Fast food is the term given to food that can be prepared and served very quickly. Nowadays Fast food has been well-known of the whole world, and it has brought huge influences to the whole world, including China. Fast food, like McDonald’s and KFC, has come into China for more than 30 years. It forms its own culture step by step and takes great effects to China. Fast food has been a very important part to people’s life. This paper will analyze the formation and development of “Fast-food” and the influences of “Fast food culture”, and then summarize the enlightenment of “Fast food culture”, like cultural localization and right view of “Fast food culture”.
Key words: Fast food culture, effect, enlightenment
According to Wikipedia, “Fast food” is the term given to food that can be prepared and served very quickly. While any meal with low preparation time can be considered to be fast food, typically the term refers to food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients, and served to the customer in a packaged form for take-out/take-away.The term “fast food” was recognized in a dictionary by Merriam-Webster in 1951.
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“Fast food”, which came out from McDonald’s in the USA in 1950s, has brought huge influences to the whole world, including China. For a long time it forms its own culture step by step and takes great effects to China. What does “Fast-food culture” mean? According to The Analysis of “Fast Food Culture” Status in China, it means quick, popular, short-term pop. This paper will analyze the formation and development of “Fast-food” and the influences of “Fast food culture”.
2. The Formation and Development of “Fast food”
The beginning of learning a culture is learning its history. And the history of culture mainly includes its formation and development. How about the history of “Fast food”?
2.1. “Fast food” in the USA
According to Baidu, Fast food” is originated from the USA. “Fast food” came out from McDonald’s in the USA in 1950th at the beginning. At that time it just was small restaurant with a table, several chairs and a tattered sign in a small square without cover.
All the things exist by selecting the superior and eliminating the inferior. In the cruel competition, McDonald’s was survived and succeed. Foreigner like its convenient, then KFC, which founded in 1951 by Colonel Harland Sanders, and Pizza-hut, which founded in 1958 by Frank and Dan Camey, followed its steps and they formed the original area of “Fast food”. And it grew very fast and had strong power. The reason why “Fast food” developed so fast is that the result of the development of the society.
Nowadays the pace of life becomes faster and faster, and having meals seems to become a trouble, a behavior of wasting times. Because of the reason people begins to cut down the times for meals. And “Fast food”, a kind of delicious and convenient food, becomes very popular and the social mainstream.
2.2. “Fast food” in China
“Fast food” came into China in the early of 1980s. And it received great success in a short time. At the beginning “Fast food” was popular in teenager, until now all the people like to eat “Fast food”, such as the young and the old. But there are some differences that people often wait for a line to buy “Fast food”. And it seldom happens in the USA. Some people think that “Fast food” is not fast. People realize that “Fast food” cannot save the time, instead, spend much more time. However, most people still like eating “Fast food”. Chinese people always love eating, and people think that “Fast food” means fashion. Further, people find “Fast food” is very delicious.
For a while some mediums claim that “Fast food” is not unhealthy food and it can caused lots of health issues. The news gave a big beat to “Fast food”, like McDonald’s and KFC. But a silent period later, “Fast food” was active again with a new “face”-new advertisements and new values. Now people often go to McDonald’s and KFC with whole family or closed friends to share the happiness and sorrow.
In fact, “Fast food”, some food is pocketed for taking away, has existed for a long time in China but people cannot realized it. In people’s mind, “Fast food” means McDonald’s or KFC, actually the traditional snack bars beside the McDonald’s or KFC also belong to “Fast food”. With the popular of the McDonald’s or KFC, Chinese Fast food, like the traditional snack bar, also has fast development, but limited by some resistance force.
3. The influences of “Fast food culture”
“Fast food culture” has brought huge influences to the whole world, including China. And some effects are positive and some effects are negative. The comparison of positive effects and negative effects of “Fast food culture” as follow:
3.1. Positive effects of “Fast food culture”
“Fast food culture” takes many benefits to the whole world. It promotes the rapid development of society. And it takes positive effects to many areas, especially education.
