Fast Food Nation

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Summary and Analysis of “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

In Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser is segmented into two main sections taking the reader on a wonderful journey into the world of fast food, while focusing on empowering the individual to change their ways on how to eat healthier food than just fast food. The author describes how the industry has made the overall food quality worldwide smaller and how the food industry created poor working conditions for millions of people which ruined public health.

In the first aspect of the book, the author opens up with a discussion on Carl N. Karcher who was one of the fast food pioneers that opened up a Drive – in barbeque restaurant in California which the population was increasing. There was a nearby restaurant called McDonald’s Famous Hamburgers where the McDonalds brothers had the customers eat inside the restaurant. Katcher was inspired by the McDonald’s brother which he opened up his own self-service restaurant. Taco Bell, Dunkin Donuts, Wendy’s, Dominos and Kentucky Fried Chicken is the many fast food places that still remains today. Basically, this chapter gives us a historical background that tells us how the fast food nation started. The author shows us different aspects of the fast food pioneer. He compared McDonalds with the Walt Disney Company which he was able to show Ray Kroc as a clever businessman who had expanded his empire. Eric also demonstrates how the fast food nation doesn’t provide nutrition which tricks the young people into buying their products. This chapter shows us the important roles of marketing, advertising, and corporate sponsorship in fast food. He discusses the recruitment treatment and the work experience of the fast food employees in Colorado spring and nationwide. He talks about how he thinks that the workforce is what keeps the fast food industry running. Then the author makes comparisons between the old franchises and the new franchises He started to notice that the franchises can get rick very quick. Then he concluded the first part of the book by still remaining critical evaluation of Kroc which we previously read. In Scholosser’s statement, he provides the evidence that an economist argues that franchises are not safer than the independent business but does not criticizes on what the economist research method or where another economist might also feel a different way about it too.

In the second part of the book, the author is very worried about the food that we eat. He focuses on the French fries and how the potatoes is being manufactured and what it is contributed to it flavors. He categorizes fast food French fries as processed food. He talks about J.R Simplot who dropped out of high school to make his dream come true by becoming a potato farmer. Then the section that discusses about meat and potatoes shows us the behind the scenes work of how what we eat get produced. Eric visited a Colorado rancher name Hank with the purpose to show the difference between what he does and raping the land. He then gives us a brief history of the early 20th century on the efforts to break up the Beef Trust which five of the meatpacking companies had a monopoly in the meatpacking industry. Eric goes in depth of discussing about the chicken and beef industries to expose what happens behind the scenes in the fast food industry. The rancher shows us how an expansive industry can devastate a single life. The people that were working in the meatpacking industry were mostly immigrants who don’t speak English who were getting paid low wages. Their working conditions were very poor, and it wasn’t easy. The author then talks about how we should consider how many human actors that has been injured in this industry and how there were many hazards in their workplace.

Eric Schlosser doesn’t understand why people would want to work in the meat packing industry. He brought to the readers attentions of the role of fast food and how does it affect us. Fast food has been spreading globally and it is creating a worldwide epidemic.

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157

Fast Food as a Way of Life in the USA

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

In Fast Food Nation, Erik Schlosser addresses the fast food business and the revolutionary impact it has had on the American food industry in the past few decades. Schlosser discusses how fast food was integrated into American society to such an extreme that it has spread to every corner of the nation. The reasoning behind why fast food has so speedily dominated the diet of the American people is not hard to distinguish – people want a meal that is both easy and cheap, and these qualities are the foundation that the fast food industry was built on. However, fast food does have its drawbacks, ranging from its unhealthy impact on the body to its contribution of erasure of regional differences across America. Throughout his novel, Schlosser writes about the impact fast food has had on America, primarily questioning why it has been so successful, how it has come to shape America, and what consequences it has inflicted upon society today.

