Pull open the glass door, feel the rush of cool air, walk in, get in line, study the backlit colour photographs above the counter, place your order, hand over a few dollars. Watch teenagers in uniforms pushing various buttons, and moments later take hold of a plastic tray full of food wrapped in coloured paper and cardboard. The whole experience of buying fast food has become so routine, so thoroughly unexceptional and mundane, that it is now taken for granted, like brushing your teeth or stopping for a red light. It has become a social custom as American as a small, rectangular, hand-held, frozen and reheated apple pie. Over the past three decades, an industry that began with a handful of hot dog and hamburger stands in southern California has spread to almost every corner of the globe. Fast food is now served at restaurants, stadiums, airports, zoos, schools and universities, on cruise ships, trains and aeroplanes, at supermarkets, petrol stations and even in hospital cafeterias. Americans now spend more money on fast food – $110bn last year – than they do on higher education. They spend more on fast food than on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos and recorded… Read full this story
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