Author Topic: Fast Food Nation  (Read 562 times)

Offline Morgbug

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Fast Food Nation
« on: March 1, 2005, 10:08 AM »

This is a book Scott and I have been throwing little, friendly jabs at each other about for quite some time.  I think we mentioned it at a time when we were both active on RS and exchanged a few comments.  I kept planning on reading it, rather than just dismissing it out of hand which wasn't at all fair.  I finally got around to reading it in October of 04, but never found time to start the thread, as I always promised Scott I would.  Well, I finally did.

I won't say too much for right now as I want to re-read the book in the next coming weeks so I can annotate it so my nit-picking is more specific and can be placed appropriately with context and without vagaries. 

I will suggest this: my perspective is going to be different simply because we do things differently (better, from the perspective this book brings) in Canada with respect to meat/nutrition/labeling etc.  Not to suggest we are perfect, that's far, far from it.  But in a lot of instance there are regulatory issues that we simply don't have, for a variety of reasons. 

I will preface my comments by saying I am a skeptic by nature and anything raised in the mass media garners my immediate skepticism, regardless of any particular bias or side.  I am, by nature, suspicious of groups with agendas and I think there is a good deal of that going on here.  I will warn you that much of what is discussed in the book relates to agriculture and I think a lot of it doesn't have much to do with reality, or conversely is trying to point out was considered normal not more than 20 years ago is now unacceptable.  Not because practices changed, but because sentiments changed, owing largely to an urbanization of the population.  I think the book makes some fair points in instances, but it often carries them too far. 

I'll leave my comments at that for now and would welcome comments from anyone at all into this thread.  It is by no means just a forum for Scott and I as should be obvious, given this is a discussion board. 
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Offline Scott

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Re: Fast Food Nation
« Reply #1 on: March 2, 2005, 05:26 PM »
If I recall (its been at least 4 years since I've read this)

The basic premise is that due to life long advertising and "convenience" fast food has replaced sit down dining and home cooking as the major nutrition source in the US.  Along with that are rampant obesity and health problems as well as super farm operations and super speed food processing all needed to keep feeding the Fast Food machine.

I remember not wanting to eat Fast Food for a long time after this, more because of what was happening quality wise to the meat and stuff than what happens in the supply process.  I understand the idea that Beef came from a cute cow in the field and its not a neat process in how it gets to the wrapper.

They gave examples at the end of the book of successful "fast" food chains that use high quality ingredients and smaller portion sizes and were a big hit (was it In-N-Out?) and how the sizes and the portions and the quality of all of the spots across the board have gone stedily down since they appeared on the scene

Is this right?

I may need a reread as well :P

Offline Infamy Of Crete

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Re: Fast Food Nation
« Reply #2 on: March 2, 2005, 06:13 PM »
Some of you may know that I'm studying for my masters in Deviant behavior/social psychology slash whatever I think will be the quickest route through quantitative and qualitative research . :)Anyway, One of the studies I recently conducted was the effects of fast food on our culture much like the books suggest our american lifestyle consist of throwing our  kids in the minivan after school, rushing right to whatever extracurricular activity parents try to get them into just to get them out of their hair ,and then at about 8:00 at night rush them through the drive through at your local Mc Megaburger.  We wonder why are kids are so fat it's because they don't have time to be kids if they had some time to come home and run around and play and then mom or dad cook a meal guess what the kids might not be fat unhappy kids they might be thin happy kids. Kid sit in front of a computer and play videogames inpart because parents run them all over god creation exhausting them with senseless activities(yes I do understand that's not the whole problem_. but our culture is only the sympotn of the nature of social human behavior it's not the cause. Unfortunatley many parents flaw their thinking by believing that just because the joneses do it means we have to . This is one of the core concerns of social psychology I could get into the whys but I'm sure everyone here including myself would fall asleep  lisitening to my persausions.


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Re: Fast Food Nation
« Reply #3 on: March 2, 2005, 08:18 PM »
I read the book cover-to-cover on a flight to Japan a few years back. It certainly has an agenda, but I appreciated that he didn't bend his research towards a typical "save the earth, hug an animal, down with corporate America" rant. It's peppered with some great stories you'd just never think about, like the chapters on flavor research and engineering, and manages to span enough topics to prevent it from being self-righteous.

I really liked the book, but it didn't stop me from getting off the plane and heading to the Tower of Beef in Akihabara and mowing down some delicious, hand-massaged Kobe beef. Nor did it sway me from the belief that the typical, overweight American's lifestyle is anything other than a product of complacency and stupidity, which isn't an American epidemic, but a problem I see with 90% of the world's population.