These numbers help tell the story of how the fast-food industry has long dominated the food landscape of America. Now, the tide may be shifting as “fast-casual” chains like Sweetgreen and Lyfe Kitchen spread across the nation. Read more about the revolution in Michael Specter's "Freedom From Fries”:
  1. 2,568 calories
    The per-capita calorie consumption in the United States in 2010, up from 2,109 calories a day in 1970. That’s equivalent to adding two slices of Domino’s pizza to every American’s daily diet.
  2. Twenty-six million people
    The number of customers McDonald’s serves every day at its fourteen thousand American outlets—more than the population of Australia. Millions more visit Burger King, Wendy’s, Subway, Pizza Hut, Dunkin’ Donuts, In-N-Out Burger, as well as the other chains that occupy virtually every highway, strip mall, and town center in the nation.
  3. Seventy per cent
    How many patrons at places like McDonald’s get their food at a drive-through. The process takes an average of 219.97 seconds and costs most people about five dollars.
  4. One hundred million dollars
    How much Sweetgreen has raised since it was created in 2007. Sweetgreen serves meals—fresh soups, salads and more—that customers can purchase in three minutes and eat in five.
  5. Five or six hundred million pounds of milk
    The annual increase of McDonald’s use of dairy, now that the chain has switched from margarine to real butter. The impact on the dairy industry will be enormous.
  6. One hundred and ninety-five pounds
    The average American man weighs this much today—up thirty pounds from 1960. Seventy-eight million people were considered obese in 2012, twice the rate of forty years ago.
  7. 2015
    This year, for the first time since 1970, McDonald’s will close more locations in the U.S. than it opens.
  8. Six hundred calories
    The maximum amount of calories in a dish from Lyfe Kitchen—a chain started by two former McDonald’s executives four years ago. The company has plans to have sixty locations within a couple of years.
  9. Twenty dollars
    The cost of a grass-fed steak at Lyfe Kitchen. "In the United States today, you can sell meals for a dollar or you can sell nutritious meals,” Specter writes. "Doing both on a large scale is not possible."