The Super Size Meal Dilemma

i don’t fast food it often but when i do i might want to choose the super-size-it.I also realize that fast food restaurants do not have a chance at me as much as many others who may be concerned about their health or weight. I do feel however that since most people have a choice as to whether they eat fast food or carry a lunch or eat dinner at home they are probably in agreement with the government interference that says it knows what it’s doing. It probably does. I have had a lack of confidence in government decisions before but I am a person who loves the structure of the law so I believe you wanna get a change made do it through the proper channels.
The only thing that bothers me about the constant changes the govt (health dept or whatever this legit group is that gets the changes made)is that there seems to be a gripe every year or two and they seem to be taking something else out of the food or process every time. Just as long as they know what they are doing, which they have not always, and they do not subtract all the goodness out of the fast foods by jacking everything around. Leave me my hamburgers, my french fries, my onion rings, my fish sandwiches and some other things i like…and stay out of the grocery store and my kitchen. I want to be able to cook those things at home too the way i want fried or not without having to live up to somebody else’s idea of whether they get to choose inside my kitchen or inside my body.

A Pound of Dirt

Eating out is fun, but as a compulsive hand-washer, I totally freak out when I see the workers in any restaurant come out of the restroom without washing their hands. This is happening far too often these days. It is even worse when a complaint to the manager elicits nothing more than a shrug.

That is why I usually choose types of food that are well-cooked and do not require handling afterward. In my view, then, this is one of several reasons why it could be that fast food eateries are generally a bit safer than some of the more sophisticated restaurants: we can see the food being prepared and make informed choices. Despite the junk-food label, a batch of fries goes right from the cooking pot into the scoop and into my bag untouched by human hands.

By contrast, in some supposedly “nice” restaurants I’ve noticed workers grasping glassware by the rims or reaching into a bin to grab ice cubes with their bare hands.

Another plus in being able to see the food prepared in front of our eyes is that you know even before ordering anything whether the workers are wearing gloves or not.

Fast food items do not sit around on the shelf, either, as the establishments are rather strictly regulated and expiration dates are often stamped right on the packing. That is another thing you can see for yourself.

Recently, however, I noticed something appalling at one of my hitherto favorite fast food joints. The company that cleans the restaurant’s floor mats sent a man in who slapped the dirty rugs around so much while trying to pick them up that he not only got all the new rugs dirty from the soil that flew off the old ones, but he also scattered a huge haze of dirt and dust into the air right next to a dozen lunch-time diners. How could one have predicted this?

Despite the well-planned assembly-line manner of preparing and presenting food, standardized in compliance with many codes and regulations, this restaurant was preparing wonderful food and then contaminating it post-purchase! Since then, I read somewhere that only one square yard of commercial rug can trap a full pound of dirt in less than a week.

Some of us remember being told as children that “we all have to eat a pound of dirt before we die” but I certainly don’t want to eat mine all at once!

Online Cooking Classes Learn to Cook

Everyone should learn to cook to take advantage of the health benefits of fresh food.  Yes, there’s easy, convenient food available that will fill you with empty calories, but the art of cooking will allow you to use any ingredient YOU desire.

However, written recipes won’t teach you to cook any more than having sheet music will teach you to play piano.

The biggest frustration for the home cook isn’t cooking, it’s following the written recipe.  Recipes have inherent flaws and variables that make them impossible to duplicate and always let you down.

When a recipe calls for “one onion, chopped”, how big is this onion?  When a recipe says “cook under medium heat”, how do you define medium?  And, worst of all is cooking by time.  “Saute for 3-5 minutes” can mean raw or burned depending on the stove, pan, ingredient, etc…

Being able to cook by method means you never have the stress of trying to figure out “what’s for dinner” every night. You can cook with the ingredients on-hand. You’ll never have the frustration of written recipes not working, you’ll save money on take-out food, improve your nutrition, gain a new hobby, reunite your family, entertain for friends, gain confidence, eat a greater variety of foods, and have a skill for a lifetime.

