I like to cook but rarely have time to make a meal from scratch, it’s usually a case of assembling something from frozen or chilled components. I do also sometimes indulge in fast food – usually chips, fish and chips, battered sausage and chips or a hot dog from a van in the market square on a Saturday morning. It’s too far to go to McDonalds and I’ve never even ventured into Subway – in fact whenever I think “I must try Subway some time” I then remember that ours closed down sometime last year.
The fast food industry has been trying to reinvent itself recently, as the public called for more healthy, nutritious, “authentic” food, highlighting the quality of ingredients, how they’re reducing fat and sugar, introducing “healthy options” like salads, and most of all the “freshness” of everything. In this country the claims by McDonalds and the like that the ingredients are sourced from local farmers and butchers are believable because of the size of our island, you could conceivably turn an Aberdeen Angus in the borders into a burger in Bristol in a couple of days but as an interesting article on Slate Magazine shows much of the use of the word fresh, particularly in America, is really just marketing – harnessing associations with openness, truth, wholesomeness and morality, while its true meaning quite often differs from the dictionary definition.