While a variety of fast food businesses have succeeded, an even greater number of unknown chains failed along the way, ones like “Sandy’s, Carrol’s, Henry’s, Winky’s, and Mr. Fifteen’s,” along with many others (22). So what was the distinction between failure and success for a fast food chain? When fast food was first discovered, people rushed to create their own businesses, going so far as to create intricate machines that traversed a series of steps in order to produce just one burger. Ultimately, the fast food chains that triumphed over the multitude of others all had three major traits in common: uniformity, inexpensiveness, and efficiency. As work in America has become more demanding, workers have acquiesced more hours and effort for their jobs, leaving little to no time to prepare a meal at home. For overworked employees, parents, or students allotted only a meager amount of free time, their only concerns lay with how quick and inexpensive a meal is – not the consequences it may have on America in the future.

Over the past decades, fast food has become an inescapable part of American society, and is unavoidable even to the minority of Americans who do not eat it. When regarding the foundations that shape modern America, the first thought that comes to mind after “freedom” is often “McDonald’s.” Consequently, fast food is so deeply ingrained into society that it is considered normal – the American people do not think twice about the millions of fast food chains littering the country. Not often is it seen as a vilification to America, a facet of society that should not be, unless one comes to think about and consciously acknowledge it. In a way, it has come to mold not only American culture, but business; in the provided passage, Schlosser states that “The basic thinking behind fast food has become the operating system of today’s retail economy” (5). The domination of larger corporations in American business today, along with many other problems in modern society, can inevitably be traced back to the start (and success) of the fast food industry.

Above all, the most prolific feature of fast food is the negative impact it has had on America and its people. A vast majority of America’s problems stem from – or are a direct result of – the fast food industry. Most obviously, fast food contributes directly to the already high and rising obesity problem in America. However, the problems stemming from fast food are not limited to physical – fast food also erases regional differences among the country, or even any differences. Whereas before there may have been a higher level of diversity in cuisine across America, the rapid spread of fast food ensures a certain culinary conformity regardless of location. Another complication that arises from the fast food industry is its exclusion of smaller industries in the business; since people want familiar brands and companies, smaller businesses are often ignored in favor of the more known one. By not allowing lesser known businesses to acclimate into the industry, consumers will perpetually favor the larger, and more popular, corporation.

Ultimately, the influence of fast food on American society extends far beyond the takeout window. From media to culture, fast food can be found ubiquitously across America – and no matter where it may be, people are likely to buy it. It may be beneficial on an individual level, but as a whole, fast food has a detrimental impact on America and its’ people. Although there may never be a replacement for fast food, there are alternatives, such as buying snacks or simply stopping by healthier restaurants. However, one fact remains: if consumers are willing to buy, then the fast food industry’s influence over modern American society will only continue to grow.

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137

The Faults of the Fast Food Industries in “Jungle” and “Fast Food Nation”

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Fast food can is a relatively new industry that serves fast, cheap, and oftentimes unhealthy food. Eric Schlosser wrote a book called Fast Food Nation in which all of the fast food industries faults are exposed. Many people do not know all the short, and long terms effects that the fast food corporations can leave on our whole Earth’s environment. Something as small as killing more animals than needed for production can change the environment slightly, but then assuming the ripple effect everything changes due to the overkill.

From what Schlosser wrote about it was exposed that many fast food corporations have been accused of unsanitary kitchens, but worse than that they have been known to have below standard slaughterhouses and meat. It would be expected that the meat you eat in a cheeseburger is genuine one hundred percent beef. The citizens who eat fast food became concerned when the food started making people become sick. This is more alarming due to the fact that this means the cows themselves were sick to begin with. Cows and chickens become sick by eating unsanitary food, drinking spoiled or unclean water, and also can become sick by living in unbearable factories. The animals that are made for eating most of the time live very close to one another to maximize the space available. The animals produce extreme amounts of feces and odor so these facilities that the animals are grown in are very unsanitary. so if one cow becomes sick the illness quickly spreads throughout the whole facility. A main concern of fast food companies needs to be to keep the meat safe and tasty.

