Food & Identity Essay #4.docx - Thornton 1 Sean...

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Thornton 1 Sean Thornton Prof. Benavidez English 100-20 9 December 2018 Fast Food: Shaping American Culture for Better or Worse It’s hard to imagine America without fast food. Today, big-name drive-thru restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King line the main thoroughfare of nearly every town in the country. Fast food has had an astounding effect on American food identity and culture, allowing us to devote less time to eating than ever before. This change, however, has brought about adverse effects, from unhealthiness to impatience. Until the mid-20th century, restaurants were regarded as a luxury- a place where wealthy classes could experience new food and socialize with others. While restaurants always made a profit, it took the uniquely American combination of greed and ingenuity to look at the restaurant as a business. During the corporate explosion of the roaring 1920s, the first White Castle opened in Wichita, Kansas as the first quintessential “burger joint” (Wilson). By transforming the kitchen into a factory that utilizes assembly-line production techniques, White Castle cemented itself as the first success story of the fast food industry (Kieler). Despite White Castle’s success in the post-war economic boom of the 20s, it would take 30 years and another world war for fast food to become an international phenomenon, when
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