3.1.1. Easy and fast education
How to judge a culture is good or bad? There are two rules: one is whether the culture beyond the mainstream of the period, the other is whether the culture can be accepted by most of the people. (æ¢å»ºåŽ, 2008) “Fast-food culture” is not only the happiness and enjoyment, but also is the most direct and the simplest way of education for the teenagers. And the culture takes some active effects to the view of the teenagers’ value.
“Fast food culture” makes the teenagers’ value turn into the diversification. With the popular of “Fast-food culture”, the view of democracy and wild open is instead of the old view of values. And the diversification of the value it is a great progress to people. That is good for the growth of the teenagers. All scores of the value exist and develop together at the same time, it makes the people’s life become more wonderful and people pay more attention to their life. In the case, the teenagers can learn more than before.
“Fast food culture” uses the simplest way to transfer the knowledge of the culture. It has not the strong power of the “classical culture”, and it also is not like a star, light forever. However, “Fast food culture can use one way that all the people can accept to expound the rich and depth of the social culture. And that can cut down the level of education and make all the different people can have one quick way to learn the culture. The teenagers can be lack of the plenty of the knowledge and culture and it can provide has resulted in the popularity of corporate intranets. (æ¢å»ºåŽ, 2008)
3.1.2. An innovation in other areas
According to The Inheritance of Chinese National Music From “Fast Food Culture”, “Fast food” in the early 80s in the 20th century, introduced into China at the beginning of the 21st century, with the “fast food” family words of the continually growing, “fast food” is not only affecting the restaurant industry, cultural industry, and spread to the political, educational, family life and other industries. Chinese folk music has also been affected by “fast food culture”, resulting in “fast food music.”
Chinese folk music and “fast food times” in Modern Music has a different target, the contents of different forms. China’s Hong Kong and Taiwan music, Western music, Chinese traditional music is not incompatible, the key is that they contain the essential elements – they convey, the performance of the thoughts or feelings, to what the audience can influence and nurture. It just gives people the subtle influence of good; it had the value of existence.
The development of folk music history cannot be cut off. Any Age of music is inseparable from the inheritance of traditional music; any nation cannot abandon the nation and re-start. At the same time, we also recognize that any kind of good traditional music, only with the progress of the times, constantly discarded, modified and updated to maintain its vitality in order to reflect the vivid contemporary life, and give the inexhaustible drive to real life. Although the emergence of fast-food culture to some extent affected our nation’s cultural inheritance and development, but it also gives our country’s workers work in the heritage of folk music sounded the alarm. Concerned that the fast food culture is a derivative of the times, its emergence and development of their existence is inevitable. People should keep the development point of view to see this problem, select the essence and discard the dross, in order to come down Chinese folk music better.
3.2. Negative effects of “Fast food culture”
While “Fast food culture” takes positive effects, it also takes some negative effects which cannot be ignored. Unhealthy food is a big problem of “Fast food”, because of this, some dirt-cheap culture has come out.
3.2.1. Unhealthy food
“Fast food” brings conveniences to people’s life, at the same time, it brings some health issues. According to Wikipedia, According to the Massachusetts Medical Society Committee on Nutrition, fast food is especially high in fat content, and studies have found associations between fast food intake and increased body mass index (BMI) and weight gain. A 2006 study fed monkeys a diet consisting of a similar level of Trans fats as what a person who ate fast food regularly would consume. Both diets contained the same overall number of calories. It was found that the monkeys who consumed higher level of Tran’s fat developed more abdominal fat than those fed a diet rich in unsaturated fats. They also developed signs of insulin resistance, which is an early indicator of diabetes. After six years on the diet, the trans fat fed monkeys had gained 7.2% of their body weight, compared to just 1.8% in the unsaturated fat group.
The director of the obesity program for the ChildrenHYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children’s_Hospital_Boston”‘HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children’s_Hospital_Boston”s Hospital Boston, David Ludwig, claims that “fast food consumption has been shown to increase calorie intake, promote weight gain, and elevate risk for diabetes”. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ranked obesity as the number one health threat for Americans in 2003. It is the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States and results in 400,000 deaths each year. About 60 million American adults are classified as being obese with another 127 million being overweight. Health issues associated with obesity causes economic despair regarding health care. According to a 2003 study conducted by RTI International in North Carolina, the cost of health care in America is said to increase by $93 billion a year, mainly from Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, both associated with obesity.
