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Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal [Kindle Edition]

Eric Schlosser
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,797 customer reviews)

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Book Description

New York Times Bestseller, 

 With a New Afterword

“Schlosser has a flair for dazzling scene-setting and an arsenal of startling facts . . . Fast Food Nation points the way but, to resurrect an old fast food slogan, the choice is yours.”—Los Angeles Times

In 2001, Fast Food Nation was published to critical acclaim and became an international bestseller. Eric Schlosser’s exposé revealed how the fast food industry has altered the landscape of America, widened the gap between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and transformed food production throughout the world. The book changed the way millions of people think about what they eat and helped to launch today’s food movement.

In a new afterword for this edition, Schlosser discusses the growing interest in local and organic food, the continued exploitation of poor workers by the food industry, and the need to ensure that every American has access to good, healthy, affordable food. Fast Food Nation is as relevant today as it was a decade ago. The book inspires readers to look beneath the surface of our food system, consider its impact on society and, most of all, think for themselves.

“As disturbing as it is irresistible . . . Exhaustively researched, frighteningly convincing . . . channeling the spirits of Upton Sinclair and Rachel Carson.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Schlosser shows how the fast food industry conquered both appetite and landscape.”—The New Yorker

Eric Schlosser is a contributing editor for the Atlantic and the author of Fast Food Nation, Reefer Madness, and Chew on This (with Charles Wilson).



Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

On any given day, one out of four Americans opts for a quick and cheap meal at a fast-food restaurant, without giving either its speed or its thriftiness a second thought. Fast food is so ubiquitous that it now seems as American, and harmless, as apple pie. But the industry's drive for consolidation, homogenization, and speed has radically transformed America's diet, landscape, economy, and workforce, often in insidiously destructive ways. Eric Schlosser, an award-winning journalist, opens his ambitious and ultimately devastating exposé with an introduction to the iconoclasts and high school dropouts, such as Harlan Sanders and the McDonald brothers, who first applied the principles of a factory assembly line to a commercial kitchen. Quickly, however, he moves behind the counter with the overworked and underpaid teenage workers, onto the factory farms where the potatoes and beef are grown, and into the slaughterhouses run by giant meatpacking corporations. Schlosser wants you to know why those French fries taste so good (with a visit to the world's largest flavor company) and "what really lurks between those sesame-seed buns." Eater beware: forget your concerns about cholesterol, there is--literally--feces in your meat.

Schlosser's investigation reaches its frightening peak in the meatpacking plants as he reveals the almost complete lack of federal oversight of a seemingly lawless industry. His searing portrayal of the industry is disturbingly similar to Upton Sinclair's The Jungle, written in 1906: nightmare working conditions, union busting, and unsanitary practices that introduce E. coli and other pathogens into restaurants, public schools, and homes. Almost as disturbing is his description of how the industry "both feeds and feeds off the young," insinuating itself into all aspects of children's lives, even the pages of their school books, while leaving them prone to obesity and disease. Fortunately, Schlosser offers some eminently practical remedies. "Eating in the United States should no longer be a form of high-risk behavior," he writes. Where to begin? Ask yourself, is the true cost of having it "your way" really worth it? --Lesley Reed

From Publishers Weekly

Schlosser's incisive history of the development of American fast food indicts the industry for some shocking crimes against humanity, including systematically destroying the American diet and landscape, and undermining our values and our economy. The first part of the book details the postwar ascendance of fast food from Southern California, assessing the impact on people in the West in general. The second half looks at the product itself: where it is manufactured (in a handful of enormous factories), what goes into it (chemicals, feces) and who is responsible (monopolistic corporate executives). In harrowing detail, the book explains the process of beef slaughter and confirms almost every urban myth about what in fact "lurks between those sesame seed buns." Given the estimate that the typical American eats three hamburgers and four orders of french fries each week, and one in eight will work for McDonald's in the course of their lives, few are exempt from the insidious impact of fast food. Throughout, Schlosser fires these and a dozen other hair-raising statistical bullets into the heart of the matter. While cataloguing assorted evils with the tenacity and sharp eye of the best investigative journalist, he uncovers a cynical, dismissive attitude to food safety in the fast food industry and widespread circumvention of the government's efforts at regulation enacted after Upton Sinclair's similarly scathing novel exposed the meat-packing industry 100 years ago. By systematically dismantling the industry's various aspects, Schlosser establishes a seminal argument for true wrongs at the core of modern America. (Jan.) Forecast: This book will find a healthy, young audience; it's notable that the Rolling Stone article on which this book was based generated more reader mail than any other piece the magazine ran in the 1990s.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3224 KB
  • Print Length: 387 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0547750331
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (January 17, 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003G83UI2
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,129 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
321 of 352 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars McInteresting Look at Fast Food May 5, 2002
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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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The dark side, indeed March 7, 2002
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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98 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can still have it your way January 3, 2001
Format:Hardcover
A fascinating, important book for everyone. Fast Food Nation doesn't take easy shots at the fast food and beef industry, it shows the whole story, shifting back and forth betweeen intimate details of real people (a meat packing plant worker, a franchise owner, several cattle ranchers), and the larger, global markets created by the fast food restaurants. The book achieves a kind of epic flow to it, full of interesting and infuriating information. Splendid reading.
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76 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive, profound, discouraging and troubling April 17, 2001
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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Schlosser goes through great lengths to achieve and acquire the amount...
Adreas Vasquez
AP English
Guajardo
29 November 2014
Fast Food Nation
Fast Food Nation is a novel written to enlighten those who are fast food customers, or... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Adreas vasquez
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
very informative book.. slightly disturbing.
Published 7 days ago by Shawn
3.0 out of 5 stars Required text book
Required text book
Published 7 days ago by Lorraine Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars After ten years is it still the same ?
Initially the book started making me angry and vowing never to eat fast food again. But in the end what was more frustrating was the big corporations making billions and not caring... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Bettie Begay
3.0 out of 5 stars bit long winded
Very little to say with way to many similes.
Published 10 days ago by Rachelle Lorenz
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Now I am surely going to join a CSA (Community support agriculture) group and support my local farmers.
Published 11 days ago by Gail Harris
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read, especially if u have kids!
real eye opener.
Published 12 days ago by calogier giannetto
5.0 out of 5 stars 👍!!
Good book, interesting facts
Published 15 days ago by Greer Westerink
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great item!
Published 16 days ago by G
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally the TRUTH about Fast Food comes out (SPOILER ALERT)
There leaves a lot to be discussed after reading this book cover to cover. There were many supposed "secrets" that were revealed about the fast food industry from the way... Read more
Published 17 days ago by andy_rocks1991
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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.

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