Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation: Fast Food's Impact on Society Essay

Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation: Fast Food's Impact on Society Essay

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“Fast food is popular because it's convenient, it's cheap, and it tastes good. But the real cost of eating fast food never appears on the menu.” – Eric Schlosser --

Eric Schlossers book Fast Food Nation is not only an expose of the fast food industry but also shows how the fast food industry has shaped and defined society in America and other nations as the fast food culture spreads globally. He connects the social order of society to the kind of food it eats and the way it eats that food, and relates fast food to other social processes and institutions. His facts are based on years of research and study, and are presented in and easy to follow narrative. Schlosser is so thorough and convincing in his argument, it's impossible to read this book and not feel disenchanted by the unethical practices of fast food companies, shocked at its effect on our society, and empowered to do something about it. Fast Food Nation takes a look at what we don't see behind the fast food business, and questions a high cultural cost verses a low dollar value meal.

There are ethical concerns in about every business, but none seem to be as intense as the ones found in the meatpacking and fast food industry. "In the days when labor unions were strong workers could complain about excessive line speeds and injury rates without fear of getting fired. Today only one third of IBP's workers belong to a union." (Schlosser 174) Schlosser clearly describes the plight of these employees, pointing out that the majority of them are undocumented immigrants. They are employed "at will" meaning they can be fired at any time, for any reason. They depend on these jobs to support their families. A clear example of this can be seen here in Iowa. Small tow...


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...values we are exporting. Schlosser describes a visit to a German Mc Donald's. This restaurant was located at the Dachau concentration camp. Leaflets were found in the camp's parking lot reading "Welcome to Dachau, and welcome to Mc Donald's" (Schlosser 233) I think this book is extremely important, and should be mandatory reading for our nations high-school students. The author leaves little room for questioning with facts supported by a large reference section. I find, after reading this book that I cannot eat fast food with out reflecting on the massive impact my 99-cent hamburger has. The only questions I have after reading this book are; how I can convince everyone else to read this book and where is the citizen outrage over this problem?

Works Cited

Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. New York: Perennial, 2002.

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