The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Facts Of Fast Food Chains In India
Obesity and depression are on a rise among many adults and teenagers especially, irrespective of any metro. Just like how government passed a law forbidding the sale of cigarettes (or any tobacco item) within the 100 meters radius is punishable, the same rule has be implemented with “Fast food”. While most of us think, it’s not as scary as tobacco consumption; well you’ll change your mind as you read more.
A pictorial message on a Facebook profile that read, “Whoever snuck the ‘S’ into Fast Food was a clever bastard” had me smiling for a while. Most of us are oblivious to the effects of fast food and the lifestyle they usher youngsters into. According to the book, “Fast Food Nation: the dark side of the all-American meal”, more people recognize Mc Donald’s golden arc than the holy cross!
Well the last decade has seen the rise of QSR (Quick Service Restaurants) and so has the pattern of Indian customers. Mc Donald’s Restaurant leads the way among Foreign QSRs and Jubilant Food Works Ltd (Domino’s) aces the Indian QSRs. These companies have their revenue doubled in just 6 month’s time. What goes into our meal is highly questionable with them offering value meals in competitive prices as low as Rs.49.
One might say it’s economies of scale. But that would be so, if these companies had their own organic farm that produces all things they want. But these companies also buy the produces just like us and at wholesale prices. And “quality” can never be bought at wholesale prices!
Apart from what they advertise, is the food worth all that hype?
Do these restaurants meet the quality standards?
Does FSSAI (Food Standards and Safety Authority of India) even check if these restaurants are pest free? are some of the many questions one may consider.
Here are some answers
- The tomato sauce is a mix of 60% red pumpkins and tomatoes for pizza.
- The cheese used on your pizzas is made of mayonnaise and other heavy stabilizers, so it’s no longer diary cheese.
- The garlic bread is basically made of customized seasoned fat liquid. An article that appeared on food.ndtv.com says, “You would be better off having 5 ml of refined oil than fool yourself with this hogwash.”
- Chicken patties are sometimes an awful mix of lots of soya and bits of chicken.
- The pizza guy promising us 30 minute delivery isn’t such a good idea as the guy who was making a non veg pizza doesn’t even think about changing the gloves when he is making a veg pizza next.
So many of the famous fast food chains got infamous for a one too many reasons in the recent past. Take a look at it.
- “Where’s the beef, it’s in your fries”- In 2001, a Mc Donald’s outlet was caught serving natural beef flavored potato fries. Hitesh Shah, an Indian working in Los Angeles ordered for a veg meal that consisted of the fries , which had the beef extract. Known the national sentiments of orthodox vegetarians and especially with regards to beef, Mc Donald’s paid $10 million to Hitesh and issued a public apology.
- “China meat scandal”- Shanghai Husi Food had been supplying contaminated and stale meat products in china to all the major fast food chains like Pizza Hut, Mc Donald’s, Papa John’s and Burger King. These major chains did not even raise a voice as they were purchasing it at unbelievably low prices.
- Sanitary issues- Mc Donald’s closed it’s five big restaurants in Moscow in row of sanitary violations. Improper disposal of food and waste had been one of the major issues. Some of the salads seemed to have contained E.coli bacteria that can cause a lot of stomach problems.
- The famous “Rizo Rice of KFC”, when taken for tests revealed that it contained artificial flavors which are unfit for human consumption. But as soon as the controversy cropped up, other food testing organizations suddenly backed KFC saying the rice was indeed safe. KFC is however tight mouthed about this incident.
- The besan barfi and kaju tukra sold by the sweet condiment king in the north, Bikanerwala revealed hazardous items in the sweet that helps preserve it for long and increases the taste. The samples of ghee taken were revealed to be sub-standard.
- In two vivid cases, a customer broke his teeth when he bit into his Big Mac and found glass in New York. The same episode repeated again, but this time it was spicy Mc Chicken. Both these cases were settled with Mc Donald’s paying hefty fines and compensations.
- Burger King and Mc Donald’s both had been using trans fat and both delayed to curb the usage until a law suit came along.
- An Australian girl won the case against KFC, where in she had a chicken twister which contained salmonella, a hazardous substance that caused her a severe brain damage and left her confined to her wheelchair.
- San Francisco banned the sale of the famous happy meals of Mc Donald’s to stop the junk marketing to children by luring them with toys. And also the meal was found to be highly tasty and under the average standards. So instead Mc Donald’s outlets priced the toys as low as 10 cents by making every meal a “Happy” meal for the kids.
- The hazardous ingredients that increase hyperactivity and low concentration problems were found in Mc Donald’s best sellers such as Big Mac, Cheese Burgers, Desserts and coke floats.
- Countries that have banned Mc Donald’s include North Korea, Bolivia, Iceland, Yemen, Bermuda, Kazakhstan.
“Are you still lovin’ it?”