Fast food nation is about the consequences of the fast food culture that has developed in the US and has spread to other parts of the world. Every part of system is examined - the food, marketing, science of taste, supply production and human impact on both those that eat fast food and those who work for the fast food companies and the industries which supply the fast food chains. While fast food is appreciated by many, there is a dark side to that Fast Food Nation tries to point out with a great deal of detail. The fast food industry started in California. As the companies grew and their success increased fast food spread around the nation. This success has had a real impact on our culture and is partly responsible for the way life is today.
We are an obese country. Fast food is very fattening and sold in big sizes. The whole industry is very much engineered. The food is engineered in taste laboratories and is designed to be very appealing, almost (but not quite the same thing) like a drug.
The fast food companies are involved in marketing, particularly to very young people, to get them hooked on their product early. It's easy to get hooked on it because most of it tastes so good. But just because it tastes good does not mean it is good. Beyond the taste and marketing issues are many other areas that are impacted. The fast food industry has a big impact on meat production.
Much of the way the meat industry operates is a result of the power of the fast food companies in controlling their suppliers. The fast food industry has had a big impact on wages - holding wages down and exploiting teenagers, immigrants and minorities. Fast food has had an impact on real estate and the way malls have been built. Lastly, the fast food industry has been one of the pioneers in globalization and the spread of American culture to many other places around the world. Who is to blame? Is it the government for giving the industry what it wants and therefore helping it along? Should the fast food companies be blamed for providing a product people want in a convenient way at an affordable price? Or, lastly, should people themselves be blamed for allowing their government and the fast food companies to hurt them with their product. It seems that the author thinks that most of the blame should be placed on the industry, with government sharing a big portion of blame too.
Hopefully the book will help to educate people better and maybe change the fast food industry so it will provide a healthier product.