Fast food nation essay

People must wonder how is it that a fast food company has so much customers. Advertising is the answer. Advertisers know just who to target and they research how too.

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Cattle and other livestock arrived by railroad. After the animals were slaughtered, they would be shipped to meat counters around the country and overseas. Among those changes, Schlosser explains, Iowa Beef Packers IBP changed the entire meatpacking industry by turning the business of slaughtering animals into an assembly line.

Meatpacking no longer requires skilled workers. Eric Schlosser says that many Americans spend more money on fast food then they do on cars and education. Schlosser 5 In Fast Food Nation. Companies selling cheap food and cheap goods are scattered across the nation in every state and town. From telling the start of the first fast food restaurants in America, to explaining how the food is made, Schlosser 's covers the whole history of the world wide food phenomenon.

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He was born in Manhattan, New York, but grew up in. Fast Food Nation, written by Eric Schlosser, includes topics about fast food chains impact on the community, jobs relating to fast food, and health issues. Fast Food Nation uses logic to appeal to the aspects of fast food chains by giving relatable examples from the devastating effects on the communities to the millions of jobs offered for our country. Moreover, fast food chains have contributed. Schlosser then visits Colorado Springs and investigates. However, not all industries have had significant advancements in today 's modern world.

For example, the food industry has been lacking in the basic necessities needed to sustain a safe, humane work environment, especially in the meat industry. Schlosser mainly addresses how unfit the conditions are for the workers, while Sinclair informs the reader of how.

After more than a year of painful surgery, he went back to work. He moved to another slaughterhouse in Colorado and helped Monfort by campaigning against attempts to set up a union having been told by the company that the union was responsible for shutting down slaughterhouses across the country. By giving him successively worse jobs, Monfort tried to send him a message that he should quit, but he didn't get it.

He was poisoned by chlorine while disinfecting a blood tank without safety clothing. He was hit by a train while driving a truck at night in the rain despite the fact that its headlights and windscreen-wipers didn't work. He saved a fellow worker from getting his head pulverised in a machine, and was given a certificate as a reward.

He broke his leg in a hole in the slaughterhouse floor. He shattered an ankle, and was given a job carrying heavy bags of knives up and down three flights of stairs. In December , he had a heart attack.

Fast Food Nation By Eric Schlosser

Soon afterwards, without telling him, Monfort took him off the payroll. Dobbins, who had worked for the company for 16 years, only found out he had been sacked when Monfort stopped accepting his health-plan cheques. Dobbins and his wife are ill and unemployed, the compensation payment is spent, and, as Schlosser finished his book, their health insurance was about to run out. In person, the late Ray Kroc - who went into partnership with the McDonald brothers and eventually bought them out - could be charming and funny, a champion salesman.

But it is in the nature of global capitalism that few customers ever get to meet the entrepreneur, and they are, to him, an ideal at best, only numbers at worst. Things seem clearer from a distance, and in the s Kroc flew over America in a Cessna, looking for schools to build restaurants near. Schoolchildren are fast food's client base, as well as providing a pool of cheap labour. Schlosser sees another similarity here between Kroc and Disney: both men were ahead of their time in the art of selling things to children.

For the companies, it pays to start early. Market research suggests that children often recognise a brand logo before they can recognise their own name. Much child-directed advertising aims to turn kids into fifth columnists within their families, nagging their parents to the checkout. There's the repetitive Pleading Nag "Oh please, please, please" ; the Persistent Nag, where the child doggedly lobbies for the prize for days on end; the aggressive, knowing Forceful Nag "You have to buy me those jeans, I'm your only daughter" ; the Demonstrative Nag, involving active protest in the form of public rage, tears, huffs; the Sugar-Coated Nag "I love you, Daddy.

Can we go to Pizza Hut? McNeal advocates a subtle approach: make children see the firm as a wise, benign parent-figure, he advises. McDonald's have taken this message to heart in their current ad shown on British children's TV in the mornings.

