Now the subject of a film by Richard Linklater, Eric Schlosser's explosive bestseller Fast Food Nation: What the All-American Meal is Doing to the World tells the story of our love affair with fast food.
Britain eats more fast food than any other country in Europe. It looks good, tastes good, and it's cheap. But the real cost never appears on the menu.
Eric Schlosser visits the lab that re-creates the smell of strawberries; examines the safety records of abattoirs; reveals why the fries really taste so good and what lurks between the sesame buns - and shows how fast food is transforming not only our diets but our world.
'Fast Food Nation has lifted the polystyrene lid on the global fast food industry ... and sparked a storm'
'Has wiped that smirk off the Happy Meal ... Thanks to this man, you'll never eat a burger again'
'Startling ... Junk food, we learn, is just that ... left this reader vowing never to set foot in one of those outlets again'
'This book tells you more than you really want to know when you're chomping on that hamburger ... Have a nice day? Listen - you should live so long'
Eric Schlosser is a correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly. His first book, Fast Food Nation, was a major international bestseller. His work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone and the Guardian. He has received a number of journalistic honours, including a National Magazine Award for an Atlantic Review article on the drug trade, which was later adapted into the book Reefer Madness.
Schlosser's incisive history of the development of American fast food indicts the industry for some shocking crimes against humanity, including systematically destroying the American diet and landscape, and undermining our values and our economy. The first part of the book details the postwar ascendance of fast food from Southern California, assessing the impact on people in the West in general. The second half looks at the product itself: where it is manufactured (in a handful of enormous factories), what goes into it (chemicals, feces) and who is responsible (monopolistic corporate executives). In harrowing detail, the book explains the process of beef slaughter and confirms almost every urban myth about what in fact "lurks between those sesame seed buns." Given the estimate that the typical American eats three hamburgers and four orders of french fries each week, and one in eight will work for McDonald's in the course of their lives, few are exempt from the insidious impact of fast food. Throughout, Schlosser fires these and a dozen other hair-raising statistical bullets into the heart of the matter. While cataloguing assorted evils with the tenacity and sharp eye of the best investigative journalist, he uncovers a cynical, dismissive attitude to food safety in the fast food industry and widespread circumvention of the government's efforts at regulation enacted after Upton Sinclair's similarly scathing novel exposed the meat-packing industry 100 years ago. By systematically dismantling the industry's various aspects, Schlosser establishes a seminal argument for true wrongs at the core of modern America.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Entertaining, eye-opening and thought provoking
For those that liked the movie Super Size Me, this book goes into greater detail and really puts the fast food industry under a microscope.
It is true that it is still one person's opinion, however this does not take away from the experience and research that has gone into the book. One chapter details the extent and capability of chemical flavourings put into the foods we see every day, making you realise that without these the food McDonalds provides is essentially a blank canvas.
Certainly one of my preferred reads.