If your Mom or Grandma didn’t teach you to cook, you’re unfortunately left to recipe books and celebrity chefs on TV.  The problem is neither of these actually teach you HOW to cook.

The Food Network is the MTV of Food.  MTV used to play music, now they’re entertainment ABOUT music.  The Food Network is entertainment ABOUT food, they don’t teach anyone to cook.

Why is cooking the only art form that has a strict set of instructions?  You’d never tell a painter to “paint with 1.7 ounces of green paint for 22 minutes, and you’ll have a landscape”.  No, he’ll use as much green paint for as long as he wants until the landscape is complete.  This is how people should cook.

I’ve taught thousands of people to “Burn Your Recipes” and cook like a chef at home, with basic cooking methods and the ingredients you desire.

 Concentrate on the basic cooking methods of saute, steaming, braising, roasting, grilling, poaching, simmering and you can create an infinate amount of recipes that a book will never tell you.

Restaurant Review Popeyes Safety Harbor Florida

Today I had a rare experience at the Popeyes in Safety Harbor, Florida.
I was in the drive-thru and wanted a very specific order. All I wanted was 12 mild wings. Thats all I was specific about. After some dialogue back and forth with a very pleasant young lady she then handed me off to a male voice, which was most polite. They WERE working with me, but in all honesty, I was not trying to be difficult, but I was being difficult, not in manner, but in what I wanted.
I finally drove to the window and a very nice young man worked out my order. I paid and was politely asked to move ahead and they would bring my order out to me. I thanked him and pulled forward. There was a car ahead of me also waiting. The young man came out to give the woman ahead of me her order. I was sitting there with my window down, listening to my music, it was a beautiful day and the sun was wonderful. I had just come from my hair dresser, had a brand new do’. I was sitting back with my eyes were closed and was feeling pretty great. Are you getting the picture?

The next thing I know, I hear a male voice saying “madam?” “madam?”
I opened my eyes and the gentleman from the window was standing there.
He smiled at me and asked: “Would you like something cold to drink?”
I was flabbergasted! How hospitable can it get?
I said, “Yes, that’d be great, do you have water?” With a big smile, he nodded and said, “Yes”. He returned shortly with a plastic clear glass filled with water, ice, and a straw. I smiled and thanked him. I asked him his name, he replied Tony. I then asked if he was the manager, he replied with a degree of pride, No maam, I’m the assistant manager. I smiled back and thanked him again for the water.

As I sat there, working the straw into the x on the lid, I was simply filled with a warm feeling. To be treated so nice at a fast food restaurant after I’d been such a bother well, it was just wonderful!

As my mouth filled with the clear cold water, my eyes closed again and I simply enjoy some of Gods greatest gifts a genuinely nice human being the sunshine on my skin and the life blood of humanity clear, cool water.

Kudos for the Big Mac

Who says that bad press is ineffective? Have you checked out the fast foods chain, lately? For those of you who have children, fast food restaurants can be a nice outing for a child who lives far from most outlets. On a tight budget, we used to have meal combos down to a fine science.

My how times do change! The last time I visited a KFC (just over a year ago) the salad bar had been implemented. It was so nasty that I could not finish. I don’t even know what the children in the next table had; but I heard one of them (about 7 or 8) saying that they certainly would not be eating at KFC any more. I think that we all left about the same time.

You know, it never even occurred to me to ask what poison they had consumed to make such a statement. I was probably in such a state of shock and so disappointed that I just left.

I tell you about the KFC moment to tell you that it left me jaded about what the other fast foods moguls are doing. In the past week, I have twice (including today) had the pleasure to experience the warm oriental chicken salad. The mandarin orange slices are so tender and delicate, they just about melt. The different types of lettuce looked fresh and were quite tasty. There were tender slivers of carrot. Never before in my life have I associated the words tender and McDonald’s in the same sentence.

