Fast Food Nation

February 11, 2009
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More by this author
How many times do you see an over weight person walking on the streets or walking in and out of a fast food restaurant? How many times do you see Ronald McDonald pop up on your TV screen to advertise their food products? Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation looks beyond the smiling Ronald McDonald, attempting to convince your hunger that their food products are necessary for your appetite, and goes into depth of what exactly is affecting society behind the counter.
It seems that Carl Karcher wasn't the only being drawn to the self-service restaurants, which continue to attract America today. Schlosser begins with the history of fast food restaurants and where it all began, and continues the novel by showing the progress and affects of these businesses today. Schlosser clearly gives details throughout the novel of what exactly draws Americans to these businesses. What would be a better method to lure people into their restaurants than directing their message towards children? Schlosser breaks it down by explaining to the reader that children are the key ingredients to a successful business. When the toys, the play gyms, and the happy meals fascinate a child, it causes children to convince adults to tag along with them in order to receive the entertainment they've desired. Not only that, but when markets provide their products to children at an early age, they grow up with the same routine of going to the fast food restaurants they went to as a kid. Another benefit that draws people in is the cheap prices, the speedy service, and the hours the restaurant stays open. When you're on the road and you want to reach your destination quick, stopping by a fast food restaurant saves you time and money. When you feel hungry at eleven o' clock at night but don't have anything in your pantry, Americans rely on Wendy's or Taco Bell to fulfill their needs. The author sends the message that in the nation's eyes, no matter what the situation is, fast food restaurants always seem more convenient than any other option. By sending this message at the beginning of the book, he does a great job of portraying fast food restaurants on the outside as brain washers to make people think the restaurants are looking out for their well being, and then he finally switches over to the inside, giving the reader a more gruesome look of what fast food restaurants really are like.
Not only does Schlosser explain the affects of advertisements used to entice society to their restaurants, but he also addresses the horrors of what exactly Americans are putting in their mouths. Sure, the outside looks good, but it is what's on the inside that people should actually be worried about. The author illustrates the terrors of E coli in the meat by providing the reader with facts of resulting sickness or even death. Schlosser even compares this poisoned meat to AIDS, giving the reader a more descriptive image of the deadly disease plaguing America. This research and factual evidence is used to make the reader think before they eat fast food and prevent them from eating a delicious luscious burger on the outside, which is actually packed with possibly poisoned meat on the inside.

Not only does the author challenge the persuasive advertisements with his factual evidence about the meat industry and the food, but he also uses another attempt from a dissimilar angle to turn heads away from fast food restaurants. This attempt includes the workers that slave away for minimum wage, which is unable to even give them enough money to earn a living. Fast food restaurants take advantage of unskilled workers, which include majority teenagers, and give them the lowest possible wages while the executives earn high wages that continue to increase throughout the year.

Just like McDonalds, Eric Schlosser draws Americans to read this book, and after your finished, it will cause people to think twice before putting any food substance in their body. He will be the reason Americans say no to fast food, and he will be the reason people question themselves before eating at a fast food restaurant. The author's facts and research strengthens his argument and makes his dispute even more persuasive then it already is. If the facts and the research don't touch the heart of Americans, or should I say the stomachs, then the real life examples of people who have experienced the poisoned meat or low wages are primary sources to convince the readers to turn down their craving. The only weakness I see in this book is the weakness of reader's stomachs churning as they examine the wonderfully written words Schlosser uses to alarm readers of their health, but by the end of the novel, they will with no doubt have the strength to say no to fast food.





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