Meal deals on wheels

October 29, 2010

McDonalds will soon be trialling two lanes of drive through at some outer suburban restaurants to bring down its drive through wait time.

There are a number of reasons why some people in outer suburbs are becoming increasingly dependent on drive-through takeaway food.

Longer working hours, falling living standards and greater travelling distances have cut into the time, energy and money suburban working class families can devote to grocery shopping, meal preparation, sitting down to eat and washing dishes.

In addition, newly established outer suburbs have more takeaway restaurants and less fresh food outlets within easy travelling distance of most people’s homes. Newer suburbs are geared around car usage rather than pedestrian or public transport travel.

This increasing car and fast food dependence is hurting the health of people and the environment.

McDonalds tries to deflect criticism of its environmental damage by sponsoring clean-up Australia activities.

Local planning authorities should reject McDonalds’ planning applications for new drive through facilities to protect the health of local people and the environment.

The money McDonalds plans to spend on extra drive-through lanes could be spent on dishwashing, recycling and composting facilities within its restaurants so that McDonalds can serve meals on plates, reduce its litter and landfill and really help clean-up Australia.

Governments should tax food products and food wrappings that contribute to societal health problems and environmental damage.

Proposed legislation limiting the advertising of fast food should be extended to ban economic incentives to make unhealthy food choices, such as up-selling fries and competitions attached to purchasing unhealthy foods.

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