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Chew On This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food Hardcover – May 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 1110L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; First Edition edition (May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618710310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618710317
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #448,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

I had to read this book for school, and I'm glad I did.
LJ
This is a must read for all and a good companion book to Fast Food Nation.
G. W. Meador
I really enjoyed this book because it was an easy reader and interesting.
Judy A. Hallingstad

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Little Miss Cutey on May 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really like this book. I bought it (even though it's geared more to kids) because I am a fan of Fast Food Nation (can't wait till the movie comes out) and wanted to hear what he had to say this time around.
He's targeted 9-15 year olds mainly because American kids are so unhealthy and out of shape - he wanted to not tell them what not to eat, but in fact enlighten them about what they are actually eating. Because the stats are so high for being obese at age 35 if you were obese at 13, he wants to try to stop kids getting obese by age 13 in the first place.
He takes shots at the soda industry as well as fast food restaurants. There is a chapter dedicated to the sodas making kids fat/unhealthy.
1 out of 3 toys in America come from fast food restaurants he states, showing the 'marketing skills' of these chains to lure kids to want to eat there.
Chew On This is really designed to make people (especially the kids) aware of what they are buying and eating and awareness is key to the choices you make.
I loved this book. It's eye opening and interesting and does in fact make you chew on his thoughts. I think he's done a great job here. I hope this message sinks in to kids heads and make them reconsider what they would rather eat.
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Personally I think the authors book Fast Food Nation is better, even for kids ages ten and up, since kids can handle the contents which hold your attention.

The chapter on soda pop interesting since it spoke of Glennallen Alaska and other areas in Alaska where most kids have lost teeth or have rotting teeth because of beverage companies pushing Pepsi, Coke etc.

Also interesting was page 121 and the chapter titled The Bugs In Your Candy which is about color additives in processed foods like cochineal extract also known as carmine or carminic acid which is made from dead bodies of small bugs harvested mainly in Peru and the Canary Islands. The author notes these 'little bugs are collected, dried and ground into coloring additive which makes processed foods look pink, red or purple. Dannon yogurt gets its color from camine, as do many candies, frozen fruit bars, fruit fillings, and Ocean Spray pink grapefruit juice drink'.

This is especially troubling to those of us who strive to not eat animals of any kind. Being vegetarian or vegan to me means NO animal meat, bodies etc, and I detest companies who sneak animal bodies into food one should assume are safe.

So just remember this book is geared to young people, while I think his other book Fast Food Nation is geared to all ages.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca on April 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is an extremely well written and important book. It's not intended as a "sequel" to Fast Food Nation (another reviewer complained that the book didn't add much as a sequel). This is a REWRITE of Fast Food Nation for a YOUNG AUDIENCE -- something this country has needed desperately for a long, long time. Young people are now more obese than ever -- as a result, they're struggling with more health problems than any previous generation and setting themselves up for a lifetime battling diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer ... This book should be required reading for every child, teen and parent.
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43 of 50 people found the following review helpful By bensmomma on May 25, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I just saw Eric Schlosser speak tonight to a crowded room full of interested kids, so you can put away any notions you might get that kids aren't interested in learning more about what they eat or will be put off by "gross" pictures (there are one, maybe two of these in the whole book).

Let me say a little though about what Schlosser does NOT do in this book: he does not tell kids what to eat or not eat. He does not tell them they must stay away from fast-food restaurants at all times (he's not a vegetarian, actually, and he even mentions some responsible ones that he likes, like In-n-Out Burger). Instead, he tried to inform kids about what's in fast food and how fast-food restaurants are run, and encourages kids to make their OWN well-informed decisions.

Schlosser is an investigative journalist, and the book is intended as an expose of the fast-food industry, there's no question about it. A lot of what he says will make parents and kids feel pretty bad about their eating behavior - the terrible pollution problems caused by factory farms, the health problems caused by obesity, terrible dental problems caused by soda pop, etc. So, his opinion on the subject is clear but well-supported.

But before you decide whether you're interested in this book, I would like to suggest to readers of this book's reviews to do some of their own fact-checking. For example, by clicking on a reviewer's name on this page you can see how many other reviews he/she has written. If that person has never written about anything else, ask yourself WHY. Ask yourself who they work for. And then, as Mr. Schlosser would himself suggest, *draw your own conclusions.*
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44 of 54 people found the following review helpful By Invisigoth on May 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"Engine Joe Eagleson" notes that Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, the President of the American Council on Science and Health, has panned this book in an op-ed piece.

Google her name and look up "American Council on Science and Health" on Wikipedia. She is nothing more than a hired gun for corporate interests. Of course she's going to pan the book! Wikipedia notes that the ACSH receives "75 percent of [its] funding from the chemical and pharmaceutical industry."

Engine Joe: the fast-food industry is aiming its marketing arm directly at impressionable children. You and I know that moderation is key, but what about the five year old who watches 3 hours of fast-food advertising each week?

Secondly, does McDonald's really have commericals that encourage children to order a salad? What six-year old goes to Wendy's and orders the chili?.

To me, Mr Schlosser's book fills a missing gap of information for children. They receive advertising constantly and it's refreshing to give them a new viewpoint. As Mr Schlosser noted in a recent interview, the most troubling aspect of fast food for kids is "the eating habits it creates. Research shows that if children are obese by the age of 13, the odds are overwhelming that they will be as adults."
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