The novel inspired the creation of the Food and Drug Administration, which was tasked with ensuring nationwide food-safety standards. The low wages, disregard for worker safety, and union-busting labor practices extend beyond the fast food chains themselves: these practices have also become hallmarks of the agribusiness and meatpacking industries that supply the fast food sector. By 1941, he was the largest shipper of potatoes in the American West, owning dozens of warehouses across multiple states. Fast food has contributed to a national and global epidemic of obesity. Schlosser argues that, although many of the factors and processes he depicts in the book seem bleak and unchangeable—dictated by corporate interests with deep pockets—he notes that consumers don’t have to buy fast food at all. Do you eat fast food? Eric Schlosser has all the details – in “Fast Food Nation.” Who Should Read “Fast Food Nation”? The restaurants brought with them new techniques and changed slowly the way people eat and think about food at a global level. Decapitated cattle carcasses. Think about how fast food’s practices might have impacted your life. In 1991, only four states had obesity rates reaching 15 percent; just a decade later, 37 did. States and the federal government should pass legislation that makes it easier for fast food workers to organize labor unions. Beyond its exploitative labor practices at every level of the supply chain, fast food has also proven an ideal vector for the spread of foodborne pathogens into America’s food system. From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. Carl Karcher was the biggest starting pioneer of this new industry. But most Americans are unaware of the story behind the growth of fast food, and of social consequences that have resulted from the rise of the fast food industry. On top of that, New Deal-era agricultural subsidies made grain an inexpensive food for livestock. Author Eric Schlosser discusses the dramatisation of his junk food book Fast Food Nation. By mass-producing specialty cuts and shipping them in sealed plastic to the supermarkets, this method of production also enabled the supermarkets to fire most of their skilled butchers. Schlosser gives the reader Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal tells the story of how the United States—and, increasingly, the world—has become shaped and defined by the fast food industry. A centralized system of food production exponentially expands the reach and scope of outbreaks, where they might have been confined to a particular locality just a few decades ago. The chains’ purchasing power has created a similar situation in both the beef and chicken markets, with once-independent agriculturalists now working as little more than hired hands for the major agribusiness firms. Little did they know that the fall of the Soviet empire would signal the rise of another: that of fast food. (Shortform note: Fast Food Nation was originally published in 2001. The fast food industry has standardized, commodified, and homogenized the skillset of the country’s labor force. The book explores fast food’s exploitative marketing and labor practices, destruction of the nation’s independent farmers, responsibility for the spread of deadly foodborne pathogens like E. coli, and creation of a national obesity epidemic. Food preparation was divided into separate jobs done by different workers, eliminating the need for skilled and expensive short-order cooks. Indeed, fast food chains have become a leading indicator of Western economic development in Third World or post-communist states. Most of the other major foodborne pathogens like Salmonella, Listeria, and Clostridium are caused by animal feces making it into the meat we eat. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of. Schlosser then moves to later stages of the beef and chicken production “systems” throughout the country, which, like fast-food production itself, has come increasingly to rely on unskilled labor (without union protections) and mechanized processes, often at dizzying and unsafe speeds. Schlosser charts this transformation by tracking many different people: fast-food employees at franchises, and well-paid executives at fast-food conglomerates; ranchers and potato farmers in Colorado and its environs; large-scale farming and ranching operations; workers at meatpacking plants; food scientists tasked with creating new “natural” flavors for food products. 22 pages / 11,000+ words In the 2002 Afterword, Eric Schlosser examines the "mad cow" epidemic and the changes in the fast food industry since the book's 2001 publication. This individual’s job is simply to shoot cattle in the head like this as they are herded into the slaughterhouse through a narrow shoot. He became a major figure in the cattle-feeding industry. Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by: ... Barry Estabrook Eric Schlosser takes apart a single fast-food meal and shows not only how it affects our health but also how the people who serve it to you are treated. In this chapter, we’re going further up the supply chain. And they’re becoming more common and more widespread thanks to fast food’s revolutionary changes in how American food is produced. Why do you think the major fast food chains have such a powerful economic grip over the nation’s food producers? (Shortform note: According to The Atlantic, over 60 percent of the fast-food workforce is under 24). Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal shows how the fast food industry has reshaped the American economic system and imprinted itself on the nation’s culture since the 1950s. "TheBestNotes on Fast Food Nation".TheBestNotes.com.. Table of Contents • List of Characters • Short Summary (Synopsis) • Eric Schlosser Biography • Historical Information • Genre Chapter Summaries with Notes / Analysis In the 1950s in San Bernardino, the McDonald brothers implemented a standardized system of food preparation that increased speed, lowered prices, and boosted sales. Montfort realized that there were major advantages to feeding cattle grain instead of grass (which had been the standard up to that point)—the meat was fattier and more tender and could be eaten within days after slaughter. Fast food has hastened the malling of our landscape, widened the chasm between rich and poor, fueled an epidemic of obesity, and propelling the juggernaut of American cultural imperialism abroad. The collapse of the Soviet Union, beginning with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and ending in the final dissolution of the superpower state in 1991, was a dramatic moment in world history. And they are always finding new ways to keep their employees from gaining any leverage in the workplace. Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation Chapter Summary. LA’s low-density, detached-home model of growth was ideally suited for the burgeoning fast food industry, as motorists could drive through for a quick meal as they passed by the restaurants (conveniently located off the new freeways). Modern American meatpacking got its start with a man named Warren Montfort. His business grew throughout the 1920s and 1930s as he forged relationships with commodities brokers and farmers all over the country. In 1960, he decided to go into the slaughtering business, opening a small slaughterhouse in the town of Greeley, Colorado. Schlosser describes his first meeting with Hank, a rancher in Colorado Springs, who takes Schlosser on a tour of his property. The second is an appeal to reform. In Fast Food Nation Eric Schlosser examines the rise of the fast food industry in America following World War II. Read on the go with our iOS and Android App. Rather than using skilled butchers, IBP used an assembly line model, with each worker performing the same repetitive tasks and making the same cuts and stabs to the cattle carcasses that came past them during the course of an eight-hour shift. During World War Two and the years immediately following, the US government pumped nearly $20 billion into California, building airplane factories, steel mills, military bases, and naval ports. Fast Food Nation Summary | Eric Schlosser | 3 Key Ideas - Duration: 3:31. And Why? Son œuvre la plus connue est Fast Food Nation, une enquête sur la fabrication de ce qu'on appelle en … He used his massive market share and dehydrating technology to become one of the principal suppliers of foodstuffs to the US Army from 1941-1945. Instead of having a dozen agencies with responsibility for food safety standards, these functions should be consolidated into a single agency, with the authority to track goods through their entire production cycle from the farm to the supermarket shelf. After the animals are slaughtered, poorly trained workers often handle the carcasses improperly, pulling out the stomach and intestines of the cattle by hand and spilling the contents of the digestive system all over the slaughterhouse floor and into the meat that’s sold to consumers. Where possible, we have supplemented the numbers in the book with more current figures.). The business model was a runaway success, enabling McDonald’s to save labor costs and undercut their competition. By 1940, LA had roughly one million cars, more than the vast majority of most of the states. Research has shown that people this age who work more than twenty hours per week are at a higher risk of dropping out of school, permanently stunting their life prospects. Copyright © 2020 ShortForm™ | All Rights Reserved, This is a preview of the Shortform book summary of. Truly disturbing scenes await those who visit a slaughterhouse—or the workers who toil in them. Just months after the fall of the Berlin Wall, McDonald’s announced that it planned to open a location in East Germany, the first in the former Soviet Union. The government should eliminate tax breaks and public subsidies for fast food chains that exploit their workers through high turnover, while teaching them minimal job skills. Major toy crazes like Pokemon cards, Beanie Babies, Tamogotchis, and Cabbage Patch Kids have all been boosted by synergistic fast food tie-ins. They're like having in-class notes for every discussion!”, “This is absolutely THE best teacher resource I have ever purchased. Below is a preview of the Shortform book summary of Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. Americans spend billions of dollars each year on fast food, and only a few corporations control most of the nation's food supply. But it hasn’t stopped there: fast food is now available in almost every country on the planet. Teachers and parents! In the early 1990s, McDonald’s frequently awarded franchises to former Communist officials, thanks to their proven combination of connections and leadership skills. Automatic condiment dispensers, robotic sensors at drive-throughs, digitized timers for cooking french fries, and other technological innovations ensure that McDonald’s and other fast food giants get maximum efficiency out of their employees, with paychecks as low as possible. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. Going back to the early days of the McDonald brothers’ “Speedee Service” system, fast food has employed a low-skill, low-wage system of labor that keeps costs—and therefore, consumer prices—to a minimum. Read the full comprehensive summary at Shortform. Anyone who’s been inside a fast food restaurant can’t help but notice that the workers behind the counter are disproportionately young—often teenagers. We’re going to explore how the economics of the fast food industry have reshaped American agriculture, examine where your fries really come from, and why they taste the way they do. Working long hours at fast-food restaurants has a negative effect on their education and takes away from more meaningful opportunities for enrichment. They also tend to hire the most vulnerable members of society who have the least ability to fight back—teenagers, the elderly, the disabled, and undocumented immigrants. In this narrative, Eric Schlosser discusses his trip to a slaughterhouse in the High Plains. The overwhelming economic power and demands of the fast food industry have been disastrous for formerly independent farmers, ranchers, and poultry growers. Foodborne illness has truly gone viral. Eric Schlosser's 'Fast Food Nation' is a good old-fashioned muckraking expose in the tradition of 'The American Way of Death' that's as disturbing as it is irresistible....Exhaustively researched, frighteningly convincing....channeling the spirits of Upton Sinclair and Rachel Carson....Schlosser's research is impressive--statistics, reportage, first-person accounts and interviews, mixing the personal with the … In the last chapter, we examined how cattle ranchers are exploited by the demands of the fast food giants and the major meatpackers. Cutting out the fluff: you don't spend your