Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser
$14.99, paperback edition
Goodreads rating: 4/5 stars
I know I’m the last kid to the party on this one, but I really enjoyed this book. Because it was often paired with Supersize Me in conversation, I was expecting this book to address American obesity. Instead, I found a compelling indictment of unjust labor practices promoted and made possible by the fast food industry. It shows connections between that industry and ranching and land conservation policies, urban sprawl, and Washington politics. I don’t think Schlosser is reaching on these connections, either, or, if he is, he’s doing a great job providing thorough, credible evidences and good reasons to provide a solid argument. The former comp teacher in me has to respect that. In fact, as I was reading this, I was wishing that I could’ve used this as a text instead of The Allyn and Bacon Guide to Writing, or any of the other texts that address the writing process directly. I also appreciated how he used anecdotal evidence. I found those stories more interesting than the data he presented, and I think they were probably also more illustrative of why our current policies, regulations, and food culture is a problem.
The only negative thing I found about this book was my feeling that it went on a little long. I felt like there were more statistics and data than was necessary and that Schlosser belabored his point somewhat. On the other hand, I was predisposed to agree with Schlosser. A more hostile audience would’ve required all of that, and when in doubt, write to a hostile audience.
All in all, I am glad I took the time to read all of this book. I don’t always do well with non-fiction, but this was definitely worth the effort.