Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal
29 journalers for this copy...
From the back cover:
Fast food has hastened the malling of our landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelled American cultural imperialism abroad. That's a lengthy list of charges, but Eric Schlosser makes them stick with an artful mix of first-rate reportage, wry wit, and careful reasoning.
Schlosser's myth-shattering survey stretches from California's subdivisions, where the business was born, to the industrial corridor along the New Jersey Turnpike, where many of the fast food's flavors are concocted. Along the way, he unearths a trove of fascinating, unsettling truths - from the unholy alliance between fast food and Hollywood to the seismic changes the industry has wrought in food production, popular culture, and even real estate.
I will be offering this book as a ray and will offer it to people who have it listed on their wishlist first.
I have decided to make this book into a ray. I PM'd all the people that had it on their Cliff1976 wishlist.
Here are a few guidelines for this ray so that things run smoothly.
I ask each person to make 3 journal entries on this book.
Please make a journal entry as soon as you recieve the book.
Next make a journal entry after you have read the book. Please include at least a few lines about what you thought about the book. If you have a favorite part include a small quote or if you have a least favorite part you may want to quote that. Even just general comments are better than nothing.
Last, please make a journal entry as soon as you mail the book to the next participant. (Please do not make Release Notes ... noone will get a journal entry alert for those and it makes it hard to track the ray and I am a believer that the release notes are for books that will be wild and this book has been tamed for the duration of the ray.) In addition please make 3 seperate journal entries because I do not get alerts when you edit an entry. I want to track the book the entire step of the way because this is my first ray and I am a bit overprotective.
Here is a list of participants in tentative shipping order.
ashley0722 USA (Oregon)
AngelKitty USA (Colorado)
mbmeadow USA (Michigan)
davitraka USA (Florida) No answer to PM's June 2005 - PM me if interested in getting added to the list later.
katalirob USA (Georgia)
BigBird2002 USA (Arizona) - asked to be skipped
bittermint USA (California)
busybooklover USA (California) - asked to be skipped
illinicheme USA (California) - asked to be skipped
meganh Australia - asked to be skipped
These are latecomers to the bookray list and I had forgotten the shipping preferences of the members participating so I asked that the next person willing to send this book on overseas feel free to do so.
November 2005 - This book was sent on to someone else and these two people have not yet got to read the book if there is anyone that is willing to post overseas I ask that you pass the book along to one of them.
I was particularly interested in the added chapter, with the comments from McDonalds regarding the information in the book and the look at the American government's lack of action regarding the fast food and agriculture business it supports. Would be very interested to see what Schlosser makes of the current 'healthier' MacDonalds food that is being sold in the UK at the moment.
Fascinating. Thanks to crrcookie for organising this.
I'm looking forward to this one - I'm expecting it to cause a few family "discussions" when the kids next want to go to MacDonalds! More when I've finished it, when I let you know whether it was what I'm expecting it to be.
Thanks for this!
Did it live up to my expectations? Yes, in that I expect going to McDonalds (or any other fast food restaurant) to become a bigger decision than it has been in the past. But that conclusion has been reached for different reasons to the ones I was expecting.
First, though, my favourite part - the bit talking about marketing fast food to kids, and talking about nags - there are apparently seven major categories of nag - pleading, persistent, forceful, demonstrative (this is the screaming tantrum!), sugar-coated, threatening and pity. Now when one of children start on me I tend to mutter musingly "that sounds like pleading with a touch of forceful". The research given in the book comments "All of these appeals and styles may be used in combination, but kids tend to stick to one or two of each that proves more effective ... for their own parents."
On the more serious side, what shocked me most about the book was the allegations about labour conditions. I'd love to know how the UK compares with the States on subjects like unions, and working hours. Medical cover isn't an issue here with our National Health Service, but I have heard rumours about clocking-on fiddles and I remember all the fuss a few years ago when the minimum wage was first introduced.
As to the healthy food - McDonalds over here has just started offering a salad option, but apparently the salad, with its dressing etc, contains more fat than a Big Mac! Which appears to back up the chain's claim that the salad isn't being introduced to satisfy the healthy food demands.
By the end of the book I was feeling quite depressed about man's inhumanity to man - I may be naive, but I'd finally figured out that this has nothing to do with food, or providing a service, but is purely about making money. But the Afterword did help reassure me that the possession of money/power can be a force for good, as McDonald's demands changes in standards the government was unable to force through successfully. The bit about mad cow disease struck home too, as one of the first victims of it used to sit next to me in class at school. Interesting to hear that all the claims that the US doesn't have BSE don't mention the fact that they very rarely went looking for it!
