From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up An important addition to most libraries. Useful for health classes and nutrition units, it will also be an eye-opener for general readers who regularly indulge at the Golden Arches. An adaptation of Schlosser's Fast Food Nation (Houghton, 2001), Chew on This covers the history of the fast-food industry and delves into the agribusiness and animal husbandry methods that support it. From the 37-day life of the pre-McNugget chicken to the appallingly inhumane conditions of slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants, the author lays out the gruesome details behind the tasty burgers and sandwiches. Equally disturbing is his revelation of the way that the fast-food giants have studied childhood behavior and geared their commercials and free toy inclusions to hook the youngest consumers. The text is written in a lively, lay-out-the-facts manner. Occasional photographs add bits of visual interest, but the emphasis here is on the truth about soda pop and obesity, fries and lies. Schlosser is a crusader writing with an obviously strong purpose. While at times veering toward the inflammatory edge, he backs up and documents all of his points, ensuring that his insights will incite. Those seeking a book to balance this one should consider Tracy Brown Collins's Fast Food (Gale, 2004), a collection of 10 essays representing varied opinions about different aspects of this industry. Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS
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*Starred Review* Gr. 6-9. Including passages from Schlosser's best-selling adult book Fast Food Nation (2001) and other writings, the authors dish up a somewhat-less-stomach-churning look at the fast-food industry's growth, practices, and effects on public health. Folding in original interviews, recent statistics, and published research, along with such spicy taglines as "The Golden Arches are now more widely recognized than the Christian cross," they trace the hamburger's early years and the evolution of the McDonald's Corporation's revolutionary Speedee Service System. They follow with vivid tours through feedlots, abattoirs, and a chicken-processing plant to explore how fast food has achieved spectacular international success, particularly among an increasingly obese youth market, then round off with glimpses of Alice Waters' Edible Schoolyard initiative and other alternatives less likely to lead to gastric bypass surgery. Readers may not lose their appetites for McFood from this compelling study, but they will definitely come away less eager to get a McJob and more aware of the diet's attendant McMedical problems. Extensive endnotes, occasional photos. John Peters
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