7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
I want a triple cheeseburger + fries with a pizza chaser,
This review is from: Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (Paperback)
FAST FOOD NATION is one of those true life tales that's as hard to put down as an edge-of-your-seat thriller. It's Eric Schlosser's detailed and eminently readable portrait of the American fast food industry: its founders (most notably Ray Kroc and Carl Karcher), its Southern California evolution, marketing strategy (especially as it targets kids), corporate alliances (e.g. McDonald's with Disney Corporation), hiring and employment practices, franchising structure, food product design, flavor and color additives, food growers and processors, meat packers, food contamination, job-related injuries, union relations, regulatory agencies, and overseas operations. Everything you're drooling to know - and then some. It sounds dry, but isn't.
Did you know that Ray Kroc was so fastidious that he cleaned the holes in his mop wringer with a toothbrush? That the "smell" of strawberry results from the interaction of at least 350 different chemicals? That perfectly sliced french fries are formed by shooting the skinned spud from a high pressure water hose at 117 feet per second through a grid of blades? That none of the workers in McDonald's roughly 15,000 North American stores is represented by a union? Or that every day in the U.S. roughly 200,000 people are sickened by a foodborne disease, of which 900 are hospitalized and 14 die?
The dominant tone of Schlosser's narrative ranges from neutral to strongly censuring. By my count, only thrice did he write something clearly positive about a fast food giant: the good wages paid by the In 'n' Out chain, the improvements in beef procurement by Jack In the Box following a 1993 outbreak of E. coli contamination at several of its outlets, and the current effort by McDonald's to clean up its meat suppliers' acts following some very bad lawsuit-generated PR. (Of course, the cynic will say it's only self-serving damage control.) So, either the industry is truly in need of reform, or the author is a closet anti-Big Business activist. You must decide for yourself. In any case, FAST FOOD NATION didn't turn me against fast food. Why, right now I'm endeavoring to keep the "secret sauce" from dripping onto my keyboard, and I can hardly see the screen for the smears of fried chicken grease.