There are many ways in that fast food corporations harm our world’s environment. The main way is in the un proper disposal of all of the food packaging. A meal from a fast food restaurant can contain a plastic cup, paper wrappers, plastic bag, and other materials. If somebody gets a meal from the drive though they sometimes throw the wrappers out of the vehicle when they are done eating. This can first off harmful to the soil, but it can more severely harm the environments wild life. When and gets caught in a plastic bag it could choke, or get hurt. Fast food also poses the risks of giving humans health concerns such as obesity or increasing the risk of diabetes. Fast food companies like the say that the customers are potentially putting themselves at these risks, and that they as a company are not to take the blame. Another extreme environmental risk from fast food businesses is global warming. Where the animals are kept in factories gives of huge waves of heat that can greatly affect the countries, and even the whole worlds global warming.

Upton Sinclair studied the meatpacking industry in Chicago. While doing this observation it was discovered how unsanitary this business really was, and how unfairly and ridiculous these workers were treated. To have the best efficiency from employees the employer must make the working conditions safe and consistent. In the past meat packing industries have paid workers very little, and have made them work in unreasonable conditions. In the novel The Jungle, Upton Sinclair exposed the unhealthy ways of the meatpacking industry. Some of the tactics from the meatpacking industry harm the environment. All of the excess plastic, and guts are wrongly dumped into our environment.

At the time the novel was written the entire city of Chicago was basically built on literal garbage. The meatpacking factories had floors covered in guts and limbs from the animals which had been slaughter. If the meat was not used immediately, it was set aside most of the time. The good news is that the extra meat did not always go to waste, sometimes the expired and diseased old meat was sold for slightly cheaper prices at market. The good meat that was being packaged was often mixed or confused with the expired leftover meat and sent off with no special warning label. Packaging expired meat also used more plastic than what was actually needed and this harms the environment and can make things toxic. Pollution from making these plastics and meat harm all of the air in the environment and can affect all of the wildlife.

The novels The Jungle and Fast Food Nation were big eye openers for the customers of packaged meats, and the entire fast food industry. People were more hesitant while grabbing a quick drive through burger, eating the meal, and then throwing it out the window to help harm the environment. After the books were published and talked about throughout the world, both industries did in fact respond by attempting to improve their ways.

The meatpacking industry has improved to become better for the environment, and has started to become a cleaner work place. Another flaw of the industry is a very unsafe working place, but know the meatpacking industry is making changes to become a safer day to day work place. Fast food corporations are becoming better also. Rather than using styrofoam and plastic, they have become more aware of the harms of these materials and are now using more paper. Paper can still harm the environment, but it can also easily be recycled and degrades faster than plastic. Both industries still are bad for the environment rather it be global warming, or more noticeably the unhealthy disregard of waste and garbage.

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77

“Fast Food Nation” and “The Jungle”: the Changes in Fast Food Industry

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Major developments in the meatpacking industry from the early 1900’s to the present include laws put into place by Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to improve working conditions, protect animal welfare, and improve the quality of meat being sold to consumers. Working conditions have been a major issue in the meatpacking industry since the earIy 1900’s, and have seen some improvement since then. In the early 1900’s, workers faced poor, harsh working conditions, low wages, long hours, and risk of injury and death. Employees worked in dark, unventilated rooms, that were unbearably hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter.

In Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation, he takes a tour of a slaughterhouse. According to Schlosser, to protect employees from getting cut by sharp knives, they wear pounds of “chainmail”. Chainmail is a type of steel armor, that is flexible enough to allow workers to move around while protecting them from injury. However, chainmail is not always an effective method of preventing injury to workers. Also, employees usually wear knee-high, rubber boots because there is usually a large amount of blood on the floor. Employees stand extremely close together while working rapidly on the assembly line in a slaughterhouse. Although working conditions are better today than they were in the early 1900’s, employees are still expected to work rapidly which can cause accidents and injury. Even though technology has benefited the meatpacking industry, working in a slaughterhouse is still the most dangerous job in the United States.