Excessive calories are another issue with fast food. According to B. Lin and E. Frazao, from the Department of Agriculture, states the percentage of calories which attribute to fast-food consumption has increased from 3% to 12% of the total calories consumed in the United States. A regular meal at McDonald’s consists of a Big Mac, large fries, and a large Coca-Cola drink amounting to 1430 calories. A diet of approximately 2000 calories is considered a healthy amount of calories for an entire day (which is different depending on several factors such as age, weight, height, physical activity and gender).
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Besides the dangers of Tran’s fats, high calories, and low fiber, there is another health risk, food poisoning. In his book “Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal”, Eric Schlosser describes in gross detail the process of meatpacking. Meatpacking has become one of the most hazardous jobs in America, with the risk of injury being 3 times higher than any other factory work. The meatpacking factories concentrate livestock into large feedlots and herd them through processing assembly lines operated by poorly trained employees increase the risk of large-scale food poisoning. Manure gets mixed with meat, contaminating it with salmonella and Escherichia coli 0157:H7. E. coli 0157:H7 is one of the worst forms of food poisoning. Usually spread through undercooked hamburgers, it’s difficult to treat. Although antibiotics kill the bacteria, they release a toxin that produces hurtful complications. About 4% of people infected with E. coli 0157:H7 develop hemolytic uremic syndrome, and about 5% of children who develop the syndrome die. E. coli 0157:H7 has become the leading cause of renal failure among American kids.
In a research experiment done by Pediatrics, 6,212 children and adolescents ages 4 to 19 years old were examined to find out some information about fast food. After interviewing the participants in the experiment, it was discovered that on a given day 30.3% of the total sample have reported to have eaten fast food. Fast-food consumption was prevalent in males and females, all racial/ethnic groups, and all regions of the country. Children who ate fast food, compared with those who did not, consumed more total fat, carbohydrates, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Children who ate fast food also ate less fiber, milk, fruits, and non-starchy vegetables. After reviewing these test results, the researchers concluded that consumption of fast food by children seems to have a negative effect on an individual’s diet, in ways that could significantly increase the risk for obesity.
3.2.2. Dirt-cheap culture
According to most people’s views, “fast food culture” is equivalent to “junk culture” and cultural content of thin, lack of nutrition. The reason why people criticize “cultural fast food”, is mainly on account of its negative impact. Because of “cultural fast food” categories in all cultures, it has the strongest commercialization, and best-selling, so it is most popular to company. Some people, for earning big money, only one-sided pursuit of entertainment and sensory stimulation, to satisfy the desire, ultimately it fall into the trap of bad culture. American philosopher Daniel â€¢ Bell said: “The cultural transformation of modern society primarily due to the rise of mass consumption.” the consumer of “Fast food culture” decided it must be market-oriented, catering to popular consumer tastes. “They seem overwhelming, in fact, filled with graphic sexual content, non-historic, no depth, which has self destruction, fast speed but rotten.” “Fast food culture” makes young people appear confused in values, the gradual degradation of aesthetic taste and cultural appreciation to the low-level decline.
“Seeking speed abandon quality” is easy to lead hedonistic, decadent value orientation
With the faster of life, people’s behavior seek for speed, emphasis on time, people’s thinking emphasizes simplicity. People do everything quickly; life seems to lack a stable deep meaning. To abandon the old for the new becomes the favorite of the people. People are long for the easy to effortlessly rich and comfortable life, longing for granted pleasure. People are more willing to be on the couch motion picture and music to bring a “more relaxed” sensory stimulation; to spread the literature, romantic novels, martial arts fiction to look for “spiritual fast food”; in all places of entertainment to while away leisure time. Those who own the publishing for profit business, aiming at the market’s hot spots, to take “quick” tactics that make money strive to create the entertainment, leisure, Bo people smile to the “fast food” style books. Fast food culture is not only filled in the adult, but also among young people set off a wave after a wave of heat. Vulgarizations of cultural products affect young people’s value of objective knowledge and judgments, so that some young people have a spiritual hedonism and decadent material values. On studying, many students wallow in the network and internet games in peacetime, no time to study. When text coming, they often study in a hurry or even cheat in test. They always have no ambition on mind except enjoyment.
