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Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal [FAST FOOD NATION] Unknown Binding

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,877 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • ASIN: B001SR9LYA
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,877 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,322,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

ERIC SCHLOSSER is the author of The New York Times bestsellers Fast Food Nation and Reefer Madness. His work has appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and The Nation.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I read this book knowing I was not going to learn any new and cheery anecdotes about how Ronald McDonald got his start..... instead I read this to solidify the notion that fast food was not a healthy choice. And boy, did this book give you reasons it is not, and I'm not just talking nutritional value here.
I found this book fascinating for the detail was great, well researched, and given to the reader straight. It was an eye opening book. Who knew that due to the meat industry being run just by a few corporations, essentially we are eating the same meat from the same feedlots and slaughter houses whether we buy it at a fast food chain or the local supermarket, and perhaps even the nicer restaurants. I also found some of the content appalling. Cattle are fed cats, dogs, other cows, even old newspaper! If this doesn't outrage you enough, just wait to you get to how these same meat conglomerates treat the low paid, low skilled employees of the slaughterhouses.
This book is insightful and unbelievable, and will make you question how the fast food giants sleep at night.
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Format: Paperback
Muckraker or hero? Schlosser has been called both by reviewers of this book. Personally, I think Schlosser has written a book that long-needed writing and confirms the truths we already knew but didn't want to admit: our comfort is killing us. This book isn't *just* about fast food and the perils of The Golden Starches: it is an indictment of our entire "gimme now, gimme cheap, gimme easy" culture. No one is exculpated: we are all in some fashion part and party of the McDonaldization of America.
Schlosser looks unblinkingly at the meat packing industry; the impact of the fast food industry on our environment, economy and social custom; our gradual and apparently inexorable return to the "Robber Baron" days. Much of what he writes is uncomfortable to read. I know I revisited just about every Big Mac I've ever eaten while reading this book. Having done so, I can tell you that I will never eat another Big Mac, Whopper, Biggie Fry, Chicken Bucket or Taco Grande again. Ever. Neither will my kid, until he can buy his own Super Size Bucket o' Crud with his own money and by his own choice. I hope he makes better choices than that.
As disturbing as the meat packing and food handling details are, the bit that resonates the most with me is the imperialist attitude of these corporate giants towards their workers. I was astonished to learn that these companies get tax breaks in the hundreds of millions of dollars under the aegis of "job training" when their goal is to have full automation in their kitchens. The only "job training" done in most of these places consists of knowing what button to push when a buzzer rings. Even basic literacy isn't a requirement for one of these jobs.
Fabricated food is supplanting whole food in our nation's diet.
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Format: Hardcover
The excerpt from this book on food additives which appeared in "The Atlantic" was by itself an incentive to read this book. However, it is far more comprehensive and fascinating. I was "pleased" to find this a thorough, scholarly, and also quite interesting overview of the history and impact of fast food upon American society.
I found myself continually reminded of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle", Ruth Ozeki's "My Year of Meats" and, more pleasantly, David Halberstam's "The Fifties". Schlosser provides a fascinating history of the fast food industry and food notes to relevant agricultural and related labor history and legislation. The irony of the later, however, is overpowering.
Clearly the issues of food safety are the most terrifying aspect of this book. I was left chilled by how particularly critical it is to protect my children from consuming fast food. However, one is left with an incredible sense of outrage, and impotence, about the recidivism of American corporate practices in terms of minimal fair labor practices and its lack of fundamental social conscience regarding consumer safety. It is too reminiscent of Sinclair's seminal work and ironically the impact of Schlosser will probably be the same -- to raise concern about food quality alone rather than the egregious exploitation of those in fast food production and service. It leaves you increasingly cynical about the corporate lack of business ethics, and failure of politicians to act as guardians of the common good.
This book will terrify, enrage, and depress you. It is not sensational; the validity of the basic facts is inescapable. The author has performed a great service to society -- regrettably, it seems unlikely to result in any call to action.
Comment 81 of 89 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
If you ever eat in fast food restaurants, you should read this book. It will fill your mind with issues that probably had not occurred to you before.
The fast food industry today is the service equivalent of the harshest environments of industrial America. The industry's size creates behemoths among its suppliers who can be even more aggressive in cost-cutting than are the employers of your neighboring teenagers. This book recounts the many dangers and hidden costs this industry imposes on everyone in our society, and suggests some ways to improve. The best defense, however, is a discerning consumer. Read this book to help become one.
Mr. Schlosser begins with the founding of the modern fast food companies, and traces them all back to Richard and Maurice McDonald's first hamburger parlor on E Street in San Bernardino, California. Carl Karcher (Carl's Jr.), Glenn Bell (Taco Bell), and the founder of Dunkin' Donuts all visited there and designed their stores to take advantage of those ideas about achieving higher throughput and consistency. Naturally, Ray Kroc later came along to refine the practices into the foundations of the modern McDonald's.
With success came market power, and abuses of that power. The book looks at several ills that have resulted. For example, the cost of meat needs to be as low as possible. This has led to dangerous conditions where many people are injured in the slaughter houses. His story of Kenny Dobbins at Montfort will chill you forever. The industry has also succeeded in getting inspection standards reduced so more harmful bacteria are making their way into your meal, and more people are getting sick. The old and the young are most likely to be harmed by the rapid growth of E. coli 0157:H7.
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