5.0 out of 5 stars
Brilliant and provocative, Feb. 25 2003
We've all, by now, heard about the obesity epidemic that's afflicting the United States (and quickly spreading to the rest of the civilized world). Politicians talk and talk about fighting this, but by making this book REQUIRED reading for junior high school kids we could probably go a long way towards eradicating obesity.
The book examines how our fast food industry affects the consumers, employees, small business owners, farmers, ranchers, etc., who are all connected to this vast economy. It is well written, and balanced. I thought it was interesting that the author had genuine respect for the entrepeneurs who started all of these (now) giant food processors, fast food chains, and meatpacking companies.
Well researched and fair, after reading this book you will come to understand how eating a hamburger at McDonald's affects the environment and people connected to McDonald's, and how when you buy a $1.50 order of french fries about 2 cents goes to the farmer who grew the potatoes you are consuming.
The book describes the abuses of employees, the environment, and free speech by large corporations in sometimes graphic detail. I can't think of how the book could be improved, it's perfect.
I've noticed that the comments here on this book fall into two major categories: 1) Very positive, i.e, "This book opened my eyes, I'll never eat another hamburger again" and 2) This book is thrash, ..I occasionally ate a hamburger in Europe in the 80s and 90s, and now I'm concerned that my brain might some day turn into mush thanks to Mad Cow disease, ack!
The other criticism, which I think is obscene, leveled here at the book is that the author never mentions that the horribly abused workers in the meatpacking plants (the most disturbing portion in the book) should go find some other job if they don't like working there.
This is based on the very false assumption that these unskilled, illiterate, non-English speaking victims of these companies COULD find different jobs. Don't forget that they are being paid ten times what they could paid to work in their home countries.
The most disturbing part about this attitute is that SOMEONE has to process this meat! If working at a meatpacking plant was so unpleasant and everyone quit, then we would have no meat at all! I don't think America is going to go all-vegetarian anytime soon!
Read this book, it's well written and informative!