In the early 1900s unskilled workers consisted of immigrants and were typically earned pennies per hour (Meat Packing Industry, 2008). Skilled workers did not have it much better, making about fifty cents an hour, and working long ten hour days, six days a week. In 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act was enacted to establish minimum wage and addressed the issue of overtime and child labor. Women in the meatpacking industry were often sexually taken advantage of, either being raped by her boss or forced into prostitution to support herself because of low wages. According to The Jungle, Ona was repeatedly raped by her boss and forced into prostitution after being blackmailed by her boss. Men were usually paid more than women, although they were usually doing similar tasks. Today, the meatpacking industry is run by a large amount of illegal immigrants, being paid extremely low wages. Due to employees being paid low wages, slums are still an issue today. The fast food industry employs mainly teenagers, immigrants, and the elderly. They are often paid low minimum wages, for long hours, since they do not require much skill to work at a fast food establishment. However, minimum wage has been increasing for decades. From 2015 to the present, many states have been fighting for a fifteen dollar minimum wage. However, not every state has converted to a higher minimum wage due to the negative effects. In the early 1900’s the risk of injury and even death was common, and often times avoidable. The assembly line system caused the process to move quickly and conveniently; however, the lines moved so fast that a man could accidentally chop his finger off from cutting carcasses so quickly. In The Jungle, Sinclair explained that a steer was loose from his chains, and as Jurgis attempted to get away but twisted his ankle on the tool that collects cattle blood.

Similarly today, slaughterhouses uses an assembly line system. However, it is not nearly as dangerous as it was in the early 1900’s. With constantly advancing technology, skilled workers are not needed for an assembly line process. Although there have been many advances dealing with workers conditions since the early 1900’s, the meatpacking industry still proves to be as dangerous today as it was back then. Animal welfare in the meatpacking industry has been gradually changing for the better since the USDA began to implement laws to prevent inhumane slaughter. Animals were slaughtered without being stunned, and often times were still alive when they were being butchered. According to Upton Sinclair’s novel, The Jungle, animals’ throats were cut before they were dead yet, causing a long, painful death, until they were dropped into boiling water.

The Humane Slaughter Act of 1978 ensured a quick and painless death by a rapid and effective means of stunning. According to Schlosser, slaughterhouses follow the correct procedure by stunning the steer, killing it or rendering it insensitive to pain. However, not all steers are killed immediately after they are stunned, and chained to the ceiling. For example, a steer fell from the ceiling and into the end of a conveyor belt while it was still alive and struggling. To keep the cattle calm and unaware of their fates, the path into the slaughterhouse prevents the cattle coming in from seeing the other slaughtered cattle. This prevents cattle from feeling less anxious and stressed than they have to be. Many technological advances are used in the meatpacking industry to slaughter cattle humanely as possible. Captive bolt pistols are used to stun and kill cattle effectively, usually killing them within ninety-six seconds. Compared to the early 1900’s, cattle feel as little pain as possible when it comes to the slaughter process. The quality of meat being sold to consumers was atrocious in the early 1900’s. According to The Jungle, spoiled meat was usually canned, smoked, or ground to prevent the public from seeing the bad spot. Additionally, sausage was stored near rodent feces, and if meat fell on the floor, it would only be dusted off before placing it back on the assembly line. A government inspector was present, but many carcasses went uninspected. Shortly after The Jungle was published, the severity of the meatpacking industry was brought to the attention of the public. The same year, Congress passed the Federal Food and Drug Act of 1906 to prevent the manufacture and sale of undesirable products. Congress also passed The Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906, which ensured products were slaughtered and handled in a sanitary process with government inspectors present.

Today, food poisoning from fast food restaurants is not uncommon. Occasionally, manure is accidentally mixed with the ground beef during slaughter, which contaminates the meat with E. coli. Although cases of illnesses are reported and investigated, the United States Government could not demand a recall on meat from their consumers. According to Schlosser, many mistake can be made by employees in a slaughterhouse. For example, basic sanitation processes are sometimes forgotten; such as knives not being sanitized after being used multiple times, and picking up meat that has fallen on the floor without decontaminating it whatsoever. Practices like these make it sound like not much has changed since the early 1900’s as far as the handling of meat go. Today, the quality of meat being sold to consumers is better than it was in the early 1900’s, however meat inspection is still a major concern. In 2016, food recalls in the United States peaked to an all-time high. In a way, this is good because government inspectors have learned to catch the problem before a huge outbreak occurs. However, there is still a large need for change in order for there to be less recalls on meat in the future. Compared to the early 1900’s, the quality of meat has improved majorly, however, there is always room for improvement.

