Review Of Eric Schlosser Book Fast Food Nation: How Fast Food Chains Poison Us
Eric Schlosser builds his ethos by not only describing the various fast food chains that are involved in almost all aspects of society but by describing the effect that this has on the American people and the American economy as a whole. By delving into such deep analysis and information processing it makes it difficult for the audience to refute the author’s knowledge of the subject and therefore his reliability as a source.
Examples of this can be found in the author’s statistical analysis of McDonalds reign over the meat, potatoes, and bread purchasing power of the United States. By listing the simple statistics of the McDonalds corporations’ purchasing power he is able to elaborate further on the importance of these statistics to not only the American economy but American society.
The author describes the start of the fast food industry and how it became what it is today. This is not counterproductive to do because it shows that the fast food industry simply fit into a niche in the southern California economy and grew into what it had to be from there. What was supposed to start out as a few hot dog carts or a simple car hop serviced bbq transformed into a national enterprise in a few decades.
With such rapid development it seems obvious that fast food companies would have to engage in some shady practices in order to keep up with the exponential growth of demand and not so exponential growth of supply. In order to meet the needs of consumers, fast food industries had to cut labor costs and make it as efficient as possible to obtain their means of production. This allows the author not to persecute the founders of the industry but what the industry forced the founders to become. Carl Kartcher is an excellent example of this because of what he founded as an honest hotdog car business transformed into a national brand and he was forced to help it survive the transition.
The author goes to great lengths to describe the marketing similarities between the McDonalds Corporation and the Disney Corporation. Both based their marketing prospects primarily on that of children. They did this to meet the upcoming baby boom generation that was sweeping the nation which would lead to record childbirths and therefore record amounts of children in America. This vast number of children made it easier for corporations to appeal to the children’s wants and the parent’s guilt in order to get more demand for the corporation’s products. The parents felt guilt for not buying their children what they wanted and so when they did they felt like good parents which was an important feature of the marketing strategy for the corporations.
To continue to utilize the labor force of America in such a hazardous way will eventually lead to the downfall of your reputation as a corporation. Poor treatment of the laborers in your restaurants and high turnover rate is extremely dangerous to the future prospects of employees and may lead to a reduction in the amount of people who want to align themselves with your prospects as a corporation. It is pivotal that you begin treating you employees with more respect if you want to keep urn reputation in the eyes of the people.
The author describes the irony of little ceasers franchise owner by showing how despite general respect for his workers and trying to do nice things for them he still falls victim to the commonplace business practices of fast-food corporations by attempting to make employees happier without increasing wages. This aligns with irony by showing how even the best intentions of these franchise owners can fall victim to the malevolent practices of large corporations. Without proper government intervention for these small business franchises operating under the name of large business owners corporations will continue to exploit the small business laws and subsidies.
The effect of his description of an artificial strawberry flavor is shocking to the audience and almost scary. The description is a comprehensive list of dozens of chemicals that are being put into an artificial strawberry flavor and then ingested by the American population. This shows just how formulated the foods and flavors found at fast food restaurants around the country are and how many chemicals and preservatives are found in the food we eat every day. This list helps the reader realize that what we eat when eating strawberry flavored foods is actually dozens and dozens of chemicals the average person has never heard of.
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