Fast Food Nation Summary & Study Guide

Eric Schlosser
This Study Guide consists of approximately 45 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Fast Food Nation.
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Fast Food Nation Summary & Study Guide Description

Fast Food Nation Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser.

Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal, is a thought-provoking, research-based account of the rise of the fast food industry and the resulting consequences of the drive for low-cost, rapidly prepared meals. Schlosser clearly demonstrates that this industry alone has been responsible for a revolution in the ways by which beef and poultry are grown, fattened, slaughtered, processed and packaged. Corporate greed and profit-driven executives have been responsible for the destruction of the meat cutters and packers union, the demise of the large urban meat-packers who employed those union workers, the destruction of formerly lovely western towns by the placement of huge feedlots and slaughterhouses with waste lagoons that pollute the air, the wholesale exploitation of poor, uneducated, non-English speaking workers, and the demise of the independent rancher who cannot compete with corporate-controlled ranches and feedlots and who is the victim of secret pricing by the four top meat processors. Further, these corporate giants, through sheer political power and lobbying, have been able to systematically dismantle any attempts to effectively police the meat processing industry, leaving the consumer vulnerable to a host of infectious diseases rampant in slaughterhouses across the country and the workers without proper health care and workmen's compensation.

The fast food industry itself is no stranger to greed and profit margins. With no concern for society's health, it advertises to the nation's young, using marketing techniques devised by psychological consultants and kids' focus groups. It fills consumers' stomachs with high fat, low-nutrition foods and sodas that sport 8-10 teaspoons of sugar each. It employs teenagers and uneducated adults with a minimum of training in proper food handling and cleanliness. It is responsible for the current epidemic of obesity in this country and the growing obesity in countries around the world that have embraced fast food as an American cultural ideal. Further, its lack of care for the appropriate handling of food, particularly meat, has resulted in a series of outbreaks of pathogen-caused illnesses and death.

To Schlosser, this industry is simply one example of large corporations run amuck, that is, setting themselves above the "rules" of responsible business practices and "buying" the political power to do so. He blames a series of Republican administrations for the wholesale indifference to the welfare of society in favor of campaign funding and for the perpetuation of a clearly right-wing belief that government should continue a "hands-off" policy toward business, sacrificing the health and safety of the public along with it.

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This section contains 412 words
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