Nevertheless, I feel very clearly that if a small number of people become millionaires, their money has come from somewhere, and all too often it's coming from the pockets of the poorer people, widening the gap between the two groups. And when I went down town today I bought a loaf of bread from a small bakery - it may have been twice the price of the supermarket loaf, but it has four times the taste, and I felt I was helping the small business.
I have the next reader's address and will be posting this book this in an hour or so when the post office opens after lunch.
Thanks very much for the chance to read it :-)
Sent first class, so should arrive tomorrow.
Thank you so much crrcookie for beginning this ray... I am sorry I have held on to the book for so long, but I did enjoy it, and am very glad that I was able to read it. I have address details for the next member of the ray and will post the book this week.
I hope you enjoy the book!
Looking forward to getting started on it this weekend. I'll make another entry when I've read the book.
Mailed to the next person on the Bookray list - amatullah - in Rothesay, NB, Canada! Hope you enjoy it more than I did.
I liked that the book went over not just how unseemly the slaughter process can be (so sick of the gross-out factor: I don't know anyone who eats meat that doesn't realize it came from a living animal), but actual health risks
and the unethical business practices of both the chains and slaughterhouses, and the work conditions for those all along the chain. My husband and I are looking into organic meat (friends of the family own a ranch, and we are looking at their processing plant), since he doesn't like the idea of kosher (no blood allowed in the meat, much less spinal cords and other such bits). My husband's always been keen on the idea of supporting local businesses, and we are looking at being more so.
Right now, my husband is starting the book, as I promised him he could read it if he finished it before I get mbmeadow's address and make it to the post office (he's been granted a reprieve by a massive snowfall)
I found the book to be well-written and shocking. I guess I shouldn't have been so naive. I appreciated the detail and history Schlosser included to paint a more complete picture of every aspect of the fast food industry.
I have been a semi-vegetarian for many years, and recently became a full vegetarian. I haven't eaten fast food regularly in four or five years.
I was distressed by many parts of the book. Sometimes the mundane bits, like reconstituted refried beans, was enough. Reading about a person whose job was to cut cattle's arteries and being soaked in blood, horrible.
Reading about feces in the food, not encouraging. About the way workers are treated, terrible.
Pretty much, very few bright bits of this book. Schlosser does a good job in finding individuals to talk to. Like the guy who kept being injured while working for a slaughterhouse, before finally being put to pasture in his 40s.
There is some hope, if delivered in the hands of evil corporations themselves. Schlosser says that when chains put pressure on their suppliers, change happens rapidly. More pressure from consumers is in order.
I was also disgusted, but not surpised by, the ineffectiveness of any regulating governmental authority, driven in major part by lobbying power. Feeding possibly contaminated food to children?
This book has probably had the effect of opening a lot of eyes. I hope it'll be enough. But I'm also cynical enough to know better.
I have PMd the next person on the list, but the profile says that this person doesn't have computer access any more and is willing to be skipped if necessary.
Sadly, I didn't get a chance to read it. Bigbird2002 asked to be skipped, so I'm sending it to bittermint.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Let me try and explain what a “Ray It Forward” is. More or less it is the lazy way for me to set up a common BookRay. Ordinarily a BookRay has a list of participants and it gets mailed down the line to the last person who does whatever they wish with the book. Well, I have no desire to maintain a list so this is what I figure. I’ll find the first person that wants this book and send it to them. I just ask that they pass the book along “BookRay” fashion when they are done with it.
If you are in possession of this book then please look for another BookCrosser to pass it to. Check the wish lists, the forums, a yahoo group, the BookRelay, or offer it at a meeting …whatever way you choose to pass it on is up to you. If it seems that no other BookCrossers want it then send it along its way as a wild release.
What are the advantages of Ray it Forward?
Time frame – I ask that you pass the book along in a couple months or so but because there is not a “waiting list” the time is a little more relaxed than a standard BookRay.
Shipping Preferences – Choose your own. If you need to post within your own country then do so. If you choose to send international that is great too. If postal costs are a problem right now then hand it to another BookCrosser at a meeting, release to an OBCZ, or just wild release the book.
Less Stress – I am trying very hard to let this book go but I do want it to travel … so try your best to help it along its way but I hope that the relaxed time frame and few restrictions will keep the stress level down about what to do with this book just as soon as you are finished with it.
