Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fast Food Nation

by Eric Schlosser
Finished September 2010

My doctor suggested that I read this book after I told her that I eat a lot of fast food. It didn't deter me from eating it.

Some people say that the descriptions of slaughterhouses will put you off fast food. The part that made a biggest impact on me was the explanation of how the corporatization (is that a word) of America happened. It's pretty amazing that almost all of the large fast food chains were started by men with no college education. They all began as very small operations. It's kind of an inspiring story - the American Dream. But the small operations grew into huge corporations that squelch the little man. The exploitation of workers is more appalling to me than any bloody images of cows being slaughtered.

I wish I had the gumption to take a stand and eat local, fresh foods.

The book was good and very worth reading. About midway through, however, I became a little tired of the author's agenda. He made good and valid points, but I am sure he was selective with the presentation of the facts. The book has a definite liberal bias, which is to be expected. But I don't think that it was a necessary point of view. The corporate culture, the increase in processed food, the exploitation of workers have happened in liberal and conservative government administrations.

I don't know if Eric Schlosser has plans to update the book, but I think he should. It was written in 2002. I'd be interested in knowing if any of the statistics he gives have changed in eight years.

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