I remember developing a vehement disgust for almost all fast food in my late teens. It’s like my body said, “I’ve had enough. Please, no more.” And from then on, there were no more chicken chalupas and Mexican pizzas, panda bowls with orange chicken and chow mein, $1 chicken sandwiches, $1 double cheeseburgers or $1 tacos with sides of curly fries.

Photo: Fastfoodmenuprice.com

It had been a long, degrading relationship. I grew up eating as much McDonald’s as other kids, I assumed. I anticipated what new toy I’d get each time I got my “hamburger” kid’s meal. Hamburglar was my favorite, and to whom I owe the many years of grade school I spent being a bully and fighting boys who teased me about my weight. This was back when apple slices didn’t come in happy meals and before fast-food restaurants started disclosing nutritional facts. Of course, as I got older the toys stopped coming and instead I was rewarded with a pounding headache or stomach pains.


In an effort to prevent the onset of major health issues I’d be exposing myself to by eating from many of the fast-food chains there are out there, I make better eating choices as a young adult. Now it’s wild-caught this, grass-fed that and organic when it’s not too much of an inconvenience. I’ve committed to cutting meat out of my diet at least a few days a week — if not entirely, after the USDA announced a discontinuation of labels for grass-fed and naturally raised livestock. I drink alkaline water more than any soft drink and fasting often has helped with clearer thinking, clearer skin, an improved immune system and has heightened my sense of spiritual connectedness.

I am not alone in this regard. People are more health conscious than ever, putting their money where their mouth is. According to Mashable, 2016 promises to be a landmark year as food giants struggle to meet demand for fresh, local and organic food. Transparency surrounding the ingredients people are putting into their bodies and their long-lasting effects are proving to be more valuable than convenience.

As the demand changes, so does the industry. With vegetarian, raw, vegan and gluten-free lifestyles steadily becoming more common, I can only hope that obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other pertinent health issues decrease in number as a result. We’re taking steps in the right direction from the looks of it. And maybe, one day, future generations will look back and view fast food as some crazed, barbaric crime against humanity.