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Fast Food Nation Eric Schlosser Major themes Problem with the nations diet ¼ of population on any day visit a fast food restaurant.

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Presentation on theme: "Fast Food Nation Eric Schlosser Major themes Problem with the nations diet ¼ of population on any day visit a fast food restaurant."— Presentation transcript:

1 Fast Food Nation Eric Schlosser Major themes Problem with the nations diet ¼ of population on any day visit a fast food restaurant

2 Fast Food Growth Driven by Societal Changes Many facets of life dominated by chains & franchises Rise in Dual earner familiesless time to prepare food Life in a workaholic society Vast differences in diets via SES

3 Keys to Franchise Success Uniformity Cheap labor--typically teens High turn over Little room for pay increase or advancement Extensive & expensive marketing Direct appeals to young children

4 Influence of Multinationals Huge agribusiness & purchasing power Elimination of most small farms and ranches Demand for uniformity Meatpacking no longer a good paying jobnow dangerous & employees unskilled immigrant laborers OSHA Regulations & Fast Food Industry

5 Nebraska's Meatpacking Industry Immigrant workers hold 80% of jobs. Meat processors at Farmland plant in Crete, Nebraska

6 Drastic Societal Changes that influenced Fast Food Industry Population growth especially during the baby boomer years Massive increase in highways across the nation Massive growth in the housing industry & move to the suburbs Increased car ownership and driving (car culture) Growth of drive-thru chains (food) & assembly line production of food Mass marketing efforts to childrentoys, playgrounds, school advertising, etc. Increase in consumption of soda

7 Mc Donalds Business Model McDonald's makes money by operating its own restaurants and franchises to third parties. Of its 32,278 restaurants around the world (September 30, 2009), 25,975 (80%) were franchises and 6,303 (20%) were company-operated.

8 Fast Food Chains in the U.S. HamburgerHamburger: A&W · Arctic Circle · Back Yard Burgers · Big Boy · Burger King · Burgerville · Carl's Jr. · Checkers/Rally's · Cook Out · Culver's · Fatburger · Five Guys · Freddy's Frozen Custard · George Webb · Hardee's · Hot 'n Now · In-N-Out Burger · Jack in the Box · Johnny Rockets · Krystal · Maid-Rite · McDonalds · Nation's Giant Hamburgers · Roy Rogers · Spangles · Sonic Drive-In · Steak n Shake · Swensons · Original Tommy's · Wendy's · Whataburger · White Castle · Winstead's · Zippy'sA&WArctic CircleBack Yard Burgers Big BoyBurger KingBurgervilleCarl's Jr. Checkers/Rally'sCook OutCulver'sFatburger Five GuysFreddy's Frozen CustardGeorge Webb Hardee'sHot 'n NowIn-N-Out BurgerJack in the BoxJohnny RocketsKrystalMaid-RiteNation's Giant HamburgersRoy RogersSpanglesSonic Drive-InSteak n Shake SwensonsOriginal Tommy'sWendy's WhataburgerWhite CastleWinstead'sZippy's

9 Parody about the business practices of McDonalds

10 McDonald's International Revenues Geographic Region % of Total Revenues US 35% France, Germany, UK 21% Rest of Europe 14% Australia, China, Japan 8% Rest of Asia, Mid East, Africa 8%

11 Growth in Liquid Candy

12 From 1977 to 2001, Americans doubled their consumption of sweetened beveragesa trend that was paralleled by a doubling of prevalence of obesity

13 Influence of Suburban Sprawl Growth of suburban strip malls & large shopping malls Subsequent growth in fast food industry & strict regimentation & standardization 90% of workers paid an hourly wage (low wage), with no benefits, scheduled to work only when needed Workers subjected to numerous abuses, e.g. paid with food rather than wages for all hours worked

14 Fast Food Industry Strongly Anti-Union Penalized for union organizing activities Website for union information Use youth & immigrants as workersless likely to unionizeMore likely to be injured on the job Because of low pay & monotony of work most work only a short timeleave & move on to other low earning jobs

