Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side Of The All American Meal

826 words - 3 pages

      In the book Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser writes about the fast food industry. However, his book is not merely an expose of the fast food industry but is even more a consideration of how the fast food industry has shaped and defined American society in America and for other nations as America exports its fast food culture to others. Schlosser describes a great deal of American culture to the fast food mentality, and he finds that globalization is taking the fast food culture around the world at a rapid rate. Schlosser addresses a number of specific issues related to food production and distribution. He connects the social order of a society to the kind of food it eats and the way it eats that food, with American society very much defined by the fast food culture that has developed. Schlosser tends to represent the theory stressing the importance of interdependence among all behavior patterns and institutions within a social system, as can be seen from how he connects fast food to other social processes and institutions.

     The icon that represents fast food culture for most people is McDonald's, though the fast food culture developed long before the creation of that restaurant chain. Schlosser considers the impact of such fast-food chains but also considers the primacy of the hamburger in the American diet and some of the dangers it poses. McDonald?s reliance on hamburger is a questionable item for a steady diet in a more health conscious age, and interferes with local customs and food in different parts of the world. Schlosser addresses this issue from several perspectives, beginning with a consideration of how safe the meat really is, not only on the basis of nutritional value but also on the basis of additives, preservatives, diseases, and even potential radioactivity. Some beef is considered questionable, and much of it makes its way through the USDA to school cafeterias as part of the National School Lunch Program. This is a very damaging charge as the most questionable beef is sent directly to the most vulnerable population, suggesting that protecting the industry is more important to the government than protecting the consumer. The hamburger is connected to a huge industry, which in turn has a vital role in the overall American economy. More than this, the image of the hamburger represents America to many people around the world, and other icons carrying the idea of America is seen in the logos of companies like McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and similar...

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