Teen-Produced Video Takes on the Fast Food Industry
A group of young people from Oakland, California, is taking on the fast food industry in a clever new video about the dangers of unhealthy eating habits.
The video — conceptualized, written, and produced mostly by high school students with the help of Oakland-based Muse Video — parodies several familiar characters from various popular restaurant chains as they peddle junk food on the street similar to the way a drug dealer would drugs. The plot line begins in a back alley when four teens wake up from a night of binging on unhealthy snacks and find themselves transformed into fast food icons, working for a notorious gang leader, a strung-out-looking Ronald McDonald. The lyrics draw from popular marketing slogans, asking things like, “Are you feeling it? Or are you feeling sick?” As the story progresses, the teens stumble onto a party happening in an urban garden full of fruits and vegetables, and healthy food takes center stage.
"The goal of Muse Video is to be a platform that combines music and news," founder Jake Schoneker told Yahoo Health. "We work with young artists, videographers, poets, and rappers to take a look at community issues and current events and create various forms of art that address the issues that matter to young people." This particular project, Schoneker continued, started a couple of years ago when he approached several young Oakland artists about creating the song. Schonker hosted a series of workshops to educate the artists about the food system in America — including how lobbyists work and how policy is made — and discuss their personal experiences with food and what was available to them in their communities. "One young lady talked about her grandmother with diabetes and her 5-year-old brother who is losing teeth because he drinks too much soda," said Schoneker. "They had some really powerful stories."