Research Of Comparative History Of Major Developments In Fast Food Nation And The Jungle
Fast Food Nation and The Jungle discuss the working conditions for workers in United States factories during the 1900’s. Both books talk about the shortcuts that were taken in the factory and in the fast food restaurants. Fast Food Nation mainly describes the employees working in the fast food restaurants and the demands for quick service. The Jungle mainly describes how meat packaging was not regulated and every part of the animal was packaged and sold for profit. No regulations were in place for wages or what meat could be packaged and sold at the time. Overtime however, laws have been put in place to regulate these things.
Fast Food Nation describes how young workers were hired at fast food restaurants and paid very little for what they did. The restaurants hired young people and immigrants and paid them very little and had them work very long hours. The idea of assembly lines was introduced in fast food restaurants to make products quicker with such high demand for speed. Fast food restaurants used the assembly line idea as a way to offer more jobs to people and pay even lower wages because the workload was less. They did this to make the most profit for the business. At the time, the labor union was not very strong and the workers did not fight back because they knew that the managers or bosses would find someone else to take their job leaving them without one. Now, the American Federation of Labor fights for the rights of workers and helps negotiate wages and safety conditions for workers. The AFL makes sure that employees are getting paid a reasonable wage for the work that they do and make sure they are not put in unsafe workplaces. In order to decrease the cost of products and increase the profits, many fast food restaurants turned to alternatives for oil and artificial flavoring. By using cheaper products, the restaurant was able to make a much higher profit than if they would have used the real, better ingredient. At the time there was no regulation of how these alternatives were being used and how much was being used. Now, however, the Food and Drug Administration requires you to bring to their attention what alternatives you would like to use in your products and how safe they actually are. The FDA then has to approve the use of the alternative before you start using it. The FDA looks at four things before approving the alternative. The four things they look at are, what makes up the alternative, how much is going to be put in the original product, the health effects of the alternative, and many other safety concerns and factors. If the alternative is approved to be used, there are different rules that still must be followed such as how much is used in the original product and it must appear on a label or somewhere to notify the consumer of what alternatives are in the product.
The Jungle follows the experiences of a family who moved from Lithuania to Chicago after they heard that the wages in factories in the United States were much higher than the wages they were earning in Lithuania. As the family moved to Chicago, they soon discovered that while the wages were higher, so was the price of living. The family moved soon bought a house to cut down on the cost of rent and ended up buying a run down house that was sold to them as a new house. Now, when selling a house, anything that is wrong with the house must be put on a separate legal document and both the seller and buyer are required to sign it before the official sale of the house. In order to maximize the profits for the meat packaging factory, every bit of the animal that was slaughtered was packaged and sold. Meat that was well past its expiration date was often packaged and sold also. At the time there was no regulation as to what was considered safe to sell and package and everything was used and sold. Now, however, there are regulations as to what package the meat has to be in to be sold and must have an expiration date on them. Certain materials are not allowed for packaging meat to reduce the risk of any chemicals from the packaging getting into the meat. At the time, with the high cost of living and little wages, many children would often go out and find jobs to help their family out. The children would usually find jobs working in factories for very little and had to deal with very long hours and poor working conditions. Now, the Fair Labor Standards Act sets an age at which children can get jobs. The minimum age to get a job is set at 14 but there are many regulations as to what kind of job they are allowed to get. For instance, someone who is 14 years old is not allowed to work in harmful conditions and can only work a set amount of hours a week. A set wage is also determined for children and they cannot be paid any less.
In Fast Food Nation and The Jungle, many corrupt things were happening with industrious cities. Low wages and poor working conditions were allowed due to laws that made those things okay and nobody felt as though if they fought back any changes would come. Today there are many regulations that must be followed in factories and in restaurants to ensure that the employees are as safe as possible and that the food customers are buying does not contain any unhealthy alternatives. The regulations have been put in place as a result of what happened in the 1900’s with the unsafe working conditions, low wages, and unhealthy things put into food that has been prepared. All the organizations have certain standards that have to be met before a product can be packaged and sold. Often times these organizations spot check factories to ensure that these regulations are being followed at all times.
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