I just wanted to see if it made a difference if the location was varied. The results were the same in both places I tried.

My husband used to maintain that he would never eat in a McDonald’s restaurant. The resistance had something to do with spoiled food. He just could not forgive the impact of the experience.

In long distance driving, sometimes the selection is limited at best. It made it difficult for us as a family if we were out with no other establishment close by. Sometimes, the speed at which breakfasts were served worked if time to eat and run were critical.

About 5 years ago, we took him to 2 different locations of the Big Mac in the space of perhaps 6 months. In an effort to be a good sport, Kevin ate with my 2 daughters and me. Remember that we live in the country. We don’t eat out anywhere very often. And until then my husband would not have chosen McDonald’s.

In this part of cottage country, we are generally an hour drive in any direction from a Big Mac (or any other chain of fast foods). Actually, both my husband and my father-in-law like their cheeseburger specials. Recently, at least my father-in-law has begun to rotate and experiment with the selection. Kevin sticks to cheeseburgers.

The long and short of my tale today is that neither of the 2 men go into a large city such as Peterborough, Ontario, without stopping at the first McDonald’s they pass.

However, I guess I might as well include the negative feedback. McDonald’s is known for charitable work focused on disabled children. Is it perhaps too much to ask that McDonald’s remember grownups are people, too?

It would probably help to explain that my husband is also physically challenged. He is in constant intense pain whenever his meds wear off. Today was such a day. We got to the door of the entrance. The first thing he noticed is that without a button at the entrance to accommodate the disabled, he could not manage to open the door on his own. After eating his fill of fries and cheeseburgers (probably 3), he could not open the door to get out of the men’s washroom without great difficulty.

Oversight and what a supersized one.

Easy Pre Made Lunches for when You’re on the go in College

For college students living off campus, planning and preparing a lunch for the next day can seem like a real bother. What if you live on campus and don’t have lunch as part of your meal plan?

How can you find a pre-made lunch or create one on your own so that you can just grab it and go? Finding a healthy, easy, cost effective way to assemble a pre-made lunch can be a big challenging. Many of the prepackaged kit lunches you find in the grocery store contain a lot of processed or high sodium foods.

Here are some ideas for quick, easy pre-made lunches that won’t break the bank.

< LUNCH AT HOME OR IN THE DORM > –

*Peanut butter and jelly –

The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is very quick and easy to make. It’s also very cheap. Most brand name peanut butter doesn’t have to be refrigerated, but the jelly may need to be.

*Prepackaged dried fruits and nuts –

Prepackaged dried fruits and nuts are a good and easy thing to grab in a pinch. If you have a piece of fruit to eat with it, this will tide you over until you can eat a real meal.

TAKE AND BAKE PIZZA –

You can buy a take and bake pizza at a number of places. Pappa Murphy’s is the national chain that introduced the take and bake concept, and their pre-prepared pizzas are oven ready. Now you can find these pre-made pizzas at grocery stores, Walmart and Sam’s Club as well as other places. Papa Murphy’s pizzas are very reasonably priced.

FROM THE FREEZER –

*Frozen entrees –

Stouffers makes excellent macaroni and cheese and lasagna that can be found in the freezer section at any grocery store. The only work involved in preparing it is unwrapping the package, putting it in the oven and taking it out. These aren’t as fast as microwaveable entrees.

The Budget Gourmet makes it possible for you to have everything from shrimp scampi to fettuccine Alfredo for lunch. Lean Cuisine has similar offerings as does Healthy Choice.

*Frozen pizzas –

As frozen pizzas go, Totino’s makes a tasty inexpensive pizza with a deliciously crispy crust. If you want a pizza that is loaded with toppings, then go for Tombstone Double Stuff. Great pizzas for a modest price.

*Lean Pockets

If you are looking for something really fast and you want a hot lunch, consider something like whole wheat lean pockets. You can get a package of two lean pockets for under $2. Wrapped in a whole wheat or whole grain crust, you can find anything from ham and cheese to broccoli, chicken and cheese. In 2 1/2 minutes, your microwaved lunch is ready.

