Over the past couple of years, many fast food restaurants have announced that they will be improving their menus to make them healthier. Recently, even more of them have jumped on board, and some are even finishing the big changes.
One of the most well-known changes is Chipotle’s mission to rid their food of GMOs. Originally announced somewhere in 2013, the Mexican restaurant finished cleaning up their menu in late April 2015.
Chipotle has gotten rid of any corn, soybeans, and other crops whose DNA that had been altered to achieve traits like pest-resistance. This big change has left Chipotle with only 46 ingredients, as opposed to the usual 200 used by Mexican restaurants (tortilla ingredients are not included).
Chipotle is actually the first restaurant in the United States that has committed to such a big change in their ingredients.
Another change that you have probably heard of is the mini size now available at Starbucks. The Mini size, available for frappucinos, is only two ounces smaller than the original smallest size at 12 oz.
The new size will cost 20-30 cents less than the tall, and allows you to get the drink you want without all of the calories and sugar.
“Sometimes a mini size is all you need,” freshman Angelica Piccini says of the cute drink.
Even though the mini is not much smaller than the tall, there is an astounding difference in calories and sugar, just as there is between most of the drinks. The Mini has only 120 calories and 24 grams of sugar, the Tall (just two ounces larger) has 180 calories and 36 grams of sugar, the Grande contains 240 calories and 50 grams of sugar, and the Venti totals 350 calories and 69 grams of sugar.
“I would drink it. It’s a better, healthier choice and I want to see if it really makes a difference,” freshman Breanna Crapporata says.
A possible improvement to McDonalds is a new fast food place added on inside. The owners of the companies are still negotiating, but Freshii could be a new part of McDonalds.
Freshii is a super healthy chain that specializes in vegetarian options, customized wraps, quinoa bowls, juices and various salads.
McDonalds has tried numerous times to improve their restaurants’ unhealthy reputation, but better salads and wraps failed miserably each time. If Freshii were to partner up, it would give McDonalds a whole new face.
“It will be better for people who are dependent on fast food,” says Crapporatta.
Parents are constantly worried about their children’s health, as 97 percent of kids’ menus are extremely unhealthy. Dairy Queen has picked up on their complaints.
Recently, they have cut down some of the sugary drinks, focusing mainly on the kids menu. Soft drinks have been replaced with healthier options like milk or water.
Another big name going far to improve their menus is Panera Bread. Panera has spent countless days getting rid of over 150 unhealthy ingredients from their menu. They have devised a “No-No List” that lists everything they have or are going to stop putting in their food, including artificial preservatives or additives.
“To make the food healthier, they could add more natural ingredients, less artificial and processed ingredients, and try to decrease the serving sizes. Also, all that salt, oil, and sugar is not necessary,” Piccini suggests.
Hopefully, we will continue to see even more improvements to fast food in America, considering it is such a big part of our lives.
What's your favorite fast food place mentioned?