In “Fast food culture” environment, quick success is easy to form in the values of young people. In “Fast food culture” quick successes often become the trend. “Fast food culture” is not just the people or culture entertainment consumption, but rather reflects a kind of fashionable life and values. Its commercial, market characteristics and the pursuit of material desires embodied and sensory enjoyment cultural environment, it is easy to values and behavior of people brought “money worship” and the “utilitarian” characteristics. (æ¢å»ºåŽ, 2008)
4. The enlightenment of “Fast food culture”
According to the formation and development of “Fast food culture” in China and the influences of “Fast food culture”, people can get some enlightenment. Cultural localization is the biggest enlightenment. And people should keep a right view of “Fast food culture”.
4.1. Cultural localization
In the era of globalization, it has been recognized as an effective marketing strategy to consider the local culture and values. McDonald’s and KFC, as multinational companies are successfully into Chinese market which has different culture and values and has achieved great success. The best way is to take all the cultural strategy of localization of advertisement and measure. (é™ˆå€©, 2007)
Chinese place eating in an important position, eating has become indispensable in Chinese culture is an important part. Although the food culture in the West not developed enough, but still reflects the typical characteristics of their culture. Therefore, we can contrast between Chinese and Western food culture. Practices in the food, the Chinese traditional food practices are the main vegetable. Staple food is grain, vegetables complementary feeding, plus a small amount of meat, while most of the ancient Chinese believed in Buddhism, and eating vegetarian. Westerners, adhering to a nomadic, seafaring people of the cultural origin, to fishing and hunting, breeding mainly to the collection, cultivation, supplemented, Meat more. These cultural differences food, McDonald’s, KFC to change the structure of a single food, Chinese food taste better than the weaknesses, continue to introduce all kinds of sense out of new varieties of the Chinese population. In Kentucky, ” Crispy Strips ” is added in fresh chicken wings, star anise, cinnamon, sesame oil and other traditional Chinese seasoning, won the praise of consumers; Chinese style, “French fries” can be described as East meets West; “popcorn chicken” as the consumers, a new leisure choice; in addition to cola beverages, soft drinks, also according to the Chinese people “balanced diet” of eating habits has launched the “Hibiscus fresh vegetable soup,” “mustard pork soup.” Even more stunning is that KFC restaurants in Guangdong, they even sell to local customers’ herbal tea. McDonald’s launched KFC in China has not so much food, or made their own attempts, in 2004 McDonald’s first taste of Chinese products, “rice burgers” launched in Taiwan, is a fried chicken or beef with cabbage and made of lettuce, two slices slightly after baking and flavoring of “rice cake” between. It is an important that the localization of foreign products is undoubtedly the fast-food restaurants under the Chinese culture and adjusts its marketing strategy. (æŽæ™“äº‘, 2005)
Advertising campaign highlight the traditional of Chinese family values. First, according to some advertisement, Western fast food is mostly to attract publicity at the time — the largest consumer groups of children. The sound of joyful music, Ronald McDonald and Colonel Grandfather’s smiling face became their selling point. But with the growing size of enterprise, consumer groups diversification, foreign fast food advertising has become increasingly prominent in Chinese traditional concept of family values, because the value of the Chinese people in the You group orientation, attention to blood relatives of the family relations and family concept. In McDonald’s 12 advertising, there are five whose background is either one or both parents and children in the family, outdoor play and dining scene. Accompanied by lively music, humorous plot, those create a relaxed, warm and happy family life situation. KFC’s web site in 30 video ads have nine to happy family life is as attractive sight. On the other hand, in the reform and opening up of the situation, now China began to challenge old ideas, more and more groups of young people requested direction from the absolute freed. They made a bold innovation, the concept of a sense of competition, focus and improve self-awareness, participation and also look forward to greater cultural experience across the nation.
