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Spotlight on: Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser

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Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation

I can't say enough good things about Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation. First off, everyone who eats fast food should at least read the ten-page introduction. Just go to your local bookstore/cafe, pick up a coffee, sit down, and read it. It won't take you more than twenty minutes and you'll be educating yourself.

Of course, you might not want to know everything Schlosser has to say. There's enough information in there to put you off your McDonald's for good. Secondly, it's simply a terrific read. Schlosser has written a true genre-bender: it disturbs and informs while it entertains. If only my school textbooks had been written this well...

Schlosser goes into many different aspects of the fast food industry, from the terrors of the meat-packing industry (and why it's one of the most dangerous jobs in the country) to "Why the Fries Taste So Good." Interspersed within are comprehensive histories of the McDonald's corporation -- from the McDonald brothers to the legacy of Ray Kroc to the modern day -- and the J.R. Simplott potato plant, which grew from one man's dream to one of the world's leading potato suppliers (and richest men) -- all because he decided to keep the business when most others would have sold it off and retired.

Fast Food Nation is an important book and one that sheds light on several things that this country's citizens take for granted. Consider this: fast food is the only product aggressively marketed to children that is made to be ingested -- and yet we never question just what it is we're giving them. Because you must always remember that fast food companies are not looking out for our best interests, they are only interested in making a profit -- and keeping you coming back -- with no regard for your own personal consequences.

Schlosser tells us a lot of things that we may not want to know, but that we need to know to make better buying decisions. After all, if you are what you eat, don't you want to know what it is you are eating? It's so dense with information that it will likely be the best book bargain you buy all year. Fast Food Nation should be on the bookshelf of every educated consumer.

Also look out for his follow-up on marijuana, Reefer Madness (named after the cult film of the same name).

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