A book by Eric Schlosser< read all 2 reviews
I mention all this by way of explaining my first reason for thinking so highly of this book: functioning as a cultural anthropologist, Schlosser makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of a society which cherishes (to the extreme) both convenience and speed. My second reason is that Schlosser, in process, also provides an eloquent and convincing indictment of the nutritional deficiencies of fast food. I already knew that fast food, especially when consumed to excess, was undesirable. I had no idea, however, that it could also be unhealthy. (At this point, I feel obliged to admit to an addiction to the #4 Value Meal at McDonald's. Also, as a grandparent, I appreciate the ease and relatively low cost of making a quick stop to feed hungry grandchildren almost anywhere we may be.) My third and final reason is that, in this book, Schlosser also raises important questions and addresses important issues concerning the values of our society. With Americans eating (on average) three of every five meals prepared outside the home, what does that suggest? The television set is often used as a baby-sitter. When used in combination with a fast food meal, what does that suggest about the quality of a child's family life? In my opinion, Schlosser requires his reader to consider why the fast food industry now plays such a central role in our society. For some of us, at least, his accusations hit the mark and his conclusions are rock-solid. Increased speed and convenience in all human activities usually have a price to be paid. Insofar as fast food is concerned, Schlosser helps all of us to determine not only the price but the total cost.
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Schlosser's investigation reaches its frightening peak in the meatpacking plants as he reveals the almost complete lack of federal oversight of a seemingly lawless industry. His searing portrayal of the industry is ...