*Healthy Choice Steamer Bowls –

Healthy Choice Steamer Bowls offer hungry college students a healthy, albeit small serving of an entree that includes pasta or rice, vegetables and meat. They are packed in a two layer steamer bowl system in which the dry ingredients are in the steamer basket above and the sauce is in the bottom. All you have to do is take the outer package off.

Leave the plastic cover on the bowl and put it in the microwave. After just over two minutes in the microwave, your meal is done. Carefully pull the plastic off and lift the steamer basket out of the bowl. Dump the contents into the bowl and serve. For just over $2.00, you have a low calorie, low fat delicious tasting lunch that required no effort.

< SHELF STABLE CHOICES > –

*Instant organic soups –

There are several organic food companies that make instant soups to which you only need to add hot water. Available varieties include lentil soup, split pea soup, black bean soup and others. As long as you have access to some boiling water and a spoon, this lunch will take no more than five minutes to prepare.

*Macaroni and Cheese –

There is an instant type of macaroni and cheese that only requires that you add water. It comes in single serving portions. Then of course, there is the stuff in a box. Cook the macaroni, add milk, water and the cheese mix. Lunch is ready in 15 minutes.

*Soup On The Go –

The Campbell Soup Company has many single serving containers of soup on the go. They even have a classic tomato soup that can be heated in the microwave. These containers have a lid from which you can drink. The down side is that the can is still rather hot to hold. Still, for something that requires no more effort than pulling the top off the can, this is definitely easy and pre-made.

*Dinty Moore Beef Stew –

Dinty Moore beef stew comes in a can in single serving sizes. There is a huge size for very hungry people (although it would serve two,) and single serving sizes. Like the soup, the only thing you have to do is pull the metal lid off, put the plastic lid back on and heat it up. The price of these foods ranges from $1 to $2.

*Campbell Soup Meals –

Campbell Soup Company recently introduced new soups that contain entire meals for hungry people. They are now available in individual serving cans that can be microwaved. They tend to be more expensive, although $2 for a meal isn’t unreasonable.

*Packaged tuna, mayonnaise, relish and crackers –

Kraft food has assembled a packaged lunch that consists of a 3 ounce can of tuna, a packet of mayonnaise, a packet of relish, a knife, a spoon and some crackers. There is also a plastic bowl that you can use to mix the tuna salad in. This is something that is sold at drug and convenience stores.

REFRIGERATOR ITEMS –

*Cheese and fruit –

The cheese section of most grocery stores sells individually wrapped pieces of cheese. One can also buy individually wrapped single servings of string cheese. Grab a couple of hunks of this cheese and a piece of fruit, and you’ve got a modest, albeit healthy lunch that should tide you over.

*Yogurt and fruit –

Yogurt can be purchased in single serving cartons. It is also readily available in college and university cafeterias. A carton of yogurt and a piece of fruit can tide you over in a pinch.

*Pre-made sandwiches –

In the refrigerated section, one can pre-made sandwiches that are made by Hormel or other established companies. They are on the expensive side, but you can get hot ham and cheese on a croissant, on foccaccio, or hot beef and other varieties.

*Oscar Mayer cheese and crackers –

One can also find Oscar Mayer packages of individual lunches that include meat, cheese and crackers.

*Cottage cheese and fruit –

Breakstone introduced individual servings of cottage cheese in a dual package that contains fruit on one side and cottage cheese on the other. This is a perfect, easy, portable and inexpensive lunch.

Obviously this is by no means a comprehensive list of what’s available. It is an attempt to show a range of choices that are suitable for home or the dorm and shelf stable choices that can be eaten anywhere. There are many other prepackaged things from which one can choose.