15 Worker Vunerabilities Injury rate of teens 2X rate of adults Subjected to workplace violence & victims of robberies May 2000, 5 Wendys employees murdered during a robbery attempt Craig Godineaux was sentenced to five life terms behind bars for his part in the Wendy's Massacure of 2000 s.2.481369.html

16 Most Popular Fast Food Item FRIES! Frozen frieslow cost, huge profits Typical American eats > 30 lbs. of frozen fries yearly ½ of potato farmers gonenow Corporate Farms Fries cooked in vegetable oiltaste like beef Aroma of food90% of flavoruse of flavor additives, chemicals

17 RheologyMouthfeel

18 Consolidation of Ranches Only 4 top meatpacking firmsConAgra, IBP, Excel, National Beefallowing mergers without anti-trust violations during Reagan era Slaughter 84% of the nations cattle Concentration reduces prices for independent ranchers Same thing happened to poultry growers8 plants control the poultry industry in only 4 states Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi > ½ of poultry produced

19 Largest Purchases of Chicken KFC & McDonalds McNuggetsresemble beef more than chicken 2X per oz of fat than hamburger Popular among children

20 McDonalds Chicken McNuggets McDonald's Chicken McNugget is 56% corn McNuggets also contain several synthetic ingredients, quasiedible substances that ultimately come not from a corn or soybean field but from a petroleum refinery or chemical plant. Most alarming ingredient is TBHQ, tertiary butylhydroquinone, an antioxidant derived from petroleum that is either sprayed directly on the nugget or the inside of the box it comes in to "help preserve freshness

21 Status of Ranches Cheated by large meatpacking giants Traditional way of life of ranchers now destroyed Suicide 3X higher among ranchers & farmers Tangible connection to the past now lost

22 Industrialization of Cattle-raising & Meatpacking Costs cut by meatpacking giants mainly wages Turned a best paying job to a low paying job Created rural ghettoscrime, poverty, drug abuse, homelessness

23 Meatpacking Industry: From Urban to Rural Past: Cities like NY and Chicago History of abusive practicesbook, Jungle, Upton Sinclaire led to safety legislation in 1906 After WWII most jobs uniongood paying From 1970s onward one by one they closed down New meatpacking plants now in rural areasIowa, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, Nebraska paying wages up to 50% less than union wages more-taxes-they-receive-services


25 Support from Reagan Adm Reagan administration did not oppose disappearance of hundreds of small meatpacking firms Opposed using anti-trust laws to stop giant meatpackers

26 ConAgra #1 producer of french fries & largest sheep & turkey processor Largest distributor of agricultural chemicals #2 manufacture of frozen food & flour miller #3 producer of chicken & pork Leading seed & feed producer Sells food under 100 consumer brand names

27 Growth of ConAgra Largest meatpacker in the world & foodservice supplier in North America

28 Examples of ConAgra Brand Names Healthy Choice Hunts Hebrew Nationl Reddi-Wip Swiss Miss LaChoy Orville Redenbachers County Pride Armour Taste OSea Knotts Berry Farm

29 Tax Shelters of Large Corporations ConAgra influenced re-writing of Nebraskas tax code Lower taxes paid by large corporations & wealthy executives Provided tax deductions for ConAgras corporate jets Due to the 1987 legislation, IBP paid NO corporate taxes in Nebraska for the next decade 1997 IBP re-located to South Dakota with NO corporate or personal income taxes From 1967 onward, IBP crushed labor unions

30 Changing Nature of Lexington 1990, IBP opened new slaughterhouse, pop. 7,000 1991, highest crime rate in Nebraska 2000, # of serious crimes doubled & became a major distributer of illegal drugs Gangs, drive-by shootings appeared Latino inhabitants increased ten-fold, now 50% of pop White inhabitants left 1 slaughterhouse responsible for such sudden change, hardship, and despair

