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Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

Fast Food Nation (original 2001; edition 2002)

by Eric Schlosser

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9,802143290 (3.94)121
Title:Fast Food Nation
Authors:Eric Schlosser
Info:New York, NY: Perennial, 2002.
Collections:Your library, To read

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

agriculture (50) America (105) American (51) business (79) consumerism (70) cultural studies (66) culture (145) current affairs (52) current events (60) diet (83) economics (85) fast food (336) food (903) food industry (98) health (368) history (66) journalism (56) McDonald's (66) non-fiction (1,214) nutrition (209) obesity (60) own (55) politics (229) pop culture (50) read (165) society (61) sociology (353) to-read (92) unread (46) USA (96)

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Showing 1-5 of 143 (next | show all)
If you are trying to avoid fast food, this is the book for you. Read it alongside Upton Sinclair's The Jungle if you're looking to really clean out your stomach. A mix of facts and stories of real people, this book will make you think twice about what we eat in America. ( )
  HeatherCHoffman | Feb 11, 2014 |
good book, but u might want to wait for your food to digest. informative
  medpark | Oct 8, 2013 |
2 1/2 stars: I didn't particularly like it or dislike it; mixed or no real interest


From the back cover: Fast food has hastened the malling of our landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelled American cultural imperialism abroad. That's a lengthy list of charges, but Eric Schlosser makes them stick with an artful mix of first rate reportage, wry wit, and careful reasoning.

Schlosser's myth-shattering survey stretches from California's subdivisions, where the business was born, to the industrial corridor along the New Jersey turnpike, where many of fast food's flavors are concocted. Along the way, he unearths a trove of fascinating, unsettling truths--from the unholy alliance between fast food and Hollywood to the seismic changes the industry has wrought on food production, popular culture and even real estate.


Quite a lot of grandiose terminology for a book that I found not even remotely shocking. Why does it surprise people that fast food workers aren't paid well? Working long hours? Generally underage? Or that conditions in slaughterhouses are appalling? (Ok, I've read The Jungle). Or that franchises are more likely to go under than independents? (in large part b/c there are no filters--franchises can be within blocks from each other, thus competing against each other).

I did find the first section of the book on the founding of the industry to be interesting. Karl Karcher and the McDonald brothers are covered, as are the founding of In-N-Out and Jack in the Box. I found one tidbit downright fascinating--- that McDonald's holds the most real estate in the world and actually considers itself to be in the real estate business--that by selling hamburgers, the franchisees are able to pay the mortgage.

Not surprising. Not bad. But not surprising, earth shattering, seismic, or any other hyperbolic phrase. ( )
  PokPok | Sep 20, 2013 |
Very informative book that takes you back to the very start of fast food history ( )
  hailsus | Aug 6, 2013 |
This book was eye-opening; I haven't thought about fast food the same way since, which was the point, I suppose! ( )
  dukefan86 | May 29, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 143 (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.
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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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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060838582, Paperback)

On any given day, one out of four Americans opts for a quick and cheap meal at a fast-food restaurant, without giving either its speed or its thriftiness a second thought. Fast food is so ubiquitous that it now seems as American, and harmless, as apple pie. But the industry's drive for consolidation, homogenization, and speed has radically transformed America's diet, landscape, economy, and workforce, often in insidiously destructive ways. Eric Schlosser, an award-winning journalist, opens his ambitious and ultimately devastating exposé with an introduction to the iconoclasts and high school dropouts, such as Harlan Sanders and the McDonald brothers, who first applied the principles of a factory assembly line to a commercial kitchen. Quickly, however, he moves behind the counter with the overworked and underpaid teenage workers, onto the factory farms where the potatoes and beef are grown, and into the slaughterhouses run by giant meatpacking corporations. Schlosser wants you to know why those French fries taste so good (with a visit to the world's largest flavor company) and "what really lurks between those sesame-seed buns." Eater beware: forget your concerns about cholesterol, there is--literally--feces in your meat.

Schlosser's investigation reaches its frightening peak in the meatpacking plants as he reveals the almost complete lack of federal oversight of a seemingly lawless industry. His searing portrayal of the industry is disturbingly similar to Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, written in 1906: nightmare working conditions, union busting, and unsanitary practices that introduce E. coli and other pathogens into restaurants, public schools, and homes. Almost as disturbing is his description of how the industry "both feeds and feeds off the young," insinuating itself into all aspects of children's lives, even the pages of their school books, while leaving them prone to obesity and disease. Fortunately, Schlosser offers some eminently practical remedies. "Eating in the United States should no longer be a form of high-risk behavior," he writes. Where to begin? Ask yourself, is the true cost of having it "your way" really worth it? --Lesley Reed

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:26:33 -0400)

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Presents an examination of the fast food industry, tracing its history and discussing how it arose in postwar America, as well as the impact it has had on economy, food production, and popular culture.

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