For students who live off campus, an easy way to throw a lunch together is to use your previous meal’s leftovers. Leftover meat and left over salad can be thrown together in a plastic container. One can even find containers that are designed for salads and that have a special compartment into which to put the salad dressing. There are plenty of creative ways by which a college student can come up with ideas for pre-made lunches that are suitable for people on the go. With a little bit of advance planning and the willingness to use whatever is available, you can put together a “pre-made” lunch in no more than a few minutes.

Tim Hortons Role in the Fast Food Industry

Tim Horton’s

The fast food industry has evolved into a worldwide phenomenon with the help of advertising and clearly marketing the product across the media. Fast food restaurants are known as a cheap and efficient way to provide a fulfillment, even though it has been proven as one of the countless reasons for obesity and unhealthy dietary practices worldwide. Tim Horton’s is known as one of the few fast food restaurants which provide a vast majority of healthy options at a reasonable price. It is a major contributor to the fast food chains in Canada and the United States, establishing over two thousand stores. Tim Horton’s is known for its loyalty to its customer, advertising techniques, products and continued success in our society. This paper will prove the growing business of Tim Horton’s regarding its history and marketing strategies.

The Tim Horton’s franchisee began with the idea of building a donut shop affordable for the blue collar workers. With the help of his partner, Jim Charade, Tim Horton created the first donut shop in 1964 on Ottawa Street, in Hamilton, Ontario (Buist 36). In 1967, Tim Horton called in Ron Joyce to help make the business more successful (Buist 39). Ron bought out Jim for ten thousand dollars and from that moment on Ron became business partners with the lead defenseman for the Maple Leafs (Buist 38). As the business began to develop with over forty restaurants, due to its quality of service and products, just ten years after the first store opened tragedy occurred. Tim Horton was returning home from Buffalo when he died in a tragic car accident (Wikipedia 1). Soon after the unfortunate incident, Ron Joyce established the Tim Horton Foundation to honour Tim’s love for children and to help the less fortunate (TDL 1). In 1976, as the popularity began to expand, Ron Joyce introduced a new menu including the famous timbits, muffins, cakes, pies and soups (TDL 1). A year later, he also began to expand his franchisee and status in society by opening the twelfth store in Hamilton. Just one decade later, when Tim Horton’s began to open throughout Canada, store three hundred opened in Calgary, and in 1991 store five hundred opened in Quebec (Buist 45). In 1995, Tim Horton’s began to grow in the United States because it was bought by Wendy’s International Incorporation (TDL 1). At this point, Ron Joyce became the most successful shareholder of Wendy’s (Wikipedia 1). Due to Ron’s loyalty to the business and promise to his customers Tim Horton’s has become part of our Canadian identity.

When Tim Horton opened his first donut shop, he knew he would gravitate towards customers due to his well known status in society. This tactic is known as testimonial, which is the endorsement of a product or business by a well known person. Tim Horton’s slogan “Always Fresh” helped to draw their customers by promising a freshly baked menu (TDL 1). It is a proven fact that Tim Horton’s was the first fast food restaurant to guarantee freshness (Buist 117) When Tim Horton’s opened its first drive- through window, it brought in more customers because it promised a quick alternative for those on a schedule (Buist 60). In 1986, when Ron began the “Roll up the Rim” contest he used facts, figures and repetition to emphasis the promotion and guarantee that a vast majority of the cups were winners, from muffins to vehicles, using the snob appeal in a number of their advertisements (Wikipedia 1). The commercials promised that the coffee wasn’t just normal coffee, but it was a part of your routine, by associating their products to living a desirable lifestyle. Tim Horton’s does not only advertise through television and billboards but also through their Children’s Foundation and sponsoring children’s sports programs (Wikipedia 1). Due to its continually changing menu, Tim Horton’s accounts for approximately 35% of Wendy’s total revenue, and has become the largest fast food chain in Canada, with over sixty stores in Hamilton.