Many thanks to Lil-Snoo for being willing to let me add this in after she already had the book. :)
I hope that many more people will get the chance to read this much wished for book.
Sending it off to Bulan-Purnama as a 'ray it forward'!
I am sending this out as a bookring. Please journal the book:
1) When receiving the book.
2) When finished with the book.
3) When sending the book on it's way.
Please PM the next person in line BEFORE sending the book on to make sure they are still interested in reading it. Please read through the book in a reasonable amount of time and keep it moving. This book has been traveling for a long time! Here is the current mailing order:
samutsari (Sri Lanka)
myastone (NY, USA)
collegelady (CA, USA)
Silverflame (UT, USA)
drummerc25 (OR, USA)
If you can not reach someone on the list, please give them one week to respond to PM's and then move on to the next in line. I will move the non-responders to the end of the list and we can try again later.
Enjoy the book! Though dry in places, it really is worth your time and thought!
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Sending to samutsari next week.
Sending this on to RockDg9 in Australia today!
I've studied a bit of McDonald's history and work culture of its restaurants so a lot of this content was already familiar to me. But some of it was new. It was very comprehensive.
I would have liked it to be a little less sentimental - like those cheesy current affairs shows who have the mentality "The audience aren't connecting emotionally ... lets put in a sad cowboy".
Am PMing StrangeEmily.
edit 20.11.07: I forgot to journal the book!
Now it is midnight but I'll do it tomorrow...
Fast Food has not been a meal choice of mine for a couple of years but now I am repulsed by the idea of it. This book has strengthened my beliefs in organic and local products. I really liked the section in the Epilogue where the organic, free-range, grain-fed rancher (his cows, not him!) talked about respecting vegetarians but arguing that cattle gets eaten no matter what - by people or by other animals. I think that for me, the choice will be to eat vegetarian when I'm at a restaurant but to buy organic meat for home cooking. We're not big meat eaters but I don't think I could easily remove it completely from our diet.
My husband says he will never step foot in a fast food restaurant again.
I'm going to buy this book and recommend it to my bookclub in January. My motto is: be informed. This book certainly helps.
I'm just waiting for the next address to send this on its way. Thanks again.
*edited January 6th to add that the book will be mailed tomorrow. It's packed up and ready to go!*
i'll have it on it's way as soon as I get myastone's addresss.
Note Feb 28,2008
Those never-ending winter storms got in the way and the book didn't get posted until today. Air mailed to myastone on Feb 28, 2008. Sorry for the delay.
Have collegelady's addy, will send shortly.
ETA: sent on Apr 3rd. Del Conf # 0306-0320-0002-4991-3729
I was able to contact Silverflame and this has been sent to her today.
Tracking number is 910280521307585687639
I will get started on it at the weekend after finishing my bookgroup book. I'm really excited to begin this, saw the film and was totally grossed how can't imagine how i will feel after digesting the book
I am so glad that this is different from the movie i was hoping for a more documenatry style of writing which i got. I find the movie enjoyable but at times becasue it is made into a story with characters it feels like fiction. This on the other hand was believable, i havn't set foot in a fast food restaurant in about 4 years so i can't say whether things like how dirty etc these places are but i can sure remember how bad they were.
I found the style of writing kept me gripped and most of the statements do remain in my mind i didn't find them getting lost at all ( i agree some of the statistics are a bit boring but it is expected).
I can believe most of what we are told in this and it is heart breaking and i totally agree with the author it is down to us as consumers to change how the fast food world works. It is defiantly a must read it is important to keep in touch with issues like these that do go on. If we are aware we can make our own moral judgements and actions. it isn't a preachy novel which some might expect but it certainly opens your eyes to what is going on.
Really easy to gobble down but much harder to digest as it leaves you with a sick feelig inside not only from how gross the food side is (most of us are aware of that) but alos how bad human beings are allowed to be treated.
posting to pussinbooks on tuesday.
Thankyou for sharing :)
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
sorry for posting later then stated.
have posted off today :)
again sorry for the delay
Now the book is off to SazzyMCH.
Thanks for sharing elizardbreath!
I've already PMed drummerc25 for his address and will send him the book as soon as he responds.
Thanks to everyone who participated and kept it moving along on this latest bookring. I am still deciding how I'd like to next release this book. Will update soon!
