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Chapter 5: Why the Fries Taste Good Essay

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“Out of every $1.50 spent on a large order of fries at fast food restaurant, perhaps 2 cents goes to the farmer that grew the potatoes,” (Schlosser 117). Investigative journalist Eric Schlosser brings to light these realities in his bestselling book, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Schlosser, a Princeton and Oxford graduate, is known for his inspective pieces for Atlantic Monthly. While working on article, for Rolling Stone Magazine, about immigrant workers in a strawberry field he acquired his inspiration for the aforementioned book, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, a work examining the country’s fast food industry (Gale).
Schlosser sets off chapter 5: “Why the Fries Taste Good,” in Aberdeen, Idaho at the J. R. Simplot Plant where he introduces John Richard Simplot, “America’s great potato baron,” (Schlosser 111). Simplot dropped out of school at 15, left home, and found work on a potato farm in Declo, Idaho making 30 cents an hour. Simplot bought and turned profit on some interest-bearing scrip from some school teachers and used the money to at 600 hogs at $1 a head. He feed the hogs horse meat from wild horses he shot himself, later selling them for $12.50 a head. At age 16 Simplot leased 160 acres to begin growing Russet Burbank Potatoes. In the 1920s the potato industry was just picking up as Idaho was discovered to have the ideal soil and conditions for successfully growing potatoes (Schlosser 112). Soon Simplot was the “largest shipper of potatoes in the West, operating 33 warehouses in Oregon and Idaho,” (Schlosser 113). During World War II Simplot sold dehydrated potatoes and onions to the U.S. Army. By the time he was 36 he “was growing his own potatoes, fe...


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...ted, “the french fries were delicious- crisp and golden brown, made from potatoes that had been in the ground that morning. Eric Schlosser finished them and asked for more,” (Schlossr131).
Throughout this chapter Schlosser takes his reader through the journey of the french fry from spud to stomach. Schlosser uses his talents to educate the world about the ins and outs of the processed food and flavor industry, informing the fast food nation, “Why the fries Taste Good.”




Works Cited

"Eric Schlosser." Authors and Artists for Young Adults. Vol. 60. Thomson Gale, 2005.
Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, Mich.: Thomson Gale. 2006. http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/BioRC

Schlosser, Eric. "Chapter 5: Why the Fries Taste Good." Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. New York, NY: Harper Perennial, 2005. Print.


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