The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser is a somewhat fascinating and appalling book, the author tells certain facts about the rise of fast food and the components that support these mischievous companies and how each company such as McDonald’s tries to outsource its competitors by advertising and by false hopes.  The great thing about this book is that there are quite the number of fascinating and sometimes weird facts about the companies that run these fast food chains and how they manage to make profits and sacrifice little to achieve it. However, there is a downside, the amount of facts present in the book, my mind tries to process what is going on while trying to figure out how it shaped today’s fast food chains, and another thing, the author talks about processing  plants in Iowa and ends up talking about ranchers who end up in debt and often give up; seriously, someone needs to slap this author on the head and show some sense into him (no offense Eric Schlosser, I don’t mean it).

Meanwhile the book does have its ups and downs, but there are some amazing facts (not this specific one) such as carmine, which is made out of the “dessicated bodies of female Dactlyopius coccus Costa, a small insect harvested mainly in Peru and the Canary Islands.” This “bug feeds on red cactus berries and color from the berries accumulated in the females and their unhatched larvae. The insects are collected, dried, and ground into pigment. It takes about 70,000 of them to produce one pound of carmine, which is used to make processed food look pink, red, or purple.” Think about it, the yogurt that people eat contain ground up bugs…that is appalling,  but what’s the risk? There is none. On the other hand, there are certain hilarious facts (if you take out the dying part) such as the “slayings of three teenage workers and a female manager at a Chuck E. Cheese’s restaurant.” Anyone want to guess where this happened? The same place where there was a massacre of people in a movie theater, that’s right folks, Aurora, Colorado.

I could go on and on saying certain facts about fast food and how it impacts our lives daily, but I’ll leave that up to the reader, I “would” recommend this book to anyone who has the guts to read a nonfiction book about fast food, and that each topic leads to another one and another one, etc, etc…. However, there is something that someone can learn from this book, but it takes a lot of courage to go through a series of unrelated topics. I’ll end it here but there is a question I would like to ask to the reader, is there a dark side of the all american meal?


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