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Chew On This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food Paperback – April 23, 2007
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Praised for being accessible, honest, humorous, fascinating, and alarming, Chew On This was also repeatedly referred to as a must-read for kids who regularly eat fast food. Having all the facts about fast food helps young people make healthy decisions about what they eat. Chew On This shows them that they can change the world by changing what they eat.
Chew on This also includes action steps, a discussion guide, and a new afterword by the authors.
- Format: Paperback
- Publication Date: 4/23/2007
- Pages: 318
- Reading Level: Age 12 and Up
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The authors begin with a brief history of the hamburger before moving on to how McDonald's grew from one restaurant into a worldwide franchise. And from there, how the fast food industry's demand for beef and chicken has completely changed the farming industry. Much of the focus is on McDonald's, which might seem extreme at some times, yet that franchise really was the impetus for many of the ways that fast food restaurants function today. The authors examine how processed foods are created, how too much fast food can negatively impact our bodies, how fast food workers are treated, and how our towns and cities have changed, all in the name of fast food. Some of the information is truly shocking, while other information is downright disheartening.
"Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know About Fast Food" is an eye-opening read that should be required reading for its target audience. As someone who works in the education field, I see just how unhealthy school lunches can be and the extent of the unhealthy eating habits many students have. I hope that those who read this book will think twice before they visit another fast food restaurant.
Considering the poor nutrition of this (TRULY) junk food passed off to the public, it's no wonder diabetes and obesity are such big issues.
We treat food like it doesn't impact our health in the U.S.A. We have passed on this myth to other countries, too.
Any place we sell this stuff, the people are negatively impacted.
I haven't eaten in a fast food place or drank soda in years. It always made me feel sick afterward. Now I know why.
However, this book IS for young readers, and it is informative and easy to read. My daughter learned a lot about processed food, and it was nice that she no longer needs to wonder why we do not let her eat the rubbish and highly processed "food" here. Brought her around to the side of eating well and why it matters.
My second feeling as I read this book was that the book was hastily put together from the information in the adult book. Ironically, I felt the information was sliced, diced, and pasted together something like processed food is put together. Not that what's here is fast food, but that not enough attention was paid to putting the contents together in the right way. Books for young people shouldn't be seen as watered down, simplified versions of adult books. They should be conceived of as their own thing and developed accordingly.
Even though Schlosser's intentions are far from humorous, I couldn't help laughing at the passages of "candy that tastes like barf" and "mountains of burning poop". As a teenager in the early 1980s, when I ate drumsticks and found any with broken bones, I'd torment my great-grandmother with taunts of "tortured chickens", based on a story which I'd once read in a popular tabloid magazine; therefore, it couldn't be true. However, after reading this book, I got a rude awakening: the prevailing method of slaughtering chickens was not just lurid tabloid sensationalism.
Schlosser does an excellent job of creating almost surreal imagery through his descriptions of gigantic cattle feedlots, potato processing factories, flavor-sampling institutes, and the like, and he gives an interesting history of how all this came to be. In that respect, not that much has changed since "the Jungle" was published a century ago.
Unfortunately, I still occasionally enjoy the flavor of McDonald's food once in a while... *sigh*