31 Most Dangerous Job Common injuries: lacerations, tendinitis, back & shoulder problems, trigger-finger, trauma, carpel tunnel syndrome, accidential stabbings of self & others Meatpacking industry1/3 higher than national average in industry IBP directly responsible for many of the hazards due to the expectations of speed working the assembly line Widespread methamphetamine abuse Late-night cleaning crew jobs also very dangerous

32 Rise in Foodborne Illnesses Changes in how food is produced Industrialization & centralization of food processing can lead to statewide or even national outbreaks Huge feedlots, slaughterhouses, hamburger grinders allow for wide dispersal of food supply According to the CDC, > ¾ of food-related illnesses & deaths caused by infectious agents NOT YET IDENTIFIED

33 E-Coli Bacteria

34 E-Coli Infection The result of an infection may be as little as a case of diarrhea. From 5 to 10% of people infected develop a serious condition known as haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS), in which the kidneys are damaged. HUS can lead to permanent kidney damage, requiring long-term dialysis treatment. Some patients die, with the very young and very old being most at risk.

35 Children becoming Ill & Dying > 500,00, mainly children, made ill by E coli Thousands hospitalized Hundreds died Herds of cattle became infected via being fed livestock waste (dead sheep & cattle) until 1997 when the FDA banned such practices However, allow cattle feed to contain dead pigs, horses & chickens Also fed to cattle, waste products from poultry, including sawdust & old newspapers

36 Spread of Pathogens Spread not only in feedlots but also at slaughterhouses & hamburger grinders 1 infected animal can contaminate 32,000 lbs of ground beef 1 fast food hamburger can contain meat from dozens or even hundreds of different cattle Reagan & Bush administrations cut spending on public health measures & staffed U.S. Dept of Agriculture with officials more interested in deregulation than food safety

37 Meatpacking Allies in Congress 1990s Congressional support thwart modernization of meat inspection system Even now, USDA cannot demand a recalljust suggest that meat be withdrawn Company under no obligation to inform the public that a recall is taking place Republicans in Congress failed to enact legislation that would demand meat recalls & impose fines on meatpackers (legislation introduced 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999)

38 Lexington, NE Races in Lexington: Hispanic (51.2%) White Non-Hispanic (46.3%) Other race (30.8%) Two or more races (2.3%) American Indian (1.5%) Vietnamese (0.7%) (Total can be greater than 100% because Hispanics could be counted in other races) Dec. 2009 cost of living index in Lexington: 75.7 (low, U.S. average is 100) Read more: Nebraska.html#ixzz0onqcTAxW Nebraska.html#ixzz0onqcTAxW

39 What Kids Eat In 1980s & 1990s, questionable beef served in school cafeterias Typically sell the cheapest meat to schools 1998, Georgia 11 year old seriously ill after eating a hamburger at school Tests of ground beef found that the facility was so filthy, USDA withdrew inspectors, a highly unusual move Next day, companys owner committed suicide

40 Major Chains Outside the U.S.

41 Obesity as Major Health Problem

42 Fattest States in the U.S.

43 Obesity Statistics Obesity is the #2 cause of preventable death in U.S. 60 million Americans, 20 years and older are obese 9 million children and teens ages 6-19 are overweight Being overweight or obese increases the risk of health conditions and diseases including: Breast cancer, Coronary heart disease, Type II diabetes, Sleep apnea, Gallbladder disease, Osteoarthritis, Colon cancer, Hypertension and Stroke

44 Obesity Among Children Diabetes, hypertension & other obesity-related chronic diseases prevalent among adults, now more common in youngsters. % of children & adolescents who are overweight & obese is now higher than ever before. Poor dietary habits and inactivity are reported to contribute to the increase of obesity in youth. Today's youth are considered the most inactive generation in history caused in part by reductions in school phys ed programs & unavailable or unsafe community recreational facilities.

45 Costs to Society

46 Obesity in America

47 Increase in Obesity

48 The Future Of Food See video at,

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