time wondering what the author's point is. Today fast food is part of the American way of life. Indeed, for Schlosser, safety and hygiene become important issues for consumers. Analysis. Automatic condiment dispensers, robotic sensors at drive-throughs, digitized timers for cooking french fries, and other technological innovations ensure that McDonald’s and other fast food giants get maximum efficiency out of their employees, with paychecks as low as possible. As a symbol of his total triumph over them, Kroc opened up a McDonald’s across the street from a new restaurant they opened (called “The Big M”) and ran it out of business. It’s not just Ridgemont High anymore – it’s fast times all around the world. These numbers give a glimpse of the grip that fast food has obtained over American life, but they can only tell part of the story. From the view of the fast food executives and franchisees, teenagers are the ideal candidates for these jobs. However, there are concrete steps that workers, activists, and elected officials can take to bring the industry to heel. The industry wants a workforce that is unskilled and willing to accept low pay. Their production system was designed, like that of McDonald’s, to eliminate the need for skilled workers. As the reach of major fast food chains like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell has extended across the planet, the same can increasingly be said of most people around the world. In the 30 years between 1970 and 2000, consumer spending on fast food in the US rose from $6 billion to $110 billion. A short video summary of the book "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser. Deadly outbreaks of E. coli, a virulent pathogen primarily found in beef, have become far more common since the rise of fast food. Think more deeply about what goes into your fast food meal. This population growth also occurred at a time when rates of automobile ownership were rising, causing the region to be heavily shaped by the car. Critically, he understood that children would be the chain’s most valuable customers and directed the bulk of its marketing at them. Taxpayer-funded irrigation projects and publicly subsidized highways were drawing people to California in droves, laying the groundwork for a mass consumer-driven retail economy (powered by the ease and convenience of the automobile) that California would export to the other 49 states. If so, describe the situation in a few sentences. Eric Schlosser wrote the book “Fast Food Nation” to prove that the fast food industry is solely responsible for many problems that affect today’s society. Shortform summaries help you learn 10x faster by: Here's a preview of the rest of Shortform's Fast Food Nation summary: Most Americans have eaten fast food at some time or another in their lives. Chapter Summary for Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation, part 2 chapter 5 summary. Eric Schlosser wrote Fast Food Nation to reveal the dark truth about the food that Americans consume on a daily basis. As cattle enter the slaughterhouse from the pen, they are greeted by a worker known as the “knocker,” who shoots them in the head with a stun gun that knocks them unconscious. Get a full book summary of Fast Food Nation by signing up for Shortform. Find a summary of this and each chapter of Fast Food Nation! Scenes that depicted tubercular hogs being led to slaughter and workers being maimed and killed on the job (and then packed into sausages) revolted and outraged readers at the dawn of the 20th century. His company could now grow its own potatoes, provide its own fertilizer, process them at their own factories, and ship them from their own warehouses and lumber yards, all without ever interacting with an outside supplier. Eric Schlosser begins his account of the American fast food industry by focusing on one region of the United States in particular: Colorado’s “Front Range,” or a group of cities including Denver, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins, just east of the Rockies. In 1993, doctors in Seattle noticed a sharp spike in the number of local children being admitted to emergency rooms with bloody diarrhea. By minimizing the level of human skill that goes into food preparation, fast food leaders have at their disposal a workforce that is cheap, easy to replace, and easily controlled. Our, “Would not have made it through AP Literature without the printable PDFs. Because of how it is processed and shipped, the meat of just one infected cow can find its way into 32,000 pounds of ground beef. Work and “The Good Life”. Meatpacking, once a heavily unionized, high-skill, and well-paying profession, has been transformed into a dangerous and low-paying job performed by some of the most vulnerable and easily exploited members of American society. And they are always finding new ways to keep their employees from gaining any leverage in the workplace. Below are some of the key themes and topics from Fast Food Nation. Eventually, more than 700... Fast food began in Southern California as a quintessentially American product, boosted by US postwar prosperity and powered by the nation’s growing rates of automobile ownership, highway construction, and suburban sprawl. Il est connu pour son journalisme d'investigation. A vocabulary list featuring "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser, Chapters 5–8. If so, will reading this summary change that? Explain why or why not in a few sentences. Explore the main ideas in Fast Food Nation. Large-scale meat and poultry plants often allow fecal matter to contaminate animal food sources—this has led to outbreaks of Salmonella, E. coli, and other viral and bacterial contagions throughout the food supply. The author of the book Fast Food Nation, Schlosser is a journalist based in New York City. Since its rise in the postwar United States, fast food has worked its way deep into the fabric of America’s social, economic, educational, and political institutions. Schlosser describes the lives of small-time, independent ranchers, and the changes in large-scale ranching that have made independent farming so difficult, almost impossible, economically. LA’s growth happened precisely at the time when mass-produced cars were becoming affordable to the growing middle class—indeed, from 1920 to 1940, the region welcomed 2 million residents from all across the rest of the US. 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