In conclusion, since the early 1900’s there have been major improvements to benefit working conditions, protect animal welfare, and to improve the quality of meat being sold to consumers. Laws put into place by the FDA and USDA have benefited employees, animals, and consumers. Although conditions have improved tremendously since Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle, Eric Schlosser revealed in Fast Food Nation, that there is still room for some major improvements.

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201

Overview of “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

When do you think of fast food which restaurant comes to mind? Most of you thought of McDonald’s, wonder why? Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, goes in-depth about how famous fast-food chains began to be, such as Burger King, Carl’s Jr., and Wendy’s. Moreover, exclusive insights of how each food item is prepared, the ingredients used, and the merchandise that makes you coming back for more. You are what you eat, so what are you? Fast Food Nation is written by an investigative journalist Eric Schlosser, and it was published in 2001. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a publishing company that helps Eric Schlossler published his first book Fast Food Nation, which encouraged to start a revolution in how Americans think about what they eat. I believe that this book was targeted for general readers because the book describes the local and global influence of the United States’ fast food industry and how American eating and food-production patterns have changed since World War Two.

Eric Schlossler is an award-winning journalist and author known for investigative journalism. Eric Schlossler was born in Manhattan, New York; he spent his childhood there and in Los Angeles, California. Eric Schlossler is an Author, Journalist, Film director, Film Producer, and Activist. Eric Schlossler graduated from Princeton University with a degree in American History. Eric Schlossler is known for his ground breaking-books, which reveal the secrets which influential government officials and bureaucracies don’t want you to know. Eric Schlosser’s major achievement was his first book, Fast Food Nations. Schlossler was asked to write an article looking at America through fast food in 1997 by Rolling Stone. Schlossler spent nearly three years researching about the fast-food industry from slaughterhouses to packing plants that turn out the burgers to the minimum-wage workers who cook them to the television commercials that attract children to eat them with the bait of cheap toys and colorful playgrounds. Fast Food Nation of America started as a magazine article and turned out to be one of the world’s bestseller. Yes, I believe that Eric Schlossler is qualified to talk about this topic because this book has several good points to it and many of which I had never thought of before. The points he talks about in the book led behind the scenes and helped to expose the problems and issues with the fast-food industry as well as revealing the dirty little secrets that get people thinking. The author intended to convince readers that he viewed the emerging fast-food industry as a threat to independent businesses. In my own words, the author’s thesis meant that the fast-food industry is going to be a threat moving forward due to the economy dominated by giant corporations as a homogenizing influence on American Life.

‘Fast Food Nation,’ by Eric Schlossler, begins by pointing out the after-war ascendance of fast food from Southern California, surveying the effect on individuals in the West by and large. The next half takes a gander at the item itself: where it is made what goes into it and who is mindfully Mentioning a progression of objective facts about McDonald’s that he has obtained over time. Such as, the organization works around 28,000 eateries around the globe. It’s the United States, the largest buyer of beef and potatoes, and the number one proprietor of retail property. The organization is one of the nation’s best toy merchants and its biggest private administrator of play areas. The McDonald’s image is the most acclaimed and the most intensely advanced on the planet. ‘The Golden Arches,’ Schlosser proclaims, ‘are presently more generally perceived than the Christian cross.’ obviously,

McDonald’s isn’t the only one. ‘The entire experience of purchasing fast food,’ he composes, ‘has turned out to be so standard, so altogether unexceptional and ordinary, that it is currently underestimated, such as brushing your teeth or ceasing for a red light.’

