Critical Book Review - Fast Food Nation

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Fast food. It is definitely fast, and that is seen as a positive in most people’s eyes. It is convenient, cheap, and the average American is willing to accept it as food. What’s not to love, right? In his informational book, Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser promises to tell the dark side of the all-American meal. And he keeps his promise. Schlosser may not be the first to write about the subject, but he presents a thorough, easy-to-read report. Given the insane amount of fast food eaten by people throughout the country (and people all over the world), this is information that needs to be read by everyone. Schlosser's book covers much of fast food’s history and culture. He discusses how and why it developed, current labor practices, how the taste of food is manipulated, federal regulations, advertising, and health issues, among other things. "This is a book about fast food, the values it embodies, and the world it has made", Schlosser says. It is quite the contradiction: the fast food industry is continually fighting against government interference, such as labor laws and safety regulations, but over its history it has benefited enormously from government action. The industry gives the option of affordable food without even leaving your car, and provides employment to a huge number of people - but the food is terribly unhealthy, and the majority of the work requires very little skill, teaching the teenagers and immigrants who tend to work there very little.

The book is very jumbled, but Schlosser still paints a disturbing picture in the mind of the reader with gruesome details. He explains (the lack of) federal and state power pertaining to inspection and safety, which is frightening to say the least. As far as dangers to customers, Schlosser focuses on E. coli and salmonella infection. He also states that working conditions are often extremely dangerous, not to mention unpleasant. Wages are low, and labor laws are often disregarded, creating a very poor...
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