"FAST FOOD NATION" by Eric Schlosser: A "Must Read" Book

Eric Schlosser has done it again! Here is another example of investigative journalism at its best. Schlosser's book reveals a dark side to the McDonald phenomenon that has far-reaching negative effects on the world at large. The book uses McDonalds, and the Coca-Cola Company as the primary examples (they are among the worst offenders), but this consideration is applicable to almost all fast-food chains everywhere. Everything stated in "Fast Food Nation" has been referenced thoroughly by the author, Eric Schlosser. It is NOT HERESAY, but based on well-documented facts and investigation.

MCDONALDS IS SPREADING ALL OVER THE WORLD LIKE A CANCER

Schlosser tells us that every 2 hours a new McDonalds location opens somewhere in the world. McDonalds and other American fast food places can be seen everywhere. They have the most blatant and widespread evidence of the negative influences of American pop culture on the worldwide scene. In fact, this is no longer just an "American" phenomenon. McDonalds is an example of corporate capitalism at its worst, and it goes beyond international borders everywhere.

MCDONALDS FOOD FUNDAMENTALLY HAS NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE

Every item that they sell is processed centrally by huge agricultural and meat processing conglomerates. These food items are mostly frozen, with all nutritional content and taste removed. And the TASTE that seems so appealing to the worldwide masses of McDonald customers is entirely CREATED BY CHEMICALS ADDED AFTERWARDS to give them their universal and consistent appeal.

MCDONALDS FAST FOOD ADVERTISING IS INFLUENCING THE YOUNG PEOPLE OF THE WORLD TO EAT IN ENTIRELY UNHEALTHY WAYS.

All over the world, through convincing and widespread advertising that makes eating at McDonalds kind of an "in" thing to do"; young people are being encouraged to substitute junk food meals for more nutritious traditional foods. And this is effecting their health and well being in very negative ways. It is also forcing the closing of small restaurants everywhere which were providing much healthier and varied menus.

MCDONALDS USES EXTENSIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL REEARCH AND TESTING TO DETERMINE HOW BEST TO INFLUENCE THE EATING HABITS OF THE YOUNG

McDonalds does extensive psychological studies to see how they can influence the very young to begin eating their food. They campaign extensively to get advertising into grammar schools, and to be used for lunch program and snacks, by offering to contribute to the support of the schools.

MCDONALDS HAS VAST ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL POWER THAT THEY WIELD TO FURTHER THEIR OWN INSATIABLE GREED FOR MORE AND MORE REVENUES

McDonalds maintains an extremely powerful lobbying capability to defeat any legislation that may favor workers or consumers, and interfere with profit margins. They have a veritable army of lawyers who will descend on any "trouble spots" in the world, to undermine unionization, protests over working conditions and low wages, or workmen's compensation cases.

MCDONALDS HAS CAUSED A REVOLUTION IN HOW AGRICULTURAL HARVESTING AND PROCESSING IS DONE. THIS DIS-ENFRANCHISES THE FARMERS THEMSELVES.

Because of the incredibly huge demand for McDonald "raw materials" (such as potatoes for example), huge processing operations have now almost totally replaced the small farmers and processors. Potato farmers are now beholden to these large processors as the primary market for their harvests, and if they do not conform to the conditions spelled out by McDonalds and the processors, they are soon out of business.

MCDONALDS HAS CAUSED A REVOLUTION IN THE MEATPACKING INDUSTRY, TAKING IT FROM A HIGHLY SKILLED AND WELL-PAID PROFESSION, TO AN AUTOMATED HORROR THAT ABUSES ANIMAL RIGHTS AND UTILIZED UNSKILLED IMMIGRANT LABOR IN WHAT IS NOW THE MOST DANGEROUS OCCUPATION IN THE WORLD.