Yet, Schlosser, a journalist for The Atlantic Monthly, wrote the book to reveal to the reader, this is not as it ought to be. With this book, Schlosser’s mission, created from articles composed for Rolling Stone, is to compel his readers to stop and ponder about the consequences of McDonald’s and its kind (and, progressively, worldwide) – to mull over ‘the dim side of the all-American supper. There are many major themes throughout the book, one’s one diet, nutrition, and food Safety and greed, corporations, and ‘The Bottom Line’ relate heavily to what we have discussed in the lecture.

As I noted earlier in the text, Schlosser takes note of how fast food was initially an idea having a place with a specific place, Southern California, which was the focal point of auto culture in America quickly after the Second World War. We touched base on this in the lecture when we discussed trade policy. The farm economy began to overproduce in alignment with the increased vehicles and the uprising of pesticides and chemical use. Both the trade policy discussion and the book are in agreeance that post-war the economy took a turn, and power began to shift from the farmer, and ‘regional businesses became a fast food industry, a major component of the American economy.’ In fact, the NAFTA lecture explains as well the negative effects of the large corruption hold on US agriculture. The increased production due to the increased demand by fast food industries caused a ripple effect. As the dumping of petroleum and pesticides into crops heighten, people become sick, produce production decreases, and gas prices rise. With this analysis alone, it is fair to say the Schlosser’s argument is supported by History, employees of McDonald’s and meat-processing industries, and others who have done the research as well.

Although, ‘Fast Food Nation’ is a successful factual and read it is motive driven and in return did receive some backlash from some articles, the fast-food industry itself, and the corporate meat market as well. It is described as an uncalled-for portrayal of the industry. Terrie Dort, leader of the National Council of Chain Restaurants, discharged this announcement about Schlosser and his book: ‘Tragically that Mr. Schlosser’s book, ‘Fast Food Nation,’ arranges the whole fast-food industry in such a negative light. The eatery organizations that contain the business give work to a huge number of specialists the nation over and offer purchasers a wide assortment in menu alternatives and costs. We protest the portrayal in this book.’ But one has to hear this a wonder is it not simply a biased opinion against strong sound facts.

Nevertheless, Schlosser’s most profound shock is coordinated not at fast-food administrators but rather at their partners in the meat industry and what he calls their longstanding protection from governmentally commanded nourishment security hones. ‘I have never experienced any business that works so deceptively and is so unrepentant,’ he states straight. It is understood the way the meat industry feels because of the way he describes them in the text. is striking portrayals of the disgusting conditions in the feedlots and slaughterhouses he went to, and additionally of the lives of the migrant laborers, have been contrasted with Upton Sinclair’s 1906 exemplary, ‘The Jungle.’ That book so repelled President Teddy Roosevelt that he, in the end, prodded Congress into passing the country’s, to begin with, though powerless, nourishment wellbeing enactment.

Schlosser contends that the meatpacking business’ underlying reaction in 1906 hasn’t changed considerably finished the century: ‘The industry has repeatedly denied that problems exist, impugned the motives of its critics, fought against federal oversight and sought to avoid any responsibility for outbreaks of food poisoning.’ While the meat-packaging industry is in outrage, Schlosser understands that the power lies in the consumer. This is because the meatpacking business has such solid partners in Congress, and customers may have a quicker, much more capable device: If they quit purchasing fast food, the industry will be compelled to change its ways.

Several qualities of the book and its mission to bring reform to the fast-food industry, but more importantly, the meat packaging production, reminds me of the 2004 documentary ‘Super Size Me’ by Morgan Spurlock. The film is about a Morgan Spurlock’s examination of the consequences of living only on McDonald’s fast food for a month straight in which he also, whenever asked by the cashier, had to super-size his meals. The documentary made a huge impact and shined a light of the negative effects of consuming fast food. In fact, McDonald’s removed its super-size portions from the meals shortly after the film aired. Spurlock and Schlosser are all in all getting people talking about an issue in America and globally.

