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Fast Food

Essay by 24  •  December 6, 2010  •  349 Words (2 Pages)  •  894 Views

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This book is divided into two sections, "The American Way," which interrogates the beginnings of the Fast Food Nation within the context of post-World War II America

"Meat and Potatoes," which examines the specific mechanizations of the fast-food industry, including the chemical flavoring of the food, the production of cattle and chickens, the working conditions of beef industry, the dangers of eating meat, and the global context of fast food as an American cultural export.

Fast Food Nation opens with discussion of Carl N. Karcher and the McDonalds brothers, examining their roles as pioneers of the fast-food industry in southern California. This discussion is followed by an examination of Ray Kroc and Walt Disney's complicated relationship as well as each man's rise to fame. This chapter also considers the intricate, profitable methods of advertising to children. Next, Schlosser visits Colorado Springs, CO and investigates the life and working conditions of the typical fast-food industry employee-- fast-food restaurants employ the highest rate of low-wage workers, have among the highest turnover rates, and pay minimum wage to a higher proportion of its employees than any other American industry.

The second section of the text begins with a discussion of the chemical components that make the food taste so good. Schlosser follows this with a discussion of the life of a typical rancher, considering the difficulties presented to the agriculture world in a new economy. Schlosser is perhaps most provocative when he critiques the meatpacking industry, which he tags as the most dangerous job in America. Moreover, the meat produced by slaughterhouses has become exponentially more hazardous since the centralization of the industry-- the way cattle are raised, slaughtered, and processed provides an ideal setting for E coli to spread. Additionally, working conditions continue to grow worse. In the final chapter, Schlosser

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