1. mrsboknows (SC)...on it's way here (will ship to Canada)
2. ladyhawked (NY)
3. NMReader (NM) (US ship only)...note: NMReader contacted me 5/28 & will be keeping it for awhile
3. elizardbreath (OR)
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Sending on another bookring...first to mrsboknows in SC. Enjoy!
elizardbreath, bless her heart, said it was ok if it took me longer to read then the standard amount of time but I doubted that she thought it would take me so long. Unfortunately, the last year was filled with too many rings/rays/spirals and too much work and other pieces of life. I want to thank elizardbreath for granting me the extra time to read this book.
I happened to unpack the box this was in last night. I have a few books that are unpacked that are set to go on to other participants in a ring/ray/spiral. Since I have found this book, I plan to read it concurrently with the books that have others waiting for them.
I will start reading tonight. It may take me a while to complete but I thought elizardbreath might like to know that I have located the book and have started reading.
I just finished reading about Ray Kroc and Walt Disney. I have just started reading about kids and advertising. I am learning a lot from this book (and I am enjoying)but so far the book hasn't been what I was expecting.
April 2: Last night I was reading about marketing in the schools and how the companies get to receive tax breaks for putting advertising out as educational aids. I don't have children and so this has been a little eye opening to me. I want to ask my siblings about whether this is going on in their kids' schools.
April 5: Accidentally left at home when I went to sister's for Easter.
April 12: I was in Nashville 4/7-4/9. I did not take this book with me. I have started reading about potatoes and JR Simplot.
April 13: I read about flavorings and colorings last night. It was quite interesting to learn how processing the food robs it of natural flavor and how we put flavor back into it. Also strange to hear how the FDA views "natural" vs "artificial" flavors. I am sorry I am not moving through this quicker.
April 14: Last night I read about a small rancher near Colorado Springs who has a couple streams on his property. One beautiful and well preserved and the other ruined by run-off from the city which is growing too fast.
April 15: Last night I was educated on what has happened to the US poultry business. In the 80s McDonald's realized that people in the US where eating more chicken and wanted the appearance of a healthier than hamburger food choice - herein was born the McNugget. It is frightening how the fast food industry has had such a major impact on agriculture. If I recall I am just at the halfway poing on this book
April 19: I spent the weekend at my sister's and didn't take this book with me. I am reading about slaughterhouses and how big companies like IBP blackmail states like NE into giving them huge tax breaks and then move anyway.
April 20: Last night I read about Kenny. It just about broke my heart. Here is a man who was very loyal to his employer and they treated him like dirt. Too often big coporations do things like this and then have the nerve to whine that employees aren't loyal. I hope to finish this book in the next couple days.
April 22: I am 11 pages from the end of the Afterward. I haven't sworn off meat or fast food (never been a big eater of fast food anyway) but I will be more selective and will probably even eat less of it.
I don't even know where to begin. The book shows things many of us would probably rather not think about.
I am very glad I read this book and it will probably affect my buying habits. I have avaoided Jack in the Box like the plague but maybe I shouldn't have been.
I may start paying the higher cost for organic grasslands beef.
Much to think about and decide what actions to take.
Thank you for including me and thank you for having so much patiences.
I will drop at the PO sometime between now (8AM 4/23/10) and tomorrow at noon).
Label/Receipt Number: 0309 3220 0001 8477 1926
Class: Package Services
Service(s): Delivery Confirmation™
Your item was delivered at 4:16 PM on April 30, 2010 in PENDLETON, OR 97801.
Delivered, April 30, 2010, 4:16 pm, PENDLETON, OR 97801
Arrival at Post Office, April 30, 2010, 6:47 am, PENDLETON, OR 97801
Processed through Sort Facility, April 29, 2010, 12:59 am, PORTLAND, OR 97208
Processed through Sort Facility, April 27, 2010, 9:46 pm, STERLING, VA 20166
Acceptance, April 27, 2010, 4:20 pm, HERNDON, VA 20170
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
To the finder of this book:
This book is gift, no strings attached, from me to you. You may keep it forever, pass it along to a friend, or release it into the wild to be found by someone else.
If you are new to BookCrossing, welcome! Enjoy the site, the book, and the BookCrossing community. I hope you'll join us...it's free! If you do, please consider using me, elizardbreath, as your referring member. You can even remain anonymous if you wish!
I hope you'll make a brief journal entry so all the previous and future readers can track this book's journey.
Thanks, and Happy BookCrossing! :)