Here it is, my short and sweet review of Fast Food Nation. If you're unaware of what the book is, it's an interesting take on the fast food industry and what it has meant to American consumers, even those of us who choose not to eat at such establishments. It has quite a bit of history on it, which was fascinating and disturbing at once. The business acumen and lack of ethics on the part of most of the magnates of the industry brought us what we know today. A McDonald's or 10 in every city, Ronald McDonald being second to Santa Claus in recognition, and the golden arches being one of the most recognizable corporate symbols in the world.
I can't say I'm going to be a vegetarian after reading this book. I don't have the willpower or the nutrition knowledge to make a go at it. Too much of my cooking skill involves grilling or roasting or frying. Pasta wouldn't cut it.
Some odd facts. Ray Kroc bought out the McDonald's brothers for a paltry $3ish million. His empire is clearly worth billions. Most franchisees go into debilitating debt to open a restaurant. There's a reason why immigrants staff the lowest levels of the American workforce; even managers in this industry make chump change and work lawyer-like hours. Ninety percent of children in this country visit a McDonald's every month. Why? Probably because they are the largest private operator of playgrounds in the country. A McDonald's hamburger is healthier than McNuggets.
Someone needs to import In-N-Out Burgers from California to the District. Their food is better quality, they pay their employees living wages, and their management style is ethical. Five Guys wasn't mentioned, but judging by the taste of their food, I bet they're in the same league. So what's this mean for Mr. J? As with all my reading on Wal-Mart, I'm avoiding fast food joints from now on. I haven't set foot in a Wal-Mart in almost two years, and I don't plan on starting.
My fast food corporation boycott starts...now!