But let’s say that whether or not the chicken’s been fed antibiotics doesn’t worry us. Perhaps the thing that defines this chicken as junk is the deep-fried aspect? Well deep-fried seems junky for sure, whether it’s chicken or slap-chips from our few extant corner cafés. But of course, the arancini, tempura, potato croquettes and zucchini flowers which we happily order in posher eating contexts, are almost always deep-fried in the same industrial vegetable oil as cafes and fast-food chains. And having been into the kitchens of some of these esteemed places, I can assure that that said oil is certainly not changed more regularly.
As for additives and preservatives in fast (a.k.a junk) food? I’ve seen Aromat, MSG, and more in ‘proper’ restaurants. And the vast majority of calamari sold to our hospitality industry has been preserved with sodium metabisulphate by the supplier/fisheries, so if your meal leaves you with an allergic reaction, it might not be the wine or beer you drank. It’s a minefield out there, but the mines aren’t where you’d expect them.
Not for any nutritional or gastronomic reason, but for some (admittedly culturally biased) gawping and 'eughing', check out Disgusting Delicacies.
Then too, I love online mag Vice’s review of the worst restaurant in the world, which will have you consider your nearest burger joint a Michelin experience.