Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

Title: Fast Food Nation

Author: Eric Schlosser

# pages: 270

Date published: 2001

Genre: non-fiction (sociology)

Challenge(s): 888 Challenge, Raved-About Reads Challenge, New Classics Challenge



Synopsis (from Barnes& Journalist Schlosser argues that the fast food industry has triggered the growth of malls in America's landscape, widened the gap between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelled American cultural imperialism abroad. He discusses facts about food production and preparation, the ingredients and taste-enhancers in the food, the chains' efforts to reel in young, susceptible consumers, and other unsettling facts.

Random Thoughts: Interesting book. I wouldn’t necessarily say I “enjoyed” Fast Food Nation—mostly, it pissed me off—but I thought it was well-researched and written. I had heard about Fast Food Nation for a long time before I picked it up and read it (it sat on my TBR shelf for a shameful amount of time), so I thought I had a good idea of what was going to be in the book, but I didn’t—not really. I expected a blanket condemnation of evil fast food restaurants (and lots of talk about how absolutely horrible the food is for you) and while there is a fair amount of that, the book talks about much more than just fast food restaurants. Its main thrust is what’s really in the food that we eat (the natural ingredients as well as the ones that are manufactured along the New Jersey Turnpike) and how that food gets from the ranch to our plate (in fast food restaurants and in our homes). Schlosser also discusses the effect fast food culture has had on workers—from farmers to the people standing behind the counter at your local fast food joint—and on the national landscape. All in all, a really fascinating read.

Let’s give people a variety of opinions! If you've reviewed this book (or a book by this author), leave me a link to your review in the comments and I'll link to your review, too!


samantha.1020 said...

I really need to read this book. I think I'll check it out from the library the next time that I'm there. Nice review!

beastmomma said...

I read this book a few years ago. While it took me awhile to get into it, I learned a lot.

joanna said...

I really loved reading this a few years ago - it opened my eyes to so many things! I still can't east fast food, which I guess is good... :-)

Kristi said...

I have to agree, Joanna. The funny thing was, before I read the book, I thought the part that was going to turn me off of fast food was going to be the information about the food itself (like how gross it was) but what's really put me off are the business practices. Go figure.