The fast food industry has been infused into the every nook and corner of American Society over the last three decades. The industry seen to have originated with a few modest hot dog and hamburger of Southern California have been perceived to have extended to every nook and corner of the nation, marketing an extensive range of food products to which affordable customers are found widely. Fast food is presently provided at restaurants and drive-through, at stadiums, airports, zoos, high schools, elementary schools and universities, on cruise ships, trains, and airplanes, at K-Marts, Wal-Marts, gas stations, and also at hospital cafeterias. As per an estimate the total expenditure of Americans on fast food during 1970 was about $6 billion. (Introduction: Fast Food Nation - The Dark Side of the All-American Meal)
The expenditure had a massive increase to about $110 billion in 2000. Americans presently perceive to have spent more money on Fast food in comparison to the total expenditure on movies, books, magazines, newspapers, videos and recorded music. The allurement of fast food begins with the pulling open of the glass door, feeling the flash of cool air, walking in, get online, preview the background color pamphlets above the counter, placing order, paying a few dollars, watching the teenagers in uniforms pushing various buttons and instantly taking a plastic tray containing food wrapped in colored paper and card board. The whole practice of purchasing fast food has become so common and mundane that it is presently similar to brushing the teeth and stopping at red light. It has become a social custom to an American similar to the small, rectangular, hand-held, frozen and reheated apple pie. (Introduction: Fast Food Nation - The Dark Side of the All-American Meal)
Eric Schlosser, a renowned journalist brought out his book Fast Food Nation: the Dark Side of the All-American Meal that has become popular instantaneously taking into consideration of the fact that a common American usually consumes at least three Hamburgers and four orders of French Fries every week. Schlosser intended to bring out the adverse impact of the fast food industry through his writings. (Rosenberg, Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser) The myth-shattering book reveals about the story of America and the obsession of the World with Fast food, ever since it's origin during 1950s in Southern California to the global achievement of a handful of burger and fried chicken chains. In a meticulously investigated and strengthened argument-based narration Eric Schlosser accesses the labs where scientists were engaged in recreation of the smell and taste of everything-from cooked meat to fresh strawberries; the interviews with workers at abattoirs reveal some of the worst safety conditions; narrates accurately where the meat arrives from and just why the fries taste good; and visualizes the way the fast food industry is progressing not only to our diet but also to our landscape, economy, workforce and culture. (You are what you eat. But do you really know what you're eating?)
Schlosser in his book reveals the values of incorporated in the fast food and the world it has created. The book reveals the fast food to be the revolutionary force in American life. The fast food is analyzed by Schlosser both as commodity and as a metaphor. The diet of the people that they consume depends upon the interaction of socio, economic and technological forces. The early Roman Republic could attain their food from its citizen-farmers; the Roman Empire, by deploying the slaves. The diet of the nation is found to be more enlightening in comparison to their art and literature. About 25% of the adult American population attends a fast food restaurant every day. Within a short span of time the fast food industry has revolutionized not only the American dieting pattern but also the landscape, economy, workforce and popular culture. (Introduction: Fast Food Nation - The Dark Side of the All-American Meal)
The fast food and its adverse effects have been taken to be inevitable, irrespective of the fact that it is taken twice a day, or being attempted to avoid it or have never taken a single bite. The impact of the inordinate growth of the fast food industry has entailed radical changes in the American Society. With the effects of inflationary trend the hourly wage of the average U.S. worker has enhanced in 1973 and then persistently decreased during the subsequent two and half years. During that time women began to join the workforce to a great extent, and sometimes influenced less by a feminist perspective than by a necessity to pay the bills. It is seen that about one-third of the American mothers along with their infant children were engaged outdoors during 1975. Presently the proportion is about two-thirds of the American women.
According to the Sociologists Cameron Lynne Macdonald and Carmen Sirianni the engagement of so many women into the workforce has profoundly enhanced the requirement of the kinds of services that housewives conventionally perform such as cooking, cleaning, and child care. During the previous generation about 75% of the expenditure of food items in United States was utilized on preparing meal at home. Presently about 50% of such money is spent on restaurant, especially in fast food restaurants. The Mc Donald's Corporation has emerged to be a powerful symbol of the service economy of America that has presently been liable for 90% of the new jobs of the nation. The McDonalds Corporation operated about one thousand restaurants during 1968. Presently, it is operating about twenty-eight thousand restaurants globally and starts about two thousand new restaurants every year. (Introduction: Fast Food Nation - The Dark Side of the All-American Meal)
One eighth of workers in the United States have at some point of time been engaged by McDonald Corporations. The Company engages about one million people every year, which is considered to be the highest in among any other American organizations, public or private. With such a scenario the McDonald is believed to be the largest buyer of the beef, pork, and potatoes and the second largest buyer of chicken. A major part of the expenditure of McDonald Corporation goes towards advertisement and marketing of the products and in absolute terms it is the highest in comparison to any other brand. As early as 1970s the farm activists Jim Hightower made cautious about the McDonaldization of the America. He perceived the growing trend of fast food industry as a threat to independent businesses, as a leap towards domination of the food economy by large scale corporations, and as a uniform effect on American culture.
In his publication of 1975 in Eat Your Heart Out, he revealed that larger is not better. The centralized purchasing decisions of the large restaurant chains and their demand for standardized products have accorded a handful corporations a never before magnitude of power over the food supply of the nation. Further, the profound effectiveness of the fast food industry has fostered other industries to adopt similar business methods. The basic idea behind fast food has become the operating system of retail economy presently eliminating small businesses, demolishing regional differences, and disseminating identical stores countrywide in line with self-replicating code. The impact of the fast food on the rural life of nation is seen in the potato fields and processing plants of Idaho, in their reach lands of Colorado Springs, in the feedlots and slaughter houses of the High Plains. The impact is profound in the rural life on its environment, its workers and its health.
The fast food chains have vast purchasing power and their requirement for a uniform product have encouraged basic changes in how the cattle are raised, slaughtered and processed into ground beef. Schlosser indicated that fast food is not solely liable for every social problem that is haunting United States at present. Hundreds of millions of people are presently purchasing fast food daily, of course without much thought unaware of the subtle and not so subtle ramifications of their purchases. Schlosser's book aims to make the public aware of the facts that lie behind the shiny, happy surface of every fast food transactions. (Introduction: Fast Food Nation - The Dark Side of the All-American Meal)
Eric Schlosser, in his book Fast Food Nation initiates a critical analysis that entails some disturbing questions about the experiences and the food of those big corporations with the family friendly mascots. Schlosser visited the field and interacted with the workers and visualized that their present beef processing practices that have permitted ground beef to become efficient carriers of e. coli and other harmful bacteria. He discloses the conflict between the federal government and corporations encourages unsafe working conditions for fast food workers and meat packing employees. (Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser: A Book Club Reading Guide)
Schlosser indicates about the allurement of the fast food companies to eliminate the scope of hiring skilled workers and to depend rather on the unskilled worker to gain amidst cut throat competition. Secondly, during…