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 An intermediate level English resource.

FAST FOOD,  OK ?

In Britain, a lot of people say that teenagers do not eat good food. Television chefs have tried to encourage teenagers and young people to eat better food; but still, lots of young people in Britain prefer a daily diet of hamburgers and other fast food. Freeway magazine asked some British teenagers for their opinion about "fast food".

hamburgerFREEWAY: People say that today's young people like nothing apart from "fast food"; do you think this is true? And what do you think of fast food?

GORDON: I don't have anything against it, really! It's O.K! I mean, you hear people saying it's all junk food, but most of the time it tastes good. Though I wouldn't want to live off it all the time!

DANNY: Yeah, if you mean hamburgers and whatever, there's nothing wrong with them. They're good food! They fill you up; and that's what food's supposed to do, isn't it? I mean there's meat, vegetables and bread and cheese; as far as I'm concerned, that's a pretty balanced diet.

GORDON: Yeah, hamburgers are all right. I mean, my mum says it's all junk, but frankly I can't really see what makes it any different from the stuff she cooks. I mean bread's bread, isn't it, and steak's steak, as far as I'm concerned.

KATHY: I tend to agree. Like, personally I'm not all that keen on hamburgers - they just make you fat - but if you go to a McDonald's or somewhere like that, you can get salads and things too....

JO: Well yes, 'course you can, but that's not the point, is it? I mean the thing about junk food is that it's all deep frozen, it's never fresh....

KATHY: What d'you mean? You can't get deep-frozen salads...

JO: Well maybe not the salads... but the rest's all deep frozen industrial stuff.

GORDON: But so's most of the food you get these days...

JO: It isn't at all! What about all the organic stuff, and fresh meat and things like that.

GORDON: Yes, OK... but who says its any better than deep frozen stuff?

DANNY: It certainly doesn't taste better, and it's much more hassle.

FREEWAY: Don't you eat fresh food at home then?

DANNY: Yeah, of course, from time to time; but most of the time my mum does stuff out of the deep freeze. It's good!

JO: what sort of stuff?

DANNY: All sorts of stuff. Pizzas, fish fingers, lasagna, things like that.

JO: You're not really suggesting that deep frozen pizza's as good as the real thing, are you?

DANNY: What d'you mean 'the real thing'? Deep frozen pizza's perfectly real, and fine by me... once it's been heated up, I mean!

KATHY: Anyway, who eats home-made pizza at home anyway? No-one does! D'you?

JO: No, 'cos I'm a vegetarian!

KATHY: That doesn't stop you eating pizza, does it?

JO: It depends what kind of pizza it is, doesn't it? I mean I love a good vegetarian pizza.

DANNY: D'you eat cheese then?

JO: Yes, I'm not vegan.

GORDON: I think you've got to be sensible about it really: like as I said, I like hamburgers, but I wouldn't want to go round eating them every day; and there's some things that are better than others, obviously. I mean, look at chicken nuggets f'r instance. People think they're eating meat, but they're 90% nugget and only 10% meat. I reckon things like that are a rip off; you're really being conned!

JO: But it's the same with all junk food, isn't it?

GORDON: What d'you know about it? You just said you were a veggie!

JO: Yeah, I am now, but I didn't use to be! If you want to know, the reason I went vegetarian is because I got sick of tasteless junk food.

DANNY: Maybe you ate the wrong stuff! Most of the things I eat are pretty tasty, to be quite honest!

JO: Yeah, I'm sure they are! But it's all done with chemicals and flavourings, isn't it? You never know what you're eating!

DANNY: So what, it's not poison, is it? You can kill yourself by eating poisonous mushrooms, can't you, and they're quite natural...

GORDON: And organic....

JO: Well look at mad cow disease...

GORDON: Well that was an extreme case, wasn't it? An' anyway, how many people have caught it? About twenty! Probably as many as died from eating bad fruit....

Word guide
WORDS:

conned: deceived, tricked - diet: what you eat - fine by me: good, in my opinion - frankly: honestly - junk: rubbish, very poor quality - hassle: trouble - I'm not all that keen on: I don't particularly like - mad cow disease: a fatal illness of cows, BSE  - organic: natural, produced without chemicals - pretty: quite - rip off: a deception, very bad value for money - stuff: things - the point: the subject - vegan: someone who eats no animal products at all.

 


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Student Worksheet

Fast Food, OK ?

►  Blank fill exercise: Complete this part of the dialogue from memory. When correcting this exercise, take care to allow any acceptable alternatives, not just the words that are in the original text.

FREEWAY: People say that today's young people like nothing apart from "fast food"; do you think this is true? and what do you think of fast food?

GORDON: I don't have ____________ against it, really! It's O.K! I mean, you hear people __________  it's all junk food, but most of the time it ___________ good. Though I wouldn't _______  to live off it all the time!

DANNY: Yeah, if you mean hamburgers and ___________, there's nothing ________ with them. They're good food! They fill you ___; and that's what food's ___________  to do, isn't it? I mean there's meat, vegetables and bread and cheese; as far as I'm ___________, that's a ___________ balanced diet.

GORDON: Yeah, hamburgers are all ________. I mean, my mum says it's all junk, but frankly I can't really see what makes it any different ______ the stuff she cooks. I mean bread's bread, ______'t it, and steak's steak, as far as I'm ___________ .


   

   For teachers:

When correcting the blank-fill exercise, take care to allow any acceptable alternatives, not just the words that are in the original text.  

More ideas:

Pay attention to the characteristics of spoken English, including use of fillers, repetition, and tag questions.
To learn all about using tags, see Linguapress English grammar: Tag questions

Expression: Have students learn part of this dialogue for homework. This will allow them to work on intonation and expression.

►  Have students act out the dialogue in class, from memory. : Students will pay far more attention to phonetics and intonation when reciting a learned dialogue, than when reading a written text.


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Revised 2020 . Originally published in Freeway, the Intermediate level English newsmagazine.
Republication on other websites or in print is not authorised



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