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Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
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Fast Food Nation (original 2001; edition 2005)

by Eric Schlosser

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9,988148285 (3.94)124
Member:BrahamsNotBombs
Title:Fast Food Nation
Authors:Eric Schlosser
Info:Harper Perennial (2005), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
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Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser (2001)

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English (148)  Dutch (1)  All languages (149)
Showing 1-5 of 148 (next | show all)
I don't read a lot of non-fiction, but I decided to finally read this book having had it sit on the shelf for a few years. I'm glad I read it, but as someone who regularly eats in the US I am not sure if I should be glad or freaked out. The book is an interesting study in how industrialization without proper quality controls can have some pretty terrible side effects. I'm glad to live in a jurisdiction where we actively test for food quality and safety.

The book is a good read, and I'd recommend it to people without weak stomaches.

http://www.stillhq.com/book/Eric_Schlosser/Fast_Food_Nation.html ( )
  mikal | Nov 16, 2014 |
Summary: In 2001, Fast Food Nation was published to critical acclaim and became an international bestseller. Eric Schlosser’s exposé revealed how the fast food industry has altered the landscape of America, widened the gap between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and transformed food production throughout the world. The book changed the way millions of people think about what they eat and helped to launch today’s food movement.

In a new afterword for this edition, Schlosser discusses the growing interest in local and organic food, the continued exploitation of poor workers by the food industry, and the need to ensure that every American has access to good, healthy, affordable food. Fast Food Nation is as relevant today as it was a decade ago. The book inspires readers to look beneath the surface of our food system, consider its impact on society and, most of all, think for themselves.

Thoughts: I'm going to be blunt about it: I don't read nonfiction much unless the subject interests me. This subject is not my top choice for most interesting. I honestly only picked FFN up because it was required for school reading.
With all that out of the way, I was stuck for the first few pages trying to get into it. The pages took forever for me to turn, because I couldn't imagine the story in my head as well.
Eric Schlosser, you are amazing. You took a subject that is HUGE in America today and you made it fascinating and horrific. I very much enjoyed this book.
Schlosser, from page one, related really cool things to the fast food industry. He forced this book to be as interesting as it could be. I got to read about Las Vegas and super secret Air Force bases. I got to read really sad quotes and stories and I seriously almost cried when reading about Kenny Dobbins. There were parts that made me laugh. And you can be sure that there were parts that angered me. Ask anyone who knows me: during this book, I ranted daily about our fast food industry.
The ending was perhaps the best part. That last paragraph is so awesome to me. And the new afterward is great to read.
I feel so inspired by FFN. Like I never want to eat at a fast food place again (this was a problem during the long road trip to and from camping). I've actually boycotted McD's for almost two years now. I don't miss it. I'd like to do the same with other "restaurants".

Rating: 4.5 stars
I really did enjoy this book, but I had to take off 0.5 stars because of my lack of interest in the subject and the fact that I couldn't get into it for a few pages. I can definitely tell you, though, this book is worth the read. I absolutely can say without a doubt that I am glad I experienced it. ( )
  ashleyjellison | Jul 28, 2014 |
Something occurred to me while finishing this book. While I was reading Fast Food Nation, I was also finishing the seventh Harry Potter. Everyone who had already read HP told me how good it is, how they cried, etc. And yes, HP was endearing. But FFN was to an even greater extent I feel.

While most readers engage themselves in fiction, nonfiction is highly ignored—and I’m guilty of this maybe more than anyone else. But reading FFN gave me all of the same strong emotions that reading fiction does. I am angered at the villain (in this case large corporations that will do anything for money, including lie to their clients), and I feel emotionally attached to the victims—the rancher, the meatpacker, the fast food franchisee, and the consumer of this meat. But then the realization hits me—this is real.

