Simply put, fast foods are genetically modified to taste good. Because almost everything at a fast food restaurant is cooked in a plant hundreds of miles away, there is very little nutritional content left. These foods are frozen in transport, and generally reheated in oils in the restaurant. Why do these frozen and reheated foods smell so good? Well, it’s because they are loaded with chemicals to give the feeling, smell, and taste of fresh, delicious food.

RONALD MCDONALDThe reason fast food meals taste good, is because they smell good. In the book Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser states that the aroma of a food can be responsible for as much as 90 percent of its perceived flavor. Scientists spend hours mixing chemicals that smell like fresh, satisfying food. The end goal is to make your mouth water at the sight and smell of the food.  Interestingly enough, the chemicals they use show up on your ingredient lists as “natural flavor” or “artificial flavor.” For example, a typical artificial strawberry flavor, like the kind found in a Burger King strawberry milk shake, contains over 40 artificial ingredients!

Processed foods, especially those found at fast food restaurants, are full of chemical additives. If you are reading this article, you must be actively searching for a healthier lifestyle. If your are not excited about ingesting hundreds of chemicals with every meal, it might be time for you to change your eating style . When you buy a banana at the grocery store, there are no added preservatives. The more you can avoid foods that have a giant list of ingredients on the nutrition label, the better. If you can’t pronounce one of the ingredients, you probably don’t want to eat it.

By Meredith Fort
Tulane University School of Social Work
Don’t Weight to Lose Student Volunteer