Fast Food Nation By Eric Schlosser: The ‘Dark Side’ Of American Fast Food Industry
By 2001, the United States held the record for the highest rates of obesity in the world. Studies show that obesity has gradually increased because of the mass consumption of fast food products. The people of the US are known to have a great passion for fast-food. Fast Food Nation depicts the horrors and detriments that come with indulging in fast food. Schlosser’s main argument is the idea that all people should veer away from fast food, as the fast-food industry is extremely harmful and manipulative towards society. The fundamental theme that runs throughout the book demonstrates and opens up the mind of people by presenting how the fast-food industry is extremely detrimental.
Investigative journalist, Eric Schlosser, spent time digging into the idea of fast food together with many side effects that it entails. The book depicts the ‘dark side’ of all American fast food industries, and what goes on at the other end of the counter. The book specifically analyzes the effect the food has on a human body, the pros and cons of fast food, how the employees are treated, and why fast food is so popular and demanding. Fast Food Nation is a book that was written in an attempt to profoundly inform the public as to what goes on ‘behind the curtain’ of fast-food chains by bringing up real-life examples, scientific reasoning, the problems evolving from fast-food, and reasons to strive for change.
During the mid-1990s, Schlosser conducted some research about California’s strawberry industry, which was an investigative piece in an attempt to portray information about illegal immigrants and the unfair treatment of poor migrant workers. His research opened his mind and broadened his knowledge of what really goes on in the field, as opposed to what you see in the stores. His experience brought him many insights and a new approach to what happens behind the scenes. In the midst of his research, Schlosser decided to focus his research on the strawberry industry in California, rather than writing a piece that focuses on political issues and migrant workers.
A little while after his article was written, it reached the hands of many prolific editors and publishers. They reached out to Schlosser asking if he was interested in writing the same type of work on fast food. After completing the previous article, Schlosser knew that he was motivated to write more of them, but was hesitant on taking the job. At the time, even he ate at all the fast-food establishments, but he felt that it would be a good idea to do some research and let the majority of the world know what they are putting into their bodies. Schlosser decided to work with the editors at Rolling Stone, and together they compiled the work: Fast Food Nation.
In 2001, he felt that it was time to share his investigative theories and facts with the rest of the world. In the early 2000s, Eric came to the realization that almost everyone eats fast food. Walking around in the city, practically every other person is holding a Mcdonalds or Burger King bag. He processed that at least one-quarter of American adults eat fast food every day. ָAt the time, more and more food companies were being established, and more and more people were eating the food and working at the stores. Eric Schlosser finally felt the time was right to let people actually know what they’re consuming, and then let them make the choice if they would like to continue on the same path. After thoroughly going about his investigation, Eric realized there was a huge problem surfacing society.
In his book, he addresses many of the social issues at hand. To address the social predicament, Eric stated, “It seems that we all eat fast food. At least one-quarter of American adults eat fast food every day. And one out of every eight adults has worked at some time during his or her life. I think it's important that people know what they are eating and especially to know what their children are eating. After reading the book, people can decide if they want to continue eating fast food or not. I used to eat hamburgers before I wrote the book, but now I don't, but I still love French fries. ” - This shows how the majority of society eats fast-food and he wants to address them based on the issues at hand to help them gain knowledge. He also states,” This food tastes good is the salt, fat, and sugars added to it. So when you look at the rise in the obesity rate of people and the rise in the success of the fast-food chains they parallel each other. About 300,000 people die each year from being obese or overweight, this is second only to smoking. Fast food isn't the only reason people are gaining weight, but it contributes to it. ” Over here, Eric is stating a fact that most of the social public doesn’t know; that a large amount of consumption of fast food can be fatal.
After researching information on the topic, he thought it would be a good idea to question some primary sources regarding the issue. In conclusion to his interviews with a few fast-food workers, he determined that “the safety of the food seemed to be determined more by the personality of the manager on duty than by the written policies of the chain. “ Meaning, what made the food safe to eat or not was based on the person on duty and his nature. For instance, many workers would not eat anything at their restaurant unless they'd made it themselves. A Taco Bell employee said that food dropped on the floor was often picked up and served. An Arby's employee told him that one kitchen worker never washed his hands at work after doing engine repairs on his car. Last but not least, one of the most famous fast food establishments, several employees at the same McDonald's restaurant in Colorado Springs independently provided details about a cockroach infestation in the milk-shake machine and about armies of mice that urinated and defecated on hamburger rolls left out to thaw in the kitchen every night.
In spite of all the behind the scenes episodes, people still seem to keep walking into the money-making joints. The amount of people that walk into the facilities to eat the food is just absurd. For example, a Chik-Fil-A in Philadelphia completes around 900 transactions on its busiest day. However, in New York, the same store can rack up approximately 3,500 transactions on a busy day. Take this statistic into consideration, and now imagine how many people a day eat fast-food. No wonder why so many people are obese and suffering from extreme heart disease. People are overindulging in foods that are terribly unhealthy.
In his literary work, Schlosser tries to explain why people are so attached to fast-food. For starters, the name in itself serves as the first reason. The food is ready in minutes and you can eat it on the go. The prices of these foods are ridiculously cheap and affordable, while also tasting ‘good’ at the same time. Lastly, there are so many establishments in close proximity to the average person which makes it a convenient place to go to. The author clarifies and expounds on the fact that the positive aspect of fast-food, does not outweigh the negative. There are many more reasons why one should drift away from eating this food rather than drifting towards it.
Schlosser explains that this food tastes good because of the salt, fat, and sugars added to it. So when you look at the rise in the obesity rate of people and the rise in the success of the fast-food chains they parallel each other. About 300,000 people die each year from being obese or overweight, this is second only to smoking. Fast food isn't the only reason people are gaining weight, but it contributes to it. ” Over here, Eric is stating a fact that most of the social public doesn’t know; that a large amount of consumption of fast food can be fatal.