Thursday, March 25, 2010

Book Review: Fast Food Nation

Book Review: Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side Of The All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser

A week or so ago there was nothing on TV so Jobina and I looked for a DVD to pop in. We ended up watching Supersize Me. If you want something to help you reduce your fast food habits, I highly recommend it. One of the bonus features in this movie is an interview with Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation. The next day I picked up the book from my library and started reading it again.

There is no other way to put it; this book is shocking. On so many levels. Charting the history of fast food in the USA, it shows how the industrial processes of mass production have been applied to food. Spoiler: It's not always good.

Schlosser's book is easily readable, well researched, and is not over the top in it's anti-corporate views. It's chilling to know that due to the meat industry being run just by a few corporations, essentially we are eating the same meat from the same feedlots and slaughter houses whether we buy it at a fast food chain or the local supermarket, and perhaps even upscale restaurants. But there things that are even worse. Cattle are fed cats, dogs, other cows, even old newspaper! Not to mention feces - and lots of it. Yuck! If this doesn't outrage you enough, just wait to you get to how these same meat conglomerates treat the low paid, low skilled employees of the slaughterhouses. Working in a slaughterhouse is one of the most dangerous professions in North America with thousands of injuries reported every year.

How fast food corporations have evolved their food - adding taste to almost everything by using chemicals is unsettling at best. Advertising to children, tainted meat, chemically fabricated food, underpaid workers, the direct connect between obesity and fast food's rise to prominence, and the movement away from food regulation are all issues that the author touches on. I rate this book 4.8 ninja stars out of five - highly recommended. For a concise overview of the book, check out this link.


Moxymama said...

Have seen the documentary, but haven't read the book. Similarly, there is a documentary called Food, Inc. which tackles many of the same issues. Let's jsut say I couldn't eat for weeks after that and I haven't eaten meat since viewing that.

Mark said...

Thanks for the reminder about the DVD, I definitely want to see it and check out Food, Inc. as well. Wow, you haven't eaten meat since watching it - that's radical. I'm almost scared to watch it (although I'm trying to minimize my meat anyway).

Anonymous said...

as a farmer i want to see food inc, as well. I saw some snippets of it on the oscars and it showed a poultry farm; kinda made me curious...

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