The fast food industry is responsible for the decreasing number of families who are not eating at home, but rather consuming a large percentage of unhealthy cuisine. Tim Horton’s is considered one of healthier fast food alternatives throughout Canada and the United States. With a countless number of fast food chains within Canada, Tim Horton’s is considered part of our popular culture, which has a common menu at affordable prices for people of all ages. In conclusion, Tim Horton’s is rapidly growing across Canada and the United States due to its new products, customer dedication and community support.

Cook with a Kitchenette

My first apartment was a 1000 square feet of space that I shared with seven other women. It had four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, and a kitchenette. The apartment was on a college campus, and I was not allowed to look at it before I made my deposit. I was very surprised to learn that the kitchenette contained only a small refrigerator, microwave, and two outlets for other small appliances. There was no range or oven, and a very limited amount of counter, drawer, and cabinet space. Unfortunately, I had already opted out of a campus meal plan while under the mistaken belief that I could easily prepare meals in my apartment. With nothing else to do, I taught myself how to cook with only a kitchenette.

My first step was to add a few items to what was given to me. I bought a small toaster oven and a hot plate. This purchase cost me less than $40 ($20 per appliance at the back-to-school sale at my nearby mass merchandiser), but if I had more money I would have bought a small convection oven (about $80). These items, combined with a frying pan, sauce pot, measuring cup, a set of plastic storage containers, and two big plastic spoons (one slotted, one not) were all of the specialty cooking equipment I needed. I also had two place settings of dishes (dinner plate, bowl, glass, and saucer) and four sets of silverware.

To stock the fridge each week, I started by figuring out a few menus that I knew I could make. Since I was sharing the fridge with seven other people, I wanted to make sure that I bought as little as possible, and that what I did buy would not produce any objectionable smells. I could store shelf stable goods in my room, so I decided to go with canned fruits and vegetables whenever possible. As a group, my roommates and I decided to keep some staples on hand such as butter and milk that everyone could use (as these items would often disappear and not be replaced, however, I quickly learned to just stock them on my own).

To make menu planning simple, I planned to cook a few similar meals every month. Breakfast was typically cereal or a granola bar (I’ve never been a big fan of breakfast). Lunch was a sandwich and a piece of fruit or a chicken salad. The most complicated part of this was the grilled chicken breast. To make it, I would buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale (deboning chicken when you have roommates and spotty garbage service should be avoided). These would usually come in giant packages, but since I had very little time during the week I would cook all my chicken on Saturdays. I could get three pieces in my frying pan, and I would flat grill them with the hot plate. I would then cut five of the chicken breasts into small pieces and wrap each piece separately in plastic wrap. To make a salad in the morning, I just cut up lettuce and tomatoes, added shredded cheese, and placed my frozen packet of chicken strips on top of the bowl. I carried dressing in a little cup with a lid, and by lunch time my chicken had thawed and was ready to eat. I could also use the chicken to make sandwiches if I got bored with salads.

Dinner was more of a challenge. While a lot of my roommates stuck with frozen entrees or TV dinners, I wanted something a little bit tastier. In addition to salads, soups, and sandwiches, I learned to make a few simple meals. Hamburger Helper makes a variety of dinners, and browning the meat is fairly simple with a frying pan and a hot plate. Once you know how to brown hamburger meat, you can also make tacos (great if you are sharing meals with other people). Spaghetti and meatballs is a bit tricky with just one burner. The trick is to use the burner for the spaghetti noodles, while making the meatballs (out of pre-cooked hamburger meat; cook some on Saturday after you make the chicken) in the microwave. To make microwave meatballs, mix one pound of pre-browned hamburger meat with one cup of ketchup, two tablespoons of Italian seasonings (use a store bought blend or experiment on your own with garlic, oregano, and red pepper), an egg, and cup of breadcrumbs. Roll the mixture into balls and microwave the balls on a plate for about 2 minutes. Heat up store bought sauce in the microwave, and combine with the noodles and meatballs. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, toast garlic bread in the toaster oven.