Twitter Tumblr FlickrFacebookContact me
Now Previous Articles Road Essays Author Title Source Age Genre Series Format Inclusivity LGBTA Portfolio

Recent posts

Month in review
Reviews:
The Bourne Ultimatum by Robert Ludlum
Castle in the Air by Diana Wynne Jones
Cathedral Cats by Richard Surman
Civil Wars by David Moats
A Constellation of Cats edited by Denise Little
Day of Reckoning by Jack Higgins
A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore
Doctor Who: The Myth Makers by Donald Cotton
Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
The Haunted Planet by D.J. Arneson
The Last Girls by Lee Smith
The Locket by Richard Paul Evans
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick
Scooby-Doo and the Haunted Doghouse by Horace J Elias
A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madelene L'Engle
Whispers by Dean Koontz
Wild Crimes by Dana Stabenow
A Year by the Sea by Joan Anderson

Miscellaneous:
Almost Ready for Harriet
Blankets Back on the Bed
A Busy Month of Guests
A Crib for Harriet
An Early Birthday Party
Getting Ready for Harriet
Good News for Sean's School
Inspired by...
No More Non-Stress Tests
One Last Ultrasound
That Darned Sock
Urban Settings

Previous month

Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8


Comments for Fast Food Nation

Fast Food NationFast Food Nation: 08/15/06

So many of my BookCrossing friends had read and raved about this close up look at the American fast food industry that I felt it was time to read it myself. I've actually had this copy for around a year, having gotten it as a RABCK from another local BookCrosser.

I wasn't sure what to expect of the book having heard many reviewers say that they would never eat fast food again. While much of the book focuses on McDonald's, a chain I haven't eaten in for nearly twenty years (except twice when it was the only option), I figured a lot of the book would be covering information that neither surprised nor horrified me. While McDonald's is mentioned often, it's mostly in relation to the Speedee Service System which brought the assembly line into the restaurant industry (if one can can call McDonald's a restaurant).

Here is my BookCrossing review:

Fast Food Nation is an interesting cross between history, essay and social realism. It starts as a straight forward history of the major players in the early years of the fast food industry: Carl Karcher, the McDonald Brothers, et al. Starting with Chapter 5: "Why the Fries Taste Good" the book begins its hard look at the industry as it was in the late 1990s. The inclusion of "beef flavor" in the McDonald's fries has had a backlash against the company since the publication of the book and in the appendix, Schlosser covers some of that. The two most hard-hitting chapters are chapters 8 and 9: "The Most Dangerous Job" and "What's in the Meat" where Schlosser looks at what has become of the meat packing industry since the time that Sinclair wrote The Jungle (a novel I highly recommend to anyone who hasn't read it). Don't stop reading at the close of Chapter 10. The book doesn't really close until the Epilogue and Afterword.

The most common response I've heard from readers of Fast Food Nation is a combination of shock and repulsion. Coming to this book knowing quite a bit about how the industry works (or doesn't), I didn't find myself either shocked or repulsed. I did however find myself saddened at the chapter on food contamination ("What's in the Meat") at the deaths of those little children.

As a parent of a 4 year old (and soon to be born infant), I have been keeping my son away from most fast food. He's never had a hamburger, doesn't especially like french fries and hates soda. As Schlosser states near the close of the book, the fast food industry isn't evil; it's a business. Change will come more quickly when consumer demands it. Yes, advertising is aimed at children but parents still can control what their children see and eat.



Steps: 10000