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80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lot to chew on :-()
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...
Published on May 6, 2006 by Little Miss Cutey

versus
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not nearly as good as Fast Food Nation
This book misses the charm and humour that made Fast Food Nation such an interesting read. This book is just a droning anti-corporate rant that takes itself far to seriously.
Published on October 7, 2009 by M. van Hattum


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80 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lot to chew on :-(), May 6, 2006
By 
Little Miss Cutey (Melbourne, Australia) - See all my reviews
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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79 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some of the same info as in Fast Food Nation but still interesting with new information, May 15, 2006
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Food Nation For Youngsters - An Important Book, April 17, 2006
By 
Rebecca (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Your kids need to know this stuff, May 25, 2006
By 
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Um, Engine Joe? You need some WD-40., May 10, 2006
By 
"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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Chew On This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food, August 7, 2006
By 
Nicole (traverse city, MI, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is a very informative book that my husband ended up reading first even though we bought it for our 12 year old son. As a result my husband wants to throw out half the food in our pantry!

It is pretty serious stuff and our 12 year old is slogging through it even though he does not want to hear why all of his favorite foods are so bad for him. Given that it is meant to be geared towards pre-teens I am a bit surprised that it is so long, but I am sure it would be hard to cut out any of the truth for fear of not getting the point across.

This book will hold the attention of strong pre-teen readers or kids who are intrinsically interested in the subject. I would love to see a comic type book with the same basic info for 8-12 year olds and then a picture book for 3-8.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book written to educate our younger generation about healthy eating choices!, May 4, 2006
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I possibly think that the reviewer who did the 2 star on this book totally missed that boat, he says that the prose seems to be "written for children to read". Bingo ... it IS INTENDED for the 9-13 year old audience. Fast Food Nation had a major impact on my life and changed the way my family ate, but it certainly was not somethig that my children would have understood or been interested in reading. Now with this important book, my daughter will also be able to understand why we should choose not to eat junk and fast food. Thank you Mr. Schlosser for caring enough about our younger generation to take on the fast food industry. I am sure they don't make it easy for you.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for smart kids, August 5, 2006
By 
Wendy Schroeder (Englewood, Co United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
It was written by the same man who wrote Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser. But this book is aimed at older children around the ages of 10 to 15. And it's wonderful! Anyone can read this and get a lot from it. There were tidbits in this book that wasn't in Fast Food Nation. Antidotes that are fascinating. Sure the writing isn't as great since the aim was children. It will get their attention and get them to think about their eating habits. I bet some will even become vegetarians. Reading about "poop" and "pee" in their hamburgers will gross them out and the stories of the factories where cows and chickens are slaughtered will touch their hearts.

I can imagine the fast food and soda industries calling this socialist propaganda. Well, if it is, I say let them hear another point of view. I just think Mr. Scholsser is concerned about the health of people in this country. All Corporate America cares about is money and to Hell with who gets hurt. It's not their responsibility, it's all "personal responsibility". But how can you make good decisions when you are bombarded with ads, toys and images that says fast food is "cool"? Just like the tobacco industries they want to get them while they are young. Except they don't even wait until they are teenagers, they want them "cradle to grave". And it will be an early grave for many.

Parents, read this book then give it to your children. Aunts and uncles, give your nieces and nephews a copy. Buy a copy for your neighbor's kid if you are friends with their parents. Stop obesity!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chew on This, June 26, 2006
I bought this book for my 14 year old daughter. She loved it and learned a lot from it. I think it's important for kids to know what their eating. Since then my husband & I have both read this book, although we didn't go out for fast food very often before we read this book, we really are very choosy where we go to eat now... Great book!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Richie's Picks: CHEW ON THIS, July 5, 2006
By 
"We are more popular than Jesus now."

--John Lennon, 1964

"The Golden Arches are now more widely recognized than the Christian cross."

--CHEW ON THIS!, 2006

"According to one survey, more than nine out of ten American kids know who Ronald McDonald is. There's only one make-believe character better-known than Ronald. His name is Santa Claus."

--CHEW ON THIS!, 2006

Such recognition and popularity might not be of concern if consuming the food that the clown is pushing were as healthy for kids as crunching on carrot sticks, jogging in the park, or dancing all night to Beatles' albums. But, as detailed in CHEW ON THIS!, a book for middle school audiences that is co-written by the author of FAST FOOD NATION, the fabrication, sale, and ingestion of the high-fat, high-calorie fare from McDonald's and their competitors have certainly proved to be detrimental to growing children, teen employees, factory-farmed animals, and to the resources and biosphere that are supposed to support our children's children's children.

There is little difference between the food and business practices of McDonald's and those of the vast majority of other fast food corporations examined in CHEW ON THIS! But it is evident here that McDonald's is the ten-ton gorilla of the industry, and in consuming this book it becomes quite clear that when it has been necessary for them to make changes in order to protect their trillion-dollar company image, McDonald's has more power than the US government in being able to force both suppliers and competitors to instantly do a one-eighty on the way in which things are done.

Speaking of images, CHEW ON THIS! reveals how so many kids and parents have gotten sucked into regularly eating and drinking such unhealthy stuff:

"During the course of a year, the typical American child watches more than 40,000 TV commercials. About 20,000 of those ads are for junk food: soda, candy, breakfast cereals, and fast food. That means children now see a junk-food ad every five minutes while watching TV--and see about three hours of junk-food ads every week. American kids aren't learning about food in the classroom. They're being told what to eat by the same junk-food ads repeating again and again."

"Most of the ads aimed at kids have one simple goal: getting kids to nag their parents. 'It's not just getting kids to whine,' a marketer once explained to Selling to Kids, 'it's giving them a specific reason to ask for the product.' Ads often try to turn children into little salespeople, since kids know their parents better than anyone else does. Advertisers want children to bug their parents and keep bugging them and bug them really well."

"Almost one out of every three new toys given to American kids each year comes from McDonald's or another fast food chain."

"Companies now plan cradle-to-grave advertising strategies, hoping that childhood fondness for a brand will lead to a lifetime of purchases. They have come to believe what Ray Kroc and Walt Disney realized long ago--that a person's 'brand loyalty' may begin as early as the age of two. Indeed, researchers have found that children can often recognize a company logo, like the Golden Arches, before they can recognize their own name."

But CHEW ON THIS! is far more than a rant. It is also an entertaining look at the evolution of the fast food industry over the past half century and how America's love affair with these corporations has long tied in with the trends that have shaped the housing, transportation, and economy of America. Not to mention how it has shaped the waistline of America:

"A study conducted by the federal government predicts that if American kids continue to become obese at the current rate, one out of every three children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes. Among African-American and Latino children, perhaps one out of every two will develop diabetes. The life of a ten-year-old child who has Type II diabetes is, on average, between seventeen and twenty-six years shorter than that of a healthy child."

Here in California, where the state government is now phasing in a ban on selling soda in public high schools (but stupidly ignores highly-sugared "sports drinks"), CHEW ON THIS! will be a great resource in support of the state's department of education's health and physical education frameworks. It is imperative that it be added to all middle school and high school library collections. Our children's lives depend on it.
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Chew On This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food
Chew On This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food by Charles Wilson (Paperback - April 23, 2007)
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