Netflix added yet another documentary series to their roster with History 101. The new series, which offers bite-sized history lessons on various subjects, launched on Friday, May 22nd.

There are ten episodes in the first series covering everything from the feminist movement to the AIDS epidemic.

Episode 1 takes a look at something we all know well too much about: fast food.

Here are the five top things we learnt about the history of fast food from History 101.

Screenshot: History 101 S1 E1 – Netflix

History 101 on Netflix – Environmental and social impact

These factoid hardly came as a surprise to viewers. The meat industry’s impact on the environment is well-known and documented. But that didn’t stop viewers from being shocked by some of the details that were revealed in the first episode.

Not only did it talk about the impact of methane on the atmosphere but talked about the obesity epidemic is has sparked.

 

In 2016 a study revealed that over 1.9 billion of adults (39% of the world’s population) were overweight. Obesity in America has tripled in figures since 1975.

One viewer tweeted: “Fast food is a crisis and not a convenience.”

Fast food chains around the world

A vast majority of the world will have eaten at a fast food chain at some point in their lives. In cities, fast food eateries dominate pretty much every street, from McDonald’s and Burger King to Domino’s and Subway.

There are nearly 250,000 fast food restaurants in the US alone which rakes in a substantial income.

Fast food chains rake in an annual profit of around $570 billion. Considering fast food comes at a fraction of the price of other restaurants – a McDonald’s Big Mac costs around $5 – that means a lot of food is being consumed.

Pizza Hut in space

Not all of the facts in the first episode were bleak and condemning, as some showed the reach of fast food not just around the world but to outer-space.

In 2001, Pizza Hut was the first chain which delivered to the International Space Station.

The delivery cost an eye-watering $1,000,000 so we hope that pizza was worth it NASA!

Fast food’s Ronald McDonald

We all know Ronald McDonald, the red-haired clown who appears all over McDonald’s chains.

And apparently he’s one of the most recognisable figures in popular culture.

According to the episode, 96% of children can recognise Ronald McDonald. The only character they recognise more is Santa Claus.

Ancient history

Although it is world’s away from the fast food chains we all know today, the first chain popped up around 100 years ago.

White Castle, a burger chain which is still going strong, had its first store in Wichita, Kansas back in the 1920s.

The fast food trend really boomed with automats in the 1950s but the premise of a fast food chain really had its origins with White Castle.

Screenshot: History 101 S1 E1 – Netflix

 

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