Eric Schlosser’s bolting ‘Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal,’ gives a rich and point by point guide to the beginnings of the fast-food industry, and the move it made on our way of life, lifestyle and dietary patterns. Part history lesson and part guide to the future, Schlosser weaves a definite, wakeup call about sustenance, and the ventures we nourish, when we take a chomp of that quite tasty burger. Fast Food Nation is anything but difficult to peruse, and quick-paced, however, in the event that you cherish McDonald’s, be cautioned. Schlosser The book, at the very least, makes it challenging continuing eating fast food in happy numbness. Although, the underlining the message that ‘Fast Food Nation’ condemns is the free-advertise eagerness that has made saints of the burger fans Gates and Buffett, the last of whom has broadly been a noteworthy McDonald’s investor. The book, all in all, is a great read, and I look forward to reading some of his other work.

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302

Unhealthy America: Critiquing the Fast Food Nation

January 10, 2019 by Essay Writer

In Fast Food Nation, Erik Schlosser addresses the fast food business and the revolutionary impact it has had on the American food industry in the past few decades. Schlosser discusses how fast food was integrated into American society to such an extreme that it has spread to every corner of the nation. The reasoning behind why fast food has so speedily dominated the diet of the American people is not hard to distinguish – people want a meal that is both easy and cheap, and these qualities are the foundation that the fast food industry was built on. However, fast food does have its drawbacks, ranging from its unhealthy impact on the body to its contribution of erasure of regional differences across America. Throughout his novel, Schlosser writes about the impact fast food has had on America, primarily questioning why it has been so successful, how it has come to shape America, and what consequences it has inflicted upon society today.

While a variety of fast food businesses have succeeded, an even greater number of unknown chains failed along the way, ones like “Sandy’s, Carrol’s, Henry’s, Winky’s, and Mr. Fifteen’s,” along with many others (22). So what was the distinction between failure and success for a fast food chain? When fast food was first discovered, people rushed to create their own businesses, going so far as to create intricate machines that traversed a series of steps in order to produce just one burger. Ultimately, the fast food chains that triumphed over the multitude of others all had three major traits in common: uniformity, inexpensiveness, and efficiency. As work in America has become more demanding, workers have acquiesced more hours and effort for their jobs, leaving little to no time to prepare a meal at home. For overworked employees, parents, or students allotted only a meager amount of free time, their only concerns lay with how quick and inexpensive a meal is – not the consequences it may have on America in the future.

Over the past decades, fast food has become an inescapable part of American society, and is unavoidable even to the minority of Americans who do not eat it. When regarding the foundations that shape modern America, the first thought that comes to mind after “freedom” is often “McDonald’s.” Consequently, fast food is so deeply ingrained into society that it is considered normal – the American people do not think twice about the millions of fast food chains littering the country. Not often is it seen as a vilification to America, a facet of society that should not be, unless one comes to think about and consciously acknowledge it. In a way, it has come to mold not only American culture, but business; in the provided passage, Schlosser states that “The basic thinking behind fast food has become the operating system of today’s retail economy” (5). The domination of larger corporations in American business today, along with many other problems in modern society, can inevitably be traced back to the start (and success) of the fast food industry.

Above all, the most prolific feature of fast food is the negative impact it has had on America and its people. A vast majority of America’s problems stem from – or are a direct result of – the fast food industry. Most obviously, fast food contributes directly to the already high and rising obesity problem in America. However, the problems stemming from fast food are not limited to physical – fast food also erases regional differences among the country, or even any differences. Whereas before there may have been a higher level of diversity in cuisine across America, the rapid spread of fast food ensures a certain culinary conformity regardless of location. Another complication that arises from the fast food industry is its exclusion of smaller industries in the business; since people want familiar brands and companies, smaller businesses are often ignored in favor of the more known one. By not allowing lesser known businesses to acclimate into the industry, consumers will perpetually favor the larger, and more popular, corporation.

Ultimately, the influence of fast food on American society extends far beyond the takeout window. From media to culture, fast food can be found ubiquitously across America – and no matter where it may be, people are likely to buy it. It may be beneficial on an individual level, but as a whole, fast food has a detrimental impact on America and its’ people. Although there may never be a replacement for fast food, there are alternatives, such as buying snacks or simply stopping by healthier restaurants. However, one fact remains: if consumers are willing to buy, then the fast food industry’s influence over modern American society will only continue to grow.

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