Fast Food Nation Essay

1342 words - 5 pages

Karen Smith 05 April 2002 Dr. Hunter Book Review Fast Food Nation Eric Schlosser, the author of Fast Food Nation, sets out to explore the ins and outs of the fast food industry from slaughter to consumption. Each chapter goes in depth to one aspect of the fast food industry. He begins with the basics of the industry documenting the accomplishments of the minds behind McDonalds and Carl's Jr. The story begins with these men who started as passionate and smart businessmen just trying to get a break. As the chapter goes on, Schlosser reveals the greedy and selfish men who have long forgotten their roots. In this first chapter, he paints a picture of once young entrepreneurs now turned in search of monetary gain and profit despite any social harms.He exposes the harsh truths and effects that this monstrous and looming industry has had on our country, other countries, employees and citizens, which seems his main goal. In the "Globalization Realization" chapter, Schlosser details how many countries now have McDonald's and that McDonald's along with KFC, makes the majority of their profits outside of the US. He calls it the "Americanization" of several countries. One McDonald's location harbors itself less than a mile away from the first Nazi concentration camp in Dachau, despite protests claiming the corporation was trying to make money off of the Holocaust. They actually handed out leaflets with the saying "Welcome to Dachau.....and Welcome to McDonald's." He also calls to attention many restrictions and upgrades that the industry should abide to in "Behind the Counter," "Cogs in the Great Machine," and "The Most Dangerous Job." He believes that employees should make more than minimum wage and should be able to join unions, teenagers should be rewarded for working after school and not exploited. He talks about the effects of meat packing plants on cities and workers. Many of the workers at the restaurants themselves worked long and hard hours, many of them without pay. The employees had been scared off from joining unions by lawyers sent to deter and intimidate them from joining. He investigated the slaughterhouses and found horrible and stressful working conditions for the workers who were often pressured to keep quiet about their injuries. He found disgusting sanitary conditions and many problems with the meat mainly because of the speed of the lines, and lack of regulation and laws within the meat packing industry. "...there lies a simple explanation for why eating a hamburger can now make you seriously ill: There is shit in the meat," this may be one of the most profound statements in the entire book. Schlosser argues and shows proof of these companies disregard for the environment, employees, food safety, health, and anything that doesn't increase profit. He argues against many of their capitalist behavior and beliefs which create harm and oppression to the very employees that aid these CEOs in living the excessive lives that they lead.He shows...

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