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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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11,999169445 (3.93)150
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 150 mentions

English (167)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (170)
Showing 1-5 of 167 (next | show all)
Fast food is fast, cheap and filling. It’s one of the best deals from a financial sense for the average American. However, we do not see the hidden costs.

The story begins with the birth of McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Carl’s Jr. Supported by the addition of the automobile to the American household, the fast food companies exploded. In efforts to expand, the entrepreneurs had to standardize the preparation and products of the franchise.

In the process they made the process so simple so that anyone – like someone off the street or a recent illegal immigrant – could do the job. This gives the employees of fast food companies little job security. Strangely, the fast food companies prefer high turnover of employees. With rapid turnover, it’s difficult to create a union. Benefits and insurance do not kick in until the employee has worked a set amount of time. Finally, the government subsidizes each new employee from low-income households to gain job experience. So, the perfect employee is the person in the first couple days – someone with no benefits and whose paycheck is subsidized by the government.

Looking into the innards from Eric’s point of view of the meat packing industry was more appalling than reading Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”. The book gives a peek at the “flavor” industry. International Flavor’s and Fragrances (IFF) has $2 billion in revenue and finds way to mimic the natural aromas of Mother Nature. The processed foods we eat naturally taste the same … like Styrofoam but with some flavoring they can make anything taste like anything.

There is the environmental impact. There are places like Greeley, Colorado which is essentially the beef toilet for the world (I really have to visit there one day when I want to gross myself out).

Since 2001, I have probably ate at a fast food place less than 15 times. After reading this book I will cut down my visits even more. ( )
  wellington299 | Feb 19, 2022 |
Thankfully I have restricted my fast food diet to In and Out and Chick-fil-A for the last few years. In and Out gets a fairly favorable review and Chick-fil-A wasn't big enough to critique when he wrote it. #votewithyourmoney His style isn't for everyone. Definitely a different take on the industry. ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
This was a reread for me. While the statistics and numbers are deeply outdated by two decades, the information is still valuable as corporations do still endeavor to create the same dangerous homogeny and drive for ever-increasing profits regardless of the human cost. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Jan 2, 2021 |
This was interesting, but not interesting enough, so I stopped.
  pmichaud | Dec 21, 2020 |
Read much of this in a class in college, and now that I'm on board with pretty much everything he was saying, I don't feel a huge need to finish it. Preaching to the choir, and all that. ( )
  beautifulshell | Aug 27, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 167 (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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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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An exploration of the fast food industry in the United States, from its roots to its long-term consequences.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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