McDonalds demands for "more and more beef" has resulted in line speeds so fast in meatpacking plants that animals are sometimes being cut apart while they are still alive. And their intestinal organs are not removed cleanly which results in increasing incidents of beef contaminated with e-coli, and other potential lethal bacteria which endangers the live and health of unsuspecting consumers.

This is compounded since the present processes for creating hamburger meat are such that one (1) McDonalds hamburger patty may contain parts as of many as 100 different slaughtered animals. Hard to believe? Yes, but unfortunately, true.

MCDONALDS HAS SYSTEMATICALY EVOLVED THEIR OPERATIONAL SYSTEMS TO ELIMINATE ANY SKILL WHATSOEVER ON THE PART OF THEIR EMPLOYEES.

Therefore, they can employ unskilled, easily replaceable, mostly immigrant labor, and pay them the lowest possible wages. In addition, they are subsidized with large government grants to provide employee training while they systematically reduce actual training given, to virtually nothing.

MCDONALDS USES THEIR POLITICAL LOBBYING POWER TO PROVENT UNIONS FROM WORKING IN THEIR ESTABLISHMENTS AND THEY CO-OPERATE WITH THE LARGE AGRO AND MEATPACKING CONGLOMERATES TO PREVENT LEGISLATION FOR BETTER WORKING CONDITIONS, EMPLOYEE SAFETY, AND WORKMAN'S COMPENSATION.

 Workers in these industries are maimed, mutilated and killed at alarmingly high rates of incidence. And because of greedy and inhumane company policies, little compensation is offered for all the resultant disabilities and deaths.

LITTLE OLD RONALD MCDONALD WAS CREATED BY MCDONALDS TO BECOME A CULTURAL ICON FOR CHILDREN. HE IS NOW AS WELL KNOWN AS MICKEY MOUSE. MCDONALDS HAS CREATED HIM TO BE SEEN BY CHILDREN ALL OVER THE WORLD AS SOMEONE WHO IS WISE AND FRIENDLY, AND ALWAYS HAS THEIR BEST INTEREST AT HEART. BUT NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

The reality is that this image has nothing to do with what McDonalds is all about. Ronald McDonald has been created solely to get more and more children and their parents to buy their junk food in ever increasing quantities everywhere. Nothing motivates the creators of Ronald McDonald but greed and corporate profit.

AND WHAT ABOUT COCA-COLA AND THE SOFT DRINK INDUSTRY?

Coca Cola is right there with McDonalds in trying to influence the world to drink their products which have no value whatsoever to the human body. Everywhere one can go in the world today, Coca Cola (Pepsi, etc.) is right there with McDonalds, advertising extensively in everyway to get more people to drink their products.

In countries like India, where many people are very poor, it seems almost a crime, to try and influence them to spend money on something that has no value to them except that it "tastes good".

One of the most devious things Schlosser points out about this was a promotional campaign by the soft drink industry in third world countries, offering free baby bottles (containing Coca Cola, etc.) to mothers of infants. The devious strategy here was to encourage them to nurse their children (on Coca-Cola, etc.) in order to get them addicted at an infant age.

Have you learned enough to stir your interest and outrage? If not, you are encouraged to read Schlosser's book. There is plenty of shocking facts about McDonalds and other fast food chains that each of us should know about.

Please read it.

IN SUMMARY, WHAT CAN BE DONE?

As Schlooser indicates in his book – Mcdonalds has immense power, and trying to fight them directly would be an awesome task. But there is a simply way to do so.

Pass this book summary on to as many people as you know encouraging them to read Schlosser's book and

DO NOT PATRONIZE THEM ANYMORE

Next time you find yourself in a McDonalds to order a "Big Mac, Fries and a Coke" – look at the brightly colored backlit signs and remember the darkness that is behind this façade. Then make your choice. Will you order, or turn around and walk out the door?

If enough folks walk out and choose otherwise, McDonalds and other fast food chains like them, will need to dramatically change their practices, or be forced out of business.

   THE CHOICE IS OURS………………..

       WHAT WILL YOU DO?