Eric Schlosser explains the roots of the fast food industry, rising in the post World War II era and then the “Meat and Potatoes,” which unravels the specific details of the fast food industry. This includes the working conditions of the industry, the dangers of consuming meat, and the chemicals that they put into their products. The thesis of Fast Food Nation, in my opinion, is that the development of the fast food industry over the past decades has begun to shape our society way more than we may realize, and that it has been controlling our nation’s health, environment, and most importantly, its economy. There is not enough enforcement on our health and food regulations.
1) “Over the last three decades, fast food has infiltrated every nook and cranny of the American society. An industry that began with a handful of modest hot dog and hamburger stands in southern California has spread to every corner of the nation, selling a broad range of foods wherever paying customers may be found… In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2000 they spent more than $110 billion. Americans now spend more money on fast food than higher education, personal computers, computer software, and new cars” (Schlosser 3).
2) “On July 28, the USDA lab notified Gallegos that Lee Harding’s hamburger was contaminated with the same strand of E. coli 0157:H7” (Schlosser 194). 3) “… the federal government greatly reduced the enforcement of health and safety laws”(Schlosser 179).
● Dialectic Journal
1. I felt that this passage from Fast Food Nation evokes quite some emotion.
“Pull open the glass door, feel the rush of cool air, walk inside, get in line, and look around you, look at the kids working in the kitchen, at the customers in their seats, at the ads for the latest toys, study the backlit color photographs above the counter, think about where the food came from, about how and where it was made, about what is set in motion by every single fast food purchase, the ripple effect near and far, think about it. Then place your order. Or turn and walk out the door. It’s not too late. Even in this fast food nation, you can still have it your way” (Schlosser 269 & 270).
“Pull open the glass door, feel the rush of cool air, walk inside, get in line, and look around you… “ I feel that this quote relates to the “Sense of Place” concept. I mean, it has become such a cultural thing for us to walk in a fast food restaurant on a hot summer day, then walk into the two glass doors of Mcdonald’s, feel the refreshing rush of cool air hit your body. Get in line and order your Big Mac or ten piece chicken nugget meal. That has obviously become such a cultural thing for us here in the US.
2. “There is nothing inevitable about the fast food nation that surrounds us about its marketing strategies, labor policies, agricultural techniques, about its relentless drive for conformity and cheapness” (Schlosser 260).
I can relate this whole passage to the “Geographic Patterns” concept. I feel and have noticed in my fourteen years of being alive and of learning a vast variety of information, it has become a pattern for the fast food industry to con our society into buying their “pinkgoo”, knowing what is in the food just to make a little extra cash.
3. “In 1995, the American Academy of Pediatrics declared that ‘advertising directed at children is inherently deceptive and exploits children under eight years of age.’ The academy did not recommend a ban on such advertising because it seemed impractical and would infringe upon advertisers’ freedom of speech. Today the health risks faced by the nation’s children far outweigh the needs of its mass marketers” (Schlosser 262).
I can relate this passage to the “Impacts/Effects” concept. The impacts of advertising to children has gotten to the point where it’s effecting the well being of them. There is not a doubt that the health risks faced by our nation’s children outweigh the needs of mass marketers. Again, the process of advertising causes extreme health issues on our children is how you can relate this passage to the concept.
4. “Nobody in the United States is forced to buy fast food. The first step toward meaningful change is by far the easiest: stop buying it” (Schlosser 269). I can relate this passage to the “Geographic Patterns’ concept. Here in the United States of America, over the past decades it has become such a pattern for billions and billions of us to buy fast food once or twice, or even three times a day. Why can’t we just stop buying it? I mean, is it really that hard?
5. “When the first Mcdonald’s opened in East Germany, in December of 1990, the company was unsure how American food would be received there. On opening day the Mcdonald