Fast Food Nation Summary and Reaction

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Eric Schlosser wrote the book “Fast Food Nation” to prove that the fast food industry is solely responsible for many problems that affect today’s society. He begins his argument by explaining how the fast food industry came to be and who made it happen. Carl Karcher was the biggest starting pioneer of this new industry. After his marriage in 1939, he bought his first hot dog cart and “by the end of 1994, [he] owned 4 hot dog carts in Los Angeles.” His next fast food venture was his Drive-In Barbeque, but the competition was soon on. “Dozens of people were standing in line to buy bags of ‘McDonald’s Famous Hamburgers’ (Schlosser 18, 19).” Richard and “Mac” McDonald had their own business, but were tired of having to find new carhops and cooks. So they began to use today’s way of how fast food chains do business, assembly line style. This was the beginning of the rising power of the fast food industry.

Schlosser then briefly describes the lives of many other fast food pioneers such as William Rosenberg who opened his first “doughnut shop in 1948, later calling it Dunkin’ Donuts.” Glen Bell founded the restaurant chain Taco Bell, Keith Cramer founded Insta-Burger-King, Dave Thomas founded Wendy’s, and Thomas Monaghan opened the first Domino’s. And Harland Sanders was the famous man of them all with his opening of the world’s first Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant (Schlosser 22-23). Thanks to these men, America has her fast food.

In order to explain how fast food became so popular in American culture, Schlosser continues his book with the complicated relationship between Ray Kroc and Walt Disney and their rise to fame. “Ray Kroc took the McDonald brothers’ Speedee Service System and spread it nationwide, creating a fast food empire (Schlosser 34).” Walt Disney created a fantasy world that fulfilled the American child’s dreams. Their great success was their uncanny ability of marketing their products to children. Even though Walt Disney’s...
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