Fast Food Nation

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Book Report # 1
Fast Food Nation
1. Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. There are 270 pages including the epilogue. 2. Fast Food Nation is about unleashing the unsettling truths of the fast food industry. Eric Schlosser wanted to inform the American people about the reality of the fast food industry, in hopes to change people’s behaviors and awareness on what probably has had the biggest impact on American society. Our countries landscapes, the gap between the rich and the poor, horrible working conditions, the E coli and obesity epidemic are only a few areas that have been impacted. Schlosser wrote about how the fast food industry developed, who started them, their strategies, who and what had an impact on the industry, as well as which industries they had an impact on, and the improvements made to become more productive and profitable, all of which had a major impact on our nation and is starting to have that same impact on foreign countries. This book addresses some forms of bad corporate ethics and in terms of business and the social environment. For example Companies going as far as closing down an entire fast food restaurant or meatpacking plant to avoid the creation of unions is wrong. Also the treatment of workers in meatpacking plants is unacceptable. The story of Kenny Dobbins, an extremely loyal Monfort employee was injured at work, and on top of not paying his medical bills, Monfort tried to get rid of Kenny by making his work so unpleasant that he’d hopefully quit. As for Business and the Social Environment, the smell coming from IBP’s slaughterhouse one in particular in Dakota City, was so bad it violated the Clean Air Act because it forced people in the community to inhale toxic emissions. Approximately one ton of hydrogen sulfide was released into the air every day, causing respiratory problems and headaches at such high levels causing permanent damage to the nervous system. It is also very disturbing to know that meat contaminated with E coli or Salmonella is able to be distributed to schools. The USDA being aware of this continued to purchase thousands of tons of meat and distributed it to schools. These few examples are completely unethical and they do not help improve the social environment of the communities around them. It makes you wonder, are the government and the industries in America really concerned about you or your child’s safety? 3. I selected this book and this particular topic because I’ve heard that it had good reviews and that it was very interesting to read prior to this class. Also a personal goal of mine this year is to lose weight, and in order to do so another one of my goals was to stop eating fast food. I thought that after reading this book, it might help me lose interest in wanting to eat fast food, and it has. 4. Fast Food Nation is divided into two sections. First, “The American Way” begins with discussing Carl Karcher and the McDonald Brothers, Richard and Maurice McDonald, and how they started their very own fast food restaurants. Next, Schlosser informs us about Ray Kroc and Walt Disney’s rise to the top. How they started, their successes, their marketing and advertising strategies directed towards children, their complicated relationship with one another and the influence they had on politics. Another subsection in “The American Way” called “Behind the Counter” discusses how McDonalds perfected restaurant site selection. They used Colorado Springs as a test site for new types of restaurant technology, such as new machines and software designed to cut labor costs and serve their fast food even faster. The new software brought the “just in time” production into the fast food industry. The book investigates the life of a fast food employee. The fast food industry employees the highest rate of low wage workers, and “pays minimum wage to a higher proportion of its workers than any other American Industry”. The second...
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