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Fast Food Nation

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Essay title: Fast Food Nation

I chose this particular book because being the health nut I am, this book stood out to me. It was as if Fast Food Nation was calling my name. I also chose this book for it has been given so many great reviews. The New York Times said this book had great insight and great factual backing. Fast Food Nation came highly recommended by a friend of mine, Chris Lauger. He told me how the book was dry, but that I should read it for nutrition is something I’m very interested in. Eric Schlosser’s purpose in writing the book is his "belief that people should know what lies behind the shiny, happy surface of every fast food transaction." In other words his purpose is for people to know what they are eating and actually care, care enough to do something about it. This is a great dream, yet most Americans know appallingly little about how that food is made, where, by whom, and at what fee. From his mouth to your ears, "What we eat has changed more in the last forty years than in the last forty thousand," Eric Schlosser writes in Fast Food Nation, and still no one has come to question any of it, until now. I feel Eric Schlosser lead to the conclusion that the task now set in front of us is trying to find a balance between the effectiveness and amorality of the market. In his book Schlosser’s call for governmental, civic, and corporate action is one that is rounded and doesn’t lay the blame at anyone’s door. He simply came to the realization that there is a problem and it needs to be attended to accordingly. After thinking, I feel that this book plays a role in the two topics we have already hit and the other 8 we still have yet to get to. In regards to terrorism, I feel the line connecting the two, is very minuscule. Therefore I have no explanation to attach along with it. On the other hand, Fast Food Nation has everything to do with our current topic of Food Issues. Schlosser mentions the fast-food industry's efforts to market directly to kids. Although parents do control what their children eat, as they grow up their guardians have less and less say. I feel that the industry plays a huge role in why kids turn out the way they do. For instance twenty years ago, it was unheard of for a child to arise with type II diabetes, except now it has become a “normal”. We are programmed at a young age to want what is advertised, so when is the fault for who is to blame recognized, when all along the industry has been “playing dirty pool.” In reading Fast Food Nation, it came to my attention that Immigration was another connecting factor. The majority of people working in the meatpacking industry are immigrants. Most know only their native tongue, while training videos and safety materials are in English. Also most immigrant workers are not aware of their rights. Another issue I can relate this book to is animal welfare. In Fast Food Nation, it is said that every year, more than nine billion animals are raised and slaughtered for food in the United States. I don’t know about you but I’ve known from a very young age that every animal is capable of experiencing both bliss and pain. I think everyone would agree that living; breathing creatures, [i.e. like farm animals] deserve a minimum standard of purity, calmness, and space to move. Not only does this industry know what its doing is wrong, we all know its wrong. And yet we still choose to support them. By ignoring animals’ needs we sacrifice their health & well being and put our own health at risk. Fast Food Nation made me think about how we, the United States, need something to replace the Fast-Food Industry. We are in desperate need of change, but who will be the one to initiate this change? It is not for certain, but speculation can be made that the young minds, after reading this book and others like it, will have an epiphany and realize that whatever the change is - it needs to be regional, diverse, authentic, unpredictable, sustainable, profitable and humble. We need to have more compassion towards everyone and everything. We need to be more worried about the quality of food in which people are consuming verses the rate at which it is made or devoured. This book also helped me to be even more thankful in respect that my idea of “fast food” is splitting Zuppa’s with someone. It has also made me think about how I should do more to help other realize what is going on. In another book I’ve read, Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, Dr. Carl Sagan wrote, “Humans—who enslave, castrate, experiment on, and fillet other animals—have had an understandable penchant for pretending animals do not feel pain. A sharp distinction between humans and animals is essential if we are to bend them to our will, make them work for us, wear them, eat them—without any disquieting tinges of guilt or regret. It is unseemly of us, who often behave so unfeelingly toward

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