Review: Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the AllAmerican Meal

Editorial Review - - Bernadette Davis

A few weeks ago my husband and I decided to give in to a Saturday night craving for hamburgers and fries. Sounds simple enough, with more than half a dozen fast food restaurants within 2 miles of our home. But we had to complicate things by wanting to get burgers from a nonchain, nonfranchise, locally owned restaurant. We mentally surveyed the corners and shopping centers in the area and couldn't ... Read full review

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good book, but u might want to wait for your food to digest. informative
medpark | Oct 8, 2013 |
2 1/2 stars: I didn't particularly like it or dislike it; mixed or no real interest
From the back cover: Fast food has hastened the malling of our landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelled American cultural imperialism abroad. That's a lengthy list of charges, but Eric Schlosser makes them stick with an artful mix of first rate reportage, wry wit, and careful reasoning.
Schlosser's myth-shattering survey stretches from California's subdivisions, where the business was born, to the industrial corridor along the New Jersey turnpike, where many of fast food's flavors are concocted. Along the way, he unearths a trove of fascinating, unsettling truths--from the unholy alliance between fast food and Hollywood to the seismic changes the industry has wrought on food production, popular culture and even real estate.
Quite a lot of grandiose terminology for a book that I found not even remotely shocking. Why does it surprise people that fast food workers aren't paid well? Working long hours? Generally underage? Or that conditions in slaughterhouses are appalling? (Ok, I've read The Jungle). Or that franchises are more likely to go under than independents? (in large part b/c there are no filters--franchises can be within blocks from each other, thus competing against each other).
I did find the first section of the book on the founding of the industry to be interesting. Karl Karcher and the McDonald brothers are covered, as are the founding of In-N-Out and Jack in the Box. I found one tidbit downright fascinating--- that McDonald's holds the most real estate in the world and actually considers itself to be in the real estate business--that by selling hamburgers, the franchisees are able to pay the mortgage.
Not surprising. Not bad. But not surprising, earth shattering, seismic, or any other hyperbolic phrase. ( )
PokPok | Sep 20, 2013 |
Very informative book that takes you back to the very start of fast food history ( )
hailsus | Aug 6, 2013 |
This book was eye-opening; I haven't thought about fast food the same way since, which was the point, I suppose! ( )
dukefan86 | May 29, 2013 |
Haven't eaten at a fast foodery since I read this book 10 years advice?...go vegetarian, local, as much as possible...oh, and watch the video 'Forks Over Knives' (AND 'Food, Inc.')... no one needs all the meat consumed in this country...I couldn't sleep at night if I went back to being a carnivore...and that wouldn't be from hunger...G. ( )
1 vote Gemma. | May 16, 2013 |
I've used excerpts of this book to supplement the nutrition unit I teach during my eighth grade health elective. The facts and true stories he shares provide an important perspective on our country's obsession with fast food. ( )
YvetteKolstad | May 1, 2013 |
Bullshit. And cowshit. And it hits not the fan but the mincing machine. Bon appetite, America! ( )
Lucy_Skywalker | Apr 27, 2013 |
I put this book on the "sustainability" shelf although it's more about UNsustainability. It's a while since I read it, but I do know that it helped me cut way down on my consumption of fast food! (Even before I saw Super Size Me!)
My real concern about fast food is what it may be doing to people in the lower socio-economic groups of our nation. In my previous life in the big city, I rode the bus a lot, and many of my fellow riders fell into this category. I overheard many conversations that showed the influence of fast-food advertising on them; as we'd pass billboards showing the latest sandwich from Burger King or MacDonald's there would be serious conversations about how they "had to get one of those." One could argue that fast food is perpetrating racial and economic genocide on certain populations by habituating them to

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