Fast Food Nation

Title: Fast Food Nation
Author: Eric Schlosser
Pub: Harper Perennial; 201
Pages: 288
Genre: Non Fiction, Food, Health, Culture, Sociology

Allrighty then. You may gasp; I know that I am perhaps *the* last individual in the book world who has read this book, if you initially planned on reading it. Which I did. This has been on my TBR list for-EVER and purchased collecting dust for about half of that time. I don't know what caused the delay, but finally I had enough and picked up the darn book.

Now, peeps, as you must know this is an important book to read: human neglect, animal abuse, food disgust, it's all there. Researched and well written. Still, I was partly bored. But not because of this book. If you haven't read it and know little about factory farming, then you should definitely pick it up. Me? I was raised by a low-level PETA momma. One of our first bonding moments that I recall, when I knew I was growing up, was at a protest for animal rights.

You see, the meat industry is truly horrible. There are very few laws and they use the cheapest labor possible. People are injured and the corporations and government and everybody else turns the other way:
"At a National Beef plan in Liberal, Kansas, Homer Stuff climbed into a blood-collection tank to clean it, a filthy tank thirty feet high. Stull was overcome by hydrogen sulfide fumes. Two coworkers climbed into the tank and tried to rescue him. All three men died. Eight years earlier, Henry Wolf had been overcome by hydrogen sulfide fumes while cleaning the very same tank; Gary Sanders had tried to rescue him; both men died; and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) later fined National Beef for its negligence. The fine was $480 for each men's death." (178)
I mean really? REALLY? It's good to know that a person's life is worth $500. It's awful to hear the stories of factory workers who are maimed while at work but are to scared to report it because they don't want to lose their job.

Since I'm moving in a non sequitur manner, the beginning part of the book focuses how the large fast food chains became the conglomerate that they are. Schlosser does a really good job of getting a lot of information in bite sized, easily digestible thoughts. Had I not gone through a few years in college reading as many anti-establishment books (I still love you No Logo!) I would have been more shocked, I think. What can I say, I'm slightly jaded with what our country does behind close doors.

I do recommend this book. If you're like me and have continued putting it off, or unlike me and never had any intention. It's definitely the sorta book that should be assigned reading.

And finally, I watched the movie this book was based on long before I read the book. I highly recommend reading the book first, although the movie does do it justice.


  1. You've reminded me that I want both to read this book and see this movie. Have you read The Omnivore's Dilemma? I liked that one, particularly the first two sections. And I thought the documentary Food, Inc. was good, too.

  2. I "met" Schlosser when I watched Food Inc. recently. I really like his part in the documentary. I've read a TON on this topic, so I fear I'd be a little bored by the book since I'm probably familiar with most of the info, too.

  3. This has been on my tbr list forever, but haven't made it a priority. Looks like I need to!


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