Essay: Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

Pages: 2 (648 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Agriculture  ·  Buy This Paper

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser is a muckraking expose of the fast food industry in America. The first American purveyors of fast food like Ray Kroc may have been innovators, but McDonald's and other major fast food companies are now representatives of a powerful, corporate establishment. Fast food was designed to be eaten quickly, in a car, and cheaply. The cheapness of fast food comes at a high price. Schlosser wrote his book to raise awareness about the reality behind the All-American meal. Despite the fact that so many people eat fast food, "they rarely consider where this food came from, how it was made, what it is doing to the community around them" (Schlosser 10). Fast food is often used to represent the positive aspects of capitalism -- "in town after town statues of Lenin have come down, and statues of Ronald McDonald have gone up" but Schlosser says that the exploitation of workers, the cruelty shown to animals and the environment and the unhealthy final product make the fast food industry an example of capitalism at its very worst (Schlosser 249).

Throughout Fast Food Nation Schlosser uses anecdotes to illustrate his central points, such as the unhealthy nature of fast food. The typical fast food meal is mostly cheap starch, and sold on the basis of its quantity not quality. When it was first noticed that people were eating their small-size fries but feared going back for more, lest they look piggish, supersizing was born. Fast food is assembled, rather than cooked, and franchises are so mechanized there is no need for workers to be highly trained, enabling poorly-paid teenage, immigrant and part-time workers to staff the restaurants.

Conditions for workers may be bad, but workers are plentiful so they can be treated as disposable commodities. Schlosser speaks to workers at many such restaurants for the book, and all report similar conditions. Teens also report being pressured to work long hours… [END OF PREVIEW]

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