For some, the words trigger thoughts of delicious favourites such as McDonald’s french fries, Burger King burgers or Taco Bell tacos. For others, the words trigger disgust, guilt and a handful of other feelings that can often come along with a regular indulgence in this form of food that we’ve become far too dependent upon.
The dependency in large part can be attributed to two main factors: cost and efficiency. Flashback over 5 years ago and I was on a road trip with a couple of friends going across the north eastern part of the United States. It was late one night and we were all incredibly hungry. All being on a budget we chose to eat at a Wendy’s drive-thru, and were astonished by what we found: dozens upon dozens of options all available for $1 each. In Canada, at the time, dollar menus did also exist but they were not nearly as extensive or enticing. That night we were able to purchase more food than we could ever consume in one sitting for well under $15. Compare that to a delicious and nutritious ‘Powerhouse Bowl’ featuring avocado, chick peas, sunflower sprouts and a bevy of other healthy toppings on a bed of brown rice at Fresh in Downtown Toronto and you’ve effectively fed 3 unhealthily for less than the price of 1 healthily. This in and of itself shows why so many of us, when on a budget -which seems to be the case for most of us -regularly opt to eat at fast food restaurants. We live in a world where time has become the most precious and valuable resource. It therefore comes as no surprise that so many of us regularly opt to get what is available within minutes rather than taking the time to make something more nutritious. McDonald’s alone serves 52,000,000 every single day, that is 1 in every 6 Americans.(2) Assuming you are not at a point to make a drastic lifestyle change that granted you more time to make and eat more nutritiously, would you be interested in a “fast food” experience that didn’t take such a toll on your health? The restaurant is called Lyfe Kitchen, and has been around for three years with 10 locations in popular US Cities such as Culver City, West Hollywood and Chicago amongst others.
The health conscious fast food alternative centres itself around concepts such as supporting local farmers, healthy options and affordability. Unwanted, but often overused additives, such as butter, trans fat, white sugar and high fructose corn syrup are all barred from the menu, which ranges in check size between $4 and $14 on average.(1) Lyfe Kitchen was founded by two former McDonald’s executives, a fact that may raise some eyebrows.
The first is Mike Roberts, former Global President and CO of McDonald’s from 2004 to 2006.(3) The second is Mike Donahue, former chief of corporate communications for McDonald’s USA.(1) Average serving time at Lyfe Kitchen is 10 minutes or less, with the option to either dine in or take-out, putting it still comfortably under the fast food bracket. In my opinion, the concept behind Lyfe Kitchen certainly seems like an undeniable step in the right direction. It takes into account our lifestyle needs while making a conscious effort to incorporate some of the food-related values most of us do have the intention of incorporating into our lives more regularly. What are your thoughts on Lyfe Kitchen? Have any of you located in one of the 10 cities where locations already exist ever eaten there? Whether Lyfe Kitchen is a viable alternative or not, let’s be sure to use it as a reminder of the importance of eating well. Our lives may be overwhelming at times but we all do have the power to incorporate any lifestyle we choose with a conscious effort.
The more we step out of the comfort zone of what is easy or what we are used to, the more practical alternatives become. In the end, places such as Lyfe Kitchen only exist because we as a collective have already started to make a shift towards looking for healthier options. SOURCES (1) http://finance.yahoo.com/news/two-former-mcdonalds-executives-leading-213153533.html (2) http://www.smart-healthy-eating.com/fast-food-statistics.html (3) http://www.forbes.com/profile/michael-roberts/ .
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