7 Unappetizing Truths About America’s Favorite Fast Food

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Everyone knows that fast food isn’t exactly health food, but the understanding of how our nation’s iconic restaurants get their food to taste as sinfully delicious as it is, is where it gets a little blurry. Many consumers also don’t even want to think about what’s going in their favorite guilty pleasures, and fast food companies’ efforts to conceal their ingredients can make finding the nutritional information and origins of their products that much harder. But the truths can be uncovered, and that’s what we’ve worked to provide you with today. Here are 10 examples of some fast food realities that you may want to keep in mind next time you’re tempted to go through the drive-thru. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

1. Animal Cruelty

Over one hundred thousand fast food restaurants exist in America alone. There are almost as many food suppliers; farmers that supply pork, chicken, eggs, and other animal products to these chains. While a blatant disregard for humane practices (such as Domino’s refusal to vote against the use of pig gestation crates) is unforgivable, one of the hardest parts of animal cruelty in fast food is controlling it. Though many major fast food chain restaurants have voiced a commitment to ensuring thier meat and dairy products are humanely sourced, there is always room to do more, and recent cases of abuse only illuminate how much room for progress there really is. Some also note that more rigorous regulations are direly needed.

In October of 2013, McDonald’s ceased business with two egg suppliers after a secretly recorded video of the farm’s employees abusing chickens — which were already being confined to inhumanely small spaces — was exposed. Another video from a California meat supplier’s slaughterhouse exposed abuse that lead to the suspension of the entire operation. Though gestation crates (small cages) used to confine pregnant sows are being phased out by many fast food chains, they are still widely used.

When profits are God, too many suppliers are at hand and regulation is inadequate, abuse is all too able to thrive. While some fast food chains have made some meager efforts to ensure that animal abuse is at least reduced, it’s a problem that is still far from solved.