Book talk: Fast food nation the dark side of the all American meal

Ronald McDonald is wandering round a family home in full clown gear, telling the children that they should love their mother. The ad ends with Ronald McDonald cradling a baby in his arms. About a quarter of children in the US aged between two and five have televisions in their bedrooms. Since , when US legislators failed to ban TV advertising aimed at the under-sevens, resistance to the bombardment of children with consumer propaganda has collapsed on all fronts. In , a study in the American Journal of Dentistry for Children reported on the use of a range of baby-feeding bottles made by a firm called Munchkin.

The study showed that a significant number of parents were feeding their babies fizzy drinks from the bottles instead of milk. American teenage boys now drink twice as much fizz as milk, whereas twenty years ago it was the opposite.

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Many drink five cans a day, the equivalent of fifty teaspoons of sugar. Advertising in schools by soft-drink and fast-food companies is rampant. In , Mike Cameron, a senior student at Greenbrier High School in Georgia, was suspended after disrupting a stunt by schoolmates who were spelling out the word 'Coke' in the carpark for the delight of a dozen Coca-Cola executives on Coke in Education Day. He was wearing a T-shirt that said 'Pepsi'. The school principal said Cameron had got off lightly, with just one day's suspension.

Schlosser is not a wild-eyed eco-warrior, seeking to raze all fast-food outlets. He praises a small US hamburger chain called In-N-Out, where the workers are well paid and get full health benefits, the prices are at McDonald's levels, and the food is made from fresh ingredients. Schlosser's description of the way the industry uses teenagers - two thirds of US fast-food workers are under 20, and some as young as 15 work hour shifts - is tempered by the admission that most of the high-school kids he talked to seem to like it, and leave when they get fed up. It's fun shooting at people with guacamole guns in the kitchen at eleven o'clock at night, even though your course work, and in some cases your health, might have been screwed up by the fast-food work experience.

Schlosser acknowledges that some Americans slaving away out back in burger chains would probably not find work anywhere else.

He is angry, but he is not a militant vegetarian, an anarchist or a food snob, and the legislative solutions he proposes for his own country are menacing to the fast-food barons not because they are extreme but because they are reasonable. They include banning the advertisement of unhealthy food to children, an end to tax breaks for jobs which don't train workers, tighter enforcement of health and safety rules, better funding for public schools to enable them to replace income from corporate advertising, a compulsory slowing of slaughterhouse butchering lines, and a new food safety agency.

Right now the US Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for meat safety, does not have the power to order a meat distributor to recall tainted batches, no matter how many people fall ill. Above all, Schlosser urges us not to buy fast food as it is currently made and sold by the big chains. They are businessmen," he writes. The usefulness of the market, its effectiveness as a tool, cuts both ways. With George W Bush and his corporate cabinet in charge, regulatory change is likely only in favour of the deep-pocketed industry lobbyists, not the other way round.

McDonald's is the largest private employer in Brazil. In some towns in the former East Germany the McDonald's franchisees are the people who used to control food distribution in communist times.

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In , McDonald's opened a branch near Dachau. For a short time the restaurant distributed flyers in the carpark of the concentration-camp museum. The leaflets said: 'Welcome to Dachau, and welcome to McDonald's. In Britain, where McDonald's hired so many spies to gather evidence in its libel case against London Greenpeace that sometimes there were as many agents as activists at the organisation's meetings, the number of fast-food restaurants roughly doubled between and We eat more fast food than any other European country, and we are fatter than any other.

That may be a coincidence. It seems unlikely, although British food didn't exactly sparkle before McDonald's came along. It would be wrong to portray Schlosser's book as just another anti-McDonald's diatribe. It is deeper and broader than that. McDonald's itself is a transient phenomenon. It is dependent on fashion. McDonald's is not the point. Through its portrayal of the US fast-food chains and their suppliers - their exploitation of workers, their advertising aimed at children, their lobbying power, their pressure to standardise, automate, agglomerate and internationalise the growing and distribution of food - Fast-Food Nation is a tool for understanding the nature of corporate capitalism in the 21st century.

Multinational corporations are political entities, with the power to change lives, laws and landscapes. Voters and the media can, to an extent, call politicians to account, but the activities of corporations are as opaque as they were in the 19th century. They make propaganda, and call it advertising.

They tax citizens through high mark-ups in order to finance mergers, acquisitions and dividends.