"Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser
One doesn't need to be a Rhodes scholar to figure out that Eric Schlosser, in his book Fast Food Nation, has a bone to pick with the way America eats. The name of the book alone, carrying with it cultural baggage, reveals that he is not a fan of the great American hamburger. If you read the book, though, you will realize that he's not half as much against the french fries that often go with that burger, although he's no particular fan of those, either. Schlosser is very much against the fast-food culture, but perhaps more against the business practices that have allowed fast food to become a way of life. In the very beginning of the book, Schlosser tells the story of a Georgia high school that had a Coke Day, sponsored by Coca-Cola (which is headquartered in Atlanta). The principal suspended a student who wore a Pepsi shirt that day. Schlosser lays the blame at Coca-Cola's feet. However, that's a logical stretch. Schlosser does admit that schools need ways to beef up budgets and programs cut by local government. But he doesn't blame the principal for denying the student's right to choose his own clothing and express himself (a far greater issue) nearly as much as he blames Coca-Cola. Schlosser seems to say that a corporation is at fault for denying the student the right of free speech, when it was really the principal who reacted that way. In fact, through much of the book, Schlosser seems to take a stance opposite that of the judge in the McDonald's obesity lawsuit. Schlosser seems to say that all of the fat and diet-caused disease in the United States is the cause of corporations producing food rather than consumers choosing to eat it.
Schlosser does not use the health effects of food to convince readers that there is something wrong with the food industry, except at the end of the book when he discusses diseases caused by germs in the food, rather than the food itself. But failure to mention such things as...
Cited: Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation. Boston, New York: Houghton, Mifflin Company, 2000.
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