Author: Eric Schlosser (2001, 2002)
Edition: Paperback 2002
From the history of the founding father of fast food to the inner process of what makes the fast food taste so good; all are told. We all know that majority of well known fast food chains are American origin. The book is basically centred on McDonalds and expanded onto how it involved on the growing process of the other fast food chains; how it is responsible for America’s economy and society growth; and how it is also responsible for 90% of the country’s new employments.
Schlosser definitely had a long and extensive research for this book. He interviewed staffs and went to farms and also laboratories in which the quality, smell, taste and texture of meats, potatoes and anything else offered at the fast food counters are created and modified to satisfy our taste buds. Those ingredients that look ‘okay and normal’ have actually been modified and customised on labs.
The kindness of fast food chains (i.e. McDonalds in this case) to hire part time workers of students is actually part of its strategy to reduce cost and save money. Students are more eager to work and more dependent on their earnings thus can be pressurised to work harder. At the same time, the company doesn’t carry the burden to provide employee benefits privilege to only those of full time workers. The information on the book are revealing the bad side of fast food chains; information that have been recorded on formal files plus the ones that will not be made publicly known.
Despite the fact that the book has a long title, I can not write a long synopsis about it :) It felt like watching a long documentary movie when I read it and I wanted to flip the pages asap. I have left the book for weeks (months!) and I guess I will continue it later on. I have been reading this since last January and still haven’t reached the last page (yet). Maybe next years.
Fast food is bad, yes, I have heard that since I was a kid. But I am not ready to stop eating fast food occasionally, as decided by many others who had read the book. Those information are interesting and I like knowing what’s inside my food. But I guess not that detail where it becomes too much, especially with that reportage style of writing. The book claimed Ronald McDonald to be the most famous character that children worldwide could identify, second only to Santa Claus (maybe in America? I am not sure about elsewhere though).
The book has been sold more than a million copies (maybe more now) and was a best-seller in 2001.