Fast Food Nation: The Dark Research Proposal

Length: 4 pages Sources: 2 Subject: Agriculture Type: Research Proposal Paper: #22853017 Related Topics: Eric Schlosser, Dominos Pizza, Sustainable Agriculture, Slaughterhouse Five
Excerpt from Research Proposal :

"While a handful of workers manage to rise up the corporate ladder, the vast majority lack full-time employment, receive no benefits, learn few skills" (Schlosser 6). The companies actually receive tax credits for hiring low-income workers although "in 1996 an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor concluded that 92% of these workers would have been hired by the companies anyway" (Schlosser 72).

"While the real value of the wages paid to restaurant workers has declined for the past three decades, the earnings of restaurant company executives have risen considerably" (Schlosser 73). This turns the concept of a company making an investment in its workforce on its head, and may be one reason for the resentful behavior of many fast food employees, as witnessed by the recent scandal of the YouTube video featuring disgruntled Dominos Pizza workers doing unsanitary things to their food. Poor treatment of workers within the industry is manifest at every link of the fast food supply chain -- particularly those in the meat packing and processing industry, where the workers are often illegal, and the work is extremely dangerous. Fast food workers run the risk of being held up by robbers when they work late, meat processing plant workers risk losing digits or even their lives.

Schlosser's portrayal of the life of a fast food employee immediately resonates with anyone who has worked at such an establishment or has a friend who has worked in a fast food franchise, although it could be added that many of his complaints would be true of working for any major American corporation, such as Wal-Mart. The anti-unionization activities he describes, while illegal and abhorrent, are also true of other major corporations. However, the impact upon the American -- in, fact the world -- diet is what makes the fast food industry so uniquely bad. The cultural logic of McDonald's might best be summed up as 'more is better.' "Workers at the counter are told to increase the size...

...

Bigger is better -- and salty, standardized, and sweet is better yet. Because of the ubiquity of fast food, people seek predictable experiences when it comes to their diet, and the desire for McDonald's becomes hard-wired into the individual's brain at childhood, given the corporation's canny marketing to children. Processed food may have become endemic to American life, but fast food restaurants make such food infinitely easier and more pleasant to consume -- there is no need to sit down with the family, even basic social skills are lost along with cooking skills. And while purchasing goods from Wal-Mart, given its labor practices may be ethically dubious, eating fast food robs the consumer of his or her health, through obesity and poor nutrition, as well as dollars.

Schlosser admits as much: "I do not mean to suggest that fast food is solely responsible for every social problem now haunting the United States. In some cases (such as the malling and sprawling of the West) the fast food industry has been a catalyst and a symptom of larger economic trends. In other cases (such as the rise of franchising and the spread of obesity) fast food has played a more central role" (Schlosser 9). Fast food robs the land, numbs the soul to worker abuses, and numbs the palate. Unsanitary and unhealthy food sold with toys is what people crave, rather than fresh produce or even fresh versions of these comfort foods. Thousands of calories can be consumed in minutes, behind the wheel of the car, and obesity makes it difficult for individuals to enjoy life, much less 'real food.' The health costs and the psychological costs of obesity, a condition facilitated by the fast food industry, are incalculable.…

Sources Used in Documents:

Schlosser admits as much: "I do not mean to suggest that fast food is solely responsible for every social problem now haunting the United States. In some cases (such as the malling and sprawling of the West) the fast food industry has been a catalyst and a symptom of larger economic trends. In other cases (such as the rise of franchising and the spread of obesity) fast food has played a more central role" (Schlosser 9). Fast food robs the land, numbs the soul to worker abuses, and numbs the palate. Unsanitary and unhealthy food sold with toys is what people crave, rather than fresh produce or even fresh versions of these comfort foods. Thousands of calories can be consumed in minutes, behind the wheel of the car, and obesity makes it difficult for individuals to enjoy life, much less 'real food.' The health costs and the psychological costs of obesity, a condition facilitated by the fast food industry, are incalculable.

Works Cite

Schlosser, Eric. Fast Food Nation. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2001.


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