“I like” (I’m lovin’t) is McDonald’s latest advertising terms. “I like” advertising the promotion in McDonald’s history is an important milestone in McDonald’s for the first time at the same time, more than 120 countries around the world together with the same set of ads, with a message for brand promotion. These ads will experience the culture and consumer products linked given more significance than the product itself.
Public relations also need localization. Public relations is a function, its goal is to be effective with a variety of public relations to manage the organization’s image and credibility. Good public relations will help shape the relatively stable, credible, approachable brand image. KFC entered China since 1997, are different each year to support the Chinese cities, regional children’s education. According to statistics, in recent years KFC use for young people directly and indirectly in China, the cause of education and social welfare payments nearly 20 million yuan. Set up in China’s largest special fund for public welfare, “the dawn of China’s KFC Fund”, since the official launch in November 2002 has been to four cities in 16 universities received funds to poor students. In the fight against “SARS”, the death of health care workers, called McDonald’s stores participate in China’s entire network to support Yao Ming and other Chinese Red Cross Society initiated the fight against “SARS” in the public fund-raising activities. It should be said that these public service activities and the traditional Chinese morality love mercy, coincides with the concept of social commitment, but also make people have some sense of identification with them on emotion.(é™ˆå€©, 2007)
In fact, the fact, the success of the cultural localization of McDonald’s and KFC in China, gives Chinese people a big enlightenment. No person learns about them than themselves. Chinese Fast food should be got a big support and be popular with all Chinese people. Only Chinese people can learn about the true Chinese values and take Chinese Fast food be well known of the whole world.
4.2. Right view of “Fast food culture”
According to the analysis of “Fast food culture” status in China, “Fast food culture” is often described as the pursuit of quick, popular, short-term pop, but often ignores the profound accumulation and intrinsic value of cultural trends and cultural phenomena. Fast-food culture, fast and violent, penetrates every corner of daily life, full of cultural and even infiltrate to the academic community.
“Fast food culture” in the field needs a major cultural product, but it is not the proven classics in the cultural market, but it can adapt to the changing requirements of the market, which is necessary for people to enjoy real-time culture thing. There is no doubt; “fast food culture” is the product of the development of market economy. Therefore, the rationality of the market economy is the necessity of such cultural forms produced.
Fast-food culture in the high-speed operation of the economy market, some people just start running around in circles, together with the commercial effect of those directly emergence of fast food culture which has led some to breed the impetuous attitude, and people want to instant profits. That is, at the beginning of fast food in a economy market, some people hardly taste to sit down for a long time and seriously thought that painstaking and profound cultural works. They demanded the immediate enjoyment, and saves time and effort things.
This attitude works against the requirements of fast-food culture is “fashionable.” That has driven some intellectuals to create fashionable cultural products. Fashion needs the speed, if it is fast, there will be a lot of things that appear shallow, that is “fast food culture” by the inevitable shortcomings.
However, the “fast food culture” is not only a deficiency. The appearance of “fast food culture” proves that it adapts to a fast-paced life, and it also can have some adjustment effect to the stress in the fierce competition, agitated mental state. Communities to diversify accelerate the pace of life, increased leisure and “fast food” culture is the inevitable.
Most of Chinese people often learn something from the bad view at first. It is not a good habit to learn things and it can make a big mistake to judge things. Chinese people should learn things from different views. That can make people keep a right view of things. Here Chinese people should keep a right view of “Fast food culture”.
All in all, “Fast food culture” has brought huge influences to the whole world. And fast food does not mean a kind of food any more, that is some way of life, some value of life. The existence of “fast food culture” tells the whole world the fact that it can satisfy the needs of the society and its existence must be the inevitable of the development of the society. People should keep the right view to see the “Fast food culture”. Chinese people should catch the useful values of “Fast food culture”, like Culture localization. People can learn about themselves better through others’ minds. According to this point of view, Chinese Fast food will have a bright future and be all known of the whole world.
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