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Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (2001)

by Eric Schlosser

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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11,415163396 (3.93)144
An exploration of the fast food industry in the United States, from its roots to its long-term consequences.

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» See also 144 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
Another widely published nonfiction title that had been on my TBR list for a long time. Most of it is in fact still relevant in 2020, as we learn more about the issues with large-scale meat packing/processing ad minimum wage on-call workers. There are also interesting parts about franchising, and about building large vertical companies based on products like potatoes. You'll likely learn at least something about the people behind chain fast food, even if like me you had worked in such a place at one point and thought you had already learned plenty on the job. ( )
  jonerthon | Jul 12, 2020 |
Eric Schlosser holds up marginally better fast food to counteract the horrible fast food industry. Great in depth reporting on all angles of the fast food industry, but the proposed solution has no imagination:

Just don't go to the bad restaurants, liberals, and they'll shut down. Go to vaguely better fast food places, like In & Out Burger. Work with other yuppies in your gated community to keep the worst offenders out. Yecch.

If you removed the last chapter of this book and replaced it with a chapter about subverting, sabotaging, destroying currently existing fast food chains, planting, cultivating, growing neighborhood gardens that can feed families for free, as well as educating, agitating, and organizing poor people to fight for time in their lives to cook slow meals that are healthy and create a sense of family, then I would have given this book 5 stars. As it is, it has very little revolutionary potential. ( )
  magonistarevolt | Apr 30, 2020 |
Healthwise, this book was probably scary as hell when it was first published eleven years ago. It's scary as hell today, too, and wil have me rethinking much of my current lifestyle. ( )
  parloteo | Dec 21, 2019 |
this is excellent and full of interesting and thoughtful information. i know his point is about the agriculture, meatpacking, and fast food industries, but really i extrapolate this to industry and corporations in general. for me, in this time, and soon after rereading and the band played on, this hammers home how little we care about individuals. how much we sacrifice for the corporations to be able to get rich, how everyday people are used and hurt and thrown away to the benefit of a few people and a corporate name. it's disgusting and while i can feel good about not eating meat and rarely eating fast food, i think this could just as easily be about any of the things i love. our country is literally built upon the worst principles, every time we start an industry it seems we go about it the exact wrong way, and to the detriment of 99.9% of the people. it'd be unbelievable if we weren't living in the time we're in. in what other world would it make sense for the meatpacking industry to be in charge of reporting their own health code violations, for the usda not to be allowed to inspect them or shut them down? we've created a culture where only the businesses matter, and only the top few people in each one get rich, and it's all at the expense of everyone else. i'm so disgusted.

this book is well researched, well written, and well thought out. i appreciated reading it and was fascinated from the first page to the last, with little exception. i even had to look a few things up on my own to get more information as he moved on before i was ready on a few occasions. i was a little surprised that even though it's almost 20 years old that it is so prescient and relative now, and still totally worth reading.

"...driving seemed to cost much less than using public transport - an illusion created by he fact that the price of a new car did not include the price of building new roads. Lobbyists from the oil, tire, and automobile industries, among others, had persuaded state and federal agencies to assume that fundamental expense. Had the big auto companies been required to pay for the roads - in the same way that trolley companies had to lay and maintain track - the landscape of the American West would look quite different today."

"Eating in the United States should no longer be a form of high-risk behavior."

i can literally think of two only complaints with this book. the first is that there's one part where he claims that the sexual relationships between hourly workers and supervisors in a plant are mostly consensual, and then talks about how unequal their dynamic is. it completely misunderstands the idea of rape and consent and feeling forced into something for fear of losing a job or a promotion, etc. my other complaint is that there are about 70 pages of notes in the back of the book, but there is no indication when you're reading that they exist. there's no notation that there are endnotes, so they largely go to waste. i *love* endnotes and feel like i really missed out. (that said, footnotes are even better.) ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | May 23, 2019 |
The subtitle says it all! I haven't been to McDonalds'! Actually, it talks about what the franchising of the fast food restaurants have done to our country. What clout McDonalds has, once they decide to have their beef checked for mad cow. McDonalds is the biggest beef purchasers in the U.S. ( )
  camplakejewel | Sep 26, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 161 (next | show all)
''Fast Food Nation'' provides the reader with a vivid sense of how fast food has permeated contemporary life and a fascinating (and sometimes grisly) account of the process whereby cattle and potatoes are transformed into the burgers and fries served up by local fast food franchises.
This is a fine piece of muckraking, alarming without being alarmist.
It is a serious piece of investigative journalism into an industry that has helped concentrate corporate ownership of American agribusiness, while engaging in labor practices that are often shameful.

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eric Schlosserprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brzustowski, GenevièveTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schlatterer, HeikeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
楡井 浩一Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A savage servility slides by on grease. - Robert Lowell
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Over the last three decades, fast food has infiltrated every nook and cranny of American Society.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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