Topic 34: What is the difference between traditional food and fast food?
快餐店通常是指点菜之后很快就可以吃到食物（food is supplied quickly after ordering)的饭店。快餐现已风靡世界各地，其主要起源是美国的麦当劳和肯德基快餐连锁店。很多人认为快餐店是美国文化的一部分，特别适合时间观念很强的人（time-conscious people)、习惯独居的人(those who live independently)以及不爱运动的人（those who lead a sedentary lifestyle)。快餐不仅影响我们的健康，而且也影响我们的文化，包括饮食文化，这就是为什么现在很多人提倡保护传统饮食文化的原因（preserve local and traditional food)。
·快餐是加工好的（highly processed),用工业模式准备（prepared in an industrial fashion),材料和烹调的方法都是标准的（standard ingredients cooking methods),比较依靠食品工艺（food engineering);
·成本低（low cost),口味单一（uniform flavour);
·快餐使用添加剂（addictives),而加工程序会减少其营养价值（reduce nutritional value);而且快餐含有很多的肉类和油炸食品，卡路里很高（very dense in calories),易导致肥胖（gain
鲜材料（local ingredients harvested in season);
·传统食物烹制起来往往时间较长（take longer to prepare traditional meals)。
Fast food has come under fire over the past decade, following people's growing concern on health.
When people's eating habits have shown a tendency to favour fast food, larger numbers of studies have been concentrated on its adverse impact. Below is an outline of some differences between fast food and traditional meals.
Fast food is distinguished from traditional food mainly by the selection of ingredients and cuisines.As distinct from a traditional meal, which has its emphasis on diversity and richness of flavour, taste and choice, fast food is well-known for its high levels of salt, fat and sugar and heavy reliance on meat,such as chicken and beef. When fast foods are processed and prepared for those time-minded eaters who are eager to relieve hunger, traditional foods are diverse and varying. Fast foods might not vary significantly throughout a country, but traditional foods are diversified due to ethnic diversity. That's why fast foods are very often thought to have direct threats on local cuisines.
Another problem found in the regular consumption of fast food is the high risk of obesity. A typical fastfood meal has a very high energy density, much higher than a traditional meal. In many yutlets, the choice is so limited that it's virtually impossible to select a combination of items with even a moderate energy density. Many popular fastfood menu items are unhealthy, so excessive consumption can lead to obesity. It is one of the main reasons why many fastfood chains have now incorporated healthier alternatives in their menu, e. g., salads and fresh fruit. McDonald's is a telling example.
Moreover, it is important to realise that a traditional meal has many of its cultural and socia meanings. Although fast food is recognised for its convenience and saving people from the routine of home cooking, meanwhile it discourages people from preparing deliberate meals for their families and friends. People are thus less likely to spend time talking to each other. Having a traditional meal is of importance in many social situations, and can be taken as a unifying element in family life, bringing people together in times of trouble and in times of joy.
As suggested above, the fast food, although cheap and convenient, has its shortcomings and a diet high in fast foods can increase a person's risk of gaining weight and other health problems. In terms of health, its impact on cuisine, community spirits and family solidarity, the real costs of convenient foods are shockingly high .
1. under fire=embattled=under attack=debated:受到攻击，受到争论
2.cuisine=style of cooking=cookery=knowledge of preparing good food:烹饪的方法