The community of Tofino, British Columbia is considering a ban on fast-food franchises and chain restaurants including Tim Hortons, Starbucks and the usual cast of characters.
In 2008 Los Angeles, California banned new fast food franchises from being built in South LA. This is a seriously poverty-stricken area of the city and they figured taking away the McDonald’s would help improve the health of the citizens.
A lot of school boards have banned all forms of junk food from being sold on school property. Others have lobbied to have fast-food restaurants banned from the vicinity of schools or even to have fast-food advertisements banned from school areas and from television during children’s programs.
Meanwhile, the fast-food industry, or QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants) as they’re called within the industry, is growing by leaps and bounds.
McDonald’s is located in 126 countries on 6 continents and operates over 31,000 restaurants worldwide. The McDonald’s that opened in Moscow in 1990 is the busiest in the world.
You can get a Big Mac almost anywhere these days. They’re called Maharaja Mac in India; Croque McDo in France, and McFiesta in Guatemala.
The largest McDonald’s in the world is in Beijing.
Burger King has more than 11,100 restaurants in more than 65 countries. KFC is located in 25 countries. Subway has almost 40,000 restaurants in 90 countries. Pizza Hut is in 97 countries, with 100 locations in China. Even Taco Bell has 278 restaurants in 12 countries other than the US.
Fast food has been around since Ancient Rome. A lot of people didn’t have facilities for cooking back then, so on almost every street corner were stands that sold bread soaked in wine.
They’ve been flogging street food like this all over the world for ages – from East Indian noodle shops to Middle Eastern falafel joints to West African kebob carts.
Because most QSR food is meat-centered, (also fat and salt-centered) I don’t often eat it. I will occasionally have a veggie burger at Harvey’s – but never their horrible salt-saturated “crispy” fries. Harvey’s really has the only palatable fast food veggie burger. They used to have good fries, too, but then they switched to these nasty fries instead.
There are other fast-food veggie burgers, but they’re all pretty bad. I have no idea what that thing is they sell at A&W, for instance. It’s a hard dry disc with slippery brown chunks in it, drowned in slimy white stuff and held together by a small stale bun. They call it a Swiss Veggie Deluxe for some reason.
So, If I want to grab some quick lunch on a Saturday it might be a Harvey’s burger or some pad thai from Thai Express. But really, that’s about it.
I can’t even remember the last time I set foot in a Wendy’s or a Burger King and I certainly haven’t been in a KFC since long before they changed their name to initials. I think I’ve been to Starbucks once in my life.
But I know plenty of people whose day isn’t complete without a coffee from Starbucks or Tim Hortons or who swear by the McDonald’s McBreakfast McSandwich or whatever it’s called or who have pizza night from Domino’s every Friday.
Is there any QSR you visit on a regular basis? Are there any you would miss if they decided to ban them all? Would you like to see a revival of the wine-soaked bread stand? I think I could get hooked on that one.
PS: I’m not taking a laptop, but will do my best to find some sort of internets over the next week to perhaps combine a couple of rest stops with some blog updates. But if that doesn’t pan out, I will be back the following week with stories of my travels. Maybe even with some photos if all goes well. Meanwhile, please talk amongst yourselves.