Fast Food Nation

Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation: the Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2001.

When I first realized Fast Food Nation was on my Lust list I had but one burning question. I wondered if my own personal opinions about fast food establishments would be altered after reading Schlosser’s book. As a rule I don’t eat fast food, so if the answer ending up being yes, how then would my opinions be altered? Was it possible I would turn against my previous dietary sensibilities and try a Big Mac? I will readily admit I am two-faced and biased when it comes to “fast” food. Subway and Chipotles are considered “fast” establishments and yet I don’t put them in the same swamp as McD, BK or Wendy. I guess that’s because you can’t technically drive through Subway or Chipotle. You can’t order and eat without ever getting out of your car the way you can with the clown, the king and the kid.

From the very first chapter of Fast Food Nation I felt as though I had been slapped upside the head with a whole bunch of really disturbing facts about the country in which I reside. Schlosser doesn’t leave a single aspect of the fast food industry untouched or without scrutiny. To use a bad pun, he devours it all and then spits it back out. At us. From the historical humble beginnings of the hot dog cart to the corporate conglomerates of tomorrow Schlosser covers it all. It’s fascinating and yet distracting. Fast food Nation took too long to read because I kept rereading passages out loud to anyone who would listen.

Best thing I learned: Malling is a verb. To mall is to cover this great nation of ours with shopping malls. What’s that Natalie Merchant lyric about sprawling concrete? You get the point.

Wake up moments: “The whole experience if buying fast food has become so routine, so thoroughly unexceptional and mundane, that it is not taken for granted, like brushing your teeth or stopping for a read light” (p 3). Obviously Mr Schlosser hasn’t driven in my neck of the woods. Who stops for a red light?
Another wake up moment from the same page, “A nation’s diet can be more revealing than its art or literature” (p 3).

BookLust Twist: From More Book Lust in the chapter called “Guilt Inducing Books” (p 112). Read in April because April is national food month.



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