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The Intersection Of Fast Food And American Culture

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The fast-food industry is deeply engrained in American history and culture. How has the availability of quick, cheap grub changed how we think about buying and consuming food in America?

Though often maligned for menus filled with mostly unhealthy options, the ubiquity, convenience, affordability and nostalgia associated with fast food keeps people coming back for more.

80 percent of Americans eat at fast food chains at least once a month, according to Gallup. So far in 2019, people in the U.S. have spent more money on fast food than on retail purchases. 

How has fast food helped shape American society and health outcomes? What regional differences exist?

What is the financial impact of fast food in this country and around the world? How has the industry evolved over time? What is the future of fast food in America?


"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org  or tweet @TPRSource.

*This interview was recorded on Thursday, September 19.


Kim Johnson is the producer for Texas Public Radio’s live, call-in show The Source. She is a Trinity University alum with bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Spanish, and a Master of Arts Degree from the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.