety, the meatpacking companies should be held strictly accountable for the products that they sell. Manufacturers of stuffed animals are held accountable. The government can force them to recall stuffed animals that

are defective and that might choke children. In the same way, the meatpacking companies should be held accountable for the sale of contaminated meat. There should be legislation passed immediately that gives the government the power to recall tainted meat. It should not be up to the meatpacking companies to issue voluntarily recalls. The government should also be given the power to impose large civil fines on meatpacking companies that knowingly ship tainted meat. We should also reorganize the food-safety system in the Philippines so that there is a single food-safety agency, like there is in many Western European countries. About a dozen federal agencies have jurisdiction over food safety right now. The Department of Agriculture is in charge not only of inspecting our meat, but also of promoting its sale. There is an inherent conflict of interest. We need an independent food-safety agency whose first priority is public health. [6]

6. Conclusion
If a company were to change its policies, perhaps the main harm would be more cost and less profit for that particular company and consumers. However, for all other stakeholders such as animals, the environment, and consumers, benefits are the overall outcome. Granted, animals will still end up on the plates of consumers, but perhaps they will not be wrongfully treated. The environment would also benefit, as fewer acres of rain forest will be destroyed, and hence less litter winds up on the streets. Finally, consumers may have to pay more money, but benefits would be better health. If a whole new industry emerged, existing fast food chains would not directly be harmed, so their rights would not be violated. The main consequences would be more variety for people to choose from.

7. References
(n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2009, from http://forums.abs-cbn.com/post/2463505.aspx ABS CBN:

(n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2009, from Fa-ir: http://www.fair.org/ai/fastfood_hidden.htm [1] Papasin, A. (n.d.) Ethics on Fastfood Retrieved March 12, 2009, from Santa Clara University: http://cseserv.engr.scu.edu/nquinn/ENGR019_299Fall2000/Stude ntWebSites/Papasin/ResearchPaper.htm (n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2009, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Size_Me from Wikipedia:

[2] Fast Food is a Recipe for Cancer. (1998). Retrieved March 12, 2009, from BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/196741.stm Go, C., & Sampang, V. (2007). Sanitation Project. Manila: Philippine Women's University. [3]Kostigen, T. (2005). Smoking The Fast-Food Industry Fight Against Warning Labels Reminiscent Of Tobacco Wars. Retrieved March 12, 2009, from Rense: http://www.rense.com/general67/ffood.htm [4]Popken, B. (2006). Fast Food Sued for Cancer Chicken. Retrieved March 12, 2009, from Consumerist: http://consumerist.com/consumer/fast-food/fast-foods-sued-forcancer-chicken-204387.php

Vigilante, K. M., & Flynn, M. P. (n.d.). The Dangers of Fast Food. Retrieved March 12, 2009, from Alive: http://www.alive.com/280a1a2.php?subject_bread_cramb=111 Yehey. (n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2009, from http://forums.abscbn.com/post/2463505.aspx [6]Livshin (2000). Unhappy Meals. Retrieved March 12, 2009, from http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/interviews/ba2000-1214.ht

Top Blog Arena. (n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2009, from http://www.topblogarea.com/sitedetails_10419-4.html

Figure 1. Comparison of Greenwich and Tapa King’s Food Sanitation Selected Sections from P.D 856

Greenwich Yes No

Tapa King Yes No

Section 17 : Structural Requirements 1. Is the toilet or restroom located opposite the kitchen or the place? 2. Are the flooring in the Kitchen and dining areas constructed in such a way that it is easy to clean and durable? 3. Is the illumination of the place sufficient to service its purpose? 4. Is the ventilation provided adequate or comfortable? 5. Are there canopies, air ducts provided? 6. Is the spacious enough to provide employees easy movement in the area to carry out his duty? 7. Are the passage ways or aisles unobstructed or wide enough to permit movement of employees and customers without contaminating the food by clothing or personal contacts? √ 8. Are there amenities provided in the wash room? Section 19: Food Handlers 1. Are food workers wearing clean and proper garments? 2. Are food workers not allowed to smoke and eat foods in the preparation areas? Section 21: Toilet and Washing Facilities 1. Are these rooms open directly into spaces where food is √

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prepared, stored, and served? 2. Are the male and female restrooms separated? 3. Are there hand washing facilities provided? 5. Is there adequate water supply? 6. Are these toilet and washing facilities clean and free from odor? Section 30: Food Serving Operations 1. Is hand contact in food being avoided? 2. Are they using serving utensils in handling food? √ √ √ √ √ √ √ √

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