Fast Food Nation Essay

Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser Tutorial: “What’s in the meat” – Meat and potatoes Overview: A look into how the meat is prepared. What is in the meat that we don’t know about but still consume. How consumers love it because it’s cheap, quick and easy. Processing of meat, errors associated with the process of beef and chicken. Image Analysis: An effective image employs specific techniques to relay its purpose. This image of 6 year old Alex Donley uses the following techniques to influence the reader or viewers perception of the chapter.

Framing, layout, colour, symbols and focus are all crucial aspects of the image. The image is a mid shot of the child’s face, resembling an individual school photo. His expression is relaxed, illustrating the perceived safety he holds. The image creates an association between the viewer and the child as they both share childhood in common. Layout, a critical aspect of an image ensures that the viewer is drawn in. He is positioned in the middle of the picture with the focus on his face to stage an effect. His positioning in the centre emphasises his importance.

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The image draws you in by questioning the significance of the image in relation to the chapter that follows. The child is bathed with light, emphasising his innocence in order to force you to consider your childhood and establish a relationship between the viewer and the image. The rest of the picture is darker in order to ensure that your focus remains on the child. By establishing the relationship between the child and the viewer, the image draws you into the chapter. The symbols contained within the picture enable you understand the purpose.

The glasses symbolise knowledge and their particular style hint that the photograph was captured several years ago. His facial expression creates a sense of happiness about the picture until you discover the true meaning behind the image; it is a photo of a dead child. Your attention is first drawn to the face, after which you begin to notice all of the other details. The face is designed to draw you into the picture to tempt your curiosity over the purpose of the image. The image presented as a prelude to the chapter ahead relates to the death of a six year old child which could have been prevented.

By failing to take proper precautions in the processing of meat, his death symbolises a failure in both health and occupational safety standards which saw the E. coli virus spread into meat in America. Main Ideas: An ideal system for new pathogens: •Introducing you to food borne diseases and their effect on society. •The way that the animals are treated by the slaughter houses and farmers through their ignorance of healthy farming practices can lead to the spread of pathogens in the meat. ‘Every day in the United States, roughly 200,000 people are sickened by a foodborne disease, 900 are hospitalised and fourteen die. ’ p. 195. •Discusses the relation between E. coli and food poisoning cases. The national dish •Transformation of the stigma associated with the hamburger. •Change in the perceived production of hamburgers. •Ideal food for small children because it is convenient, easy to chew and fast. •The fast food industry provides millions of jobs for people who would otherwise be without work. Change from being an urban middle class male food to family favourite, targeting kids with the opportunity to gain a small toy. •“The hamburger was considered a food for the poor, tainted and unsafe to eat. ” P. 197. •“Hamburgers seem an ideal food for small children – convenient, inexpensive, hand-held and easy to chew. ” p. 198 •“The average American ate three hamburgers a week (1990’s). More than two thirds of those hamburgers were bought at fast food restaurants.

And children between the ages of seven and thirteen ate more hamburgers than anyone else. ” p. 198. A bug that kills children •E. Coli is both a necessary bacteria in the human digestive tract and a very harmful toxin •The effects of the E. coli toxin are can be mild diahorrea, abdominal cramps, vomiting and low grade fever. •E. coli bacteria affects children and the elderly along with people with weak immune systems. •“I would have done anything to save my son’s life, I would have run in front of a bus to save Alex. ” p. 200. All we care to pay Because fast food is so cheap and accessible, the risks associated with it’s consumption are far from our minds because of the minimal cost. • “The use of chemicals such as borax and glycerine to disguise the smell of spoiled beef… ” p. 204. A matter of will •The only way this issue can be resolved is if the fast food companies are willing to take the initiative to minimise the spread of disease. •Every… manager attend a food safety course, that every refrigerated delivery truck have a record keeping thermometer mounted inside it… ” p. 208.

A lack of recall •By the time food is recalled, it is too late as most of it has already been consumed and the recalls are voluntary. •“the company made no effort to warn the public or to recall the frozen patties… ” Our friend the atom •The sub chapter discusses the US governments approach to E. coli bacteria and that rather then deal with the source they are creating exotic methods to deal with the issue. •“Sides of beef enter the new contraption, which blow-dries them, baths them in 220-degree steam for 8 seconds and then sprays them with cold water. What kids eat •The meat being served in American schools is substandard to what is being served at fast food outlets. •“the USDA later declared Bauer’s meat products (which were supplied to American schools) “unfit for human consumption… ” p. 219. Your kitchen sink •The standard of food preparation techniques is less hygienic in kitchens then fast food outlets as they do not treat meat with the care it requires. •“Anyone who brings raw ground beef into his or her kitchen today must regard it as a potential biohazard… ” p. 221.


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