Food, Fast (But Not Fast Food)

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We've all fallen into the fast-food trap. Especially with small apartment kitchens, it's easy to be tempted by a quick bite. But as the The Washington Post recently pointed out, is it really quicker? The Post followed one mother's plight to keep her son and his friends from squandering their pocket money - and appetites - on fast food. She set out to prove that it's just as easy to turn out tasty classics at home. The verdict of the 8-person panel of judges (7 teenage boys and one girl)? They're lovin' it.

How did she do it?

The mom's attention to detail in re-creating authentic versions of her son's favorite items is admirable. She researched the grade of beef that Burger King uses in its Whopper, with troubling (though not surprising) results: "Burger King's beef appears to contain somewhere between 30 and 35 percent fat; it's so high in fat and sodium, you can't buy a facsimile in a store." Eww.

She set out to prove a point to her son, and ended up taking him and his friends on a culinary crash-course that broadened their minds and sharpened their pallets. They all agreed that Mom's burger out-performed the Whopper in terms of taste, and it's clearly more nutritious.

So tastier and healther, yes, but what about prep time? Remember to factor in the time spent driving to the restaurant and the time spent in line - not to mention the added gym time you'll need in order to burn off a 35%-fat hamburger - before you decree that "fast food" is faster.
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