These huge corporations are really recruiting poor, unskilled laborers, often immigrants to perform very dangerous jobs, refusing them decent wages, insurance, or worse yet, workers compensation when they hurt themselves. While it is true that the evidence is anecdotal, it is perhaps the only evidence that will ever be available, since these companies have a long unpunished history of lying. Lying to their workers, lying to the government, and lying to their customers.

At first I was simply horrified by the human aspect. How terribly these companies treat their workers. It is extremely despicable, but even I cannot capture all of the terrors. You’ll have to read the book to understand.

But after the human aspect, FFN took a twist toward The Jungle. Sinclair would be truly pleased. The fact that these companies are so powerful, they don’t have to test their meats for salmonella or e. coli is awesome: unless you’re one of the millions of unsuspecting meat eaters in the world. It’s truly sickening how much power these companies have. The government has the power to recall all kinds of defective merchandise, but not potentially lethal meat.

Obviously this book has a very liberal bias. But so do I, so I don’t mind much. It took a LONG time to read, but is worth it I feel.
( )
1 vote csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Something occurred to me while finishing this book. While I was reading Fast Food Nation, I was also finishing the seventh Harry Potter. Everyone who had already read HP told me how good it is, how they cried, etc. And yes, HP was endearing. But FFN was to an even greater extent I feel.

While most readers engage themselves in fiction, nonfiction is highly ignored—and I’m guilty of this maybe more than anyone else. But reading FFN gave me all of the same strong emotions that reading fiction does. I am angered at the villain (in this case large corporations that will do anything for money, including lie to their clients), and I feel emotionally attached to the victims—the rancher, the meatpacker, the fast food franchisee, and the consumer of this meat. But then the realization hits me—this is real.

These huge corporations are really recruiting poor, unskilled laborers, often immigrants to perform very dangerous jobs, refusing them decent wages, insurance, or worse yet, workers compensation when they hurt themselves. While it is true that the evidence is anecdotal, it is perhaps the only evidence that will ever be available, since these companies have a long unpunished history of lying. Lying to their workers, lying to the government, and lying to their customers.

At first I was simply horrified by the human aspect. How terribly these companies treat their workers. It is extremely despicable, but even I cannot capture all of the terrors. You’ll have to read the book to understand.

But after the human aspect, FFN took a twist toward The Jungle. Sinclair would be truly pleased. The fact that these companies are so powerful, they don’t have to test their meats for salmonella or e. coli is awesome: unless you’re one of the millions of unsuspecting meat eaters in the world. It’s truly sickening how much power these companies have. The government has the power to recall all kinds of defective merchandise, but not potentially lethal meat.

Obviously this book has a very liberal bias. But so do I, so I don’t mind much. It took a LONG time to read, but is worth it I feel.
( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
There was nothing in this book that came as a revelation, given it was written in 2004 and since then we've learned a lot about the damage inflicted on society by the fast food industry. In terms of cost to human health, nutrition, small business, animal and worker welfare, you can hardly over-estimate the abuses that have been perpetrated on not just America but the rest of the world to which this insidious virus has spread. Although being aware of some of these, the book did highlight aspects of the industrialised meat processing and packing industries that I was either not fully aware of or pretended not to know about. Some of these are shocking, but what's even worse is that they've been condoned by successive governments and I suspect in some cases continue to be. As Schlosser says "...the political influence of the fast food industry and its agribusiness suppliers makes a discussion of what Congress should do largely academic" and ..."the fast food industry spends millions of dollars every year on lobbying and billions on mass marketing. The wealth and power of the major chains make them seem impossible to defeat. And yet those companies must obey the demands of one group - consumers". That's what it's really all about. If we object to the practices of this industry and the horrendous things carried out to ensure its profitability, we have one choice ... to vote with our feet. Great book and one that every thinking person should read before they even think about another Big Mac. ( )
1 vote Anne_Green | Jun 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 148 (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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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eric Schlosserprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
楡井 浩一Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
A savage servility slides by on grease. - Robert Lowell
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for Red
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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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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)

(see all 7 descriptions)

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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