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Paperback Fast Food Nation : The Dark Side of the All-American Meal Book

ISBN: 006116139X

ISBN13: 9780061161391

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

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Book Overview

A smash bestseller nationwide, Fast Food Nation is coming soon to the big screen from Fox Searchlight Films, and stars Patricia Arquette, Bobby Cannavale, Luis Guzman, Ethan Hawke, Greg Kinnear, Kris Kristofferson, Avril Lavigne, and Esai Morales.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Very detailed history and facts about the fastfood industry

Fastfood Nation is a detailed research into the fastfood industry. It appears to be marketed as an expose detailing how fastfood makes you fat and ruins the world. Happily it isn't that. Instead it is a thorough fact based description of all aspects of the fastfood industry. Schlosser obsessively details: The history of fastfood in general, dwelling on histories of the nation wide chains, and with references to interviews with founders if the founders were still alive to interview. Case studies of workers at all levels of the industry and discussion of the economics that make franchises work. Where the ingredients in the food come from, including the farmers, the corporations that distribute food to the various fastfood companies and how the flavors are designed and mass produced. And finally how the fastfood industry is changing and expanding globally today. I am curious as to what kind of field research Schlosser did for this book. His descriptions of how the fastfood world works as far as hows and whys of worker treatment are dead on. (I have worked enough fastfood to leave sizable gaps of "seasonal worker" on my resume.) Obviously he interviewed people, but it seems like he also did follow up interviews over a longer period of time perhaps a couple of years. It is good to see someone with a job that presumably comes with benefits who has a firm grasp of the situation. I recommend this book to the curious. If you are looking for a 200 page essay on why fastfood is bad then look elsewhere. This isn't that book and doesn't even push that conclusion. However, if you are looking for a well written report on all aspects of the history and workings of the fastfood industry then you will love this. It is obsessively detailed. Clearly Schlosser has a grasp of the subject.

McInteresting Look at Fast Food

I read this book knowing I was not going to learn any new and cheery anecdotes about how Ronald McDonald got his start..... instead I read this to solidify the notion that fast food was not a healthy choice. And boy, did this book give you reasons it is not, and I'm not just talking nutritional value here.I found this book fascinating for the detail was great, well researched, and given to the reader straight. It was an eye opening book. Who knew that due to the meat industry being run just by a few corporations, essentially we are eating the same meat from the same feedlots and slaughter houses whether we buy it at a fast food chain or the local supermarket, and perhaps even the nicer restaurants. I also found some of the content appalling. Cattle are fed cats, dogs, other cows, even old newspaper! If this doesn't outrage you enough, just wait to you get to how these same meat conglomerates treat the low paid, low skilled employees of the slaughterhouses.This book is insightful and unbelievable, and will make you question how the fast food giants sleep at night.

Extremely Important and Powerful Book

Fast Food Nation deserves the widest possible audience. It should be assigned reading in every high school in the country. Parents of young children should also be encouraged to read it. Fast food chains, with their bright primary colors and happy faces, need to keep the truth about their products and practices well hidden. Otherwise their customers might think twice about coming back. Schlosser not only tells us what's in the food and how it gets produced, but he examines the depressingly one-sided business arrangements that run the gamut in this industry, from the way the chains control their own low-paid, low-skilled, no-benefit-receiving workers, to the downward pressures they exert on meat, potato and chicken producers, who work in dangerous, low-paid, unpleasant jobs with little control over their lives and livelihoods. This is a great book in the tradition of muckraking journalism. If readers take it seriously, hopefully, like Upton Sinclair's 1905 book "The Jungle," it will lead to major reforms.

I finally learned what I had been eating (and why)

I picked up this book the moment I saw it mostly because I've always known that fast food is "bad for you" - but I've been both afraid to know why and curious at the same time. After all, I've been hearing the other side of the argument my whole life. I've been pummeled by fast food ads - and eaten plenty of fast food - for a ridiculously long time. Why do I want to stay ignorant about it?In his introduction to "Fast Food Nation", Schlosser says that he's interested in fast food "both as commodity and metaphor", and indeed, this well-written tome is as much an examination on the titular product as an able primer on the encroachment of large corporations into the lives of working Americans.Those of you expecting an update on John Robbins' "Diet For A New America" will be disappointed. Schlosser has not crafted a scientific slam against fast food joints, but rather a thorough examination of their motives and histories, with a strong emphasis on the people - from both sides of the coin. The time he devotes to the personal stories of those whose lives have been forever changed by fast food - from the rags-to-riches tale of Carl Karcher to the tragic story of a big-hearted rancher named Hank - are largely what keeps "Fast Food Nation" both emotionally provoking and tangible throughout. If this book were merely a saber-toothed diatribe against fast food corporations, it couldn't allow itself such concessions and would probably come across as socialist tubthumping to all but the converted. Instead, lengthy establishing essays on the history, ideologies, and present state of the communities and corporations discussed are a welcome introduction (and counterpoint to) the individual stories of struggle, greed, and survival.While he makes no secret where his sympathies lie, Schlosser often reminded me more of Wendell Berry than John Robbins, as he bravely attempts to "tell it like it is" from more of a "pro-human" as opposed to an "anti-corporate" perspective. In doing so, the dehumanizing aspects of all global corporations (and the effects of NAFTA and the Telecommunications Act of '96) are supplied a provoking reference point.By my standards, "Fast Food Nation" is a fine debut accomplishment for the author and a welcome book for our increasingly homogenized (and de-regulated) times. The story of fast food, a quotidian experience for many, has never seemed quite so impressive, scary, and profound. My education began here.
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