Going into the final semester of college I found a really great course that I knew I would love and I dragged my two closest girlfriends into the course as well. I am very persuasive so I simply approached them separately and told them why they would benefit from doing this course that was not offered in their faculties but in mine. The 13 weeks flew by and I enjoyed every moment of it with my friends.

The course was The Art of Public Speaking. The lecturer actually called me to wish me a happy birthday (2 whole years after the course and graduating). Like I said I enjoyed it and got a good grade.

My mind just went back to an informative speech I had to deliver for 10% of my final grade. I thought out of the box because that’s just me and I wanted to stand out and get a good grade. After the speech my best friend said to me “I didn’t listen to your speech. After the first few sentences and I realized where you were going, I zoned out.” This is actually a good thing. It meant that she got my info and knew what it meant for her. She just didn’t want to accept it. Other classmates decided they had to step up their game because of me.

I don’t remember the speech word for word but from my 9 note cards, it went a little something like this:

INTRO: Fast Food Restaurants are on the rise in Jamaica. This is so because people prefer the convenience of having a pre-prepared meal over the option of slaving over a hot stove. The meals are tasty, full of flavour, juices, warmth and aroma. Today I explore some of the things hidden from us; some of the unlisted ingredients used in  3 popular Fast Food Restaurants – Burger King, KFC and Wendy’s.

BK: Burger King, have it your way. Or is it your way? The BK Veggie Burger claims to not contain MSG yet has 6 ingredients commonly used to hide it. These six ingredients are: hydrolyzed corn, yeast extract, soy protein isolate, calcium caseinate, spices and natural flavours. Under the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetics Act the FDA declared such labelling of food as false and misleading yet BK is still doing so!

You may be familiar with the BK Tender Grill Salad, Tender Crisp Garden Salad and Side Garden Salad. Without the chicken and all its already added chemicals there is the salad dressing to worry about. The two seemingly compulsory ingredients for their salad dressings are MSG & Titanium Dioxide (td). We are all familiar with MSG but what is titanium dioxide? Dr. Paul M. Kuznesof in a 2006 assessment for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) stated that td is a white pigment used in paints, coatings, plastics, paper, inks, fibres and cosmetics. Over consumption of titanium dioxide is physically harmful. Despite this, the FDA passed td to be used along with aluminium oxide and silicon dioxide in FOOD! This is what you are eating when you buy fast food!

The Tender Grill Chicken Breast Fillet contains chicken breast and rib meat, a whole lot of seasonings such as onion powder, garlic powder, chicken powder, yeast abstract, salt and combined seasonings that give the chicken its “natural flavours”. Also listed in the ingredients is “grill/smoke flavour”. [PAUSE AND SMILE]. This “grill flavour” is made up of xanthan gum, disodium guanylate and disodium inosinate. Xanthan gum is that thickening product used in toothpaste and is responsible for gastrointestinal bloating and gas when consumed. Disodium guanylate and inosinate are flavour enhancers but why are they needed? Research from Oregan State University shows that these two ingredients give the impression of being full faster!

KFC: Still on Team Fast Food? Let’s look at BK’s main competitor, KFC. KFC has a high MSG content. It is in the chicken, gravy, rice and even the fish! If all the chemical additives were to be removed from the chicken salad all you would have are tomatoes and two types of lettuces.

KFC boasts that they are the only fast food restaurant that has 0 Trans Fat per serving in all fried chicken YET in the listed ingredients all their chicken (BBQ Chicken, Spicy Chicken, Original Chicken, Popcorn Chicken and Zingers) have partially hydrogenated soya bean oil which is essentially trans fat. The FDA regulations require below 0.5 g per serving so KFC just rounded theirs down to 0. The Lies!

What about drinks? Most sodas served at KFC contain anti-foaming agents that are also present in the rice and chicken. According to these defoamers are the same agents that are used in detergents for dishwashers-they contain less foam than regular detergents.

WENDY’S: Now to Wendy’s where everything is so beautifully displayed and their fresh  salads are tempting! The Manadarin Chicken Salad has ingredients such as almonds, 5 lettuces, crispy noodles, diced chicken and mandarin oranges. YUM! But let’s take a closer look:

      • Almonds – roasted and salted!
      • Oranges – canned. Not freshly peeled.
      • Noodles – not whole grain.
      • Chicken – MSG, disodium guanylate and inosinate and sodium phosphates.

That’s doesn’t sound as fresh and healthy as they would want you to believe, now does it?  Sodium phosphates have been banned in drug use by the FDA but are still used as a food additive even though they have been found to contribute to kidney failure.

Wendy’s Chilli has become a favourite for spice lovers. This chilli is filled with MSG and other additives among which is an anti-caking agent – silicon dioxide a.k.a. sand/glass powder. Silicon dioxide is said to be good for health BUT it affects body weight regulation and can cause severe health problems.

CONCLUSION: Now you see that Burger King, KFC and Wendy’s have been giving more than we asked for – lots of additives! So, Does Burger King really let you have it your way? And what’s so good about KFC? Is quality really the recipe of Wendy’?

Think about it.


Needless to say my fast-food-loving college mates didn’t like this but it’s all about how you choose to look at it. My best friend is still a fast food lover!


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