Fast Food Nation Summary – Health Issues

Author: Eric Schlosser

Short Summary
Fast Food Nation (2001) Summary explains some very dark facts about the fast-food industry everyone needs to know that the author Eric Schlosser has revealed. The book tells the readers how fast food is affecting our health and is responsible for the increase in poverty and crime rates. The book mainly focuses on how the Fast-Food Industry in America changed its Economic System.
fast food nation summary

“In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food; in 2000, they spent more than $110 billion. Americans now spend more money on fast food than on higher education, personal computers, computer software, or new cars. They spend more on fast food than on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos, and recorded music—combined.”
― Eric Schlosser

Detail Summary

The book Fast Food Nation written by Eric Schlosser, highlights the facts about the fast-food industry. From the emergence of fast-food companies after World War to how they are affecting public health, the author has described everything in his book.

The book tells us some really interesting facts about fast-food companies. Even though the book was written 15 years ago, we can still relate to it because nothing has changed till now. The author has also described what’s happening in farming, especially the meat production and processing industry throughout America.

Fast Food Nation Summary Key Points

The following are the key points of the book Fast Food Nation that reveals how badly fast food affects American people, especially children.

Fast Food Industry marketing targets kids

Have you ever noticed why all Fast-food chains have colorful franchises, special kids’ meals with toys, and a play area?

If not, let me tell you that it is all for the kids. Yes, the kids who are easy to attract. Or if we use the word manipulate that would be better. They irritate their parents until they give in and purchase it for them.

There’s little that can persuade a parent more than a child’s plea. They aggressively market to children through television advertisements featuring bright and colorful mascots, on-site playgrounds, and cross-promotional campaigns with toy companies and film studios.

This has proved to be a very effective marketing tactic of the Fast-Food industry to attract children since 1997 when McDonald’s added Teenie Beanie Baby with the happy meal, and it gave a mind-blowing response. Within 10 days of the promotion, they had 100 million Happy Meals, which is a huge number!!

McDonald’s marketing to youngsters has resulted in 90 percent of all children in the United States between the ages of three and nine visiting the restaurant at least once a month. But advertising has had a negative impact on children’s health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one-quarter of children in the United States are overweight or obese, a figure that has doubled since the 1970s.

Working in the meat processing industry has become dangerous

Next up in the Fast-Food Nation summary, we get to know the situation of meat processing firms. Moreover, Meatpacking operations (where animals slaughters and dismembers) have long been hazardous places to work. However, in the 1940s and 1950s, unions raised salaries, allowing workers to earn more than the typical middle-class pay.

Many slaughterhouses now rely on migrant labor. Immigrants who are poor and illiterate are willing to labor for less money and detest unions. Two out of every three employees at the Greeley factory are unable to communicate in English.

In their Mexico City headquarters, Iowa Beef Packers regularly recruits employees. They also run buses from Mexico to their operations in the United States. However, they claim they exclusively hire persons legally allowing working in the United States.

Every year, at least 33% of meatpacking employees are injured on the job. Slaughterhouse injuries can be particularly gruesome. Cuts are the most prevalent type. Workers frequently forces to work side by side, chopping meat with huge, sharp knives.

In fact, modern fast-food executives try to “deskill” jobs as much as possible. Machines designs with buzzers and timers to remove all human judgment from work.

How Fast food is affecting our Health

We are all aware of the fact that fast food helps in gaining weight. Obviously, unhealthy weight and obesity is the major issue that faces all around the world. Moreover, Food poisoning outbreaks have become significantly more dangerous as a result of modern food manufacturing.

Numerous forms of dangerous bacteria can cause illness or, in the worst-case scenario, death in humans. The majority of them are caused by contact with feces. Contamination in cattle slaughterhouses frequently occurs after the hide is removed or the intestines are removed.

The hide of a cow frequently contains mud and excrement residue. Some of it may contaminate the meat once it is removed. (Most of the time, this is done by a machine.) Better hygienic conditions at feedlots and slaughterhouses could considerably alleviate this problem.

Cows are now living in highly crowded and filthy feedlots, often standing in their own feces. Another issue is that they give a lot of antibiotics, which encourages them to get sick. The meat can become infected when the intestines are sliced and taken out. Normally, this is done by hand. The contents of the cow’s stomach or colon can flow out onto the meat if a cutting error is made.

An IBP worker warned Schlosser that 1 out of every 200 cattle he gutted would have some spillage. When the line speed is quicker, the likelihood of these errors increases dramatically. Worse, the cattle that follow may get infected as well.

Who would I recommend Fast Food Nation Summary to?

Fast Food Nation summary highly recommends to teenagers who love junk and can’t survive without eating twice a week. Moreover, the parents who get melted when their child insists on getting Mcdonald’s need to read this book that it’s all brand’s strategies to attract children.

Fast Food Nation Summary - March 2022

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