Fast Food Nation

Fast Food Nation

The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

Book - 2001
Average Rating:
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Are we what we eat?
To a degree both engrossing and alarming, the story of fast food is the story of postwar Amerca. Though created by a handful of mavericks, the fast food industry has triggered the homogenization of our society. Fast food has hastened the malling of our landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelled the juggernaut of American cultural imperialism abroad. That's a lengthy list of charges, but Eric Schlosser makes them stick with an artfulmix of first-rate reportage, wry wit, and careful reasoning.
Schlosser's myth-shattering survey stretches from the California subdivisions where the business was born to the industrial corridor along the New Jersey Turnpike where many of fast food's flavors are concocted. He hangs out with the teenagers who make the restaurants run and communes with those unlucky enough to hold America's most dangerous job -- meatpacker. He travels to Las Vegas for a giddily surreal franchisers' convention where Mikhail Gorbachev delivers the keynote address. Heeven ventures to England and Germany to clock the rate at which those countries are becoming fast food nations.
Along the way, Schlosser unearths a trove of fascinating, unsettling truths -- from the unholy alliance between fast food and Hollywood to the seismic changes the industry has wrought in food production, popular culture, and even real estate. He also uncovers the fast food chains' efforts to reel in the youngest, most susceptible consumers even while they hone their institutionalized exploitation of teenagers and minorities. Schlosser then turns a critical eye toward the hot topic of globalization -- a phenomenon launched by fast food.
FAST FOOD NATION is a groundbreaking work of investigation and cultural history that may change the way America thinks about the way it eats.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, c2001.
ISBN: 9780395977897
0395977894
Branch Call Number: 394.10973 Sch 3701 1
Characteristics: 356 pages : illustrations

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r
rpavlacic
Nov 26, 2015

This book is almost guaranteed to make you furious, that the brutal methods used to make processed meats, fruits and vegetables finds its way not only into fast food but also onto our supermarket shelves. Equally maddening is the food industry's fighting every attempt by government to make slaughterhouses more humane and safer. Or their efforts at union busting. Or to work around worker's compensation laws. Or to raise the minimum wage. A one dollar wage increase in the minimum raises the price of a burger by two cents. I wouldn't mind paying an extra quarter to get these hard-working people up to a living wage. Things have improved slightly since the book's publication, but only just. We often don't think of what goes into making our food - prepared, processed or even "fresh". This book will.

g
GRF1965
May 02, 2015

Definitely a must read. A eye opener not only about the food, but the slaughter houses & the employees that work under slave-like & dangerous conditions.

k
KCWeimer
May 16, 2014

I was a bit worried when this book was assigned as part of my book club; I thought it would be rather dry and somewhat preachy. I was pleasantly surprised. This was an excellent read, fast paced and full of information. Yes the author has an agenda, but he really does save the sermon for the last chapter. I would highly recommend it, just to make you think a bit about the world we live in and how our decisions have impact far beyond our immediate senses.

b
busydizzylizzy
Jun 02, 2012

Well-researched, but a bit outdated. The end is so hopeful, but we haven't really changed much, have we?

r
ReidCooper
May 09, 2012

Well researched & well written, Fast Food Nation is a thought-provoking, at times disturbing but always riveting look at the logistics, laws and sociology of fast food. Unlike many books on the topic, Schlosser does not push a particular view (for one, he has no problem with eating meat per se), and - not having a particular issue to push - takes a wider look at fast food, including at why it can be so appealing to some. He also takes the time to look at the evolution of the labor issues, agricultural issues and suppliers issues connected to the system that makes it possible for chains to offer $2 burgers. A fascinating, must-read book, still current a decade later.

j
Jean-Pierre Lebel
Apr 26, 2012

Even if this book is more than a decade old, it is still truthful and seems relevant in 2012. Schlosser gives a disturbing and insightful look at what goes into every hamburger (both literally and figuratively) that we eat at fast food joints. Even if one doesn't agree or believe every point in the book, he does a good job of painting the larger picture. The book covers a lot of ground: the monopoly of commodity foods like potatoes, the horrible working condition of slaughter houses, the unresponsiveness of the US government even in the face of evident and high spread food poisoning, and the general attitudes of these big corporation that peddle fast food with our children in mind. By the time you finish this book, you probably won't be a vegetarian convert, but you'll question the morality of some consumer choices we make.

b
blabitty
Apr 17, 2012

this teaches why fast food is bad for your health

l
libraryjunkie
Dec 06, 2009

An excellent study of the fast food industry, its history,and how it eploits people and animals and produces food which is very unhealthy and dangerous to eat. Reading it gave me more reasons to be proud of being a vegetarian. Highly recommended for all.

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