Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal

Eric Schlosser

Book cover

I decided to read this after watching Eric Schlosser’s lecture in the Berkeley “Edible Education 101” class video series, about protecting the rights of farm laborers. FFN was sort of an instigating book for many authors I have read, so I wanted to check it out.

The book was definitely interesting and engaging, but Schlosser’s scope is really ambitious for a book of this length. He touches on almost every relevant aspect of the intersection of fast food and social justice issues that you can think of: health effects of fast food, marketing junk food to kids, labor conditions in restaurants, contamination problems in slaughterhouses, etc. Each one of the topics could easily be its own book, and indeed, I think many of the authors who published books after this one more or less did that. I think FFN was probably groundbreaking for its time in pulling all of these threads together; it’s a measure of the book’s influence that it is now widely understood that the issues are all linked.

My Goodreads rating: 3 stars