The 16th of November is Fast Food Day.
It celebrates the modern fast food industry, for all its pluses and minuses. The fast-food industry feeds a lot of people, and employs a lot of people to do so!
Today you get to eat fast food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Granted, for some people, that may be just a normal day!
How often do you eat fast food a week, or a month? Is it usually at chains, or do you prefer locally-owned, independent fast-food places?
The Macmillan Dictionary defines fast food as food that is made and served very quickly, especially food that you can take away with you.
The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) defines fast food restaurants as “establishments primarily engaged in providing food services (except snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars) where patrons generally order or select items and pay before eating. Food and drink may be consumed on premises, taken out, or delivered to the customer’s location.” 722513 – Limited-Service Restaurants. Accessed October 2021 at https://www.naics.com/naics-code-description/?code=722513
Many people at first blush will think of this primarily as a day to look for deals, but it should also be treated as a day to go out of our ways to thankful, be kind, and show appreciation for and understanding to those working in the fast-food industry.
When you get fast food, do you usually eat it in, or do you get it to go? If you take it out, where do you eat it — in your car, at your desk, on a bench somewhere if the weather is nice?
Fast food has its place, especially on road trips. And it doesn’t have to be inherently unhealthy.
It’s getting easier to eat healthy at fast food places now. A baked potato with toppings from Wendy’s, or oatmeal from McDonald’s, are just two examples of the healthier choices now available. Many fast food places are trying to offer healthier choices but often their customers will say they want healthier choices in polls, but then never actually buy them when the fast food places do put them on the menus. And many fast food places now show the calorie counts as rough guides to the nutritional intakes for their various menu choices.
Many blog sites now offer copycat versions of people’s favourite fast foods; those recipes can always be tweaked to make them healthier with quick, smart substitutions.
See also: Hamburger Day, Hot Dog Day, Hot Dogs, French Fries, Pizza Day, Cheeseburger Day, Drive-Through Day, French Fry Day, Onion Ring Day, Hot Chicken Day, Chocolate Milkshake Day
Activities for today
- Look for deals on apps and coupons on web sites;
- look for recipes for healthier versions of your favourite fast foods that you can make at home;
- try to patronize a local, independent fast-food restaurant at least once today.
Copycat Recipes of Your Favorite Fast Foods
Healthy Meals in 30 Minutes or Less (University of Arkansas Extension Service)
Choosing healthy fast-food options (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)
Fast Food…Can It Be Healthy in a Pinch? (Rutgers University Extension Service)
Healthy and fit on the go: better fast food options (University of Minnesota Extension Service)
Specter, Michael. Freedom from Fries: Can Fast Food Be Good For You?
New York, NY: The New Yorker. 26 October 2015.
The first print mention that CooksInfo is aware of for a “Fast Food Day” in November dates from 2001 in California:
“November 16 . First Day of Ramadan (the Islamic holy month in which Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset each day), National Fast Food Day, International Day for Tolerance.” — Morse, Debby. November is National Month Month. San Francisco, California: The San Francisco Examiner. Thursday, 1 November 2001. Page C1, col 2.
The first hamburger chain was White Castle, established in 1921 and still going.
Cartier, Curt. Today is National Fast Food Day – Do You Opt Local or Chain? Pasco, WA : KXRX FM. 16 November 2020. Accessed October 2021 athttps://97rockonline.com/today-is-national-fast-food-day-do-you-opt-local-or-chain/
Darnell, Tim. National Fast Food Day is Nov. 16. Atlanta, Georgia: The Atlanta Journal Constitution. 13 November 2019. Accessed October 2021 at https://www.ajc.com/news/can-get-that-national-fast-food-day-nov/0RAAyD9uRsmmkoy0sDxqTN/
Dillow, Kenzie. It’s National Fast Food Day! Carterville, IL: WSIL-TV. 16 November 2020. Accessed October 2021 at https://www.wsiltv.com/news/news-3-this-morning/it-s-national-fast-food-day/article_0edf5823-5285-5e5c-8f3a-6e9ffeed6ae8.html
Epstein, Zach. Today is National Fast Food Day – here are all the best freebies and deals. Boy Genius Report. 16 November 2018. Accessed October 2021 at https://bgr.com/2018/11/16/national-fast-food-day-2018-best-deals-freebies/
Erickson, Anne. Deals and Freebies on National Fast Food Day!Detroit, Michigan: WMGC-FM. 16 November 2020. Accessed October 2021 at https://1051thebounce.com/2020/11/16/deals-and-freebies-on-national-fast-food-day/
National Fast Food Day: November 16, 2021. United States Census. 29 October 2021. Release # CB21-SFS.152. Accessed October 2021 at https://www.census.gov/newsroom/stories/fast-food-day.html
On National Fast Food Day, Wienerschnitzel Cooks Up Delicious Deals On Some of their Popular Meals. Irvine, California: PRNewsWire. 16 November 2020. Accessed October 2021 at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/on-national-fast-food-day-wienerschnitzel-cooks-up-delicious-deals-on-some-of-their-popular-meals-301173072.html
O’Sullivan, Annie. 4 Crazy Fast Foods To Celebrate National Fast Food Day. New York, New York: NBC News. 16 November 2018. Accessed October 2021 at https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/4-Crazy-Fast-Foods-To-Celebrate-National-Fast-Food-Day-Cheeseburger-Sauce-Ketchup-Pizza-Taco-Peanut-Butter-Burger-500706131.html
Street, Paula. Get Free Food on National Fast Food Day! Tampa, Florida: Q105 FM. 16 November 2018. Accessed October 2021 at https://myq105.com/2018/11/16/get-free-food-on-national-fast-food-day/
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